(Photo : Summerhill Sires Brochure)
“WHAT A RACEHORSE A.P. ARROW WAS…”
We’re fully two months away from the opening of the stallion barn for the new season, yet stallion bookings manager, Linda Norval, tells us we’re quite well ahead of bookings against this time last year, which was one of our better years in itself. That’s great news not only for Summerhill, but it’s a statement on the confidence levels of breeders as well, and with the advent of July, a walk through the foaling yard will reveal that the first foalers have already started their evening journey to the sanctuary of the night watch. Among them are first-foaling daughters of the great international stallions, Sadler’s Wells, Kingmambo and Nashwaan.
There’s been a flurry of activity among pedigree buffs both on our website and in the form of enquiries following the announcement of the acquisition of Brave Tin Soldier, who possesses one of the most regal lineages in the thoroughbred world. Another horse generating a lot of interest at the moment is A.P.Arrow, whose father A.P.Indy has a celebrated affinity for mares carrying the blood of Roberto. Local breeders are keen to test the nick in “Robertos”, such as Al Mufti, his son Captain Al, and Fahal.
We’re reminded at times like this what a racehorse A.P. Arrow was. Just this past week, in his essay on Sires with their first crops at the American Sales in 2010, the world’s top commentator on the subject, Bill Oppenheim, included in his selection of the most promising young sires, the Claiborne stallion Political Force. Claiborne is, arguably the most famous stallion of all time, and at one stage in its history, hosting the likes of Nasrullah, Princequillo, Bold Ruler, Nijinsky, Mr. Prospector and Danzig as incumbents of its yellow trim barns on the farm. Bill’s comment on Political Force was “a proper Grade One horse at four, who won the Grade One Suburban Handicap (Gr.1) and placed second in the Metropolitan Mile (Gr.1) and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (Gr.1)”. It’s opportune to remember that in the same year, Political Force was run out of it by A.P. Arrow in the Skip Away Handicap (Gr.3).
This is particularly good news, as A.P. Arrow looks to be the perfect physical foil for Roberto-line mares, besides what the “nicking” programmes tell us. It’s probably because of their physical compatibility that the nick between A.P. Indy and Roberto developed in the first instance.
While these two horses are commanding a good percentage of the traffic, the world’s busiest thoroughbred breeding site has seen a lift in its unique visitors by some 30% in the past six weeks, which tells us breeders are getting really busy. And Linda’s line is constantly engaged. Ask those of us who work here.