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American Pharoah strikes gold with first Australian Group winner

Head Of State is out of the stakes-winning Galileo mare Miss With Attitude

American Pharoah: sired his first Australian stakes winner on Saturday
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US Triple Crown winner American Pharoah struck his first southern hemisphere-bred stakes winner, as the Coolmore raised and owned Head Of State won the Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill, with the colt now assigned Group 1 targets and the Spring Champion Stakes in sight. 

One of the most eagerly anticipated shuttle stallions to Australia of recent years, breeders have required to wait patiently for the progeny of American Pharoah to emerge at the top level, but Coolmore nominations and sales manager Colm Santry said to ANZ Bloodstock News that it was only a matter of time. 

“We’ve had faith in the stallion and brought him back [to Australia]. We knew it was going to happen, and it’s just great to see Head Of State win that race today,” Santry said.

“We’ve been talking here about the stallion’s form with his runners across the globe. He’s highly effective from a mile to a mile and a quarter. An awful lot of his northern hemisphere stakes winners have come at those distances, so we were waiting for them to get up to some sort of trip.”

The Gloaming Stakes marked the first black type race in Australia restricted to three-year-olds at beyond a mile and the Chris Waller-trained Head Of State came into his own.

After travelling in the second half of the field, he joined favourite Profondo at the 200-metre mark and prevailed over the seven-figure yearling after a thrilling duel to the line, claiming a long neck margin of victory, with four lengths back to the remainder of the field. 

Globally, eight-time Grade 1 winner American Pharoah has sired three elite-level winners, coming in the US, Japan and France, and each of those has arrived in races over a mile or further, while of his now 23 individual stakes winners, 19 have struck black type at a mile or further. 

“In Australia, there’s so much racing between 1000 and 1200 metres, this race had been mapped out for Head Of State, and he’ll now go on to the Spring Champion Stakes,” Santry added.

“It will give people a lot of confidence to breed to him this year. For what he’s done around the world he’s exceptional value at A$45,000 in comparison to his competitors.”

Santry recalled the careers of two of American Pharoah’s Australian barnmates, Pierro and So You Think, and believes breeders will be rewarded with American Pharoah following a similar trajectory to the now established and coveted stallions.

So You Think had to wait until January of his first three-year-old crop for a maiden stakes winner in Australia, while Pierro landed VRC Oaks winner Pinot from his first spring three-year-olds. 

“There are a lot of stallions that have been in the same boat as him. Ones that stand out are So You Think and Pierro, who were very quiet at this time of year and, all of a sudden, before the spring carnival was over, they were red hot stallions,” Santry said.

“Pierro suddenly had three stakes winners and produced the Oaks winner. You just have to be patient with some stallions and, while some stallions are dropping off now with their three-year-olds in the spring, others are just getting started and American Pharoah is one of those.”

Santry purchased Head Of State’s dam Derelique, as a yearling for A$80,000 on behalf of the Crismale family. Subsequently unraced, Head Of State is the sixth foal from the mare, who was purchased by Tom Magnier from the Lime Country Thoroughbreds draft for A$850,000.

Her first produce, Man From Uncle was a winner of the 2017 Hobartville Stakes.

“It’s a great family. I also bought Shania Dane [Group 2 winner and daughter of third dam Subterfuge] for the same breeders and then we bought this filly from the same family,” Santry said.

“She was left unraced and we didn’t overspend with her at Coolmore, she’s been to Uncle Mo for the first four seasons and then she went to Rubick before American Pharoah. 

“Her first six foals have sold for A$1.8 million, which is an unbelievable result for a mare that we bought for A$80,000 at the sales and was left unraced. She’s been an absolute gold mine for them and has a full-sister and brother to Head Of State to come, while she will be covered by Wootton Bassett this year.”

American Pharoah’s winners in Australia now tally nine, and while Head Of State played the protagonist with his Group 3 success, at Coleraine in Victoria yesterday he landed an impressive nine-length maiden winner as King Of Pharaohs stepped up to the mile for Lindsey Smith. 

Out of the stakes-winning Galileo mare Miss With Attitude, King Of Pharaohs is a half-brother to Group 3 winner Crown Towers, from the family of Group 2 winner Pletzer. 

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For what he’s done around the world he’s exceptional value at A$45,000 in comparison to his competitors
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