Milan Gains First Jumps Sire Title
Milan has gained his first jumps sire championship in a season shortened by the cancellation of racing due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Grange Stud stallion topped the table with Horse Racing Ireland having officially closed the 2019-20 National Hunt season last week, and the British Horseracing Authority announcing that jump racing will not return to Britain until July.
Milan whose progeny amassed £1,908,347 in prize-money during the term, held a healthy lead of around £250,000 over his closest pursuer, the reigning champion Flemensfirth, when jump racing came to a halt in Britain and Ireland.
He also led his peers by number of races won, on 105, and was represented by the joint-highest tally of black-type winners, with 11 matching the feat of Flemensfirth.
Oscar finished in fourth position, and has featured in the top five on a remarkable 11th occasion. Yeats achieved his best ever finish to date in fifth.
Grange Stud manager Albert Sherwood paid tribute to the sire power of Milan, who is standing his 17th season at a fee of €10,000.
“He was a five-length winner of the St Leger by Sadler's Wells and is from the excellent family of Kahyasi, so it's fair to say hopes were always high for him,” he said.
“He's lived up to expectations by providing top-class jumpers year after year, and so the champion sire title is well deserved. As the likes of Santini and Monalee showed this past year, he puts a lot of class into his stock.
“It bodes well for the younger St Leger winners from the Sadler's Wells line that we have here. Leading Light, by Montjeu, has his first four-year-olds this year and has started to get some nice winners in point-to-points, and then we have Galileo's son Capri just starting out; he of course beat Crystal Ocean and Stradivarius at Doncaster and has been impressing visitors with his physique.”
Milan, who turned 22 this year, hails from the same crop of Sadler's Wells as Galileo and was a stablemate of the great sire at Ballydoyle.
He had 22 rivals behind him when he won a Curragh maiden on his sole start at two and ran second to Galileo in the Ballysax Stakes on his three-year-old bow, before finishing third in the Prix Lupin, fifth in the Prix du Jockey Club and fourth in the King Edward VII Stakes.
Milan really hit his stride in the second half of his Classic season, taking the Great Voltigeur Stakes and St Leger in emphatic style. He was a fair fifth behind Sakhee in the Arc before notching his peak Racing Post Rating of 128 for running a close second to Fantastic Light in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
His long service under the Coolmore National Hunt banner has yielded a host of high-class jumps performers, including Grand National hero One For Arthur and Champion Hurdle winner Jezki.