Darley’s obsession and lucrative involvement in the world’s richest two-year-olds’ race – the Golden Slipper Stakes – has resulted in an incredible 155 youngsters nominated by Sheikh Mohammed for next year’s edition at Rosehill.
Darley’s sires have provided the past three Golden Slipper winners – Sepoy (Elusive Quality), Pierro (Lonhro) and Overreach (Exceed And Excel) – and is going full steam ahead to try to win again.
The Arab-owned outfit is aware of the rewards that can come from winning a Golden Slipper and stunned the racing world when buying Woodlands Stud from Bob Ingham in a mega-multimillion dollar deal.
Darley inherited several stallions which have become money spinners – Exceed And Excel, Commands and Lonhro are first, third and fourth in the sires’ race.
Because of their success, the three colonial-bred racetrack performers are commanding big service fees amid a dearth of champion shuttle sires flying to Australia for the southern breeding season.
Sepoy has been a money-making machine, winning $3.88 million on the track before being retired by Darley and fully booked at $66,000 on stud debut last year.
Pierro won $4.53 million and was bought by Coolmore for in excess of $15 million. He’s standing this year for $77,000 and has been a huge success with breeders assuring him of a full book.
Darley’s 155 rising two-year-olds entered for next year’s Slipper will be distributed to four trainers, Peter Snowden, naturally, along with Anthony Freedman, who will prepare about 15, and Guy Walter and Gai Waterhouse five each.
This means Snowden will have about 130 to be prepared at Darley’s Sydney and Melbourne bases. The 155 rising two-year-olds are by 19 different stallions with all but one – Redoute’s Choice which has two entries – by Darley stallions.
Lonhro tops the bill with 28 and Medaglia d’Oro, which began shuttling in 2010, has 25 babies, including half-relations to two of Snowden’s recent Slipper runners Guelph and Kuroshio as well as promising type Safeguard.
Commands has 22, including a half-sister to Slipper runner-up Sidestep, the same total as Street Cry, while Exceed And Excel and Shamardal have 12.
Bernardini (7), Domesday (6), Denman, New Approach and Authorized all have three, Teofilo and Street Sense have two and one apiece by shuttler Hard Spun, Reset, Von Costa De Hero, Gonski and Strategic, the latter four colonials.
Last year there was a smaller than usual number of Lonhro two-year-olds raced by Darley, but it has given him tremendous support in its next Slipper quest.
Bloodlines believes the presence of Medaglia d’Oro’s progeny in the new season will be powerful. He’s doing great things in the north, siring nine black-type winners in the past two months in the US.
His Australian yearlings were outstanding and sold accordingly in Australasia earlier this year, averaging $284,285 for seven lots.
Prize colt named
The $4 million Fastnet Rock yearling colt bought in April this year by the partnership of Emirates Park and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa al Maktoum will race as Emaratee. The colt from River Dove was sold by Bruce Reid’s Cressfield Stud and boasts a fabulous pedigree as one would expect. He is also a tremendous individual and Emirates’ Trevor Lobb said he was one of the best he has bought. Team Hawkes is preparing Emaratee, which is at the partnership’s Flemington stables.
Coolmore Stud’s marvellous association with Australia is evident, taking into account the naming of two of their expensive and brilliantly bred gallopers racing at The Curragh this weekend. At the Irish Oaks meeting on Saturday, two horses will carry the famous Coolmore silks, namely Australia and Darwin, which will both be strongly fancied in their respective races. Australia is by Coolmore’s champion sire Galileo from the seven-time group 1-winning mare Ouija Board, which had stakes earnings in excess of $6 million. Australia finished a neck second at her debut on Derby weekend at The Curragh last month and trainer Aidan O’Brien will have her primed this weekend. Darwin is an American-bred colt by Vinery’s shuttle sire Big Brown and was a $US1.3 million yearling at the Keeneland sales when bought by Coolmore’s Demi O’Byrne. Darwin had his first two starts in the US for trainer Todd Pletcher before being moved to Ireland for O’Brien to train. Darwin was successful at his first start in Europe at Naas, in a three-horse black-type affair.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.