High-class Mildenberger set for stallion career at Groomsbridge Stud
Former Mark Johnston performer won seven times in a long career
Seven-time winner Mildenberger is to join another Mark Johnston graduate, Universal, on the roster at Sally Forster's Groomsbridge Stud in Suffolk.
The stud has had a good working arrangement with Dubai-based owners after the arrival of Abdulla Al Mansoori's dual Group 2 winner Universal from France two years ago.
He has been performing a dual-purpose role as well as covering sport horses, and Forster envisages this will be the case with the Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum-owned Mildenberger, who will be introduced at £1,500 alongside his colleague at £2,000.
"Universal is chestnut and there are chestnut haters out there so we just wanted something along similar sort of lines that was a bay horse," Forster explained.
"We've been looking for a couple of years and they said they had a couple that would suit. We looked at Mildenberger, who is a big, scopey horse with enough performance for some racemares, and he's probably just what people have been hankering after for a sport horse as well."
Mildenberger is a son of Teofilo bred by Godolphin who won the Listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury as a two-year-old, as well as placing in the Vintage and Royal Lodge Stakes.
He went on to win the Feilden at Newmarket and was second to Roaring Lion in the Dante before stepping into the two-mile division, where most of his success came at conditions level.
"Universal covered quite a few Flat mares, a few of which will go through Tattersalls in December," said Forster. "This horse was Group 2-placed over seven furlongs and a mile and a quarter and he's got two-year-old form, but he's from the dam line of Kayf Tara, that would give him some appeal with the jumpers too, and he raced for five seasons.
"He's a lovely horse in the flesh with the most fabulous front legs, they're just about as good as you'd get, and we're hoping to take him up to Doncaster in January; he'll be available on the TBA Elite Mares Scheme along with Universal."
With the imminent arrival of Mildenberger bringing the thoroughbred stallion roster at Groomsbridge up to two, Forster will be satisfied, especially as the present resident has been making his mark at a range of disciplines as well as producing winning jumpers such as Pam Sly's Xcitations and dual Listed Flat scorer Universal Order from his earlier stint at Yorton Farm.
"Universal has been really good for us, he's been a lovely horse to work with," she said.
"He covered 19 thoroughbreds this year, which is kind of double what he did the year before on his first year back from France, which I don't think is too bad considering I suppose we're relatively unknown in the racing market.
"He makes his numbers up with the sport horse mares and he sired the champion foal at the Great Yorkshire Show this year, it's one of the biggest shows for hunter breeding foals, so that's quite an achievement.
"His stats for his offspring are really good too, we've already got mares booked in from people who used him before, so it's nice to see."