Tests Confirm Horse Is Not Dubai Excellence

DNA testing has confirmed that the horse sent to stand at stud in Australia is not Dubai Millennium's half-brother, Dubai Excellence.

Michael Ford, keeper of the Stud Book in Australian, stated DNA tests had confirmed what many had suspected, that a case of mistaken identity has indeed happened. And, that it is fortunate it was discovered before the Southern Hemisphere breeding season begins in a few weeks.

The situation first came to light earlier this week when preliminary blood tests revealed the horse sold by Darley to stand at Evergreen Lodge, owned by Western Australia Turf Club chairman Ted Van Heemst, was not Dubai Excellence.

"We have tested this mystery horse and it is definitely not Dubai Excellence," said Ford. "The Australian Equine Genetics Research Centre at the University of Queensland, which provides the Australian Stud Book's parentage testing service, reported that DNA from a second set of hair samples proved that the horse currently standing at Evergreen Lodge in Western Australia is not who he is supposed to be. As to who this horse is, well we do not know that.

"Obviously this means the wrong stallion left England. I cannot recall a situation like this in my 21 years with the Stud Book. Fortunately we found this out before the stallion commenced covering mares and saved many breeders from disappointment. There could have been up to 80 foals failing a DNA parentage test next year."

Evergreen had reportedly sold 80 seasons at a fee of A$3,850 (about $3,000). He was purchased for a figure reported to be close to A$400,000 (about $300,000), according to the Racing Post.

Dubai Excellence (Highest Honour--Colorado Dancer, by Shareef Dancer) is a half-brother to the ill-fated Dubai Millennium (by Seeking the Gold), who stood just one year before dying of grass sickness.

Though it is now known the horse in Australia is not Dubai Excellence, there are still two unanswered questions: who is the horse in Australia and where is Dubai Excellence?

"We will be working closely with Weatherbys, the English Stud Book authority, to help the owners determine which horse really was exported and just where the real Dubai Excellence is now," Ford said.