Introduction to Darley
Darley's bloodstock story in Australia began in 2003, with the purchase of Kelvinside Stud in New South Wales, from Hilton Cope, the former jockey and well-known breeder. The property has been developed into a world-class racehorse breeding facility with the capacity to stand 18 stallions.
As Darley's Australian breeding business expanded, another property was acquired in 2006, this time in Victoria. Northwood Park is an historic horse and cattle property and can stand a further 12 stallions.
The Kelvinside thoroughbred stallion roster for 2015 is headed by arguably the two most successful dual-hemisphere stallions in the world in Exceed And Excel and Medaglia d'Oro.
Exceed And Excel has sired more juvenile winners and juvenile Stakes winners since 2008 than any other stallion in the world. The sire of 10 G1 winners, he now has three stallion sons on the Darley roster with Helmet and Kuroshio standing at Northwood Park and Sidestep joining the Kelvinside roster this season.
The sire of unbeaten Golden Slipper winner Vancouver and 12 other G1 winners around the world, Medaglia d'Oro's influence has continued to develop at a rapid rate since he burst on to the scene with Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in his first American crop.
Lonhro, the only horse in history to be crowned Australian racing's Horse of the Year and then go on to become the country's Champion stallion, is once again the country's leading sire by winners this season after setting a new Australian record of 160 winners in a season in 2013/14. His son Denman's first runners have also created an immediate impression, with his five first-crop Stakes winners including Kuro, Law and Fitocracy.
After rewriting the record books with his first-crop yearlings at the sales this year, World Champion sprinter Sepoy will cover his fourth book of mares at Kelvinside. Winner of the G1 Blue Diamond and G1 Golden Slipper during his juvenile season, he returned at three to defeat the older horses in the G1 Manikato Stakes and then his own age group in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
World Champion three-year-old Bernardini has sired a G1 winner and another G1 performer in each of his first three crops in Australia. He is the sire of four-time G1-winner and the country's highest-rated miler Boban as well as star G1-winning fillies Ruud Awakening and Go Indy Go.
Returning to Northwood Park stud is Street Boss, America's multiple record-breaking and multiple G1-winning speed horse by Street Cry. He has made an immediate impact at stud with Stakes-winning sprinters Thiamandi and The Quarterback among a host of winners from his first southern-hemisphere crop.
Zabeel's unbeaten dual G1-winning son Reset, sire of a Cox Plate, a Caulfield Cup, a VRC Derby and a VRC Oaks winner continues his reign as Victoria's most successful stallion.
Also at Northwood Park is Domesday, who sired G1 winners Pressday and Doctor Doom in his first two crops. Domesday's first Victorian-bred crop already boasts 11 Stakes performers while his next crop is highlighted by G3-winning juvenile Antelucan.
Dawn Approach, Epaulette, Carlton House and Albrecht joined the stallion roster at Kelvinside last year while Kuroshio was a new addition to the Northwood Park roster. Dawn Approach was the Champion juvenile of Europe and a Classic winner at three, while Epaulette is the best son of Commands and won the G1 Golden Rose and G1 Doomben 10,000 as a three-year-old. Boasting a real stallion's pedigree, Albrecht is a son of Champion stallion Redoute's Choice and is out of a full-sister to another Champion stallion in Lonhro and Carlton House is a son of star stallion Street Cry who died last year. A fast, precocious juvenile, Kuroshio defeated several older G1-winning sprinters when he claimed the G2 McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley as a three-year-old.
This year's new additions are Shooting To Win, Hallowed Crown and Sidestep at Kelvinside and Brazen Beau at Northwood Park. From a stellar three-year-old crop, Brazen Beau and Hallowed Crown are multiple G1 winners while Shooting To Win's crowning moment came in the G1 Caulfield Guineas where he recorded a brilliant victory. Sidestep, who was the Champion two-year-old colt of his year, was a multiple G2 winner and runner-up in the G1 Golden Slipper. He is a three-quarter brother to Northwood Park stallion Skilled, who along with Kelvinside's Poet's Voice and Benfica will have his first runners next season.
In addition to standing stallions, Darley also manages some of the racing interests of Sheikh Mohammed and various members of the Maktoum family, and has thoroughbred racehorses with various trainers in the UK, Ireland, France, the United States, Australia and Japan. The best of these horses will transfer to Godolphin, to race in the famous blue silks that have been carried to victory in numerous G1 races across the globe.