Exciting stallion prospect Russian Camelot to stand in Australia
Stud deal set to be announced for dual Group 1 winner in coming days
Dual Group 1-winning stallion prospect Russian Camelot, the European-bred entire whose promising racetrack career down under was prematurely ended due to injury, will remain in Australia.
The lightly raced son of Camelot had drawn international interest from stallion operations, but the four-year-old’s principal owner John Wheeler has revealed that Russian Camelot would not be heading overseas.
A stud deal for the former Danny O’Brien-trained Russian Camelot, last year’s South Australian Derby and Underwood Stakes winner, is expected to be announced later this week.
“We would have been racing in the Doncaster last Saturday had the horse not had the [tendon] injury that he’s got,” said Wheeler.
“That’s disappointing in itself, but you have got to keep moving on. Really, the stud deal has only been brought forward by six or seven months, to be honest. He would have run in the spring, but he was unlikely to race in the autumn.
“The horse is full of himself and you wouldn’t know that he has got a tendon injury. He is in good shape. It’s cold, but it's the same old story, it’s not good enough for him to race on.”
Wheeler would not divulge the stud who had successfully negotiated the purchase of last year’s Cox Plate placegetter, but he indicated Russian Camelot’s original owners were keeping a large percentage of the horse and they would support him with mares from next season.
Henry Plumptre, the chief executive of New Zealand’s Cambridge Stud, confirmed owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay had considered making a play for Russian Camelot but ultimately ruled out the proposition.
Cambridge Stud already has multiple European Group 1-winning sprinter Hello Youmzain standing his first season in New Zealand later this year.
“I think we see green shoots in the New Zealand industry, but it hasn’t yet led to an increase in Stud Book returns,” said Plumptre.
“We’ve tested the market pretty strongly in the past three or four years with Almanzor, Roaring Lion and Hello Youmzain, so I think we’re pretty aware of the lack of depth in the market.
“For that reason - although we’ve looked at a couple of stallions this year which have been offered to us - we’ve decided to just launch the one horse this year and not be in too much of a hurry. We don’t have that exponential growth of the broodmare band that Australia’s got.
“I think we are better off concentrating on a small number of elite stallions and look after our breeder base and let the industry recover, before we can actually start thinking about launching two stallions in a year.”
Russian Camelot was runner-up in the All-Star Mile at Moonee Valley on March 13 and he was also set to campaign in Sydney during the autumn, but in the days following the A$5 million race the career-ending tendon injury was discovered.
He was a 120,000gns purchase by UK agent Jeremy Brummitt from the 2018 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for an Australian partnership led by Wheeler. He was immediately sent to Australia to be broken in and trained by O’Brien, who prepared him to win four of his 11 starts.
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