Looking for a Group 1 sire standing for less than $20,000, who averaged more than $100,000 at both the Magic Millions (Book 1) and Inglis Easter Sales in 2015?
That search produces just one result: Charge Forward.
His eight yearlings sold at Australia’s two major sales averaged $115,000, with a top price of $180,000 for the Laissez Faire colt bought at Magic Millions by Tony Gollan & John Foote from the Arrowfield draft.
It’s surely no co-incidence that this colt and the next two most profitable Charge Forward yearlings sold in 2015 are all out of Danehill-line mares.
Charge Forward’s statistics show that he’s sired 7.1% Stakeswinners/Runners from Danehill or Danehill-line mares.
To put that figure in perspective, only Redoute’s Choice among last season’s top 10 active Australian sires have a better lifetime strike rate from all his runners. And all of the stallions in that group are standing at considerably higher fees than Charge Forward.
In all, 17 of Charge Forward’s 29 stakes performers are from Danehill-line mares, and 12 of them either won or placed in stakes company as juveniles.
It’s a pattern that started early, when Charge Forward’s first-crop daughter Headway (ex Chatelaine by Flying Spur) emerged as his first stakeswinner and progressed to victory in the VRC Coolmore Stud S. G1. She has been followed by another four stakeswinners out of Flying Spur mares, notably the brothers Road Trippin’ & Crack A Roadie who together earned around ten times their combined purchase price.
Brilliant Group-winning sprinter Solar Charged, from a Danehill mare, appeared in Charge Forward’s second crop, and then came the Group winners Cavalry Rose, Direct Charge & London Lolly whose dams are by three different Danehill sons (Danske, Redoute’s Choice & Lion Hunter).
It’s the same story with several of Charge Forward’s six-figure earners last season: First Light Racing’s multiple city winner Face Forward (ex Endearment by Danehill), Moonee Valley winners Pathways & stakes-placed Fast Cash (both out of Choisir mares) and Singapore winner Good News (ex Rezyana by Redoute’s Choice).
However, it’s a rare rule that doesn’t generate exceptions and Charge Forward’s success isn’t limited to Danehill-line mares. Dual Group 1 winner Response, Group 2 winner Shrapnel and last season’s two-time Group 3 winner Slightly Sweet are from mares by Match Winner, Snippets & Dubai Destination.
In the past couple of years, daughters of Charge Forward have made a splash at broodmare sales, as breeders seek outcross mates for stallions with Danehill close up in their pedigrees. Cavalry Rose & Solar Charged each made $650,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions National Sale, and at the same sale this year Response, in foal to Snitzel, was knocked down for $1.5 million to Katsumi Yoshida.
It’s a pair of talented 4YO mares that are likely to lead Charge Forward’s team this Spring and fittingly, they are both Jason Coyle-trained homebreds for the family of the late Phillip Esplin, a founding director of Arrowfield and the breeder of Charge Forward.
Something Secret (from juvenile stakeswinner Secret Land by Secret Savings) has made a very good impression in provincial company, winning at Wyong & Gosford last month.
Slightly Sweet already has two Group victories on her eight-start record and is about a fortnight away from a trial after returning from her winter break in superb order.
Gai Waterhouse’s 2YOs include what she describes as a “nice colt” called Tribal (ex Mozambique by Redoute’s Choice) for Ron & Deb Gilbert. The Gilberts have already achieved success with Charge Forward as the breeders of Shrapnel, a two-time Group winner, and twice Group 1-placed at three.