Cheveley Park Stud wins race for Ulysses
Top-class performer with top-class pedigree is coveted recruit
Ulysses, one of the most coveted stallion prospects in Europe, is to stand at Cheveley Park Stud when he retires at the end of the current season.
By a Derby winner and champion sire out of an Oaks winner from an elite Niarchos family, the Eclipse and Juddmonte Stakes winner offers breeders a precious combination of pedigree and performance.
David and Patricia Thompson's Newmarket stud, which earlier this week added Prix Morny winner Unfortunately to its roster of speed sires, has now acquired a majority share in a stallion prospect of legitimate Classic calibre. He could yet enhance his value when making his next start, still in the silks of his breeders' Flaxman operation, in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
The stud's managing director, Chris Richardson, said: "David and Patricia Thompson are delighted to have acquired a significant interest in Ulysses, who certainly adds a notable and exciting element to the portfolio of stallions available at Cheveley Park Stud, for both domestic and international breeders."
Read here about Ulysses' big race wins
Much hope has been vested in Ulysses since the day he was born. The third and last foal of Light Shift, he also expands the legacy of Northern Trick, the daughter of Northern Dancer bought by Stavros Niarchos for $530,000 at the Keeneland July Sale of 1982. Sent to Francois Boutin, she became Europe's champion three-year-old filly with wins in the Prix de Diane and Prix Vermeille, also finishing second in the Arc.
She subsequently made a major contribution to the Niarchos family's breeding empire, producing a line that gave Hector Protector and Aldebaran their best performers in Shiva and Main Sequence respectively.
Her most significant foal was sired by Shirley Heights. Lingerie was unable to win in a dozen starts for Boutin, but when herself retired to the paddocks produced a series of important horses. These included Group 1 winner Shiva, Group 2 winner Limnos, Grade 1-placed Hyades and Listed winner Burning Sunset – herself, in turn, dam of 2014 Prix d'Harcourt winner Smoking Sun and granddam of Main Sequence. But the gem was Light Shift: the result of a tryst with Kingmambo, her owners' cherished son of Miesque.
Light Shift's success in the Oaks played a poignant role in salvaging the fortunes of her trainer, the late Sir Henry Cecil. His subsequent Indian summer with Frankel, however, brings another bittersweet element to the tale - as it was shortly after delivering a son of Frankel that Light Shift died in 2014, aged only ten. The foal was also lost.
But the family continues to thrive. Light Shift's full sister, Strawberry Fledge, is responsible for another Group 1 scorer this year in Cloth Of Stars. The Prix Ganay winner is by Sea The Stars, half-brother to the sire of Ulysses himself, Galileo.
Of course, Galileo has been such a prolific sire of champions that Ulysses will not be short of competition in extending his influence. But his maternal family gives him an edge over most, and he must be counted one of the more exciting prospects to stand in Britain over recent years.
A fee will be set at a later date.