Among the good reasons for sending a mare to Astern is that he is the world’s highest-rated son of Medaglia d’Oro.
Another is that his dam Essaouira, a daughter of Exceed And Excel, is one of Australia’s finest producers and a member of one of this country’s best families.
Yet another is that Darley will be leaving the market for the sons and daughters of this champion sprinter open to the breeders who support him.
Astern is a son of the brilliant racehorse and blue-hen broodmare Essaouira, who won the first of her only two starts by six lengths.
Essaouira is a daughter of Alizes, who won the G2 Magic Night Stakes, while Astern’s third dam is the G1 winner La Baraka, and his fourth dam Triscay won 19 races, including five G1s.
As well as Astern, Essaouira has produced Godolphin’s champion racemare Alizee (Sepoy) the city winners Mogador and Marrakesh, both sons of Lonhro, and impressive two-year-old winner Tassort (Brazen Beau).
Astern earned his Timeform figure of 126 thanks largely to five wins that culminated in the G1 Golden Rose in a three-year-old season that also included victory on the G2 Run To The Rose and a second placing in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
That came after a juvenile campaign in which he won his first three races including the G2 Silver Slipper Stakes and the G3 Kindergarten Stakes.
Astern is also a perfect example of the value of Darley’s ambition to do all it can to maximize results for breeders.
Godolphin, the racing team powered by the Darley stallions, sent 11 mares to Astern in 2018, among them proven producers such as Shelters, the mother of the Godolphin Stakes winners Veranillo and Multaja, both by Medaglia d’Oro, and Melpomene, the dam of the brilliant Calliope (Exceed And Excel).
History suggests that these foals, none of which will be offered at yearling sales, have outstanding prospects of developing into racehorses who will enhance Astern’s credentials.
At the same time, their absence from the sale ring will leave the market open to horses bred by clients.
Astern’s first offspring to be sold at auction made a strong impression at the 2019 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale making up to $110,000 which represented almost double the sale average.
Godolphin's 2019 foal crop is also due to include two close relatives to Astern, one a sibling to Alizee (Sepoy). The other is also by Sepoy, from Astern’s grand-dam Alizes.
Which all means that the best way to get into this illustrious family is to send a mare to Astern who is to stand the coming breeding season at Kelvinside at a fee of A$33,000, including GST.