20th Jul 2020
Article by Leo Powell, Editor, The Irish Field, Saturday 18th July 2020.
DECLAN Phelan in Tullogher House Stud is understandably a happy man. Each morning when he checks the stock on his farm his eyes fall on a two-year-old daughter of the Irish National Stud’s Free Eagle (High Chaparral). She is no ordinary Free Eagle though – she is a full-sister to the Group 1 Investec Derby runner-up Khalifa Sat.
“I am not sure what the plan for her is at present. She is sound for racing and breeding. Maybe if someone came along with enough money she could be sold”, he told me this week. Declan is especially proud of the fact that a small breeder could produce a horse of Khalifa Sat’s quality, and that he did so from an aged mare.
A couple of years ago Declan bought a number of such mares from Tim Bostwick at Biddestone Stud, one of them being the Tenby (Caerleon) mare Thermopylae. At the time of her purchase she was 20 years of age but her five winners were headlined by the Group 3 winner and Group 1 St Leger runner-up Unsung Heroine, who sold in 2008 for 950,000gns at auction, and the Australian stakes-placed Ghostmilk (Golan).
Declan approached the Irish National Stud and agreed a foal share for Free Eagle whose sire High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) was responsible for the classic-placed Unsung Heroine. The resulting offspring was a colt and he sold for €20,000 at Goffs to Coolroe House Stud, and doubled in price at the following year’s Orby Sale when he was purchased by his trainer, Andrew Balding. Now he is a stakes winner of two races and the Derby runner-up from just four starts.
Impressed with Khalifa Sat as a foal, Declan sent Thermopylae back to Free Eagle and he is therefore now the possessor of a year-younger, own-sister. Should Khalifa Sat progress to be a Group 1 winner, and there is every reason to believe he will, he will continue a family tradition. His grandam bred the Group 1 Gran Premio d’Italia and Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes winner Posidonas (Slip Anchor), while his third dam was responsible for Ile De Chypre (Ile De Bourbon) who won the Group 1 Juddmonte International and the then Group 2 Tattersalls EBF Rogers Gold Cup.
Khalifa Sat is one of three stakes horses in the first crop of the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes winner Free Eagle. The Listed Coolmore Caravaggio Stakes winner Justifier and the stakes-placed Auxilia are the others. He is sire of 19 winners to date.