One of the best seasons ever taking shape for Darley in Australia and New Zealand

Results on the track and in the sale ring demonstrate the quality of the Darley stallions
Darley-sired trifecta in the world's richest two-year-old, the 2019 G1 Golden Slipper

Over the first nine months of the Australian racing season, the Darley stallions have achieved results that are nothing short of spectacular.

And with some 120 Stakes races still to be run before the Australian season ends on Wednesday, 31 July, the party is far from over. 

From the Golden Slipper to the Melbourne Cup, in races of importance and prestige to the smaller events at distant tracks that are the lifeblood of this country’s racing industry, the Darley-sired winners keep rolling in.

And the results on the track have been reflected in the sales rings where the old hands, Exceed And Excel and Lonhro achieved seven-figure results at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale and the new boy, Brazen Beau, provided the sale-topping yearling at three major sales in the past 15 months and also had his first million-dollar yearling.

Lot 73: Colt by Brazen Beau x Just Discreet sells at Inglis Easter for $1.15 million

But it is on the racetrack that success is ultimately measured, and it is there that the presence of the Darley stallions has been most apparent.

Multiple Stakes winners, such as Alizee (Sepoy), Microphone (Exceed And Excel) and Kiamichi (Sidestep), the Classic winners Aristia (Lonhro) and Angel Of Truth (Animal Kingdom) and the crowning Melbourne Cup win of Cross Counter (Teofilo), help demonstrate the breadth and quality of the Darley roster.

And the Darley stallions’ sweep of all placings in Australia’s breed-shaper, the G1 Golden Slipper, added further evidence of the quality of the options offered to breeders.   

Kiamichi (Sidestep), Microphone (Exceed And Excel) and Lyre (Lonhro) take out the G1 Golden Slipper

In Australia alone in the nine months to the end of April, members of the 2019 Darley stallion rosters have sired the winners of 70 Stakes races, 12 of them at G1 level.

A further six Stakes wins came in New Zealand, including the G1 NZ Derby that fell to Medaglia d’Oro’s son Crown Prosecutor, four in South Africa, including two G1s to Epaulette’s Australian-bred son Soqrat, while in Hong Kong, Mr Stunning, an Australian-bred son of Exceed And Excel won the G1 Hong Kong Sprint for the second time.

Were the tally to include the progeny of deceased and relocated Darley stallions, an extra 16 G1 victories for the season could be added, 12 of them coming from the mares Winx (Street Cry) and Melody Belle (Commands). 

On the same list would be G1 Victoria Derby winner Extra Brut (Domesday),  In Her Time (Time Thief) who won the G1 VRC Lightning Stakes, Trap For Fools (Poet’s Voice) who took the G1 Mackinnon Stakes and Manuel (Commands) in the G1 CF Orr Stakes.  

The leading provider of graded winners on Darley’s Australian roster is, again, Exceed And Excel, whose sons and daughters have won 11 Stakes races in Australia for the racing year to 30 April. 

Most prominent among Exceed And Excel’s local Stakes winners is Microphone a colt who has helped elevate his sire’s record as the world’s leading sire of juvenile Stakes winners by taking out the G1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes and two other Stakes races.  

Exceed And Excel's son Microphone takes out the G1 Sires' Produce Stakes

The progeny of his long-time companion at Kelvinside, Lonhro, have won 10 Stakes races over the same period, the same number as Medaglia d’Oro who now stands exclusively at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky and has four sire sons at stud in Australia, including Astern.

Lonhro has additionally sired Wonder Kid (Jolly Banner), a G3 winner in Hong Kong during the current term.

Lonhro is also the leading sire by overall progeny earnings on Darley’s Australian roster for the season to date, his locally bred runners having won 118 Stakes races and a tick under $9 million for the season so far.

Lonhro's recent highlights

Teofilo, thanks largely to Cross Counter’s Melbourne Cup win, is just behind with $7.28 million while Exceed And Excel’s runners have won $6.54 million.

Of the Darley-sired racehorses to compete in Australia, Cross Counter is clearly the biggest winner with $4.25 million in this country alone, followed by Sidestep’s daughter Kiamichi who has earned $2.32 million.

As for the greatest collector of Stakes wins among the Darley sired runners over the first nine months of the season, it is Ball Of Muscle who, at the age of eight, offers a worthy tribute to his sire Dubawi with three G2 victories and a G3.

Another 12 G1 races are scheduled in Australia before the season ends on 31 July, and Darley stallions are bound to be represented, and competitive in most of them.