On his right shoulder, Lonhro is branded with the number 344, indicating that he was the 344th foal of around 400 to be born at Woodlands Stud back in 1998.
This of course, is just a number as Lonhro was undoubtedly the number one foal to arrive at Woodlands that year, and arguably the best ever born there. The dark horse, whose foaling sheet records him as being “tiny but perfectly formed”, has proved time after time that he is worthy of the number one spot, both as a racehorse and a stallion.
Lonhro was Australia’s Champion Three-Year-Old and Champion Miler. He won 26 of his 35 starts, with an astounding 11 of them at G1 level. He only once had a losing sequence of more than one race and was the first Australian Horse of the Year to also become the country’s Champion Sire.
20 years later, Lonhro sits atop the Australian thoroughbred breeding industry, maintaining his position among the top 10 on the General Sires’ list and boasting almost 72 per cent winners to runners, no mean feat.
As Lonhro prepares for his 15th season at stud in 2018, his sons and daughters have provided a series of notable updates to his record in recent months.
In the autumn, his three-year-old son Kementari became Lonhro’s 10th G1 winner when storming to victory in the Randwick Guineas. He is Lonhro’s best performer this season, with three Group wins and two G1 placings to his name.
Later in the season, his wonderfully credentialed colt Impending added a second G1 win to his record in the Kingsford-Smith Cup at Doomben, and was beaten by the narrowest of margins in the G1 Doomben 10,000. Impending is a son of the multiple G1-winning filly Mnemosyne, also dam of Kementari's Stakes-winning full sister Epidemic.
Meanwhile, Lonhro’s US-bred son Gronkowski finished a hugely creditable second to Triple Crown winner Justify in the G1 Belmont Stakes in New York in June, ensuring his sire's name was to the fore in both hemisphere.
Impending is the latest to join the “Lonhro & Sons” firm on Darley Australia’s 2018 roster. He will stand at Northwood Park in Victoria, while Lonhro’s G1 Golden Rose winners Exosphere and Denman will stand alongside their sire at Kelvinside, NSW.
While the junior members of his dynasty will eventually prove worthy replacements for their sire, it is still the 'old man' who sets the standard.
Lonhro has sired more than 160 individual winners in 16 countries during the 2017-2018 Australian season. Among them were Stakes winners in the United States, Canada, the UK and South Africa, as well as of course in Australia.
He is also the only stallion among the top 10 on the Australian General Sires table with a stallionn, Pierro, also in the top 10.