World class multiple G1 winning sprinter
Jungle Cat was set an audacious plan by trainer Charlie Appleby to take on Australia’s best spinters in the Spring of last year after winning the G1 Al Quoz Sprint over 1200m in Dubai in March. His debut in Australia was the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400m. Displaying relentless speed, despite the steadier of top weight, the Godolphin flyer simply overpowered his opposition.
Unpacking the result shows he was conceding 5kg to a multiple G1 performer in 2nd, 4kg to a G1 winner in 3rd and 1kg and 3kg respectively to the unplaced local Godolphin runners Home Of The Brave and Osborne Bulls. Home Of The Brave, at that point, was a confirmed starter in the 2018 ‘The Everest’ having trounced a field of elite sprinters including Trapeze Artist the start prior. Following his subsequent injury he was replaced in ‘The Everest’ by Osborne Bulls, who would run a daring 3rd in the world’s richest race on turf.
In his racecourse swansong, Jungle Cat contested the G1 VRC Sprint down the Flemington straight at WFA. If there is a ‘stallion making’ format in Australian racing, this is it. Off a less than ideal preparation coming back in distance, Jungle Cat delivered an outstanding performance to be a narrowly beaten 3rd placed alongside Pierata (to stud 2020- fee TBA) and ahead of a stellar field which included Redzel, Kementari (new to stud in 2019 – fee $33,000), Brave Smash (new to stud in 2019 – fee $22,000) and dual Newmarket winner Redkirk Warrior.
One year on, the fastest son of outstanding stallion and sire of sires Iffraaj is about to cover his first book of Australian mares!
A stallion prospect with an elite ratings profile
One observer for whom the quality of the Godolphin runner is no surprise is ratings expert and professional analyst John Manuel. Manuel has been compiling Australian race ratings for over 40 years and expanded his database internationally when his business became active in Hong Kong in the late 90s. At the peak of his operation, Manuel had a team of over 40 staff applying his processes, compiling markets and betting based on his ratings. Ultimately, such was the success of his business, it was acquired by listed entity International All Sports in a transaction valued at $18 million.
John Manuel: “Following an approach by Telemon, I’ve agreed to provide an insight into our data on Jungle Cat, as well as some comparisons to the figures returned by other notable stallions retired to stud.”
Table: Peak Performance Rating of select Stallions to stand in Australia over the past 20 years
1.5 points = 1.0 length * Entires retired to stud in Queensland
What this means for breeders by Telemon principal Dan Fletcher
Why performance ratings:
“Performance ratings are an area we’ve started to explore in far more detail in recent years. They are a crucial measuring stick for a lot of reasons, not least of which being they’re the fundamental building block for professional punters who live or die by their ability to assess the merits of different performances.”
About John Manuel:
“John Manuel has been in the game and been successful for decades, so his numbers carry great weight. I doubt anyone has a dataset as comprehensive over such an extended timeframe.”
Application of ratings to stallions:
“In terms of the application of ratings to stallion prospects, I would highlight they are simply another tool, albeit one of great potential importance considering we’re all seeking to uncover value. In that respect I’m happy to let his numbers speak for themselves. I encourage every breeder, especially Queensland breeders, to pause and consider the quality on their doorstep and the relative value available to them.”
The ratings of Jungle Cat:
“You have to go back 20 years to find a stallion retired to Queensland that can exceed his peak. Not only that, his excellence was consistent. We’ve got the full data set from John, and he’s a horse that was up to the elite mark time and time and time again. This is such an important consideration when you’re assessing quality.”
“Physically he’s an exceptional candidate to make a stallion. Strong, short coupled, correct and compact. You won’t find a better-looking horse with a more attractive head or a kinder eye. In my view he’s the perfect recipe to tidy up and sharpen up a lot of mares.”
“Anyone who understands the concept of hybrid vigour will immediately grasp the potential of an outcross. He has a pedigree not only free from Danehill, it’s free of Danzig. Crucially, he’s by a sire of sires and we know this blood has a proven affinity with our genetics, especially the Danehill line.”
Two exceptional stallions at Telemon:
“We’re excited to be standing two stallions in Sidestep and now Jungle Cat who are both very athletic. Importantly to me, they’re both also very sound horses.”