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.
Triple Crown winners are rare in racing but tour members on the 2019 Ontrack Hunter Valley Horse and Wine Tour will be able to get up close with two stallions with America’s most prized trophy on their CVs.
American Pharoah was the first Triple Crown in 37 years when winning the 2015 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes and he has stood at Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley for the past two seasons.
This spring he will be joined in the palatial Coolmore stallion barn by the 2018 Triple Crown Champion in Justify.
“American Pharoah was the first Triple Crown winner to stand at stud in Australia and it’s hard to believe that our Hunter Valley Horse Tour will be at Coolmore in November and will get the chance to inspect two Triple Crown champions,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“American Pharoah always creates a fantastic impression while Justify is a special horse as he’s the only Triple Crown winner to retire undefeated, having won all of his six races.
“He’s a son of stallion sensation Scat Daddy, who also has another son at Coolmore in the Hunter in the brilliant sprinter Caravaggio.
“Of interest to Australians was that Justify raced in the China Horse Club colours which have become so familiar on our racetracks.”
A chestnut colt Justify went from winning his first race, a 1400 metres maiden at Santa Anita in February to winning the Group One Belmont Stakes over 2400 metres in June.
Unfortunately he suffered a slight injury soon after and the decision was made to retire the colt.
In September last year, majority owner WinStar Farm announced that Justify would stand at Ashford Stud, the North America branch of Coolmore Stud at a fee for 2019 of $(US)150,000.
“It’s always great to see these mighty horses in the flesh and I can’t wait to get to Coolmore in October and see Justify.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to the Hunter Valley Tour this year and we are not far from being sold out, so it seems a lot of our clients are also looking forward to seeing the Triple Crown champions as well,” said Grant Morgan.