Northern Meteor and his son Deep Field’s stallion careers were both extraordinarily successful, but painfully short-lived.

Northern Meteor had just been crowned Australia’s champion first-season stallion when a colic attack claimed his life in 2013, after four seasons at Widden Stud. In those four crops, the son of Encosta De Lago left quite an extraordinary legacy.

From his 346 runners, 21 would be stakes winners, including six Group 1 winners. Two of those Group 1 winners went on to stud, Widden’s own heir Zoustar and Shooting To Win, who would start at Darley.

Shooting To Win’s older full-brother Deep Field, a racehorse of tremendous speed who won at Group 2 level, would also progress to the breeding barn - in his case at Newgate - and follow in Northern Meteor’s footsteps with a lightning start to his career.

Backed by big books, Deep Field would rack up the winners at a record rate. There were 21 in his first season, an Australian record 86 in his second, then 119 in Australia in his third. He was crowned back-to-back champion sire in Hong Kong in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

He seemed an unstoppable force, producing 26 stakes winners from his first four crops, outshining even Northern Meteor in that regard, three of those being Group 1 winners.

However, having served 1319 mares in his first six seasons, Deep Field suffered a sudden loss of fertility and a decision was made midway through the 2022 season to withdraw him from service. He was absent from Newgate’s 2023 roster and it is expected his breeding career is over.

Breeding can be a fickle game, and whether it be sudden deaths, or rapid declines in fertility, a stallion’s career can come to an end in a moment.

Deep Field.
Deep Field's stud career has been cut short because of fertility issues. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

In Newgate’s favour was that it had one of his sons already at stud. Cosmic Force was a dual Group winner on the track whose first crop turned two this season.

On Saturday, the Phillip Stokes-trained Stay Focused delivered him his second racetrack winner when successful in the inaugural edition of the Geelong Diamond.

A win in that race grants Stay Focused, who is both the highest-priced weanling and yearling sold by Cosmic Force to date, a spot in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes on February 24.

Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, a win in that race would mint that colt his own passage to the breeding barn.

Cosmic Force.
Two-time Group winner Cosmic Force has made an impressive start to his stud career. (Photo by George Salpigtidis/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

The other two sons of Deep Field at stud are Aysar, based at Giesel Park Stud in Western Australia, and Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner Portland Sky, who has just completed his second season at Widden Stud.   

The other descendants of Northern Meteor almost exclusively come through Zoustar’s line, with that sire joined by his son Zousain at Widden. At the same time, Lightsaber (Darling View (WA)), Sun City (Telemon)  and Lean Mean Machine (Aquis) are other active sons of Zoustar. Another of Northern Meteor’s sons, Sports Edition, stands at Wyndholm Park in Victoria.

Male-line descendants of Norther Meteor at stud in Australia in 2023






Northern Meteor

Widden Stud


Portland Sky

Deep Field

Widden Stud




Widden Stud


Lean Mean Machine


Aquis Farm Canungra


Cosmic Force

Deep Field

Newgate Farm


Shooting to Win

Northern Meteor

Oakland Park Stud




Darling View Thoroughbreds


Sports Edition

Northern Meteor

Wyndholm Park


Sun City


Telemon Thoroughbreds



Deep Field

Geisel Park Stud



Another feature two-year-old winner by a freshman sire on Saturday was Arabian Summer, who won the Aquis Pearl on the Gold Coast. Now destined for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, Arabian Summer is one of three first-crop winners by Darley’s Too Darn Hot, a son of Dubawi.

Dubawi, who had three active seasons himself in Australia in the 2000s before going on to dominate in the Northern Hemisphere, has four active sons in Australia with Too Darn Hot joined at Darley by Ghaiyyath, while Akeed Mofeed stands at Cornerstone Stud and Wilful Default privately.

A dive into which sires have the most sons at stud in Australia is an interesting exercise.

After a long period of domination by descendants of Danehill at the top of the Australian sires' table, the last three titles have been taken out by two ‘outcross’ sires, I Am Invincible (twice) and Written Tycoon.

However, the outcross trend is yet to significantly impact Australian stallion rosters. Snitzel, the four-time Australian champion sire, and grandson of Danehill, is the most represented in terms of active sire sons with 27.

Then follows Danehill’s sons Fastnet Rock (20), Redoute’s Choice (17) and Exceed And Excel (15), all champion Australian sires in their own right.

I Am Invincible has 10 sons at stud, a number that grows year on year like his influence and then follows Deep Field’s grandsire Encosta De Lago, who together with Shamardal, has nine active Australian sire sons.

The 331 listed sires in Australia on Arion in 2023 were themselves by 119 different sires. Of those, 50 have multiple representatives on the list.  

Stallions with five or more active sire sons in Australia


Sire sons



Fastnet Rock


Redoute's Choice


Exceed and Excel


I Am Invincible


Encosta de Lago








Not a Single Doubt


Written Tycoon








Street Cry


High Chaparral


Flying Spur