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Wootton Bassett joins Coolmore with glittering book of mares

Fri 10 Sep 2021

Covering numbers for the 16 stallions who stand at Coolmore in Co. Tipperary are available to view on Weatherbys Bloodstock Reports online, before they are published in print in the comprehensive Return of Mares in November.

They reveal that Coolmore Stud’s high-profile new acquisition from France, Wootton Bassett, was welcomed to Ireland this year with a glittering book of 244 mares.

The Group 1-winning son of Iffraaj has made his name by supplying superstars such as Almanzor, Audarya and Wooded despite covering small books at a low fee in the early years of his stallion career at Haras d’Etreham. So it boggles the mind to think what he might achieve now that he is covering the cream of the European broodmare population.

Group/Grade 1 winners covered by Wootton Bassett in 2021 included Albigna, Alexandrova, Awesome Maria, Bracelet, Clemmie, Curvy, Deirdre, Fancy Blue, Found, Miss Yoda, Nickname, Peeping Fawn, Proviso, The Fugue and Was.

Wootton Bassett is set to cover a huge book in his first year at Coolmore (Pic: Weatherbys)
Wootton Bassett is set to cover a huge book in his first year at Coolmore (Pic: Weatherbys)

Among the other high-class racemares in his book were Alive Alive Oh, Best Terms, Bewitched, Carla Bianca, Coolmore, Cuff, Dazzling, Durance, Empowering, Ennistymon, Even Song, Illuminate, Indian Blessing, Ishvana, J Wonder, Joyeuse, Jubiloso, Lady Lara, Lady Wannabe, Laugh Out Loud, Magic America, Marbre Rose, Marvada, Music Box, Mystical Lady, Naples Bay, Only Mine, Palace, Quiet Oasis, Rain Goddess, Roca Rojo, Shenanigans, So Wonderful, Souvenir Delondres, Steip Amach and Wading.

Moreover, he also served the dams of Group/Grade 1 winners Audarya, Channel, Golden Horde, Harry Angel, Immortal Verse, Limato, Line Of Duty, Mabs Cross, Mukhadram, One Master, Sioux Nation, Snowfall, Technician, Tepin and Zoustar. Phew!

A large part of Wootton Bassett’s popularity lies in the fact he is an outcross for the many mares by the late, great Galileo owned by Coolmore and outside breeders. The stats show that he covered 61 daughters of Galileo this season, and 13 maternal granddaughters of Galileo besides.

Coolmore’s phenomenal 12-time British and Irish champion sire, who passed away aged 23 in July, covered 45 mares this breeding season, although many were also served by other stallions. His final crop will likely be quite small in number.

The operation’s roster at Fethard features five of Galileo’s sons: Australia, Churchill, Circus Maximus, Gleneagles and Highland Reel.

Australia, sire of 19 stakes winners including Broome, Galileo Chrome, Mare Australis and Order Of Australia at the highest 1 level, covered 162 mares in 2021.

His book included Group/Grade 1 winners Amarette, Chinese White and Lahaleeb, and the dams of Group/Grade 1 winners Europa Point and Wigmore Hall.

He also covered several mares who have already produced high-class runners by him, such as Muwakaba, the dam of Cayenne Pepper; Pernica, the dam of Fernando Vichi; Sweepstake, the dam of Broome and Point Lonsdale; and Ultra Appeal, the dam of Patrick Sarsfield.

It’s also interesting to note that plenty of mares who were either sprinters themselves or have produced speedier offspring were sent to Australia this year. They included Renaissance Stakes winner Beauty Bright; Queen Mary Stakes runner-up Gossamer Wings; Desert Tigress, the dam of British Champions Sprint runner-up Growl; and Keenes Royale, the dam of July and Richmond Stakes winner Ivawood.

Churchill, whose first crop of two-year-olds contains stakes performers Ladies Church, The Acropolis and Unconquerable, covered 198 mares this year.

They include marvellous multiple Group 1 winner Alexander Goldrun, Prix de l’Opera heroine Ridasiyna and dual 1,000 Guineas runner-up Lightning Thunder, as well as the dams of top-level scorers Bayrir, Chachamaidee, Danedream, Exultant, Magic Hurricane, Matterhorn and Ventura Storm.

Circus Maximus, the tough three-time Group 1 winning-miler out of top-class racemare Duntle, covered 102 mares in his first season at stud and received strong support from his breeder and co-owner the Niarchos family. Most notably, he covered the operation’s exceptional multiple Group 1 winner Alpha Centauri and its Group 2-winning mare Freedonia, the dam of Prix Marcel Boussac scorer Albigna.

He also served Group 2 winner and Classic-placed Banimpire, as well as the dams of other Group 1 winners Art Connoisseur, Canford Cliffs, Garswood, Johannes Vermeer, Make Believe, Misty For Me, Novellist, Rip Van Winkle, The Wow Signal, Trip To Paris and Well Timed.

Highland Reel, whose first crop of two-year-olds has yielded the promising winners Inverness and Reel Rosie, received 104 mares this year. Highlights include Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, who has produced Derby runner-up US Army Ranger; Neele, the dam of German Group 1 winners Nutan and Nymphea; Summer Moon, the dam of high-class French filly Rougir; and Winesong, the dam of Group 2 scorer Universal.

Gleneagles might have given breeders cause for regret as he covered only 36 mares in the spring, but has since been represented by six Group winners this season – Baby Rider, Insinuendo, Loving Dream, Novemba, Tabera and Velocidad.

Coolmore’s stallion ranks in Fethard also count four maternal grandsons of Galileo among their number: Magna Grecia, Saxon Warrior, Sottsass and US Navy Flag.

Vertem Futurity and 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, an Invincible Spirit half-brother to this season’s star three-year-old St Mark’s Basilica, covered 127 mares in his second year at Coolmore. Among the names that stand out are the dams of Breeders’ Cup Sprint hero Obviously and this season’s Irish 1,000 Guineas third No Speak Alexander.

First-crop yearling sire Saxon Warrior, the Group 1-winning two-year-old and 2,000 Guineas victor by Deep Impact, covered 191 mares including top-class racemares Jack Naylor, La Collina, Lady Of Shamrock, Pride and Sultanina, as well as the dams of elite-level winners Amazing Maria, Beauty Parlour, Deep Brillante, Lethal Force and Shakeel.

Prix du Jockey Club and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Sottsass, a Siyouni half-brother to US champion Sistercharlie, was granted access to 132 mares in his first season at stud this year.

They included Group/Grade 1 performers Aoife Alainn, Baine, Beach Bunny, Different League, Minorette, Nuovo Record and Nymphea, plus the dams of top-notchers Dame Malliot, Dick Whittington, Fleeting, Gold Trip, Helene Paragon, La Signare, Laurens, Mille Et Mille, Sacred Life, Speak Of The Devil, Spectre, Sudirman and Uni.

US Navy Flag, a rare winner of the Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes at two and successful in the July Cup at three, has his first yearlings on the ground. The son of War Front covered 59 mares, the pick of whom on paper were high-class racemares Danehurst and Ugo Fire.

The development of the Scat Daddy sire-line has also been of great importance to Coolmore in recent years.

Scat Daddy’s popular young son No Nay Never, whose early crops have delivered 29 stakes winners in Europe including Group 1 stars Alcohol Free and Ten Sovereigns, covered 183 mares at Coolmore this year.

They included Group/Grade 1 winners Immortal Verse, Midday, Miss Beatrix, Rosdhu Queen and Sophie P, as well as the dams of high achievers Bolshoi Ballet, Harmonize, Helvic Dream, Kew Gardens, Max Player, Mother Earth, Nayef Road and Signs Of Blessing.

Ten Sovereigns covered 152 mares in his second season standing alongside his sire at Fethard. Highlights of the book were the top-class racemare and producer Airwave and the brilliant Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Islington.

Camelot, the triple Classic winner by Montjeu who has eight Group/Grade 1 winners to his credit, was sent 170 mares this year including high-class racemares Katiyra, Lady Frankel, Nayarra and Nezwaah, as well as the dams of top-level winners Aclaim, Astaire, Capri, Gallante, Harlem, Latrobe, Nightflower, Peaceful, Poetic Flare, Protectionist, Serpentine and Sir Dragonet.

The second book of mares for Kingman’s lightning-quick Coventry Stakes winner Calyx contained 105 names, including Pretty Polly Stakes heroine Promising Lead and the dam of Group 1-winning sprinter King’s Apostle.

Finally, Coolmore’s venerable dual-hemisphere shuttler Fastnet Rock – the source of an incredible 41 Group/Grade 1 winners – covered 55 mares in Ireland in 2021. Those that jump out of the screen are the dam of Fastnet Rock’s Group 2 winner and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes runner-up I Can Fly, and the mother of popular Australian Group 1 performer Tom Melbourne.

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