Brian and Lorraine Anderton’s White Robe Lodge will welcome the addition of Ancient Spirit to their stallion roster this coming breeding season.
A multiple Group Two winning son of Invincible Spirit, Ancient Spirit was the champion three-year-old miler in both Italy and Germany in 2018.
The handsome bay will arrive at the North Taieri property in the coming weeks.
By champion sire Invincible Spirit, from the two-time winning Galileo mare Assisi, Ancient Spirit was bred by famed German breeders Gestut Schlenderhan.
Initially prepared by Jean-Pierre Carvalho, for whom he won the Gr.2 German 2000 Guineas (1600m) and Gr.2 Oettingen-Rennen (1600m), Ancient Spirit trained on as an older horse to win at Listed level on two occasions for Jessica Harrington in Ireland.
The well-bred stallion was purchased through Ed Stapleton Bloodstock of Ireland, with Marcus Corban also instrumental in the transaction and hails from a strong German family, with his granddam the Gr.1 German Oaks winner Amarette (by Monsun), herself a three-quarter sister to multiple Australian Group One winner Almandin.
“We have been looking for a European miler for five years, but nothing has caught my eye quite like this horse has,” Brian Anderton said.
“We have been patient and I think it has really paid off with being able to purchase a stallion of the quality of Ancient Spirit.
“He has a wonderful pedigree, being by one of the world’s leading sires and sire of sires in Invincible Spirit, out of a mare by another champion in Galileo, you couldn’t ask for better bloodlines.
“It is really exciting for us to be able to stand a stallion with a pedigree as good as that at White Robe Lodge.
“We will be backing the horse ourselves with our own mares. We have got a lot of faith in him and think he will do a wonderful job at stud.”
Ancient Spirit’s pedigree is filled with stakes performers, including half-brother Alson, who won the Gr.1 Criterium International (1600m).
Stud Manager Wayne Stewart is pleased to have secured another top-class stallion for their famed South Island thoroughbred nursery.
“Ancient Spirit is obviously very well-bred, but he was also a very good racehorse,” Stewart said.
“He was Champion three-year-old miler in Germany and Italy as well as being a dual stakes-race winning miler in Ireland. That shows the quality of horse he was on the track. He had a terrific record over a mile.
“He was a very good horse and very adaptable, which I think will be a big asset for breeders in New Zealand.
“He is an outstanding individual. He is very correct and he has got a really good, intelligent head. You couldn’t ask for much more from a sire in terms of conformation and looks.
“Combine that with his pedigree and his race record, and he has all the ingredients to be a very successful stallion.”
Ancient Spirit will stand his first season at stud at White Robe Lodge for a fee of $7,000+GST.