Sea The Moon´s status as one of the rising stars of the stallion ranks is confirmed in the Racing Post´s table of leading sires by percentage of progeny rated 80, 100 and 115 or higher in 2020, four weeks after the resumption of Flat racing in Britain.
The figures, available to Members´ Club subscribers in this website´s statistics section, provide an excellent guide to the quality a stallion is transmitting in any given season by showing results in the context of numerical opportunity.
Lanwades Stud´s third-season sire Sea The Moon boasts the joint-third highest ratio of horses awarded a Racing Post Rating of 80 or higher in Britain and Ireland this season, with his figure of 48 per cent (13 from 27 runners) matched by Dubawi (47 from 98 runners).
The strike-rate is bettered only by War Front on 55 per cent (21 from 38 runners) and Frankel on 52 per cent (34 from 65 runners).
Sea The Moon is also third best when the table is ordered by ratio of runners with an RPR of 100 or higher, on 19 per cent (five from 27 runners). By this measure he is behind Galileo on 21 per cent (25 from 119 runners) and Frankel on 20 per cent (13 from 65 runners).
Looking at those sires who have produced the highest concentration of horses rated 115 or higher this year – remember, those runners are the very cream of the crop in a Flat season that is still young, so the numbers are low – Sea The Moon is joint third on four per cent.
Sea The Moon, a runaway winner of the German Derby by Sea The Stars, enjoyed a huge breakthrough at Royal Ascot this month when second-crop daughter Alpine Star demolished the opposition in the Coronation Stakes.
The half-sister to Alpha Centauri, who won the same race at the royal meeting two years ago, is the highest rated three-year-old filly in Britain and Ireland this season on a mark of 121 – five pounds clear of the 1,000 Guineas heroine Love.
Sea The Moon´s other highly rated performers in Britain and Ireland in 2020 include Ascot Stakes third Summer Moon (best RPR 107), Park Express Stakes and Lanwades Stakes runner-up Hamariyna (104), Golden Gates Handicap second Tritonic (103) and the progressive Alignak (99).
A couple of important footnotes to the aforementioned stats make Sea The Moon´s success all the more laudable.
First, they don´t include his progeny who haven´t raced in Britain and Ireland this season, such as the German Group 2 winners Quest The Moon and Wonderful Moon, Prix de la Grotte third Tickle Me Green and Norwegian Group 3 scorer Privilegiado.
Also, it must be borne in mind that Sea The Moon has served his first six books of mares at a cost of £15,000 per nomination, whereas the blue-chip sires he is rubbing shoulders with percentage-wise have commanded much higher prices. Dubawi, Frankel, Galileo and War Front all stand at fees well into six figures.
Sea The Moon is not the only hotshot in the Racing Post table of leading sires by percentage of highly rated performers in Britain and Ireland in 2020.
Golden Horn has leapfrogged his peers to become the leading second-season sire by ratio of runners on a mark of 80 or higher. It was always to be expected that progeny of a quite stoutly bred horse who won the Derby and Arc at three would improve in their Classic season, and so it has proved.
Forty-two per cent of his runners are rated 80 (16 from 38), the sort of mark required to win a decent maiden or novice stakes, or higher this year. That puts him ahead of even Night Of Thunder, the standout of this year´s European sophomore sires, who is on 40 per cent runners rated 80 or higher (21 from 52).
However, Dalham Hall Stud resident Golden Horn has lacked a headline-making horse so far, and that is reflected when you look at the leading sires ordered by ratio of runners with RPRs of 100 or higher: here he falls down to three per cent, with only one (Irish Derby sixth Gold Maze) out of 38 having hit that mark.
Night Of Thunder, on the other hand, boasts a commendable 12 per cent strike-rate of runners rated 100 or higher (six from 52).
His centurions include this month´s stakes winners Molatham (113), Under The Stars (106) and Lady Penelope (102), and Royal Ascot place-getters Dubai Love (105) and Qaader (103).
Another name to note in these tables is Australia, whose 40 per cent runners rated 80 or higher (29 from 73) puts him on a par with Night Of Thunder and Kingman – the horses he finished behind when third in the 2014 2,000 Guineas.
Coolmore´s dual Derby winner Australia is doing well with runners rated 100 or more – 12 per cent – but he arguably needs a Group 1 winner soon to maintain his position in the hearts of Flat breeders. Cayenne Pepper was the sire's fifth representative to be placed at the highest level when second to Magical in the Pretty Polly Stakes on Sunday.
And what about Cheveley Park Stud stalwart Pivotal? He is enjoying a good year in Britain and Ireland with runners rated 100 or higher, operating at 16 per cent (seven from 44) – the joint-third best figure on this measure, tied with Kingman.
His septet of runners with three-figure RPRs is headed by Prince of Wales´s Stakes runner-up Addeybb (122) and Copper Horse Handicap scorer Fujaira Prince (112).