(Matt: TFTribe has recently written some great FanPosts looking at the breeding side of the game. Here's a nice look at English Channel, a personal nemesis of mine a few years ago.)
With English Channel's first winner this week, I figured I'd take a closer look at him. A winner of 5.2 million dollars and a Breeder's Cup Turf Champion, he clearly has an elite record. The most interesting thing is that he ran every single race at a mile or more and even broke his maiden as a two year old at a mile and a sixteenth. Usually you see juveniles breaking their maiden at 5-7f as their initial stamina just isn't quite there yet.
A son of Smart Strike out of a Theatrical mare, his first foal crop hits the track as two year olds this year. He is on the Mr. Prospector-Northern Dancer cross that has produced so many champions at a mile and a half in the last decade that it is no surprise he was able to excel at the classic distances.
His win in the Breeder's Cup Turf is amazing. He sits in a perfect stalking position and then blows the doors off of the field for a huge victory.
Now at 25k for a Live Foal Guaranteed Contract, I'd say he's a bit much for a new stallion, but the performance, the bloodlines, and the potential are all there for him to be a great stallion. I think a perfect match would be a mare that has tended to produce runners (and/or ran herself) at 7-8f that have issues running longer. Infusing some of his 10-12f stamina would be a great match.
With only one winner out there as of today, it's hard to look at the data to really take a guess as to how exactly his progeny will perform on a consistent basis. His dam, Belva, seems to put out colts that are winners, and fillies that aren't, but without knowing more about her, that may be a sample size issue. But all of the initial indicators are there for him to be able to pass on a significant number of his winning genes.