Duke of Marmalade, Europe's champion older horse of 2008, has been acquired by the South Africa-based Drakenstein Stud. Racing Post reported the deal for the 10-year-old son of Danehill, who previously stood at Coolmore Stud in Ireland, was brokered by Blandford Bloodstock.
"I am absolutely delighted that a horse of the quality and caliber of Duke of Marmalade is coming to Drakenstein to stand alongside Trippi, Horse Chestnut, Philanthropist, and What a Winter," Drankenstein Stud owner Gaynor Rupert told Racing Post. "We went to see the horse last week at Coolmore Stud and we loved him. He started quarantine yesterday and he will ship to Cape Town next month ready for the next southern hemisphere covering season.
"Given what his progeny have achieved on the track already and that he has 234 2-year-olds to race this season, I believe he is an outstanding addition to both the Drakenstein Stud stallion roster and the South African stallion ranks."
From three crops of racing age, Duke of Marmalade has sired 97 winners, including 14 stakes winners, for total progeny earnings of $4,039,718. His best performer is the Aidan O'Brien-trained filly Venus de Milo, who won last year's Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Give Thanks Stakes (Ire-III) and was second in the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) and Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I).
Duke of Marmalade is a half brother to last year's Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner Ruler Of The World and hails from the families of top sires A.P. Indy and Lemon Drop Kid .
On the track, Duke of Marmalade was a model of consistency for owners Michael Tabor and Susan Magnier. His 4-year-old season was the most fruitful, with consecutive group I victories in the 2008 Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup, Juddmonte International, Prince of Wales Stakes, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and Prix Ganay-Grand Prix du 40th Anniversaire Air Mauritius. For those efforts, Duke of Marmalade honored with the Cartier Award as Europe's top older runner.
Overall, he compiled a career record of 6-4-1 from 16 starts, for earnings of $2,777,768.
Bred in Ireland by Southern Bloodstock, Duke of Marmalade is out of the Kingmambo mare Love Me True.
"I believe this is a landmark moment both for Drakenstein Stud and for the South African breeding industry," Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock told Racing Post. "I cannot remember when a horse with so many of the high-quality attributes that this stallion possesses went to stand in South Africa.
"He is a fantastic physical specimen and was a truly great racehorse by the mighty Danehill. He has a superb pedigree that was matched by his great turn of foot and he has made a hugely promising start to his stud career. I greatly look forward to seeing his progeny in South Africa."