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Horse Racing: Plaudits for two-year-old sire Applause; Sire in focus Nancy Sexton on a sire whose better offspring often like fast ground TRADING POST.

Byline: Nancy Sexton

THE victory of Please Sing (pictured) in the Cherry Hinton Stakes last week was another reminder of the success that Royal Applause enjoys with his two-year-olds. His week was later boosted by promising maiden winners Prince Siegfried and Oui Say Oui, exploits that were enough to propel him into fifth place on the leading two-year-old sires' list.

When Royal Applause retired to the Royal Studs in 1998, he looked to possess a number of credentials required to emerge as a successful sire of two-year-olds.

Although arguably not as quick as his half-sister Lyric Fantasy, who won the Nunthorpe Stakes as a two-year-old, Royal Applause went into winter quarters unbeaten in four juvenile starts, with a win in the Middle Park Stakes the highlight of his campaign.

Like so many three-year-old sprinters, Royal Applause found life tough the following year, but came back to form as a four-year-old with wins in the Haydock Sprint Cup and Cork and Orrery Stakes.

The majority of his leading runners, such as Acclamation, Majestic Missile and Peak To Creek, have been just as quick and precocious as their sire. However, while some trainers are keen to get them to the track early, many enjoy progressive careers. Some are also remarkably tough; for instance Royal Storm recently won on his 82nd career start, while former smart two-year-old Mister Cosmi recently won at the age of nine in the US.

Royal Applause himself failed to stay a mile but if crossed with a mare owning sufficient stamina, is capable of siring winners over much further, as a 17 per cent strikerate over 1m3f proves.

However, he is regarded primarily as a sprint sire, which is backed up by an impressive 14 per cent strike-rate over 5f and ten per cent over 6f, both achieved from a far greater number of runners.

A significant number of his highest-rated runners have shown better form on good or firm ground, including Whatsthescript and Ticker Tape, both of whom made their names on firm going in the US.

But the statistics show that overall his progeny are quite versatile, with nine per cent scoring on soft and ten per cent on good to firm and firm.

Another nine per cent win on the all-weather.

Key progeny characteristics

Capable of siring precocious progeny, illustrated by a 13 per cent strike-rate with two-year-olds.

However, many progress with age.

Has a very good record with sprinters, with a 14 per cent strike-rate over 5f and ten per cent over 6f.

Overall returns only a marginally better strike-rate on a sound surface. But of his 56 runners with RPRs of 100 or above, 48 showed their best form on good or firmer.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 15, 2008
Words:450
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