IN TAKING the Group1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes over ten furlongs at this year’s Royal Ascot carnival, the 4-year-old Free Eagle became the second winner of the event in four years for one of the most prestigious dual hemisphere sires, the recently deceased Sadler’s Wells 2002 English and Irish Derby winner High Chaparral.
Free Eagle was preceded by New Zealand bred Australian superstar racehorse So You Think, one of the greatest from this part of the world to compete in Europe. A neck second in the race in 2011 and the winner in 2012, he was assessed one of the best in the World Rankings, Champion Australian 3YO 2009-10, Champion Miler Australia 2010-11, Champion Older Horse Ireland 2011 and 2012 and awarded a high Timeform for his 2012 efforts of 133.
A Coolmore sire servicing at their studs in Ireland and the Hunter Valley (2015 fee $49,500), So You Think appeals as an ideal type to be a very good sire in both hemispheres. His first Australians race as 2-year-olds im 2015-16 and his Europeans in 2016.
A lot of his progeny are likely to be bred on similar patterns that produced Free Eagle, the winner of this year’s Prince of Wales’s, a race in which The Grey Gatsby, a son of Mastercraftsman, an Ireland bred son of Danehill Dancer who shuttled to New Zealand, finished second, and another son of High Chaparral, Western Hymn, third. Western Hymn’s dam is by Cape Cross and is inbred to Danehill’s sire Danzig.
Raced only five times to date, recording three wins, a second and a third, Free Eagle, is a half-brother to stakes winners Custom Cut (11 wins, seven stakes to Group 3 GB-Ireland) and Sapphire (a Champion Older Filly 2012, six wins to Group 2). They are among five foals from Polished Gem, a winner at two in Ireland and a sister by Danehill to Dress To Thrill, winner Group1 (America), Group 2 (England) and Group 3 (Ireland).
Free Eagle’s grandam,Trusted Partner (by Affirmed), was an American produced winner of the Irish One Thousand Guineas. She was from Talking Picture (by Speak John), the champion filly at two in1973 in America.
Trusted Partner and Talking Picture each produced 11 winners and Free Eagle’s fourth dam, Poster Girl (by Nasrullah), eight from nine foals. Poster Girl’s grandam was one of America’s noted matriarches, Bourtai.
The supplying of first and third in this year’s Prince of Wales’s by High Chaparral is further evidence of the tragedy of his death at 15 last December. However he has left a huge legacy of hundreds of daughters in both hemisphere and a small, but elite, dynasty of young sires.
Four are New Zealand foaled Dundeel (Arrowfield, Scone, second season), Monaco Consul (Kings Creek, Denman, 2yos) and So You Think (Coolmore, Jerrys Plains) and new visiting sire Toronado (Ire) (Swettenham, Nagambie). All are free of Danehill.
The only two in Weatherbys (England) European Stallion Book are So You Think (Ire) (Coolmore, Ireland) and Toronado (The English National Stud). Toronado, an undefeated Group 2 winning 2yo, the European Champion 3YO Miler and earner of three Group1 cheques, a win and two seconds at four in 2014, is the newest son of High Chaparral to enter stud. His Australian fee is $22,000.