Exceed And Excel and Lonhro southern hemisphere prices reduced
Darley confirm 2018 Australasian roster with no Medaglia D'Oro
Darley's desire to be a leading commercial player in the southern hemisphere was brought into focus on Thursday as Sheikh Mohammed's operation unveiled its 2018 stallion roster, featuring reduced fees for a number of their most-famed sires. The end of an era was also signalled with confirmation that leading shuttler Medaglia D'Oro will not return to Australia.
Leading the roster at Darley Kelvinside in the Hunter Valley is Exceed And Excel, who will stand for a reduced fee of A$82,500 (£43,500/€51,800) alongside Lonhro, whose fee has also been cut to A$55,000.
Exceed And Excel, who stood for a fee of A$110,000 last year, sired last December's Hong Kong Sprint winner Mr Stunning to take his tally of Group 1 winners as a sire to 11, among 142 stakes winners.
Lonhro, meanwhile, is the sire of recent Randwick Guineas winner Kementari, who contests tomorrow's Doncaster Mile at Randwick for Godolphin trainer James Cummings.
The most notable absentee from the roster is US shuttler Medaglia D'Oro, who will not be returning to Australia for the first time in eight years. His Golden Rose Stakes-winning son Astern enters his second year at Kelvinside with a reduced fee of A$33,000, down from his 2017 fee of A$38,500.
In total, Darley will stand 28 stallions in the southern hemisphere this year, with 15 residing at Kelvinside, a further eight at Northwood Park in Victoria and five in New Zealand, spread around Haunui Farm, Mapperley Stud and Westbury Stud.
Sheikh Mohammed's racing arm, now under the stewardship of former Magic Millions boss Vin Cox, returned to the yearling sales for the first time in five years this year and Cox believes Darley's reshaped roster offers breeders margin to enable them to receive a fair return with the resulting progeny in the sales ring.
"We have a good line-up of stallions and we are being competitive with the market. We have had a change of policy and that is reflected in our service fees," Cox said.
"It is early days with everyone waiting for the release of service fees and we are first cab off the rank, if you like, to release them."
Cox said Godolphin were supporting breeders by buying yearlings, something he says will continue at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale next week.
"That is part of the change of direction of Godolphin," he said. "We have bought 16 yearlings so far and we have bid on 76, so we are active.
"We like to support the breeders who support us and we think the fees are competitive and where people can make money from them, so we look forward to the season ahead."
As previously announced in ANZ Bloodstock News, champion miler Ribchester will shuttle to Kelvinside where he will stand for a fee of A$24,750, while Dawn Approach, Teofilo and Territories will all return this year.
Epaulette, whose first crop two-year-olds include Group 3-winning sprinters Meryl and Khulaasa, has had his fee increased this year to A$27,500, up from A$22,000 in 2017.
Another of Darley's Golden Rose Stakes winners, Exosphere, will enter his third year at stud at a fee of A$22,000, the same price barnmate Shooting To Win will stand for.
Brazen Beau leads the way in Victoria, with his first-crop yearlings selling this year. His fee has been set at A$38,500, after standing for A$44,000 in his first three years at stud.
A newcomer to Darley will be Stradbroke Handicap winner Impending, whose introductory fee will be A$22,000. The well-bred four-year-old, who has not raced since finishing third in last year's Darley Classic at Flemington, is out of dual Group 1-winning mare Mnemosyne.
"Impending, being a son of Lonhro who is an outstanding stallion and proven as a sire of sires, was an outstanding two-year-old and three-year-old and is a very good-looking type who should get lovely types," Cox said.
"We are excited about him going to Victoria and also about Ribchester coming to Kelvinside in New South Wales, where he will be a great addition."
Sepoy, who sired his maiden Group 1 winner when three-year-old Alizee won last year's ATC Flight Stakes over a mile, will relocate to Northwood Park from the Hunter Valley and stand at a fee of A$11,000.
In New Zealand, Darley have five stallions standing headed by Iffraaj and Belardo, who will both be based at Haunui Farm.
Cox said Darley's stallion roster offered breeders diversity that few other stud farms could match.
"We are in a unique position that we can access bloodlines from all parts of the world," he said.
"We aren't the only ones who can do it, but it is a great position to be in and we can cherry pick the ones we think will work very well in this part of the world."
Darley southern hemisphere roster (fees include GST)
Kelvinside, New South Wales
Name, 2018 fee, 2017 fee in brackets
Exceed And Excel A$82,500 (A$110,000)
Lonhro A$55,000 (A$66,000)
Teofilo A$44,000 (A$44,000)
Astern A$33,000 (A$38,500)
Epaulette A$27,500 (A$22,000)
Ribchester A$24,750 NEW
Exosphere A$22,000 (A$27,500)
Shooting To Win A$22,000 (A$33,000)
Dawn Approach A$19,250 (A$22,000)
Hallowed Crown A$16,500 (A$27,500)
Kermadec A$16,500 (A$22,000)
Territories A$16,500 (A$22,000)
Denman A$8,800 (A$11,000)
Sidestep A$7,700 (A$11,000)
Albrecht A$5,500 (A$7,700)
Northwood Park, Victoria
Brazen Beau A$38,500 (A$44,000)
Frosted A$33,000 (A$38,500)
Street Boss A$27,500 (A$33,000)
Impending A$22,000 NEW
Reset A$13,750 (A$16,500)
Holler A$11,000 (A$16,500)
Sepoy A$11,000 (A$16,500)
Kuroshio A$5,500 (A$7,700)
Haunui Farm, New Zealand
Iffraaj NZ$25,000 (NZ$25,000)
Belardo NZ$12,000 (NZ$12,000)
Mapperley Stud, New Zealand
Contributer NZ$12,500 (NZ$12,500)
Complacent NZ$5,000 (NZ$5,000)
Westbury Stud, New Zealand
Telperion NZ$5,000 (NZ$5,000)