'Down Under' Stallion Champions Decided
by Ric Chapman
Date Posted: 7/31/2008 8:16:25 AM
Last Updated: 8/2/2008 3:27:52 PM

More Than Ready is Australia leading sire of 2-year-olds for the recently ended racing year.
Photo: Joy Gilbert
The Australian and New Zealand racing seasons officially end July 31, and this year, the stallion winners by progeny earnings are comprehensive and clear cut.

In Australia, champion stallion honors went to Coolmore's Encosta de Lago, who bested the field by nearly doubling in earnings his nearest rival More Than Ready  , Flying Spur, who was last year's winner, and Zabeel and Scenic.

Encosta de Lago's progeny earned just shy of $11 million and his stars were group-I winners Sirmione and Racing To Win. As an added bonus, Encosta de Lago will cover former Australian superstar and multiple horse Of the year Makybe Diva this year.

The Australian champion sire of 2-year-olds was Vinery's More Than Ready, who had a bumper season producing the champion juvenile of the year and multiple group-I winner Sebring. The freshman sire title went to Darley's exciting Exceed And Excel, who sired more individual winners and earned more purse money than any of his nearest rivals. Exceed And Excel was also second in Europe's freshman sire rankings.

In New Zealand, Waikato Stud's superstar O'Reilly, courtesy of his Caulfield Cup (Aus-I) winning son Master O'Reilly, just lasted to win the major crown over Volksraad, and Cape Cross. O'Reilly also won the Hong Kong title this year.

The Oaks Stud's dual Australian group-I winning stallion Spartacus has claimed the title of New Zealand’s champion freshman sire title, finishing ahead of Westbury Stud's Captain Rio, Windsor Park's Thorn Park, and Hallmark Stud's Gold Mine.

The Oaks Stud general manager Rick Williams commented: "We are delighted to see Spartacus make such a solid start to his stud career in New Zealand. He has hit the ground running, and has already shown the ability to leave both fast and staying types. Spartacus proved very popular with breeders last season, covering 170 mares, and will serve a quality book of 120-130 mares again this year".

Spartacus (formerly owned in association with Coolmore Stud in Ireland) was purchased outright earlier this season by a partnership including the The Oaks Stud, Cambridge Stud's Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan, Pencarrow Stud's Peter and Philip Vela, Scott Richard, Scott Williams and Peter Francis.


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