Invincible Spirit, sired by July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup Winner Green Desert, was bred in Ireland by Nawara Stud and foaled on 17th February 1997.
Owned by Prince A. A. Faisal and trained in Great Britain by John Dunlop, the thoroughbred made his racing debut as a two-year-old in a six-furlong maiden at Haydock Park. He was slowly away, clearly showing signs of greenness, but recovered to finish third.
He then picked up a first victory a few weeks later, beating ‘Break the Code’ by one and a half lengths to win at Goodwood. That was followed by a move into listed class to take part in the Ripon Champion two-year-old Trophy. He started that race as 5/6 favourite and duly delivered, winning by over a length with ‘Khasayl’ back in second.
His final race as a two-year-old was the Group One Middle Park Stakes, a race in which jockey Richard Quinn had to hold him up at the back as the horse failed to settle. He ran on gamely towards the end but failed to make an impact as he finished last of the six runners.
Two runs as a three-year-old followed, with a fourth place finish in the Dubai Duty Free Cup at Newbury and sixth in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket. Life as a four-year-old began with a fourth place finish in the King Richard III Stakes at Leicester, to take his record to just two wins from seven races.
This poor run of form led to him being dropped in class and entered into a six-furlong conditions race at Goodwood. The drop in level seemed to invigorate him and he held on to win by just under a length from ‘Kier Park’.
Next up was the Cork & Orrery Stakes at Royal Ascot, where he faded in the final furlong and ended up a disappointing ninth. Another victory came in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury before he raced outside of Great Britain for the first time.
That first international experience came in the Prix de Meautry at Deauville in France, where he fought valiantly but ended up in second behind ‘Do the Honours’. A trip to Ireland followed, to compete in the Macdonagh Boland Stakes at The Curragh, with a narrow victory over ‘Toroca’ to end the season. At the end of 2001, Invincible Spirit was named Ireland’s Champion Older Sprinter after a solid campaign.
He then competed in five races as a five-year-old in 2002, beginning with a fourth place finish in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket. That was followed by a win in the Group Two Duke of York Stakes at York before two disappointing runs in the Temple Stakes at Sandown and the Group One Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
His final race was also his biggest victory, as John Carroll rode him to success as a 25/1 outsider in the Group One Sprint Cup at Haydock. After a racing career that saw him pick up seven wins from 17 runs, success at the top level was a brilliant way to say farewell.
He was retired to stud and has sired several group race winners, including twelve individual Group One winners. In 2010, he broke the record for most two-year-old winners in a single season with 42 and then finished second in the leading sire list for 2014. Prize money accumulated has seen him finish in the top 20 sires in Great Britain every year since 2007, when his first crop of foals were three-year-olds.
His notable progeny includes July Cup winners ‘Fleeting Spirit’ and ‘Mayson’, Irish 2,000 Guineas winner ‘Kingman’ (shown in image above), six-time French Group One winner ‘Moonlight Cloud’ and top Australian filly ‘Yosei’. His most recent successes have been Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes winner ‘Shalaa’ and ‘Ajaya’, who were both rated amongst Europe’s top two-year-olds last year.
Invincible Spirit is now 19-years-old and stands as a Stallion at the Irish National Stud in County Kildare. In 2015, he commanded a fee of 100,000 Euro, the second most expensive public stud fee behind ‘Sea the Stars’. This fee has risen in 2016 to 120,000 Euro.
Although his racing career wasn’t quite as successful as it could have been, Invincible Spirit was still a champion at the highest level and has produced several top level winners as one of the world’s leading sires.