Mention the subject of Sadler’s Wells’ sons at stud and the first that comes to mind is Galileo (although some Americans might nominate El Prado, the leading sire of 2002). Over the weekend of April 19, however, two Sadler’s Wells sons who retired to stand at Coolmore Stud alongside Galileo—Montjeu and High Chaparral—were in the spotlight on one of Australia’s biggest days.
On a Randwick card that featured four grade I events, the ATC Schweppes Sydney Cup (Aus-I) went to The Offer (formerly Ex Offer), an Irish-foaled son of Montjeu. High Chaparral’s son, It’s A Dundeel (formerly Dundeel), produced a career-best performance to take the ATC Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Aus-I) on his final outing prior to taking up stallion duty at Arrowfield Stud.
It’s A Dundeel retired with 10 wins from 19 starts and earnings of $5,265,333, with the Queen Elizabeth Stakes following the David Jones Australian Derby, ATC Hyland Race Colours Royal Randwick Guineas, M.J. Rosehill Guineas, Spring Champion Stakes, and MRC Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (all Aus-I) as his sixth success at the highest level.
It’s A Dundeel is the fifth group I winner from High Chaparral’s first four Southern Hemisphere crops, against four grade/group I winners from six Northern Hemisphere crops. High Chaparral was a very accomplished runner. Over three seasons he took 10 of 13 starts, including back-to-back renewals of the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT; one a dead heat with Johar ), as well the Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I), Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I), the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I), and Ireland the Food Island Champion Stakes (Ire-I). His sole defeats came on his debut at 2 and in his third-place finishes in consecutive runnings of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I).
That said, High Chaparral was generally regarded as having not quite displayed the brilliance of Montjeu and Galileo, so it was tough for him to attract mares of the same caliber. In that light, High Chaparral’s European record is a very creditable one. There were five stakes winners, in his first crop among them Magadan, who took the Prix d’Hedouville (Fr-III) and Unsung Heroine, winner of the Ladbrokes Give Thanks Stakes (Ire-III) and runner-up in the Ladbrokes St. Leger (Eng-I).
His second Northern Hemisphere crop saw him add eight more black-type scorers headed by Redwood, successful in the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes Presented by Vtech (Can-IT) at Woodbine. High Chaparral’s third Northern Hemisphere crop yielded another eight stakes winners, with Wigmore Hall succeeding Redwood as a winner of the Northern Dancer Turf, and also including Joanna (successful in four group events, and multiple group I-placed). Like so many other stallions these days, High Chaparral had a quieter time with his fourth crop. But his fifth included the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) winner Wrote , and from High Chaparral’s sixth crop came his best European runner to date, Toronado, winner last year of the QIPCO Sussex Stakes (Eng-I), and the co-highweight 3-year-old colt on the World Rankings for 2013.
When High Chaparral arrived to start his shuttle career in New Zealand—where Montjeu had already been very successful—he was accorded a place among that country’s stallion elite. He duly kicked off with an exceptional first crop headed by international champion So You Think, winner of five grade I events in Australia including back-to-back renewals of the Tatts W.S. Cox Plate. He was also a five-time group I winner in Europe. So You Think already seconds his sire at Coolmore in both Ireland and Australia (High Chaparral having switched shuttle destinations after his early success), so High Chaparral will have a pair of outstanding sons at stud, with Toronado likely to join them in 2015.
It’s A Dundeel is out of the unraced, but very well-bred Stareel, a daughter of the venerated New Zealand stallion Zabeel and champion New Zealand 3-year-old filly Staring. Apart from Staring, the family had been rather light in recent generations, although Staring’s great-granddam, Money, is second dam of the New Zealand Cup (gr. I) victor Gold Bullion. Eventually, the family does wend its way back to Eulogy, who was foaled in England but imported to New Zealand in 1915, where she became one of the country’s most important foundation mares.
It’s A Dundeel (TrueNicks A++) is one of four stakes horses and three graded stakes winners from 12 starters sired by High Chaparral out of mares by Zabeel. It’s no surprise that the cross has found success, as Zabeel is not only out of a mare by Nureyev, a half brother to Fairy Bridge, the dam of Sadler’s Wells (so Sadler’s Wells/Nureyev is 2x4), but also from the immediate family of Sadler’s Wells’ top-class son, Carnegie.