High Chaparral, a worthy successor to Zabeel.

High Chaparral, 1999, 16.05hh, Sadler’s Wells – Kasora, by Darshaan. Stands at Coolmore Stud in Ireland and Coolmore Australia (2010 fees €15,000 and $88,000 respectively).

Leading Second Season Sire in Australia 2009-10, High Chaparral’s son SO YOU THINK has just won his second Cox Plate (G1); he is leading the Australian General Sires’ List having sired the first (DESCARADO) and third (MONACO CONSUL) home in the Caulfeld Cup (G1) last week (they, by the way were separated by HARRIS TWEED, a son of High Chaparral’s Coolmore stable-mate and paternal half-brother MONTJEU, making it a 1-2-3 in the race for the great SADLER’S WELLS); and now it seems High Chaparral has several live chances in this year’s Melbourne Cup.

After last season’s success – he finished 10th on the Australian General Sires’ List with progeny earnings from just two crops racing of over $5 million, Coolmore decided to add High Chaparral to their Australian roster for the first time.

High Chaparral can do no wrong in Australasia at present. Zabeel may now be in his twilight years but High Chaparral is proving to be the one sire that may well knock him off his pedestal as a sire of high-class weight-for-age horses.

Last month saw High Chaparral sire his first Northern Hemisphere G1 winner when his son REDWOOD, a Juddmonte homebred, won the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine.

His Irish-bred son WIGMORE HALL went close to becoming his sire’s first US winner when coming 2nd in the G1 $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park in August.

Last season his daughter LADY DARSHAAN went very close to embellishing her sire’s European record when she ran 2nd in the G1 Fillies’ Mile.

Other G1 place-getter’s for High Chaparral include JOANNA (2nd in the Prix du Maurice de Gheest), GOLDEN SWORD (2nd in the Irish Derby), HIGH HEELED (3rd in the Oaks and Coronation Cup), UNSUNG HEROINE (2nd in the St. Leger Stakes), LADY LUPUS (3rd in the Irish Oaks), LORD CHAPARRAL (2nd in the Gran Premio Del Jockey Club, beaten a short head). MAGADAN placed 3rd in the Grand Prix de Paris and BEACH BUNNY placed second in the Pretty Polly Stakes.

This Autumn High Chaparral had an historic Group 1 Trifecta in the AJC Australian Derby with his sons SHOOT OUT, DESCARADO and MONACO CONSUL.

High Chaparral now has five individual G1 winners to his credit.

Standing at Coolmore Australia this season at a fee of $88,000 (having previously shuttled to Windsor Park Stud, New Zealand since 2005 {didn’t shuttle in ’07} at a fee of just $17,500, from his Coolmore base in Ireland – where his fee this year was €15,000), High Chaparral is proving very popular with local breeders. Mares booked to him this season include G1 winner CIRCLES OF GOLD (dam of champions ELVESTROEM and HARADASUN) and Pentamerous (dam of Shoot Out). Triassic (dam of So You Think) is due to foal any day now in New Zealand to High Chaparral.

This spring in Australia High Chaparral’s 180 covers also include the G1 winners ALLEZ WONDER, CHAMPAGNE, DANE RIPPER, DANNI MARTINE, DASHING EAGLE and RECURRING and the dams of Makybe Diva, Takeover Target, Efficient, Casino Prince, Special Harmony, Rock Kingdom, Sarrera and Rebel Raider.

There are around 50 yearlings by High Chaparral that will be offered in the 2011 Australasian sales, while his foal numbers will soar this spring as he covered a book of more than 190 mares during his last season at Windsor Park Stud in 2009.

As a racehorse, High Chaparral was of the top drawer variety. A G1 winning 2yr old (Racing Post Trophy), he went on to become the Top Rated 3YO in England and Ireland (11-13f) with wins in the Epsom Derby and Irish Derby and a 3rd in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, was Eclipse Champion Turf Horse in the US, winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf and was Timeform rated 130. At 4 he was the Top Rated Older Horse in Ireland (9.5 – 13f), helped by his victory in the Irish Champion Stakes. He again finished 3rd in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but capped off his career with a second win in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (dead heating with JOHAR), and he was again crowned Eclipse Champion Turf Horse in the US, with a Timeform rating of 132.

It is not surprising that High Chaparral is proving to have far greater success in Australia and New Zealand than he has had in the Northern Hemisphere, where he was put in the difficult position of having to compete for mares with his paternal half-brothers Galileo and Montjeu, and their Champion Sire Sadler’s Wells.

In the Southern Hemisphere meanwhile, High Chaparral has proved to be nothing short of a revelation and he is eclipsing the success that Montjeu and Galileo have had in the New World: Galileo shuttled to Australia for five seasons and these stints have so far yielded him 17 stakes winners with two of these, SOUSA and MAHBOOBA, scoring at the highest level. Interestingly, Mahbooba is one of six Australian bred stakes winners sired by Galileo that earned their stakes successes in South Africa. Montjeu shuttled to New Zealand for four seasons, with these trips proving very fruitful: 24 stakes winners, including the G1 winners NOM DE JEU, ROMAN EMPEROR, SHARVASTI, SPEED GIFTED, TAVISTOCK and WALL STREET.

Pedigree-wise, High Chaparral is proving very successful when crossed with further strains of Northern Dancer, namely the Danehill and Green Desert lines; with the majority of his stakes winners in-bred 3×4 to the great Northern Dancer.

High Chaparral’s sire Sadler’s Wells proved to nick very well with mares from the Shirley Heights line and it looks like this may well prove true with High Chaparral aswel – his G1 performed daughter LADY DARSHAAN is inbred 3×3 to Darshaan (Shirley Heights).

There is also no reason why High Chaparral won’t work well with the the Mr.Prospector line as we have already seen success with this line via his G1 winning son REDWOOD (Woodman).

Sons of Sadler’s Wells have worked well with mares from the Herbager line and it seems High Chaparral is no exception – MONACO CONSUL is out of a Star War (Star Appeal) mare.

We are sure to start seeing more stakes winners in Australasia bred from Star Kingdom line mares as this cross has already reaped success via DESCARADO, who is out of a mare from the Bletchingly branch of the Star Kingdom line.

Since retiring to stud in 1991, the great ZABEEL (Sir Tristram – Lady Giselle, by Nureyev) has sired 115 individual stakes-winners (41 individual G1 winners), including champions OCTAGONAL and MIGHT AND POWER, winners of 17 G1 races between them. Zabeel has become known as the Cups King having sired an impressive three winners of the Melbourne Cup (MIGHT AND POWER, JEZABEEL, and EFFICIENT). He has sired four Cox Plate winners: MALDIVIAN, SAVABEEL, MIGHT AND POWER and OCTAGONAL.

Twice a Champion Australian Sire and four times Champion New Zealand Sire, Zabeel seamlessly stepped into the shoes of his Champion Sire, Sir Tristram. If ever there has been a sire that looks capable of emulating the great successes of Cambridge Stud’s stalworth, surely it is Coolmore Stud’s High Chaparral.

So You Think made history when winning back to back Cox Plates. He is now the $3.50 favourite for this year’s Melbourne Cup.