When Invincible Spirit arrived at Victoria’s Chatswood Stud in 2003, it was fair to say he had a fair bit to do to convince Australian breeders that he was worth sending a mare to.

Standing at $13,200, he was the cheapest of the shuttle stallions to debut in Australia that year. As a measure of comparison, Rock Of Gibraltar, the most expensive, debuted at $132,000.

Invincible Spirit attracted just 48 mares that first year, for a foal crop of 31, hardly a roaring return for the one-time Group 1-winning son of Green Desert. Significantly, the eighth of those 31 foals born in the following spring was a colt out of the Canny Lad mare Cannarelle.

By the time that colt, named I Am Invincible, made his debut as a two-year-old, his sire’s virtues of a stallion were already becoming apparent in the northern hemisphere. Invincible Spirit sired a record 35 first-crop two-year-old winners in 2006 to become Europe’s champion first-season sire.

His book in Australia that year exploded to 153, and it soon became apparent that he was too valuable to return Down Under. While his fee had risen to 35,000 euros in Ireland, he had stood for $11,000 in his final season at Chatswood.

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