Astern, a group 1 winner and the highest-rated son of leading stallion Medaglia d'Oro , will stand at Jonabell Farm near Lexington for the 2018 breeding season. He is currently standing his first Southern Hemisphere season as a Darley stallion at Kelvinside Farm in New South Wales, Australia.
Bred under the Darley banner and raced by Godolphin, Astern won the 2016 De Bortoli Wins Golden Rose (G1), which is Australia's top seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds and the Australian equivalent of Saratoga Race Course's H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes (G1), formerly known as the King's Bishop Stakes.
During his juvenile campaign, Astern broke his maiden in his debut and captured the Uvex Silver Slipper Stakes (G2) at Rosehill and the Widden Kindergarten Stakes (G3) at Randwick. He returned in brilliant form at 3 to land both the group 2 MTA Run To The Rose prior to taking the Golden Rose. He also ran second in the Coolmore Stud Ascot Vale Stakes (G1) at Flemington and the Star Roman Consul Stakes (G2) at Randwick.
"I just returned from seeing Astern in Australia, and I was blown away by his tremendous physique," said Darren Fox, Darley's sales manager in America. "I couldn't be more excited to get him to Kentucky. Medaglia d'Oro has been such an important stallion for us in both hemispheres, and as his best son, Astern, has all the credentials to follow in his father's footsteps."
Astern retired with five wins from nine starts and earnings of AU$1,179,550 (about US$921,600). His 126 Timeform rating makes him Medaglia d'Oro's top-rated son in either hemisphere.
The colt's dam is Essaouira, a winning daughter of Exceed and Excel, who is also the dam of recent group 1 winner Alizee. The Godolphin homebred by Sepoy won the Flight Stakes (G1) at Randwick Sept. 30. She also captured the McGrath Estate Agents Tea Rose Stakes (G2) at Randwick Sept. 16.
Medaglia d'Oro is having arguably his best year at stud, with five grade/group 1 winners through Oct. 5, which is more than any other stallion standing in North America.
Besides grade 1 winners Songbird, Dickinson, and New Money Honey, the stallion is also represented by 2-year-old colt Bolt d'Oro and 3-year-old filly Elate, who each recorded their second victories at the highest level this past weekend in Santa Anita Park's FrontRunner Stakes (G1) and Belmont Park's Beldame Stakes (G1), respectively.
Astern will breed a limited book of 120 mares at Jonabell during his inaugural Northern Hemisphere season for a fee of $15,000 stands and nurses.