Recent race and sales results have ensured Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will be a major drawcard for this year’s Ontrack Racing Hunter Valley Horse and Wine Tour.
The son of Pioneer Of The Nile shuttles from America to stand at Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley and he’s making headlines in the Northern Hemisphere from his first crop.
His first yearlings sold for up to $2.2 million and on the racetrack his first runner Monarch of Egypt bolted in for legendary trainer Aiden O’Brien while Maven was a debut winner at Aqueduct in the US for Wesley Ward and is heading to Royal Ascot.
This week a colt by American Pharoah was sold for 1.1 million euros at the Deauville breeze up sale.
“Last spring was the first time the Ontrack Tour got a close-up look at American Pharoah and the horse didn’t disappoint,” said Ontrack’s Grant Morgan.
“He’s a lovely stallion and a very athletic individual and it comes as no surprise that he’s making headlines with his first Northern Hemisphere crop.
“This year’s Hunter Valley trip will be unique in that Coolmore Stud will present two Triple Crown winners in Justify and American Pharoah.
“That’s going to be something truly remarkable.
“It was interesting that the American Pharoah colt at Deauville was purchased by Coolmore’s MV Magnier.
“Coolmore is never afraid to back their stallions and this colt will head to legendary French trainer Andre Fabre’s famed Chantilly stable.
“The colt was purchased at last September’s Keenland Sale for $US275,000 so it’s a great pin hook result for Grove Stud.
“If you have the right horse for these breeze up sales the results can be very, very lucrative,” said Grant Morgan.
Coolmore Stud stallion So You Think has enjoyed an incredible winning run in April with 20 individual winners so far.
A superstar on the track with his dual Cox Plate wins for Bart Cummings, So You Think is one of the most popular stallions at Coolmore and last spring served 225 mares.
So You Think has already left five Group One winners amongst his 16 stakes performers and this month he has had two stakes winners in the unbeaten Sydney filly Fasika and the impressive New Zealand two-year-old colt Quick Thinker.
“So You Think’s progeny have been in great form this season and in recent weeks he’s left winners left, right and centre,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“His strike rate in April has been fantastic and he’s looking on track for a great Queensland winter carnival with fillies such as Word For Word and Guise heading towards an Oaks start and yesterday’s Sunshine Coast victor Masstoo heading to the Queensland Derby.”
Ontrack Thoroughbreds purchased a colt by So You Think at the January Karaka Premier Sale and he is currently being broken in by talented young New Zealand horseman Jacob McKay.
“The colt from New Zealand is a beautiful example of the thoroughbred and we will be racing him from Hawkes Racing’s stables in Sydney and Melbourne.
“He is out of a Redoute’s Choice mare and the cross of So You Think over Redoute’s mares has already resulted in Group One winners Inference and D’Argento. It’s also the breeding of unbeaten Sydney filly Fasika and is one of the most prolific crosses in racing at the moment.
“Our colt comes from a great New Zealand farm and is doing everything right at the moment and he will be flown to Queensland later in the year to enjoy some sunshine and pre-training before heading to Hawkes Racing.
“So You Think is always one of the most popular stallions on the Ontrack Racing Tour to the Hunter Valley each year and it was great to be able to purchase a lovely colt by this fantastic stallion,” said Grant Morgan.
World renowned Cambridge Stud is always one of the special venues on the Ontrack New Zealand Horse and Wine Tour but this year it offered some truly mouth-watering prospects.
Cambridge Stud was founded by Sir Patrick Hogan and through the deeds of Sir Tristram and Zabeel it became one of the world’s great thoroughbred nurseries.
For a year it’s been in the new ownership of Brendan and Jo Lindsay and when Ontrack heads there in November there will be some major changes to take in.
“The Lindsay’s have undertaken a massive redevelopment of the farm and when we arrive this year virtually all the buildings on the property will have been replaced,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Grant Morgan.
“It’s an exciting development and one which was undertaken with the blessing and involvement of Sir Patrick.
“There’s a new office and hospitality centre while all the stallion barns, yearling barns and serving barn have been replaced. It was a timely development but one that’s been careful to respect the fantastic history that Sir Patrick and Lady Justine built up during their time at Cambridge.
“When Ontrack was there last year the work had just started so it’s going to be very interesting to turn up this November and witness the changes.
“Knowing how passionate and meticulous the Lindsay’s are with anything they take on, the result is sure to be breath-taking.”
Another interesting development will be the addition to the stallion roster at Cambridge of champion European three-year-old Roaring Lion.
“Brendan and Jo are determined to continue Cambridge Stud’s role as a leading thoroughbred nursery and they know that requires the addition of more firepower to the stallion roster.
“Roaring Lion sure does that as he won four Group One races as a three-year-old, starting with the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and culminating with the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot.
“A striking grey stallion, Roaring Lion received a Timeform rating of 130 and that places him in the top echelon of horses anywhere in the world.
“Brendan and Jo already have a very good French horse in Almanzor standing his second season at Cambridge and Tavistock, so it’s going to be great having a close up look at these sorts of stallions in November,” said Grant Morgan.