A flying start to 2020

With four Group winners, New Approach leads the best in Europe
Darlington Hall winning the G3 Kyodo News Hai

While racing may be on a temporary hiatus in many countries, the Darley stallions made an excellent start to 2020, excelling around the globe both by number of Group winners and the rate at which they sire them.

Leading all in percentage terms is Derby hero New Approach, who has sired four European-bred Group winners at an excellent 6.8% Group winners to runners. The first of his offspring to register a Group victory this year was Magic Lily, winner of the G2 Cape Verdi back in January over a mile. She doubled her tally of G2 wins when taking the Balanchine, before running an excellent second in the G1 Jebel Hatta, the same day as fellow New Approach runner Loxley won the G2 Dubai City Of Gold.

In Japan, New Approach’s three-year-old son Darlington Hall won the G3 Kyodo News Hai back in February. The exciting colt is now due to head to the Japanese 2,000 Guineas followed by their Derby next.

Last weekend, New Approach sired his fourth Group winner when G1 miler Cascadian impressed in the G3 Doncaster Prelude at Rosehill. Bred in the UK and out of the Classic winner Falls Of Lora, Cascadian is due for a quick reappearance in this Saturday’s G1 Doncaster Handicap.

Dubawi sits second among all European stallions in percentage terms but is out on his own numerically, with six Group winners to his name so far in 2020. All conditions seem alike for the Dalham Hall star, ranging from sprinters on dirt (Wafy) to stayers on turf (Secret Advisor).

The highlights so far this year for Dubawi though are multiple G2 scorer Benbatl and the highly rated Ghaiyyath, both of whom impressed in Dubai and would have been leading candidates on Dubai World Cup night had the meeting gone ahead.

Raven’s Pass has enjoyed an excellent start to the season, led by wide-margin G1 winner Matterhorn, who never saw another rival to easily land the Al Maktoum Challenge R3 by five and a half lengths. His second Group winner is his three-year-old daughter Lemista, who won the G3 Park Express Stakes on the opening day of the flat turf season at Naas in Ireland.

The only European first-season sire of 2019 to have a Group winner so far in 2020 is Outstrip, after his three-year-old daughter Outburst made all the running to win the G3 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs. Outstrip is standing his 2020 season at a fee of £5,000 Oct 1, SLF.