Prospects breeding confidence
Some exciting new specimens have been unveiled by our top stud farms
Without doubt Ireland is home to the finest thoroughbred stallions in the world, with the likes of Galileo, Dubawi and Sea The Stars currently occupying the top three positions in the Leading Sires table in Europe.
In addition, Irish-based sires also hold great prominence in the National Hunt equivalent, among them Presenting, King's Theatre, Oscar and Beneficial.
With the demands on certain sires constantly changing, each autumn Irish breeders eagerly await the arrival of freshman sires on to the roster ahead of the new breeding season.
In recent weeks some exciting prospects have been announced by some of Ireland's top stud farms, while other leading names of the Irish racing scene are destined for further afield for 2017.
One such colt is Air Force Blue, a champion two-year-old last season for Aidan O'Brien. Bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm, the son of War Front is now set to return to Lexington and will stand at Coolmore's Ashford Stud next season.
"With the exception of Frankel who has made such a brilliant start to his stud career, Air Force Blue is Timeform's highest-rated juvenile in nearly 20 years. In fact, he's the highest-rated juvenile ever from the Danzig line," said Ashford Stud manager Dermot Ryan.
Meanwhile, National Hunt sire Scorpion is to leave Coolmore and next season will stand at Shade Oak Stud in Shropshire, while a new recruit for Coolmore is The Gurkha.
A double Group 1 winner this season for Aidan O'Brien, The Gurkha (Galileo) is a full-brother to Queen Nefertiti and the family also includes champion older mare Solemia, champion two-year-old filly Silasol and Group 2 winner, Prospect Park.