Harbinger, winner of the July 24 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) in record time, has been sold for stud duties to Japan, according to the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing website. The multi-million dollar deal for the 4-year-old horse is one of the highest transactions in recent times, according to Highclere.
Harbinger, who raced for Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, fractured his left front cannon bone Aug. 7 and was retired. He later underwent surgery.
Highclere director John Warren, who handled the negotiations, said, “There were a number of top stud farms from both home and abroad involved in the negotiations, and there was a very strong bid to keep the horse in England. Unfortunately for the British bloodstock industry, the final bid from the famous Shadai Group, where (major sire) Sunday Silence stood, was far too strong to be able to compete.
“The owners of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing's Admiral Rous syndicate grew extremely close to the horse. They would dearly have loved Harbinger, widely regarded as ‘the best horse in the world,’ to have retired to stud in the U.K. However, he will be in excellent hands, and we hope he is as big a success at stud for the Yoshida brothers as he was on the racecourse for us. It has been a privilege to have been involved with such a great horse.”
Harbinger, a son of Dansili out of the Bering mare Penang Pearl, won six of nine races and earned $1,191,389. Five of the wins came in English group events.
According to Highclere, Harbinger is recovering well and is a model patient. He is expected to be able to travel within several months.