During a 17-start career, Kermadec earned a reputation as a top-quality miler, with his two victories at the highest level being over 1600 metres. Trained by Chris Waller, the son of Teofilo won a couple of Australia’s great mile races in 2015 - the George Main S. and Doncaster H. He also placed second in the G2 Chelmsford S. (1600 metres) in the same year and triumphed in the G3 Carbine Club S. (1600 metres) in 2014.
A closer look at his record, however, proves Kermadec was quite the versatile galloper. In his lone start over 1200 metres - in the 2015 G3 Eskimo Prince S. - the Llanhennock Trust-bred, Neville Morgan-owned galloper finished fourth, just 1.5l behind Giga Kick’s sire, Scissor Kick. He ran some very good races over 1400 metres, including a 0.7l third in the G1 All Aged S. at his final start, and when tested at 2000 metres in the 2015 G1 Caulfield S., Kermadec placed fourth, just 1.35l behind the winner, Criterion.
In April 2016, Kermadec was bought by Darley and would take up residency at its Kelvinside property in New South Wales, alongside Teofilo, among others.
Kermadec has done a tremendous job at stud, and on the weekend, he celebrated his seventh individual stakes winner and fourth G1 scorer when the Kris Lees-trained Amokura made light work of her rivals in the Queensland Oaks.
The stallion’s headline act has been Montefilia - a four-time G1 heroine. She won in top company at 1600 metres, 2000 metres (twice) and 2400 metres and was recently purchased by Yulong Investments for $3.4 million at the Inglis Chairman’s Sale.
Kermadec has a G2 victor - Trobriand, another G1 mile hero - Tuvalu, and his ultra-talented, now-retired daughter Willowy was victorious in the 2500-metre G1 VRC Oaks in 2021.
Singapore’s reigning Horse of the Year, Lim’s Kosciuszko, is by Kermadec and he has chalked up Listed successes at 1200 metres, 1600 metres and 1800 metres.
Following Amokura’s Oaks triumph at Eagle Farm on Saturday, TDN AusNZ caught up with Darley Australia’s Head of Sales, Andy Makiv, and he was quick to highlight how well-rounded Kermadec is and how tough his progeny are.
“He is a very versatile stallion. I think he’s really playing out the right way and trending the right way,” Makiv said.
“He’s doing an amazing job. He’s a pretty exciting prospect, I would have thought.
“He has four racing crops, really, and only really three older crops. Although he’s had a G2-winning 2-year-old (Trobriand) this season in New Zealand, he’s obviously better-known as a stallion that gets horses more in their 3-year-old and 4-year-old years.
“He’s got a 5-year-old crop, a 4-year-old crop and a 3-year-old crop and he’s got four G1 winners amongst them, which is really extraordinary.
“Montefilia was very sound; she went on to race successfully at four and five. Tuvalu’s been a very good, sound horse, who won a Toorak Handicap as a 4-year-old. They’re a good, sound breed.”
Kermadec, who relocated from Darley’s Hunter Valley base in New South Wales to Northwood Park in Victoria in 2021, will stand at an unchanged fee of $16,500 (inc GST) in 2023.
“I think for the price, he’s ridiculous value,” Makiv added.
“He’s (Kermadec) a really exciting prospect in that space and a similar stallion in some respects; he came off a low base. He’s now a $80,000 stallion, Proisir. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kermadec trends that way.
“He’s ahead of a horse like Shamus Award at the same stage of his career. At this point, Shamus had had three G1 winners, Kermadec’s had four. Shamus has now got five. So, he’s trending in that space where we’re talking about horses in that $70,000-80,000 bracket and Kermadec’s there at $15,000 (before GST).
“There’s probably an opportunity for breeders to get on board while he is in that price point, before he potentially does head north in terms of his fee.”
An obvious attraction
A star shuttle sire, Teofilo himself stood at Darley in Australia, arriving for what would be the first of nine years Down Under in 2009. Health and fertility issues limited him to six seasons in the Southern Hemisphere, however, and he is now permanently based at Darley’s Kildangan Stud in Ireland.
A son of the legendary Galileo, Teofilo made an indelible mark in Australia, especially through the deeds of Humidor, Happy Clapper and Palentino - both multiple G1 heroes, while imports Cross Counter and Twilight Payment both raced to glory in the G1 Melbourne Cup.
With that in mind, combined with Kermadec’s race profile, it’s little wonder he finds himself on Darley’s star-studded roster.
“We obviously stood Teofilo, he was a wonderful stallion for us here in Australia,” Makiv explained. “Fertility held him back from shuttling in his latter years, but he was a wonderful stallion.
“When Kermadec became a prospect, the fact he was by Teofilo appealed to us.
“We loved him as a yearling, Kermadec, he was in Teofilo’s first crop. He was just a beautiful yearling and sold well.”
Kermadec was consigned by Wentwood Grange and purchased for NZ$260,000 by Mulcaster Bloodstock at the 2013 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale - Book 1.
“He went on to be trained by Chris Waller and was a very good horse, becoming a dual G1 winner.
“We acquired him, we’ve stood him and really in a lot of ways he’s the heir apparent to Teofilo. We’re delighted to have him and delighted to see his progression.”
A bright future
With Amokura only three and having had just six starts, Tuvalu still in training, Lim’s Kosciuszko showing no signs of slowing, exciting juvenile Trobriand having plenty of years ahead of him, as well as a number of other lightly raced progeny showing plenty of talent, there is much to look forward to when it comes to Kermadec.
“There’s plenty to be excited about. Lim’s Kosciuszko is a serious horse, Tuvalu is one of our better milers and we’ve got a real up-and-comer in the Oaks filly from last Saturday,” Makiv commented.
“One thing about Kermadec is when he gets one, they’re a real one. They’re significant races (his progeny win).
“There’s so much upside with this stallion; he’s a good-looking horse, he gets a great type and they sell really well.”
Furthermore, he has covered some top-class mares in recent seasons, including the dual Listed victress Bernicia (Elusive Quality), the Listed winner Chuckle (Danehill), the G2 scorer Pure Energy (Mossman), the G3-producing dam Albaicin (Redoute's Choice), Montefilia’s dam Bana Wu (Shirocco), the Listed winner Baby Corn (Exceed And Excel), Is It A Mosquito (Bel Esprit) - the dam of the two-time G3 scorer Swats That, and Monogram (Medaglia d’Oro) - the dam of the dual G3 victor Character (Teofilo).
Kermadec covered 129 mares in his first season in 2016, 123 in 2019 and 120 last year, with his average across seven seasons being 95.