Click above to watch the Coolmore Stud Documentary 2011
(Image and Footage : Coolmore)
“Who’s Who in the Zoo?”
The battle for international supremacy in the thoroughbred world has developed a real “one-round-to-you, one-round-to-me” look to it. Ever since the official declaration of war by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed, on their arch opponents, the Coolmore operation in 2006, some heavy punches have been traded.
The first three years undoubtedly belonged to Coolmore, and for as long as the dominance of their Emperor stallions, Sadler’s Wells and Danehill persisted, and for as long as this blood was denied to the Maktoums, it looked like one-way traffic (in Europe at any rate, the main theatre of battle). Nothing in the thoroughbred world though is forever, and with his strategies spanning both sides of the Atlantic, the emergence of Street Cry looked like pulling things back for “Sheik Mo”, though it has to be said, Coolmore still have on their hands, the champion sire of that realm, Giant’s Causeway. Enormous investment on the part of Dubai in the best prospects of their more recent generations in the United States, must have equipped Darley’s armoury in that part of the world with some real possibilities, but with the exception of Bernardini, who is an emerging force in his own right, the jury will have to wait. If we were in the tipping game, we’d have a few bob on Street Sense, the only horse in history to have won both the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby.
Back in Europe though, out of the blue came Dubawi and Shamardal for Darley, and they look like two of the best young sires around right now. Their supremacy with their first three year olds last year suggested an overwhelming dominance of the older division in 2011 Europe, but, we shall have to wait and see if that’s going to be the case. On the evidence alone, of this year’s three year old Classics, it seems the pendulum may have swung back Coolmore’s way, with four of the six “Guineas” contested in England, Ireland and France, falling to sons and daughters of Bill Oppenheim’s “best stallion in the world”, Galileo.
On Saturday, the Coolmore outfit’s dominance of this crop was as blantly evident as ever, in the renewal of the Investec Derby, in which Coolmore-connected horses landed first, second and fourth placings, though it should be noted the Queen’s third placed Carlton House is a son of Street Cry, gifted to her by Sheikh Mohammed. For the time being at least, the initiative lies in Ireland, though we suspect that Dubawi and Shamardal are that good, they won’t be lying down for long. Either way, it makes fascinating watching.