Anodin set to continue family success with promising start to life at stud
Nancy Sexton speaks to Haras du Quesnay's Vincent Rimaud
It was with great pride that Haras du Quesnay launched the stud career of Anodin when the horse arrived to stand at the storied Normandy farm in 2015. The tale of Anabaa, a leading light of the stallion roster during Quesnay’s powerful era of Bering and Highest Honor, is well known; of how Alec Head accepted the Danzig colt as a gift from Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum upon his diagnosis as a wobbler, only for him to defy the odds and not just survive but ultimately win the July Cup under the care of Criquette Head-Maarek prior to an extremely successful stallion career.
Anabaa died in late 2009 aged 17 following an attack of colic. He left behind 15 Group 1 winners led by that extraordinary mare Goldikova, whose 14 victories at the top level included four Prix Rothschilds and three Breeders’ Cup Miles. Thus, when the chance arose for Quesnay to stand her talented brother Anodin, a high-class miler in his own right, the farm grasped the opportunity with both hands.
Anodin stood his first season for €7,000 and three years on, he is repaying that early faith. He has eight winners on the board across Europe, giving him a strike rate of 35 per cent. They include unbeaten Listed winner Harmless while only last week, he fired in a pair of exciting debut winners in Anodor, the comfortable winner of his debut for Freddy Head at Deauville, and Rocquemont, who ran out the similarly impressive debut winner for Francois Rohaut at La Teste de Buch.
Nor has his success been confined to France - from a small pool of runners, he is responsible for two winners in Britain in Goldino Bello, successful for Harry Dunlop at Newmarket last month, and Julius Limbani, who struck at Sandown in June for Archie Watson.
“Yes, we’re very excited about his start,” says Vincent Rimaud, stud manager of Haras du Quesnay. “Firstly, we lost Anabaa too young. And then he’s Anabaa’s first and only son at stud at Quesnay. We’re very lucky to stand him and have the support of the Wertheimers.”
Anodin won two races for Freddy Head, including the Prix Paul de Moussac. However, his best runs came in defeat, notably when a fast-finishing second to Karakontie in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Mile. He was also second to Kingman in the Prix Jacques les Marois.
“We really thought he could be a success with his race record and great pedigree,” says Rimaud. “His run in the Breeders’ Cup was incredible.
“His retirement to stud was announced quite late in the season, so we decided to price him affordably at €7,000 to give him the best chance. He was restricted to 140 mares and about a month after his retirement, he was full.
“We had a few enquiries from breeders at the open days in February too, so we ended up taking bookings to him for the following year.”
He adds: “When the first foal arrived, we were very pleased because it was a good foal. But then many breeders who used him in the first year came back in the second year, some of them with the same mares, so that was really encouraging.
“They’re usually very correct, good sized horses with strength. He gives good bone as well.”
Anodin’s first crop of yearlings sold for up to €150,000 last year but it is one of his less expensive youngsters, Harmless, who can be credited as giving him that invaluable early boost to his career.
In a show of support towards their young stallion at V2 of last year’s Arqana August Sale, Wertheimer et Frere paid €35,000 for the colt, who recently maintained his unbeaten record for Christophe Ferland in the Listed Prix Roland de Chambure at Longchamp. As for Freddy Head’s Anodor, he is a true Quesnay product as the first foal out Decize, a daughter of the farm’s former resident Kentucky Dynamite.
Anodin's representation at the Arqana V2 Yearling Sale
Lot 360 - Colt ex Sheema - Consigned by Jedburgh Stud
Lot 394 - Filly ex Balle Blanche - Consigned by Cour Blance
Lot 408 - Colt ex Cantalupa - Consigned by Cadran
Lot 425 - Filly ex Dogaressa - Consigned by La Motteraye Consignment
Lot 481 - Colt ex Miss Hygrove - Consigned by Ombreville
"We heard some good words about them from trainers in the spring,” says Rimaud.
“Christophe Ferland was very happy with his colt [Harmless] even then. Freddy liked Anodor and he has another one that he likes too.
“And it was interesting to hear the thoughts of the breeze-up boys and pre-trainers as well - they were telling us that they were tough, willing horses that they liked.”
He adds: “Anodor is from one of Freddy’s old families. The mare is a Kentucky Dynamite who was raised here too. He looks a very good horse, I thought he won impressively at Deauville. And Francois Rohaut’s colt, [La Teste winner] Rocquemont, looks a good horse too. He missed the break and had to come through all the others. I know Francois likes him.”
The key now is for Anodin to maintain that momentum. But as a horse who came into his own as a three-year-old and beyond, it’s not hard to envisage further improvement from his progeny with time.
“There is a lot of history between us and the Wertheimers,” says Rimaud. “That history is a bit of us. And of course, as a son of Anabaa, it makes Anodin’s start that bit more exciting.”
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com