Four exciting new stallions with European racetrack form will commence stud duties in New Zealand in September.
Ancient Spirit and King of Comedy are both descendants of highly successful international sire of sires Invincible Spirit, Circus Maximus is by the world champion sire Galileo while Hello Youmzain is by Kodiac, from the pre-potent Danehill sire line.
Michelle Saba contacted each stud farm and asked them why they thought their stallion would appeal to New Zealand breeders and what type of mares, physically and genetically, would suit their stallions.
Ancient Spirit (GER) (Invincible Spirit [IRE] - Assisi [IRE])
Standing at White Robe Lodge for $7,000 +GST
White Robe Lodge’s Stud Manager Wayne Stewart is looking forward to the challenge of standing a new stallion, especially one with the credentials of Ancient Spirit (GER).
By the champion sire Invincible Spirit (IRE) out of the winning Galileo (IRE) mare Assisi (IRE), Ancient Spirit was crowned Champion three-year-old miler in 2018 in both Italy and Germany.
A genuine racehorse he was the winner of five races and was placed on seven occasions from 22 starts in Ireland, France Australia, Italy and Germany.
He commenced his racing career as a two-year-old in Germany where he had two starts for a second and a fifth. Returning in the spring as a three-year-old he ran second fresh up before winning a maiden at his next start. He followed that win with a stylish win in the Gr.2 German 2000 Guineas, before heading to France to run in the Gr.1 Jean Prat at Deauville where he finished sixth.
Back in Germany he won the Gr.2 Darley Oettingen-Rennen at Baden Baden before finishing his three-year-old season with a third in the Gr.2 Premio Vittorio Capula in Milan.
Ancient Spirit then ventured south to Chris Waller’s stable where he had an unsuccessful autumn campaign of just two starts before transferring to Jim Bolger’s yard in Ireland. He finished third fresh up over nine furlongs in the Gr.3 Meld Stakes at Leopardstown in July, missed in August and September over a mile, and after transferring to Jessica Harrington in October ran second in the Listed Trigo Stakes also at Leopardstown.
After a break of nearly eight months he returned to the track and won the Listed Heritage Stakes at Navan and the Listed Celebration Stakes at The Curragh, before heading to Leopardstown to run second in the Gr.3 Meld Stakes and the Gr.3 Desmond Stakes. Next came a trip to Longchamp for a crack at the Gr.2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein Stakes where he finished fourth.
He is by the sire sensation and now proven sire of sires in Invincible Spirit who has left over 20 Group One winners and is the sire of the successful stallions Kingman (GB), Lawman (FR), I Am Invincible (AUS) who has amazing success in Australasia, and Charm Spirit (IRE) who has stakes performers in both hemispheres.
His dam Assisi won two races and is the dam of two other winners including Alson (by Areion [GER]) a winner of five races including the Gr.1 Criterium International at Longchamp at two, and the Gr.3 Prix Matchem at three. He was also Group One placed in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp and the Gr.1 Poule D’Essai Des Poulains at Deauville.
The second dam Amarette is by the Champion German sire Monsun (GER) and was a Group One winner at three, winning the Preis der Diana at Hamburg, and the Gr.3 Cologne Schwarzgold Rennen. She is also the dam five winners including Amazona, a Group Three winner in Germany, and is the grandam of Apadanah, the Champion Older Female Stayer in Germany in 2020.
Amarette is also a three-quarter sister to the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup and ATC Tancred Stakes winner Almandin (GER).
Throughout its long history White Robe Lodge has stood some great stallions including the champion sires Mellay (GB) and Noble Bijou (GB). In sourcing stallions, founder Brian Anderton – father-in-law to Wayne Stewart – had always tried to get a good miler to produce the mile to middle distance horses that the stud is well-known for.
“We wanted to carry on what Brian has always done by getting a good miler and with this horse I think we have,” enthused Stewart.
“He won the German 2000 Guineas at three and broke 35 for the last 600, and then as a five-year-old he won two Listed miles in Ireland in very good company.
“Invincible Spirit is a great sire and sire of sires so we should see his progeny coming up a little bit quicker than some of our other stallions have, and that’s what we are aiming for - late autumn two-year-olds that are good spring three-year-olds.
“His dam line is great being out of a Galileo mare, he’s a world class sire, and the second dam is by Monsun who has to be the best horse out of Germany. It’s the blood that is wanted in this part of the world, Kingman is one of the most up and coming sires in the world at the moment.”
Stewart thinks Ancient Spirit will cross well over most New Zealand mares and that he is a good mix for the bloodlines at White Robe Lodge going forward.
“We have lots of Sadler’s Wells line mares and we need something to go back across them.," he said. "Genetically he should match with any mare, but Danehill line mares and Sadler’s Wells line mares will double up well with him. He should also cross well with Per Incanto and O’Reilly mares .
“He’s a great looking horse, very athletic, so should leave a lovely type like himself. He is a horse with the whole package - pedigree, performance and looks. I would like to think that at $7,000 breeders will get in behind him and support him. He’s got all the right credentials and we are going to put all our best mares to him. We think he deserves a real go.
“At 84 Brian is keen for a new stallion, he won’t die wondering, and our son Jack who has finished his rugby career and has more time to spend at the stud is real keen to get another stallion.
"I think Ancient Spirit is the right stallion for us. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of breeding Guineas, Oaks and Derby winners.”
Circus Maximus (IRE) (Galileo [IRE] - Duntle [IRE])
Standing at Windsor Park Stud for $20,000 +GST
In Circus Maximus (IRE) Windsor Park Stud have a horse with superb racetrack performance and a stallion by the world’s best sire.
From just 17 starts he won five races from a mile up to 2076m and was placed a further six times.
As a two-year-old he had four starts, he won at his second attempt and then went on to run third in the Gr.3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket and fourth in the Gr.1 Futurity Stakes at Doncaster.
At three racing fresh up, he won the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester (2076m) the fifth son of Galileo to do so in 10 years, before finishing sixth in Anthony Van Dyck’s Derby. Next followed his impressive performance to hold out King of Comedy (IRE) in the Gr.1 St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, before going on to Goodwood where he finished second over a mile in the Gr.1 Sussex Stakes behind the former Champion Two-Year-Old Too Darn Hot (GB), who retired to stud in 2020 to join the Darley shuttle stallion roster. Racing anticlockwise at York, Circus Maximus missed in the Gr.1 Juddmonte International Stakes, before heading to France where he won the Prix de Moulin at Longchamp.
His final start at three was in November at Santa Anita where he finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
As a four-year-old Circus Maximus won fresh up in the Gr.1 Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal Ascot meeting before heading to Goodwood where he finished second in the Gr.1 Sussex Stakes before going back to France where his first run was at Deauville in the Prix du Haras Fresnay – Le Buffard Jacques Le Marois. He finished third in that event behind Palace Pier and Alpine Star and followed that run with another third in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp behind Persian King and Pinatubo.
He returned to England and raced in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot before finishing second in his final race in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Keeneland.
His sire Galileo needs no introduction and is also represented in New Zealand by the ill-fated Rip Van Winkle (IRE). Galileo was the Champion Three-Year-Old in Europe winning the prestigious Gr.1 Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George Stakes in exceptional times.
He took up stud duties at Coolmore Stud in Ireland and first became Champion Sire in 2008. From 2010 through to 2020 he has been the champion sire in Europe, leaving 90 Group One winners, of which over 30 were classic winners. He is the sire of the World Champion racehorse and now successful sire in Frankel (GB).
Circus Maximus is the first and only foal of the Danehill Dancer (IRE) mare Duntle (IRE) who was a winner of five races including the Gr.2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Ascot, the Gr.3 Amethyst and Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown and the Listed Sandringham Handicap also at Ascot.
The record books show that she ran second in the Gr.1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, but she was actually first past the post and lost the race in the inquiry room. She was also second in the Prix Rothschild in Deauville, and third in the Gr.1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.
Her dam Lady Angola (USA) was a winner and is the dam of five other winners besides Duntle. She was also a half-sister to Catumbella, the dam of Honor In War (USA) the winner of 11 races including the Gr.1 Churchill Downs Turf Classic Stakes and the Gr.2 Villiers Handicap at Randwick.
This family traces back to the amazing matriarch La Troienne (FR).
Windsor Park’s General Manager Steve Till said Circus Maximus ticks all the boxes for a stallion to stand here in New Zealand.
“In the first instance he was a top-class racehorse who was genuine and consistent,” Till said. “He was a Group One performer as a two-year-old and as a three-year-old after his win in the Dee Stakes he only ever raced in Group One company.
“He was a cracking miler and we have had great success with that type of horse here at Windsor Park going back to when we stood Star Way. As for his pedigree, he is by the world’s best stallion and his mother was a top-class racehorse too.
“Unfortunately, he was to be her only foal as she died foaling her second foal, however, she does trace back with a very strong branch to that great foundation mare La Troienne, as did the Champion sire Noble Bijou.
“Circus Maximus is a very good-looking, correct horse with a beautiful topline. He very much has a physical profile like his sire Galileo.
“It seems with the stock of Galileo, when they are top class racehorses they are very genuine and consistent. He loved getting into a fight in a finish, and that was evident in both his wins at Royal Ascot.”
Windsor Park have had good support for Circus Maximus so far and believe if he was a syndicated horse, he would be fully booked by now, however there is still space for a limited number of mares.
“There are some top class horses bred on one of the greatest nicks with Galileo over Danehill,” Till said, “So that opens up to nick with mares by Savabeel, Zabeel and of course Sir Tristram as well.
“As a grandson of Sadler’s Wells he will have an affinity with Nureyev mares and Circus Maximus doesn’t have any Nureyev blood so he will be open to that too and we will see that through Zabeel mares.
“His female family traces right back to Secretariat so we can go back to those really good bloodlines and there are many aspects of his genetic background that come into play with our gene pool in New Zealand.
“Physically he is well made at just over 16.1hh and I am sure he will have the ability to tidy up mares. He should suit the majority of mares physically as he is not a big rangy loose horse, and I don’t think anyone will be concerned about his physicality.
"He was tough and sound and I am sure he will be a very straight forward horse to breed to and we are very proud to have him on our roster.”
Hello Youmzain (FR) (Zodiac [GB] - Spasha [GB])
Standing at Cambridge Stud for $30,000 +GST
This time last year the black and gold colours of Brendan and Jo Lindsay were resplendent at Royal Ascot when Hello Youmzain (FR) won the Gr.1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Now the Cambridge Stud proprietors are looking forward to him standing his first season at stud in New Zealand.
He will be the first son of the exciting stallion Kodiac (GB) to stand at stud in the southern hemisphere and a welcome addition to the New Zealand stallion ranks.
As a late summer two-year-old Hello Youmzain won on debut at Carlisle over 1200m, and followed that with a second at Haydock before heading to France for a win in the Gr.2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte.
He returned the following spring and threw a shoe running fourth in the Gr.3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury before winning the Gr.2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock. Lining up at Royal Ascot he ran third in the Gr.1 Commonwealth Cup behind Advertise and Forever In Dreams before going on to win the Gr.1 Haydock Sprint Cup.
He had one more start at three before being spelled and came back at four to win the Gr.1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, beating Dream of Dreams who won that event this year. He finished fifth at Newmarket to Oxted -who was also a winner at Royal Ascot this year taking out the Gr.1 Kings Stand – before running second in the Gr.1 Prix Maurie de Gheest at Deauville. He was retired after his next start.
Kodiac is a son of Danehill (USA) and a three-quarter blood brother to the sensational sire Invincible Spirit (IRE). He is a great source of speed and precocity in Europe and was the European Champion Sire of Two-Year-Olds in 2018 and 2020.
He holds the record for the most two-year-old winners in a single season and is the sire of more than 130 stakes performers worldwide. His progeny include the Group One winning fillies Campanelle, Fairyland and Tiggy Wiggy along with the triple Group One winner Best Solution.
In 2020 he broke records again as the sire of nine stakes winning two-year-olds, and the progeny of Kodiac can be found gracing the winners circles of stakes races all over the world. Now his sons are producing the goods at stud in their own right and his legacy looks sure to continue and strengthen.
At Royal Ascot last year when Hello Youmzain won, Kodiac sired three Group winners in one day, with Campanelle winning the Gr.2 Queen Mary Stakes and Nando Parrado the Gr.2 Coventry Stakes for two-year-olds. This year Campanelle won the Gr.1 Commonwealth Cup and in the two-year-old event the Gr.2 Norfolk Stakes the winner Perfect Power was by Ardad (IRE) a son of Kodiac and the second horse Go Bears Go was by Kodi Bear (IRE) also by Kodiac.
On his dam side Hello Youmzain is out of the unraced Sharmardal (IRE) mare Spasha (GB) who is the dam of six foals, four to race all stakes performers including Royal Youmzain (by Youmzain [IRE]). He was the Champion Two-Year-Old colt in Italy in 2017 and Champion Three-Year-Old in Italy and Germany in 2018, and his brother Saglawy won four races and was stakes placed three times. A half-sister by Elnadim (USA) won three races including the Listed Lansdown Stakes at Bath and was stakes placed on two occasions.
Spasha was a half-sister to Persian Majesty a stakes winner of eight races in England, Germany and France both being out of the unraced Sadler’s Wells (IRE) mare Spa. Herself a half-sister to the stakes winners Sandmason and Sardegna, along with Subterfuge who made a name for herself in the southern hemisphere as the dam of the stakes winners Shania Dane, Scintillation and Risk Aversion along with the stakes performers Liatris, Danevade and Puzzle Book.
His third dam is the Mill Reef (GB) stakes winning mare Sandy Island won the Gr.3 Lancashire Oaks and the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes and she is a half-sister to Slip Anchor.
Cambridge Stud CEO Henry Plumptre said Hello Youmzain is an ideal stallion for New Zealand breeders.
“We think he’s got a good European profile and a profile that fits in with our plans at Cambridge Stud,” he said.
“He’s a Group One winner at Royal Ascot and a Group winner in France. He won a stakes race at two and again at three and four.
“He’s by Kodiac, a son of Danehill who stands at the O’Callaghan’s Tally Ho Stud in Ireland, where they appreciated his beautiful pedigree but never got to see his true ability. He has done well with a number of good stakes winners and is from that prepotent Danehill line.
“On his merits and off the back of a number of Group One winners, he has gone from being a 5000 Euro stallion to a 65,000 Euro stallion.
“His dam is a half-sister to Invincible Spirt so it’s a good pedigree with a lot of speed.”
Plumptre believes that physically, Hello Youmzain has got a lot of scope as well, standing at 16.1hh.
“We will try to stay away from big strong mares, as he is a big horse himself,” he said. “He should suit most of the middle distance and mid-size mares that we have here. As for pedigree matings, Danehill crosses with anything except maybe Danehill.
"Danehill over Danehill hasn’t produced the best results yet, but as it gets further back in the pedigree it may.
“Of course, there is the very proven Danehill/Zabeel cross and there are plenty of Zabeel mares around, but I believe he will suit a smorgasbord of mares.
“We have been very lucky with him we have got a bloody good syndicate behind him. A lot of the people who came into Almanzor have come along for the ride again, so he won’t lack for mares.
“I feel things are turning around in the breeding world, there seems to be a lot more confidence in the industry at the moment, as at least there has been some progress made in the industry with something to build on.
“We at Cambridge Stud just need to keep putting lovely stallions in front of breeders and stem that flow of mares to Australia.”
King of Comedy (IRE) (Kingman [GB] - Stage Presence [IRE])
Standing at Novara Park for $7,000 +GST
It’s been a fabulous year for Novara Park’s Luigi Muollo. Not only has he produced the Australian triple Derby winner Explosive Jack, Group One performer Signora Nera and Group Two winner Only Words, he has secured King of Comedy (IRE) to stand at stud.
A son of the exciting European stallion Kingman (GB), King of Comedy is a proven racehorse from a good stakes winning family.
From only 12 starts over three seasons he won three races from seven furlongs to a mile. Trained for most of his career by master trainer John Gosden, he won on debut at two at Sandown over seven furlongs and in the late autumn ran second again over seven furlongs.
At three he won fresh up over a mile at Yarmouth before winning the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown. His next race was in the Gr.1 St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and was probably his
most memorable despite the fact that he was beaten narrowly by Circus Maximus.
Next followed a start in the Gr.1 International Stakes at York, where he finished fourth behind Japan, before he ran second in the Gr.2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket behind Benbatl and beating autumn sensation Zaaki into third.
He was off the scene for nearly eight months before running second in the Gr.3 Diomed Stakes at Newbury and then missed in the Gr.2 York Stakes. He was transferred to the stable of Jessica Harrington and was given another long spell before having two starts as a five-year-old in Ireland.
His sire Kingman is very much a sire of the moment in Europe, especially with the recent performances of Palace Pier who is rated at the top of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, even before his impressive win in the Gr.1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot recently.
One of the best sons of Invincible Spirit (IRE), Kingman was the winner of seven races, and was named Europe’s Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old in 2014 after a season that included wins in the Gr.1 St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Gr.1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, the Irish 2000 Guineas and the Gr.1 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard-Jacques le Marois.
Kingman stands at Banstead Manor Stud in England and is the sire of 35 stakes winners including the Group One winners Palace Pier, and Persian King in Europe, Domestic Spending in the USA and Schnell Meister in Japan. In 2021 alone he has left 11 stakes winners.
Kingman is out of the Zamindar (USA) mare Zenda (GB), herself a winner of three races in Great Britain, France and the USA including the Gr.1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp, she is the dam of six winners including the Group Three winner Remote. She is also a half-sister to the Champion racehorse and sire Oasis Dream (GB) (Green Desert [IRE]) which makes Kingman a three-quarter blood-brother to that sire.
King Of Comedy is out of the winning Selkirk (USA) mare Stage Presence (IRE), she is the dam of 11 foals, eight to race and seven winners including; Star Of Seville the winner of four races including Gr.1 Prix de Diane at Chantilly, and English Ballet the winner of the Gr.3 Solera Stakes at Newmarket and placed in the Gr.1 Ascot Fillies’ Mile.
The second dam Park Charger is a winner of two races and placed at Listed level on four occasions. She is the dam of nine foals, and seven winners including Rum Charger the winner of three races and Leopardstown Ballycorus Stakes. She in turn is the dam of Winchester, the winner of six races including four at Group One level in the United States, and the Group Three winner Middleburg.
“I am really excited about King of Comedy,” Muollo said. “The bloodline is excellent, the sire line is excellent, the race record is excellent, and my brother Tony and I are going to support him with our best mares. We have sold some breeding rights and still have some for sale.
“I have a Zabeel line stallion and Deep Impact line stallion that are both working well, and with I Am Invincible doing so well in Australia and Showcasing here, I thought he would be an ideal stallion to add.
“He has a dam that has produced three Group One performers, and I know he was narrowly beaten in the St James Palace Stakes but he covered a lot more ground than Circus Maximus and Too Darn Hot, and it was a pretty fast last sectional.
“I think it’s a bit of a cliché, but he ticks all the boxes. Just look at Kingman’s statistics he should do well even if he didn’t win that stallion making race.”
“It’s all very well to say he has commercial appeal and commerciality these days is so important, however a miler can get a 1200m horse, or over a mare with a bit of stamina a 2000m horse. You have to have a horse that can come early, people want to go to a horse that was good as an autumn two-year-old and an early three-year-old.
“King of Comedy is a stallion that suits the majority of broodmare bloodlines. He is Danehill free so that makes it easier for a lot of people. There are lots of things to work with in his pedigree especially in his female line which goes back to the female line of Hail To Reason.
“He’s very athletic and that is what he should produce. I like to go for a middle horse physically, Sweynesse tends to leave them a bit bigger, Staphanos has tidied up some big mares’ foals and leaves a nice athlete and I think this horse will too.”