Wings Of Eagles to stand at birthplace of Haras de Montaigu
Derby hero part of a strong intake of new stallions to Normandy
The Normandy stallion ranks will welcome a new intake of uncommon quality next year, with Derby hero Wings Of Eagles' retirement to his birthplace of Haras de Montaigu confirmed on the same day it was announced that fellow well-bred Group 1 winners Al Wukair and Zelzal will stand at Haras de Bouquetot from 2018.
That trio will join last year's European champion Almanzor, who is set to start his career at Haras d'Etreham, and Zarak, the top-class son of Dubawi and Zarkava who is new to Haras de Bonneval, in what appears to be a shift in power in the stallion market towards France.
Wings Of Eagles always looked a natural fit for Normandy, as he was bred by Montaigu owners Gilles and Aliette Forien and sold to Coolmore for €220,000 at the Arqana August Yearling Sale.
He is also by a French-trained Derby winner in Pour Moi, a son of the majestic Montjeu who has been switched to a dual-purpose covering role by Coolmore, and hails from a family that has flourished on the continent.
Wings Of Eagles is a half-brother to stakes performers Gyrella and Torentosa and his dam, Poule d'Essai des Pouliches third Ysoldina, is by the late Montaigu stalwart Kendor out of blue hen Rotina, who also produced Prix Saint-Alary winner Belle Et Celebre and Group scorers Appel Au Maitre, Valentino and Whortleberry.
Trained by Aidan O'Brien, he won a Killarney maiden and finished fourth in the Zetland Stakes at two and flourished this year at three, when he came with a strong run to defeat Cliffs Of Moher and Cracksman to land the Derby and to finish a close third to Capri in the Irish Derby, in which he suffered a career-ending injury.
Wings Of Eagles - believed to be the first Derby winner to retire straight to stud in France in more than 60 years - will stand in association with Coolmore at a fee of €12,000.
Montaigu said in a statement: "With his magnificent physique and pedigree, which combines the class and stamina of Montjeu with the precocity and speed of Kendor, as well as his racing performances, Wings Of Eagles has all the attributes to become a leading stallion like Galileo, Sea The Stars, New Approach and High Chaparral, all also Derby winners."
Wings Of Eagles will stand at the stud alongside Martaline, No Risk At All, Night Wish and Prince Gibraltar.
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