Denman gets his Group 1 feather

The long-awaited and deserved maiden Group 1 success for Hot King Prawn in the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday also provided a breakthrough for his sire Denman, who has been rewarded for his own consistency with elevated status as a Group 1-producing stallion.

Denman’s progeny had come close on several occasions to elite-level success, with Hot King Prawn placed three times in Group 1s before his latest success, while the likes of Kuro (NZ) and Denmagic had also finished inside the top three in Group 1 races in Australia.

The now Twin Hills Stud resident has produced 16 stakes winners across four countries, including the American-bred Angaston (USA), conceived in his one season shuttling to Darley in Kentucky.

Hot King Prawn, bred by Torryburn Stud – which offered him a part of its draft at the 2019 Inglis Classic Sale, where he was sold for $90,000 – emerged as one of Denman’s most promising sons with three wins to start his career with John Size in late 2018.

Hot King Prawn as a yearling

He is one of 11 winners from 16 runners for his sire in Hong Kong, and given time to develop, has grown to mirror his sire’s strength, speed and consistency.

“Hot King Prawn has been a terrific horse in Hong Kong for a while now and has always threatened to win a Group 1 and now he has,” Olly Tait, owner of Twin Hills Stud, said.

“He’s an absolutely elite horse. He’s a Group 1 winner but he’s also up there with the best sprinters in the world, so that says a lot about him and says a lot about Denman as well.

“Denman gets sprinters who are tough and consistent and he’s the best of them.”

Denman himself was a star racehorse for the then Darley racing operation, winning the 2009 G1 Golden Rose S. as well as several other stakes races for trainer Peter Snowden before retirement at the end of his 3-year-old season.

Tait said Sunday’s success from Hot King Prawn was a deserved reward for Denman, who has just completed his 11th season at stud in Australia.

“He’s been a very consistent sire and to get a Group 1 winner is a feather that you want in every stallion’s cap. It’s nice that he has been able to get that,” Tait said.

“He’s been great. He’s a horse that is inexpensive, but still garners respect. There are not many trainers who wouldn’t want a Denman in the barn and his headline horses like Deprive, Humma Humma and Hot King Prawn lead the way.

“He gets horses that level below as well. They are very honest horses which are consistent and keep running.”

Winners keep rolling

Since producing three 2-year-old stakes winners from his first crop and finishing second behind I Am Invincible as Australia’s Champion First Season Sire, Denman has continued to roll out the winners.

He had a career-high of 112 winners in Australia in the 2017/18 season and followed that up with 98 in 2018/19 and 75 in 2019/20. His 2020/21 season to date has seen him secure 40 winners in Australia.

Denman is growing in influence as a broodmare sire, producing nine winners to date, while the appeal of his daughters’ progeny in the sales ring was made clear at the recent Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, where he was represented 12 times as a damsire.

Most notable among them was the Not A Single Doubt colt out of Denmagic offered by Torryburn Stud. Tony Fung Investments/Phoenix Thoroughbreds picked him up for $1.1 million and he will now go to Annabel Neasham to train.

There was also a colt by Russian Revolution of Denman’s Listed-winning daughter Secret Trail who was purchased from Widden Stud by Snowden Racing for $300,000 and a So You Think (NZ) filly out of Faith’s Encore offered by Yulong and sold to Japan’s Big Red Farm for $220,000.

Denman’s appeal as a broodmare sire is of no surprise to Tait, who knows how compatible he is with such a wide range of sirelines.

“Given his sireline, where Lonhro is a very good broodmare sire and Octagonal and Zabeel the same and that he is an outcross to Danehill, that will hold him in good stead in future generations,” he said.

“I think physically, he’s thrown a very consistent type as well, so that’s important for his daughters which means they will be compatible with many different stallions.”

Article courtesy of TDN