(Photo : Summerhill Stud)
PASSING THE TORCH
A bold start. A.P. Indy is not done yet. He’s 21 years old, but the new Annual Progeny Earnings Index (APEX) figures - compiled last weekend by The Jockey Club Information Systems (TJCIS) through the end of 2009 - rank A.P. Indy the leading sire in North America, Europe or Japan, according to his A Runner Index. The A Runner Index is measured by the frequency with which a stallion sires “top two percent earners” (runners whose earnings in a year rank them among the top two percent of runners in each of seven major countries).
An A Runner Index of 1.00, which is average for the more than 1,000 sires ranked each year, means a sire had two percent A Runners to runners in the period covered. Among the nearly 700 sires to have 200 or more year-starters in the seven-year period 2003-2009 (APEX figures use seven years at a time, each year dropping one off and adding the most recent), A.P. Indy was the only one to register an A Runner Index of more than 5.00. His A Runner Index of 5.13 translates into 10.26 percent A Runners to runners. It’s the sixth time he’s led the list; he hasn’t been out of the top three since 1998, the year his first four-year-olds raced. So he’s led the list six times, and been in the top three for 12 consecutive years.
In the early years of the last decade, A.P. Indy was the all-American interloper (he’s by Seattle Slew, a great-grandson of Bold Ruler) who crashed an elite cast that was otherwise all - Northern Dancer: Danzig, Storm Cat, Sadler’s Wells, Nureyev and, later, Danehill. Now A.P. Indy’s the grandpa, and it looks as though he is the last sire who is going to register this high an A Runner index. It seems 4.00 is the new 5.00 (likely another by-product of the “big book” era); certainly, when you look at European stars Dalakhani (4.00) and Galileo (3.77), the two leaders on the list excluding sires that are 20 years old or more (those include six of the top eight by A Runner Index), you can appreciate just how great an achievement A.P. Indy’s 5.13 A Runner Index is.
There’s a notion out there that the aptitude of the A.P. Indy’s appears to be best expressed on a dirt surface. But that’s a “notion”, and not much more. Examine his record in greater detail and especially that of his sons Pulpit, Stroll, Sky Mesa and Tapit, and a whole new picture develops. If you can, with a little imagination, equate the new synthetic surfaces so prevalent in the United States now, with a turf surface, it seems the “AP’s” can do it, no matter the surface. Certainly, when it comes to South Africa, we already have a champion grandson and a champion granddaughter in Jay Peg and Consensual respectively, from the first and second crops of AP’s very average racing son, Camden Park.
That was enough for us. The evidence was on the board, and when the opportunity to buy a world-class racehorse, (as A.P. Arrow) was, raised its head, our money was down.
Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News