September Yearling Sale graduate Sea The Boss emerges as Classic Contender

Sea The Boss winning the Group 3 Jannah Rose Stakes at Naas.
Sea The Boss winning the Group 3 Jannah Rose Stakes at Naas.

September Yearling Sale graduates Sea The Boss and Ponntos both secured Group 3 victories at the weekend, and both graduates could be set for a step up in grade.

The Jessica Harrington-trained Sea The Boss made a winning seasonal debut in the Group 3 Jannah Rose Stakes at Naas, and connections of the three-year-old daughter of Sea The Moon have the Group 1 Irish Oaks as her mid-season target. The September Yearling Sale graduate holds entries in the Group 1 Tattersalls 1,000 Guineas and Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, but trainer Jessica Harrington did indicate afterwards that stepping up in distance to a mile-and-a-half is a more likely occurrence.

Owned in partnership by John Hennessy and Carmel Acheson, Sea The Boss was purchased at the 2022 September Yearling Sale from Universal Stud Ltd by BBA Ireland for €35,000. It was a first run over ten furlongs for Sea The Boss, who relished every yard of the mile-and-a-quarter distance, and signalled that twelve furlongs should be within her compass.

Adding to the Group 3 graduate success of Sea The Boss was Ponntos. The 2019 September Yearling Sale graduate won the Group 3 Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp. Trained in the Czech Republic by Miroslav Nieslandik, it was an eighth career win for the six-year-old, who was following up success in the Listed Premio Certosa at the San Siro last month.

The success of Ponntos marked a fourth win at stakes level for the horse, who continues to maintain a high level of form having finished second in the Group 2 Blue Point Sprint at Meydan earlier in the year. He was purchased in 2019 from Brendan Murphy by Adam Wyrzyk.

A very promising September Yearling Sale graduate emerged when the Richard Hannon-trained Xanthe made an impressive debut at Ascot on Saturday. The two-year-old daughter of Earthlight boasts an exceptional pedigree being the latest progeny of the 2006 Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes winner Gilded.

Running in the colours of Julie Wood, who also owned Gilded, Xanthe was purchased from Ballylinch Stud by Peter and Ross Doyle for €75,000 at the 2023 September Yearling Sale. She appears to have inherited her dam’s precociousness based on this debut performance, as she displayed a sharp turn of foot inside the last furlong to wear down the runner up. She now looks a likely candidate for the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, where she will bid to emulate her dam’s win of 18 years ago.

The September Yearling Sale continues to go from strength to strength, and was Europe’s standout yearling sale in 2023. The sale recorded 170 two-year-old winners in 2023, making it Europe’s leading sale for two-year-old winners. Graduates are making their presence felt on a global stage with two-year-olds winning in the USA, UAE, France, Sweden and Italy, adding to success in Ireland and the UK. This success has been attracting the interest of yearling purchasers around the world, with horses bought to race in 13 different racing jurisdictions at the 2023 September Yearling Sale.

Inspections are currently taking place for the 2024 September Yearling Sale.