Foal watch – Future champions to keep an eye on
26 Jan 2018
See the first steps of future Series stars as they hit the hay running
With the return of the Series beginning to creep into view, we turn our attentions to the stars of the future and the latest generation of champion-to-be foals to hit the ground.
We’ll be giving biweekly updates on the latest arrival of the regally bred offspring produced from some of the greatest Series-winning talent in recent memory.
For starters we have a lovely image of the first foal by 2016 Sussex Stakes hero, The Gurkha. The handsome colt was bred at Wadacre Stud out of Listed-winning mare Trip To Glory, whose first four foals have all proved winners on the track.
The Gurkha, a son of the legendary sire Galileo, never finished out of the first two in all three Series races in which he competed. A wide-margin winner of the French 2000 Guineas, his first Series appearance resulted in a fast finishing second to Galileo Gold in the St James’ Palace Stakes; before he again filled the runners up spot when outstayed by Hawkbill in the 2016 Coral Eclipse.
His day in the sun would come on the Sussex Downs thought and will live long in the memory of all Flat racing fans. The pulsating finish to the Qatar Sussex Stakes can be watch again below as he holds off the challenge of two dual series winners in Galileo Gold and Ribchester.
What a thriller! The Gurkha edges out Galileo Gold and Ribchester in the Qatar Sussex Stakes! https://t.co/rQyu2LACir
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) July 27, 2016
Cheveley Park stud in Newmarket saw yet another piece of breeding history as it welcomed the first foal by dual Series winner Twilight Son last week.
Stud manager Andrew Small commented, “He’s a powerfully built and well balanced colt with a good shoulder, who looks sure to be a strong and precocious individual, very much like his sire”.
Trained by sprint maestro Henry Candy, Twilight Son won six out of his 10 starts and is best remembered for wins in the 2015 Haydock Sprint Cup and the 2016 Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The latter win coming in a breathtaking finish that saw him edge out four other rivals close home.
This youngster’s dad needs no introduction; the leggy colt thankfully won’t be aware of the pressure on his young shoulders being the son of the greatest Flat horse of the modern era, Frankel.
It should be fairly easy to spot this youngster when he does finally make his racecourse debut, the chestnut coat and big white blaze will no doubt set him apart from the crowd.
— Rob Speers (@rob_speers) January 22, 2018
While he never managed to win a Series race, the speedy Shalaa will go down as one of the most dominant 2YO sprinters of this century. Described by Frankie Dettori as “the best two-year-old I’ve sat on in my life”, he was unfortunate to be injured ahead of an exciting three-year-old sprint focused campaign.
The new arrival, a filly is a half-sister to the Group 3-winning and Group 1-placed Oasis Dream mare Sarkiyla.
Jack Cantillon of Tinnakill House said: “We’re very excited to have had the first Shalaa foal. We haven’t seen her in person yet but let’s hope she is half as brilliant as her dad.”
While not strictly relevant to the Series, this little beauty definitely warrants a mention as he’s the first born foal of the world-renowned California Chrome.
His dam was pretty handy in her own right too; Pay the Man won over $1 Million in prize money over the course of a seven season career.