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May 6, 2021 (Thu)

New Stallions in 2021

Every year brings a new group of stallions for Japanese breeders to visit in the spring and this year brought with it some fascinating prospects that should make 2024 an exciting freshman sire season.

Of course, the majority of new stallions are Japanese breds this year, but there are some truly exciting prospects among them. Two-time G1 winner Saturnalia(JPN), who stands at Shadai Stallion Station for ¥6,000,000(USD$55,617), is likely one of the more high-profile new additions to the breeding shed. By top stallion Lord Kanaloa(JPN), his first son to stud, he brings with him brilliant speed over a classic distance. He is also the half-brother of promising young stallion Epiphaneia(JPN), so he has everything going for him. He was a G1 winner at two and then captured the first leg of the Japanese Triple Crown as a three-year-old, the G1 Satsuki Sho, earning him Champion three-year-old honors that year.

Next up is Admire Mars(JPN), who stands at Shadai Stallion Station for ¥3,000,000(USD$27,808). He isn't the first son of top stallion Daiwa Major(JPN), but he is most like his sire, both in accomplishments and looks. He was Champion two-year-old in 2018, and while he didn't capture any of the classics, he did win the G1 NHK Mile and the G1 Hong Kong Mile as a three-year-old. With his sire nearing the end of his career, Admire Mars(JPN) embodies all of his greatest achievements as a top sire of top juveniles, sprinters, and milers.

Deep Impact(JPN)'s main contribution to the gene pool in 2021 is his impressive stayer Fierement(JPN), who stands at Breeders' Stallion Station for ¥2,000,000(USD$18,539). He was a bit of a late bloomer, but in just his fourth career start, he captured the G1 Kikuka Sho, the final leg of the Japanese Triple Crown in 2018. He followed that up with a thrilling win in the 3200m G1 Tenno Sho Haru the following spring. A year later, he became one of only a rare few horses to manage to win back-to-back Tenno Sho Haru. He offers a rare chance at capitalizing on Deep Impact(JPN)'s impressive stamina.

Hong Kong has long been a popular destination for the Japanese over the past few decades and has contributed to many stallions' resumes. Win Bright(JPN), who stands at Big Red Farm for ¥1,200,000(USD$11,123), is solidly in that category as he blossomed in Hong Kong, earning two G1 wins. In Japan, he was a reliable G2 performer, but he seemed to relish the trip abroad and show his best side overseas. His sire Stay Gold(JPN) also never won a G1 in his native Japan, but his international wins didn't stop him from becoming a significant force on the Japanese breeding scene.

There are two Japanese bred dirt horses with great potential that have joined the stallion ranks this year. The hard-knocking Gold Dream(JPN) by the late top dirt sire Gold Allure(JPN). In 2017 he became only the third horse to win the G1 February Stakes and the G1 Champions Cup in the same year, earning him the Champion Dirt Horse title that year. He won three JPN1s in the NAR, and he was second or third in eight other G1/JPN1 races during his long career. His ability and his soundness will be well received by breeders this year. He stands at Lex Stud for ¥1,000,000(USD$9,269).

Le Vent Se Leve(JPN), by Symboli Kris S(USA), is another impressive dirt runner entering the breeding shed this year. While injuries kept him off the track a lot, there were not many horses out there who could beat him when he was at his peak. He won the JPN1 Zen Nihon Nisai Yushun as a two-year-old. He was named Champion Dirt Horse in 2018 after winning the JPN1 Japan Dirt Derby, JPN1 Nambu Hai, and the G1 Champions Cup all in the same year. Symboli Kris S(USA) has had massive success as a sire of sires with Epiphaneia(JPN) over the past few seasons, so there is room to hope that luck will continue with his talented dirt runner. He stands at Shadai Stallion Station for ¥1,500,000(USD$13,904).

There are three interesting new stallions by foreign stallions entering the ranks this year as well. Though born in Japan, Tower of London(JPN) is by Raven's Pass(USA) and was brought over to Japan in utero. He proved impressive over sprint distances as early as two years old winning the G2 Keio Hai Nisai Stakes over 1400m before coming in third in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes. He was a G3 winner at three but came into his own as a four-year-old. In 2019 he won a pair of G2 sprints before winning the G1 Sprinters Stakes at the end of the year. He stands at Darley Japan Stallion Complex for ¥1,500,000(USD$13,904). He is the first son of Raven's Pass(USA) to stand in Japan.

Mozu Ascot(USA), who stands at Arrow Stud for ¥2,000,000(USD$18,539), was purchased as a yearling in the United States and was one of the first sons of Frankel(GB) to win a G1 anywhere in the world when he captured the G1 Yasuda Kinen in 2018. He had a bad habit of coming in second during most of 2018 and lost his form a bit in 2019 but refound himself in 2020 when they switched him to the dirt and captured the G1 February Stakes. Stallions with success on the turf and dirt at the highest level are rare, and being the only son of Frankel(GB) at stud in Japan should make him a very popular stallion with breeders.

Mr Melody(USA), who stands at Yushun Stallion Station for ¥1,000,000(USD$9,269), was purchased at a two-year-old training sale in the United States before being imported to Japan. The son of Scat Daddy(USA) showed ability right away, winning his debut on the dirt in record time. He then captured his first graded stakes victory as a three-year-old in the G3 Falcon Stakes. In 2019, as a four-year-old, he brilliantly won the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen. He is the only son of the phenomenal stallion Scat Daddy(USA) to stand in Japan.

Four very different and interesting stallions were imported to Japan for the 2021 breeding season. Nadal(USA), who stands at Shadai Stallion Station for ¥4,000,000(USD$37,078), was on track to be one of the favorites in last year's G1 Kentucky Derby before an injury forced early retirement. The G1 winning son of G1 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Blame(USA) was then imported to Japan. His career on the track was brief but spectacular, winning a G2s before winning the G1 Arkansas Derby.

Siskin(USA), who stands at Shadai Stallion Station for ¥3,500,000(USD$32,443), was a surprise addition to the stallion ranks at the end of last year. The son of First Defence(USA) captured the G1 Phoenix Stakes as a two-year-old before winning the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas. Success over 6 to 8 furlongs will bring an interesting outcross to the Sunday Silence(USA) lines in Japan.

Four Wheel Drive(USA) stands at Breeders Stallion Station for ¥1,000,000(USD$9,269), brings with him the blood of American Triple Crown winner American Pharoah(USA). While his career on the track was very brief, he was a spectacular two-year-old over the turf, winning the G2 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. American Pharoah(USA) has plenty of success in Japan with his G1/JPN1 winning sons Cafe Pharoah(USA) and Danon Pharaoh(JPN) and many other winners, so the addition of one of his sons into the breeding shed in Japan should be very intriguing.

A very exciting addition to the breeding shed of Japan is the acquisition of Noble Mission(GB) stands at the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association(JBBA) Shizunai Stallion Station for ¥1,500,000(USD$13,904). He is the full brother to Frankel(GB), who has already proven to be very successful in Japan. He is the sire of G1 winner Code of Honor(USA) and a healthy number of other graded stakes winners. This established stallion and the success of his full brother in Japan will make him a very promising addition to the stallion ranks of Japan.

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