The Australian racing season concludes today, and 2017/18 has provided another very successful season for the Darley stallions, both past and present.
One of the highlights has undoubtedly been Winx, rated as the world’s best racehorse and deservedly so. The outstanding daughter of late Darley sire Street Cry won eight races in 2017-18, finishing the season unbeaten in an astounding 25 races.
In all she has won 29 of her 35 starts, 18 of them at G1 level. She amassed prizemoney of almost A$19 million – and there could well be more to come as she races on in the new season.
Managing Director of Godolphin in Australia, Vin Cox, said, “While we no longer have Street Cry with us, it is still worth noting that it is a Darley stallion who played such a part in providing us with some of the most exciting times in Australian racing through the exploits of Winx.”
“It’s been another fantastic year for the Australian roster and there are already solid bookings for the coming season for our new sires Impending and outstanding European miler Ribchester in his first Australian season.”
However, Winx is just one part of the story over the past 12 months, as Exceed And Excel maintained his place as the world’s leading sire of juvenile Stakes winners, newcomer Brazen Beau topped the list of freshman sires, and the ever-reliable Lonhro enhanced his reputation as a sire of sires as well as a leading stallion in his own right.
The Australian-bred progeny of Exceed And Excel won 222 races over the racing year, headed by G1 Hong Kong Sprint Champion Mr Stunning.
For Lonhro, who is about to begin his 15th season at stud, the winners flowed as ever with his locally-bred offspring winning 198 races between them, including six at Stakes level. One of those winners, G1 winning-colt Kementari, is about to embark on a new campaign that could include a run in the world’s richest turf race, the A$13 million The Everest, at Randwick in October.
It was also a season during which another of Lonhro’s sons, and another G1 winner in Impending, left the racetrack to begin his career at stud. Impending joins Pierro, Exosphere, Denman and Benfica as sons of Lonhro now at stud in Australia.
Darley’s Australian roster also gained a new G1 sire when Godolphin filly Alizee became the first winner at the highest level for her sire Sepoy.
The 2017-18 season also further enhanced the southern hemisphere record of Teofilo, whose star son Happy Clapper won three G1 races for the year, becoming his sire’s highest earner with more than A$6 million to his name. Another of Teofilo’s Australian-bred sons, Humidor, won his second G1 during the past term to confirm his place as another of his sire’s greatest Stakes winners.
The season finished on a high when juvenile Epaulette colt Soqrat led home Alyaasaat (Dawn Approach) in the G1 Premiers Champion Stakes in South Africa. Soqrat became Epaulette’s third juvenile Group winner to come from his first Australian crop after Khulaasa and Meryl, a figure that cannot be beaten by any Danehill-line stallion in the southern hemisphere.