Star sprinter Ten Sovereigns is an exciting addition to the Valachi Downs stallion roster in 2020, bringing not only impressive racetrack performance but also a pedigree stacked with quality.
Himself the winner of the Group 1 July Cup and Middle Park Stakes, Ten Sovereigns descends from a sensational sire line – No Nay Never, Scat Daddy, Johannesburg, Hennessy, Storm Cat and Storm Bird. All of them were Group 1-winning two-year-olds and superb sires.
No Nay Never
One of the biggest stallion sensations in Europe right now, No Nay Never currently commands a service fee of €175,000 at Coolmore Stud Tipperary.
A relatively unheralded yearling bought for US$95,000 at Keeneland in 2012, No Nay Never soared to stardom with four wins in his six-start career including the Group 1 Prix Morny, Group 2 Royal Ascot Norfolk Stakes and the Grade 3 Woodford Stakes. He also placed in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
But it has been at stud that he has really made his name, siring 127 winners from 227 runners to date with 23 individual stakes winners. Ten Sovereigns and the filly Brooke have both won at Group 1 level.
No Nay Never’s sire is Scat Daddy, who won the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont as a juvenile, and added the Grade 1 Florida Derby in the spring before his career was cut short by injury.
He has sired 787 winners worldwide, 129 of them at stakes level including more than 30 at Group or Grade 1 level. He cemented his legacy in 2018 with his undefeated, Triple Crown-winning son Justify.
Scat Daddy’s sire Johannesburg won at the elite level in four countries as a two-year-old, winning the Phoenix Stakes in Ireland, Prix Morny in France, Middle Park Stakes in the United Kingdom and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in the United States of America. He won seven of his ten racetrack appearances.
Johannesburg is the sire of 1128 winners from 1554 runners, with 119 individual black-type winners. He has been a global influence with Group 1 winners in Europe, North America, South America and Australia.
A winner of the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga, Hennessy is the sire of 806 winners including 72 at stakes level. His progeny include Group or Grade 1 heroes Grand Armee, Johannesburg, Special Duty, Henny Hughes, Madcap Escapade, Harmony Lodge, Immaculate, Half Hennessy and Sunrise Bacchus.
Storm Cat won the Grade 1 Young America Stakes as a two-year-old and was beaten by a nose in a head-bobbing finish to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
After entering stud at a service fee of US$30,000 and dropping to US$20,000 three years later, Storm Cat became a phenomenon. At one stage his service fee reached US$500,000.
A multiple champion sire, Storm Cat has been represented by 813 winners from 1110 runners with 177 individual stakes winners. His 35 individual Group or Grade 1 winners include champions Giant’s Causeway, Storm Flag Flying, Sweet Catomine, Life is Sweet, Cat Thief, Hennessy and Bluegrass Cat. He is the ancestor of countless topliners.
After winning the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes in the United Kingdom and the National Stakes in Ireland, Storm Bird became an influential sire. Himself a son of the great Northern Dancer, he sired 63 stakes winners including Storm Cat, Preakness winner Summer Squall and elite performers Balanchine, Indian Skimmer and Bluebird. He was also broodmare sire of many others including Kentucky Derby winner and sire Thunder Gulch.
A dam line laden with black type
Meanwhile, the dam of Ten Sovereigns is Seeking Solace, a daughter of top-class racehorse and sire Exceed and Excel.
A Godolphin homebred, Seeking Solace was an impressive winner at Saint-Cloud in France. She also finished second in the Listed Prix de la Seine at Longchamp, narrowly beaten by the multiple Group winner Never Forget.
Seeking Solace has become a successful broodmare with four winners from five foals to race. She returned to No Nay Never for two subsequent matings after Ten Sovereigns, producing a filly in 2018 and a colt in 2019. The filly sold for £320,000 as a yearling last year.
The second dam is the winning Theatrical mare Flamelet, who placed in the Group 3 Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial. She is a three-quarter-sister to Labirinito, who won at Group 3 level in Europe and placed in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Handicap at Santa Anita.
Flamelet is the dam of seven winners from eight foals to race. Seeking Solace is one of two stakes performers, with the Shamardal gelding Flash Fire winning five races and placing in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort Stakes in Dubai.
Next along the dam line is Darling Flame, who won twice and placed in the Group 3 Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket.
Her eight winners include the Listed winner Bezrin, while she is the granddam of another three stakes performers.
The best of those is Shamal Wind, who won eight races including the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield and three Listed events. She also placed in eight Group races.
Sebfire placed at Listed level, while Al Thakhira won the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes and placed in four other black-type races.
Ten Sovereigns’ fourth dam is My Darling One, who won the Grade 1 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park and the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Oaks. She also placed in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.
My Darling One is the dam of Heart Lake, who won the Group 3 Concorde Stakes in Ireland and placed in the Group 2 Hong Kong International Bowl. My Darling One is also the granddam of Labirinto, and she is the third dam of the Brazilian Group 1 star Tonemai.
Other descendants include Bell Lap, who won the Group 3 Radio Nikkei Hai Kyoto Nisai Stakes.
My Darling One’s pedigree features a number of superstar names, with her second dam being the top-class American filly Marshua. Her pedigree page also features Group or Grade 1 performers Smuggly, Untamed Domain and Asl.
Ten Sovereigns will stand his first season at Valachi Downs in 2020 at a service fee of $20,000 + GST.