WHILE Danehill would easily rate as the most influential sire that has been highlighted in my stud season sires' features over the past 25 years, I thought it would be interesting to look at stallions of the late 1990s that appeared in those issues and which continue as prominent influential sirelines today.
It was a time when Irish bred Star Kingdom ruled via his great grandsons and great-great grandsons, and champion New Zealand based Sir Tristram was etching his mark with thriving sire-sons.
The Victorian based sire Toorak Toff would be (to my knowledge) the last surviving commercial male-branch to Star Kingdom, the iconic chestnut stallion figuring six generations back.
But thanks to Sir Tristram, today we have Pierro, a great-great grandson of the influential Sir Ivor stallion, via Lonhro, Octagonal, and Zabeel.
Standing at Coolmore Stud, Jerrys Plains, Pierro now has his multiple Group 1 winning stud son, Pierata (at Aquis).
Another influential sire was US bred Fairy King, who shuttled to Collingrove Stud (which became the old Patinack Farm, Sandy Hollow), followed then to Coolmore Stud.
While little remembered Fairy King sire-son was Irish bred champion juvenile Turtle Island who shuttled a few seasons to Australia in the mid-1990s, it was another son - the Australian bred Encosta de Lago who remains a central focus today via his sons and daughters.
Now retired, Encosta de Lago began his stud duties at the Campbell family's Blue Gum Farm at Euroa, Victoria, before continuing his long stud reign at his owners' Coolmore Stud.
An outcross for Danehill, Encosta de Lago continues as an important link, via today's prominent sons including Needs Further and Rubick (sire of first seasoner Yes Yes Yes), to his grandsons Deep Field, Eurozone, Shooting To Win and Zoustar. Also, for the hobby-breeders the champion's son Cardinal Kingdom is at Norman Park Stud, Cowra.
The late 1990s saw Vinery Stud introduce its US bred champion Red Ransom to its roster, while Arrowfield Stud was exploring Mr Prospector's Forty Niner champion first season sire-son End Sweep, as well as introducing a Japanese influence via Fuji Kiseki, a son of Japan's iconic sire Sunday Silence.
By Hail To Reason's Halo, Sunday Silence continues his influence via his champion, now deceased, Japanese bred son Deep Impact, who has had several stud sons here in recent seasons.
Widden Stud starred its champion Star Kingdom linesire Marscay in the late 1990s, and at a similar time emerged with Danzig sprinting shuttler Anabaa, who has three stud-sons today, and is the broodmare sire for over 100 stakes winners.
Coolmore Stud stood the gorgeous Royal Academy, sire of the Sun Stud based stalwart Bel Esprit (sire of great mare Black Caviar).
Interestingly, Coolmore also shuttled US horses Spinning World and Hennessy.
By Northern Dancer's Nureyev, Spinnning World continues his sireline via young sire Spieth (at Aquis), and Jimmy Choux and Ocean Park in New Zealand.
By Northern Dancer grandson Storm Cat (via Storm Bird), Hennessy son Johannesburg also shuttled to Australia, and today is represented with his reliable Victorian sire son Turffontein.
Johannesburg is the sire of US sensation Scat Daddy, sire of current Coolmore shuttler Justify.
US bred Southern Halo son, More Than Ready - Vinery Stud's ace for numerous seasons, came along to feature in The Land Sires Of The Season in 2001, and after 19 years shuttling his legacy continues, prominently via his Queensland based son Better Than Ready, available at Lyndhurst Stud, Warwick.
In 2001 Lyndhurst promoted Sequalo, who was in his stud infancy, while today his star sire son is Spirit Of Boom (stands at neighbouring Eureka Stud near Cambooya), who continues a celebrated sire line to Thatch.
During that time, Sandy Hollow located Byerley Stud stood stallions, however its highly respected owner Martin Hawcroft, tragically passed-away not long after.
Also, in 2001 Tim and Lisa Johnson of long-standing Euroa district property, Ealing Park, Victoria, were standing four stallions, notably Australian record-breaking sprinter Gold Ace (by Star Kingdom grandson Dieu D'Or), and US bred Melbourne Cup winner Kingston Rule (Secretariat).