SIRE OF GODOLPHIN’S 2014 Group 1 Dubai World Cup hero African Story, veteran sire Pivotal has been retired from covering duty at the age of 28, Cheveley Park Stud have announced. He stood a remarkable 24 consecutive seasons at the Newmarket operation, during which he developed into one of the most important stallions of the era. He boasts a stud record containing a mammoth 241 Stakes performers, topped by 32 sons and daughters who have struck at the highest level.
It is not only the sheer scale of Pivotal’s achievements that mark him out as an exceptional sire, but the depth and diversity of his success too. He has sired a 2yo Group One winner in Siyouni, Classic scorers such as Halfway To Heaven, Saoire and Sariska, as well as those who peaked later in life such as Addeybb and Glen Shiel, who both landed Group Ones last year at the age of six.
He has also supplied classy sprinters such as Kyllachy, Regal Parade and Somnus, milers like Immortal Verse, Lightning Spear and Virtual, and those best at 1m2f or further, including African Story, Chorist, Farhh and Izzi Top. Other top flight winners such as Avilius, Golden Apples, Megahertz and Noordhoek Flyer ensured that Pivotal’s influence was felt around the world.
He also showed no discernible bias between colts or fillies, with his 32 Group or Grade One scorers containing 19 of the former and 13 of the latter. As well as siring so many top horses himself, in recent years he has garnered a reputation as a broodmare sire of the very highest order, with his daughters having produced 23 Group One winners and counting.
Cheveley Park Stud’s managing director Chris Richardson said: “The story associated with the ‘mighty’ Pivotal is truly extraordinary, considering he was the result of the very first covering his sire, Polar Falcon, was given. “Thankfully, as a yearling, it was decided to retain him to race, rather than offer him for sale, as we did with the other yearling colts by Polar Falcon that year.
Whilst in the hands of trainer Sir Mark Prescott, Pivotal truly put Cheveley Park Stud on the map, giving owners David and Patricia Thompson their first Group One winner in the stud’s famous red, white and blue colours when winning the Nunthorpe Stakes at York. “Having covered a relatively small book of mares in his first year, his resulting progeny excelled and inspired at all levels, which they have continued to do throughout his career, both domestically and internationally.
“On the world stage, Pivotal has excelled as a sire, a sire of sires and as a broodmare sire, to the highest level and all of us at Cheveley Park Stud have been so blessed to have been part of his life for 28 years. I think Triple Crown winner, Isinglass, whose stable Pivotal occupies, would have been very proud and we all wish Pivotal a well deserved and happy retirement.”
Born on January 19, 1993, Pivotal was the very first foal sired by former Cheveley Park Stud resident Polar Falcon. Pivotal was sent to Sir Mark Prescott’s Heath House Stables, from where he was prepared for a short but successful career on the track. He ran just six times over the course of two seasons in training but retired with four victories to his name.
He left an inauspicious debut effort behind to land a 6f Newcastle maiden on his second outing in late October of his 2yo campaign, before he reappeared just a week later to sign off his juvenile season with a bloodless victory in a Folkstone conditions event. He announced himself as a sprinter of serious talent when he landed the 1996 King’s Stand Stakes, then a Group Two, on his 3yo reappearance.
Sent off favourite for the July Cup he could finish only sixth but was soon back on song for his next assignment, which came in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes over York’s 5f course. He and George Duffield snatched victory on the line, supplying his owner and trainer with their respective breakthrough Group One victories.