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Zafeen’s first crop full of juvenile promise 17/05/08

There’s never a quiet time for sales companies – the spring breeze-ups may have concluded but inspection of prospective yearlings for this autumn’s sales is now underway and among those currently under consideration are members of Zafeen’s first crop.

The 99 mares which comprised the young stallion’s first book included 29 two-year-old winners and 25 matrons who have already produced juvenile winners. When one bears in mind what an exceptional two-year-old Zafeen himself was – he won the G2 Mill Reef Stakes and was runner-up in one of the fastest Prix Mornys in the last 20 years – it’s not hard to imagine that he has every chance to be to the forefront of the first-season sires’ table by this time next year.

One of those to have passed through the ring already as a foal is a half-brother to last year’s G3 Prix Eclipse winner Domingues and Wokingham Handicap hero Baltic King. Out of Robin and Scarlett Knipe’s Fairy King mare Lindfield Belle, the colt made 74,000gns when sold to Paddy Twomey at Tattersalls’ December Sale.

Schust Madame, the dam of dual G3 winner Confuchias among her four winners, was another to visit Zafeen in his first year at stud as was the tough Majestic Desert who raced until she was four, claiming the Fred Darling and G3 Oak Tree Stakes throughout her lengthy career which also saw her finish runner-up in four G1 events. Like Zafeen, she raced in the colours of Jaber Abdullah, who has been a staunch supporter of his champion miler since his retirement to Overbury Stud.

All in all, there is likely to be a strong contingent of Zafeen yearlings at the next round of sales which makes the prospect of his first crop of two-year-olds racing next year particularly exciting given that these will be backed up by colts and fillies retained by a number of owner/breeders, including Rabbah, Paul and Yvette Dixon, Ron Huggins and Darley.