At 2 he won his only start so impressively that he was winter favourite for the Derby and at 3 he maintained his position as Derby favourite by winning both his trials over 1¼ miles but had to miss the classic due to an injury. However at 4 he had an easy victory in the Coronation Cup over the Derby course and distance. Then at 5, 6, 7 and 8 he became the only horse ever to win the Gr.1 Gold Cup four times and also added the Gr.1 Irish St Leger and Gr.1 Prix Royal-Oak.
In addition to being an exceptional performer with a truly magnificent physique, Yeats has the considerable attraction of representing the same cross – by Sadler’s Wells out of a Top Ville mare – as Montjeu, one of the most prolific sires of classic winners of recent years. Montjeu has sired three winners of the Epsom Derby and three of the Irish Derby, and Yeats – as a one-time Derby favourite – could easily follow his example.
A good starting point for Yeats would be mares from the MR PROSPECTOR line, which has worked so well with Montjeu and Sadler’s Wells. Sadler’s Wells sired four Gr.1 winners from mares by sons of MR PROSPECTOR, including the classic winner Galileo from a MISWAKI mare.
Montjeu sired the Derby-winning Motivator from a GONE WEST mare, the Irish Derby winner Frozen Fire from a WOODMAN mare and the Australian Gr.1 winner Speed Gifted from a DISTANT VIEW mare. Montjeu also sired Papal Bull, Maria Royal and Pacifique from ZAFONIC mares. Mares by PENNEKAMP, and by his sire BERING, have made a very promising start with sons of Sadler’s Wells, notably producing Gr.1 winners to Montjeu and Galileo.
SURE BLADE is broodmare sire of Montjeu’s excellent son St Nicholas Abbey and SHARPEN UP sired the second dams of Motivator and Hurricane Run.
The speed-oriented AHONOORA line has plenty to offer Yeats. Galileo sired the Derby winner New Approach from a daughter of AHONOORA, plus the Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Nightime and the Gr.2 winner David Livingston from daughters of INDIAN RIDGE.
Mares from the NEVER BEND line have excelled with Sadler’s Wells, with daughters of DARSHAAN and SHIRLEY HEIGHTS collectively producing over 30 Group winners to him. Mares from the SHIRLEY HEIGHTS line have now produced well over 30 Group winners to his sons. Montjeu has sired classic winners from three consecutive generations of the MILL REEF male line, as Fame And Glory is out of a mare by SHIRLEY HEIGHTS while Pour Moi is out of a DARSHAAN mare and Masked Marvel is out of a mare by MARK OF ESTEEM.
BLUSHING GROOM line mares have supplied sons of Sadler’s Wells with more than a dozen Group winners. Yeats should be ideal for RAINBOW QUEST mares, as five other sons have Group winners out of them. Montjeu sired the Derby winner Authorized from a mare by SAUMAREZ, a son of RAINBOW QUEST.
UNBEATEN AT 2 YEARS
1st Maiden, 8f., Curragh by 4 lengths on debut from Haratila.
UNBEATEN AT 3 YEARS
1st Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial-Gr.2, 10f., Leopardstown by 1½ lengths from Relaxed Gesture and Medicinal.
1st Ballysax Stakes-Gr.3, 10f., Leopardstown by 10 lengths from Dabiroun and Lord Admiral.
GR.1 WINNER AT 4 YEARS
1st Coronation Cup-Gr.1, 12f., Epsom, by 2½ lengths from Alkaased and Reefscape with multiple Gr.1 winners Warrsan and Pride also behind.
2nd Mooresbridge Stakes-Gr.3, 10f., Curragh beaten 6 lengths by Cairdeas.
GR.1 WINNING CHAMPION AT 5 YEARS
1st Ascot Gold Cup-Gr.1, 20f., Royal Ascot by 4 lengths from Reefscape and Distinction.
1st Goodwood Cup-Gr.2, 16f., Goodwood by 5 lengths from Geordieland and Tungsten Strike.
2nd Irish St. Leger-Gr.1, 14f., Curragh beaten a ½ length by Kastoria.
DUAL GR.1 WINNER AT 6 YEARS
1st Ascot Gold Cup-Gr.1, 20f., Royal Ascot by 1½ lengths from Geordieland and Le Miracle.
1st Irish St. Leger-Gr.1, 14f., Curragh by a ½ length from Scorpion and Mores Wells.
1st Saval Beg Stakes-L.R. , 14f., Leopardstown by 6 lengths from Mutakarrim.
1st Vintage Crop Stakes-L.R., 13f., Navan by 5 lengths from Reform Act.
DUAL GR.1 WINNER AT 7 YEARS
1st Ascot Gold Cup-Gr.1, 20f., Royal Ascot by 5 lengths from Geordieland and Coastal Path.
1st Prix Royal-Oak-Gr.1, 16.f., Longchamp by 1½ lengths from Allegretto and Veracity.
1st Goodwood Cup-Gr.2, 16f., Goodwood by 7 lengths from Tungsten Strike and Sagara.
1st Vintage Crop Stakes-L.R. , 13f., Navan by ¾ length from Red Moloney and Alfie Flits.
3rd Prix du Cadran – Gr.1, 20f., Longchamp beaten 3 lengths by Le Miracle and Varevees.
AT 8 YEARS
1st Ascot Gold Cup-Gr.1, 20f., Royal Ascot by 3½ lengths from Patkai and Geordieland.