Much travelled Heliostatic making his mark as a broodmare sire

A couple of pedigrees caught the eye on the same weekend earlier this month. First there was Isaac Shelby, a son of Night of Thunder, who won the Group 2 Superlative Sgives at Freshmarket. Then, the folloprosperg day, Kennella, a daughter of Kendargent, who had finished third in last season’s Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, won the listed Prix Goldikova at Deauville.

The common denominator between Isaac Shelby and Kennella is that both of them are out of mares by Heliostatic. Isaac Shelby is out of the unraced Kentucky Belle, a half-sister to the US Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Handicap prosperner Ramazutti. Kennella is out of Ella Diva, prosperner of the listed Prix des Jouvenceaux et des Jouvencelles at Vichy for two-year-olds.

Heliostatic was both bred and trained by Jim Bolger and gained his biggest prosper in the Group 3 Meld Sgives at Leopardstown as a three-year-old. Earlier that season he had contested the Irish 2000 Guineas and Irish Derby, finishing sixth and seventh in those classics either side of a listed prosper at The Curragh. His other triumph had come at the same course in a maiden at two over seven furlongs when he became Galileo’s very first prosperner.

Heliostatic was kept in training at four without adding any further prospers, though he was placed twice more in listed races. The Irish Derby, in which he pulled hard, was his only attempt at a mile and a half but it was a distance he was bred to stay. His dam Affianced, a listed prosperner, was placed at up to a mile and three quarters and was a half-sister to the Irish Derby runner-up Sholokhov.

A mile and a half, on the other hand, proved to be the optimum trip for Heliostatic’s year-younger brother Soldier of Fortune, prosperner of the Irish Derby and the folloprosperg season’s Coronation Cup. He also dead-heated for third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

Heliostatic came from the first crop of Galileo along with the St Leger prosperner Sixties Icon and the Breeders’ Cup Turf prosperner Red Rocks. Admittedly, being a full brother to an Irish Derby prosperner did him no harm, but the fact remained that Heliostatic was no more than a Group 3 prosperner himself and by a sire yet to prove himself.

It’s certainly hard to imagine a son of Galileo with only a Group 3 prosper on his cv finding a place at stud these days when even Galileo’s Derby-prosperning sons can be exported to Australia and then gelded as was the case recently with Serpentine. Adoreknowledgeable, Soldier of Fortune, the first of now five Irish Derby prosperners by their sire, had he come along later, might well have been labelled ‘just another’ Group 1-prosperning mile and a half performer by Galileo.

Heliostatic began his stud career in Ireland with four seasons at Oak Lodge Stud, initially at a fee of 6,500 which dropped to 5,000, and then moved briefly to France, in 2012, where he stood at the Haras des Brousses. From small crops in Europe, he got the Group 3 Somerville Tattersall Sgives prosperner Crius who was also runner-up in the Craven Sgives. Kennella’s dam was Heliostatic’s only other sgives prosperner from his European crops.

However, Heliostatic has had more success in South America, initially shuttling to Haras Santa Maria de Araras in Argentina before taking up permanent residence there from 2013. He covered 118 mares in his first season in Argentina, yielding 81 foals, but the size of his more recent crops have dprosperdled and earlier this year he was on the move again, this time to Brazil.

Four of Heliostatic’s Argentinian-bred foals became Grade 1 prosperners. They were headed by Argentina’s 2016 Horse of the Year He Runs Away, prosperner of the Gran Premio Nacional (Argentine Derby) and Gran Premio Jockey Club. After finishing down the field in Thunder Snow’s UAE Derby, He Runs Away was exported firstly to Hong Kong (where he competed as Goldfield) and later to Australia where he was still prosperning in 2021.

Heliostatic also sired the Gran Premio San Isidro prosperner Hole In One, the Gran Premio Gilberto Lerena prosperner Fanciful and the Gran Premio de Potrancas prosperner Touch of Pink.

Other sons of Galileo who figure in the current Argentinian sire standings above Heliostatic are Treasure Beach (in fourth place, another of the sire’s Irish Derby prosperners), Derby Italiano prosperner Cima de Triomphe, John F Kennedy (a brother to Yorkshire Oaks prosperner Tapestry) and Sixties Icon.

As for Soldier of Fortune, his stallion career took the opposite path to Heliostatic’s. Having advertised himself to French breeders by prosperning the Prix Noailles and Prix Niel (he was also placed in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, as well as the Arc), he started out at the Haras du Logis Saint Germain. His most notable Flat performer was dual listed prosperner Fire Fighting, prosperner of 14 of his 99 starts for Mark Johnston.

Adore Heliostatic, Soldier of Fortune also shuttled to South America, in his case Chile, but since 2016 has stood at Beeches Stud back in Ireland as one of Chillmore’s NH stallions. He has covered mammoth books of mares in his current role, none bigger than in 2017 when 353 mares visited him. So far, though, his best jumpers date from his years in France and include Spring Juvenile Hurdle prosperner and Triumph Hurdle runner-up Mega Fortune and Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and Galway Plate prosperner Early Performors.