To describe Acclamation as a rags to riches story is over the top but a 33,000gns yearling who went on to prove himself a top sprinter before becoming Champion First Season Sire, despite retiring at a fee of only €10,000, is a significant achievement. To then go on to sire Group 1 producing sons and daughters heaps even more credit on this son of Royal Applause.
Acclamation was bred to be precocious – his dam Princess Athena had won the Queen Mary Stakes and his sire Royal Applause won the Middle Park, Gimcrack and Coventry before securing the Haydock Sprint Cup as a four-year-old. Acclamation did not follow his parents’ lead by becoming a blacktype winner at two – but he did win the very valuable St Leger Yearling Stakes at Doncaster. He had an abbreviated career at three years before making up for lost time at four, annexing the Gr.2 Diadem Stakes and placing in the Gr.2 Temple Stakes, Gr.2 King’s Stand Stakes (behind Choisir, beating Oasis Dream), and the Nunthorpe Stakes (behind Oasis Dream). Acclamation and Oasis Dream both then retired to stud – and Acclamation gained revenge for the Nunthorpe defeat by beating his track rival to the first season sire championship.
Acclamation becoming Champion First Season Sire was in no small part due to Dark Angel, who attained blacktype by winning the Gr.1 Middle Park Stakes and the Gr.2 Mill Reef Stakes (another son of Acclamation called Berbice came third) and who earned a big pay day in a sales race – the St Leger Yearling Sale at York (he had been a £61,000 purchase).
There was some controversy when Dark Angel retired to stud as a three-year-old but his success needs no introduction. He has sired seven Group 1 winners including some of the best sprinters of recent times – Battaash, Mecca’s Angel and Harry Angel.
The tally of Acclamation’s blacktype performers amongst his first crop of two-year-olds was in double figures – Equiano’s third place in the Gr.2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte amongst them. Equiano would go on to prove himself a top-class sprinter – winning the Gr.1 King’s Stand Stakes – and has also gone on to prove himself a very able stallion – his best progeny being the triple Group 1-winning sprinter The Tin Man.
Acclamation has proven himself to be a reliable source of speed and class – Expert Eye is the only one of his five Group 1 winners to have won at the highest level at 8f – Marsha, Aclaim and the aforementioned Dark Angel and Equiano all won at 7f or less. In fact only one in four of all of Acclamation’s Group winners attained a Group win at further than 7f.