It is happening more frequently in Australian horse racing. Star gallopers notching up group one glory then being retired to stud or venturing overseas in different colours.
One of the biggest names to go down this track is the former Bart Cummings trained and now Aidan O’Brien prepared So You Think. The High Chaparral stallion won the ’09 and ’10 Cox Plates before going on to running third in the Melbourne Cup behind Americain. Bought for $NZ110,000 at the ’08 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, Coolmore would go on to purchase a majority share for a reported figure of $A25 million.
This process of exporting our highest quality racehorses is about to happen once again. This time with another dominate racing and breeding operation, Darley and its owner, Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin.
On 26 March ’12, Both Sepoy (winner of 10 races from 11 starts) and Helmet (triple group one winner) will race for the final time under the care of Peter Snowden at the Dubai World Cup meeting before transferring to one of Godolphin’s trainers for a campaign in Europe.
In Dubai, Sepoy will be targeted at the Golden Shaheen (group one over 1200m) while Helmet will compete in the royal blue silks over 1800m in the UAE Derby (group two).
Managing Director of Darley Australia, Henry Plumptre, said, “Both Sepoy and Helmet have achieved so much in Australia and it makes sense for them to go for international honours in Dubai in Europe.”
Plumptre went on to add, “Peter Snowden, who has trained them brilliantly, will oversee their preparations for Dubai and hopefully the two horses will enjoy exciting campaigns in 2012.”
Although both colts’ plans for their European careers are yet to be confirmed, it is expected Sepoy’s goals will be the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.