Sensational Legarto puts Proisir in rare classic company

By Richard Edmunds

16 Nov 2022

Sensational Legarto puts Proisir in rare classic companyLegarto completes a classic double for her sire Proisir with an easy win in the Gr. 1 Barneswood Far

A stunning performance by undefeated filly Legarto in Monday’s Gr. 1 Barneswood Farm 50th 1000 Guineas completed a special double for her sire, Rich Hill Stud’s high-flying Proisir.
Legarto’s heroics came just over a week after fellow Proisir three-year-old Pier captured the Gr. 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas. It meant that for only the sixth time in the 50-year history of the Riccarton spring classics, one stallion has sired both winners in the same year.
Proisir joins a select group of stallions who have done the double, following on from Crested Wave (Surfers Paradise and Plume in 1990), Pins (the historic double by Katie Lee in 2009), Fastnet Rock (Rock ’N’ Pop and Planet Rock in 2011) and Savabeel (Embellish and Hasahalo in 2017 and Noverre and The Perfect Pink last year).
“It really is amazing and something that we can be very proud of,” Rich Hill Stud’s managing director John Thompson told RaceForm on Monday evening. “Those are all outstanding stallions, so it’s a pretty good group for us to be joining.
“It’s been a bit of a nervous few days with Legarto. You don’t have many horses start as a $1.30 favourite in a Group One, so there was a fair bit of pressure, and then we had the two-day delay and the bridle breaking around behind the start.
“But after all that she put in a dominant performance. She’s a special filly and it was great to watch.”
Monday’s big result solidified Proisir’s position at the top of this season’s domestic sires’ premiership, with his combined earnings of $1.3 million placing him almost $800,000 clear of his nearest challenger Tavistock.
“It’s so great for the Proisir syndicate,” Thompson said. “This stallion had fairly humble beginnings, standing at $7000 for his first three or four years. To be fair he didn’t have the best-quality books during that time, so what he’s managed to achieve is nothing short of phenomenal.”
That same description could also apply to Rich Hill Stud’s spring, which has seen its stallions sire four of the five Group One winners so far in New Zealand this season – Dark Destroyer (Proisir) in the Tarzino Trophy, La Crique (Vadamos) in the Arrowfield Stud Plate, and Proisir’s Guineas winners over the last few days. The outlier is Mustang Valley (by Windsor Park’s Vanbrugh) in the Livamol Classic.
“It’s been a mind-boggling start to the season,” Thompson said. “We’ve also had I’m Thunderstruck flying the flag for Shocking over in Australia with a win in the Gr. 1 Makybe Diva Stakes and running second in the Cox Plate.
“Even today there was a very good win in the $70,000 open handicap by Avaquinella (Proisir), who had run second in the fillies and mares Group Three on the middle day at Riccarton, and then a second placing by Kopua (Shocking) in the Stewards’ Stakes.
“It’s all just kept up the momentum, and hopefully it continues for a bit longer yet.”