Victor Ludorum; overall champion of the games

By Shamardal, from the family of Shamardal, who won the same G1 as Shamardal…

Pericles, the ancient Greek statesman stated:

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

Centuries later Pericles’ declaration rings true through the late, great Shamardal who has successfully woven countless similarities in his sire sons, none more so than Victor Ludorum who joins Darley’s Hunter Valley-based operation in 2022.

The bay son of Shamardal was born at Godolphin’s Dalham Hall Stud, carrying the GB suffix also carried by his dam Antiquities, who, like Victor Ludorum, was trained by the French master trainer André Fabre.

Fabre is also no stranger to the Shamardal breed having trained Lope de Vega, the sire of Australian sprinting greats Santa Ana Lane, Vega Magic and Gytrash; and Champion Two-Year-Old, Earthlight.

Named Victor Ludorum, Latin for ‘overall champion of the games’ the ambitiously titled colt lived up to the lofty expectations of his name.

Racing in the Godolphin blue the son of Shamardal was immediately identified as a talented two-year-old by his Champion trainer.

He commenced his career on 1 September 2019 with an impressive 3.5-length maiden victory at Paris Longchamp carrying 58kg with ease.

Four weeks later the exciting juvenile won second-up at Chantilly, again by 3.5 lengths, and third-up added himself to an extraordinary list of two-year-olds in winning the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère in a last-to-first performance engraving his name alongside Wootton Bassett and Siyouni.


Victor Ludorum thereby became the third of an outstanding trio of unbeaten Godolphin two-year-olds sired by Shamardal in 2019 following the brilliant G1 National and G1 Dewhurst Stakes wins by Pinatubo, and Earthlight who captured both the G1 Darley Prix Morny and G1 Middle Park Stakes in record time.

Having won a G1 championship race at two, Victor Ludorum entered his three-year-old campaign and achieved what every trainer yearns for, a G1 Classic; thereby also accomplishing the dream of every breeder, owner and stallion master.

Imagine his worth in Australia! The son of a champion sire wins the Golden Slipper and then the Caulfield Guineas. Champion sire Vain is the only stallion in history to do that.

Victor Ludorum’s victory in the stallion-making G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (1,600m), the French 2,000 Guineas at Deauville, confirmed his exceptional juvenile talent and displayed clearly that he’d progressed mentally and physically in his second season of racing.

His win in the time-honoured race, run first in 1840 was arguably one of the most impressive victories in its history with its honour role including famous thoroughbreds, names that still are seen in pedigrees today.

In recent times it has notably been won by leading sire Lope de Vega and of course by his and Victor Ludorum’s sire Shamardal.

Champion jockey Mickael Barzalona commented post-race to the International News:

“He's a powerful horse and today he showed that his comeback run did him the world of good.”

In an interview with Thoroughbred Daily News, Barzalona said:

“He is very strong and very fluent in his stride and has a beautiful action.”

    Joining Haras du Logis in Normandy for his first season as the hottest and most expensive first-season sire in France in 2022, Victor Ludorum’s northern hemisphere base is in a region renowned for top-class stallions such as Wootton Bassett, Siyouni, See The Stars, Almanzor, etc.

    The decision to shuttle him to Kelvinside and present a well-bred, well-performed individual to Australian breeders at $24,750 (including GST), a price that appears more than affordable in the current climate was made from years of proven experience, proven knowledge of the local broodmare population and proven selection methods.

    Victor Ludorum is an obvious choice this season, particularly for the plethora of Australian mares with Danehill blood in their pedigrees.

    Shamardal, and his son Lope De Vega have already left a lasting legacy on the Australian breed despite both stallions having shortened Southern Hemisphere careers.

    Shamardal, who first stood in Australia at $55,000 left over 10% stakes winners to runners in 5 crops including 5 G1 winners, an incredible achievement.

    His son Lope De Vega who retired at $27,500 in 2011 left 7.1% Stakes winners to runners including G1 sprinters Santa Ana Lane and Gytrash, both out of Fastnet Rock mares in 4 southern hemisphere crops.

    Mares with Danehill’s many sons and grandsons in their pedigrees are therefore a natural fit for Victor Ludorum.

    Those Australian breeders reluctant to inbreed to Danehill will take great encouragement from the fact that Victor Ludorum has an outcross pedigree but one that is already clearly proven in Australian conditions.

    Interestingly, Victor Ludorum is inbred 3x3 to Irish Oaks winner Helen Street, dam of Winx's sire and Anamoe's grandsire Street Cry – this is where the Rasmussen Factor comes in to play, we’ll publish a piece from Andrew Reichard on this in due course.

    In summary, Victor Ludorum has the:

    • Performance: Unbeaten champion two-year-old, like Shamardal. Winner of the French 2000 Guineas, like Shamardal.
    • Physicality: Great top, good hindquarter, good through the hocks, good mover, all strength like Shamardal.
    • Pedigree: By Shamardal from the family of Shamardal, inbred 3 x 3 to blue hen mare, Helen Street.

    In other words, he’s very like Shamardal. Only his price is different.