Unencumbered is the latest three-year-old to join this year's stallion roster after the son of Testa Rossa was retired to Three Bridges in Victoria to stand at a fee of $13,200. The Bjorn Baker-trained sprinter was a super two-year-old, his greatest moment being in the Magic Millions, a race in which Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt were placed and went on to prove marvellous acquisitions at Arrowfield Stud. Unencumbered won $1.9 million and will stand alongside Stryker at Three Bridges. The latter's progeny were sought-after youngsters at the main yearling sales this year. Paxton Park in New Zealand has also gained a new sire for its roster after Melbourne Cup placegetter Jakkalberry, which was third behind Green Moon in 2012, joined the stud. A winner of almost $2.1 million in prizemoney after 11 wins in three continents for Newmarket trainer Marco Botti, Jakkalberry will stand at $NZ6000 ($5520).
The Fastnet Rock juggernaut has started to heat up in the northern hemisphere as the champion Australian sire has one of the big contenders for the Epsom Derby on June 7. His three-year-old, prepared by the wily Dermot Weld, is named Fascinating Rock, and has won his past two outings in group 3 events, the latest at Leopardstown in the Derby Trial Stakes last Sunday, albeit in the stewards' room. Fascinating Rock came from last in the home stretch to be beaten a neck but stewards felt he should have won clearly, except for interference. Weld said the colt would have learnt a lot from the run and would take his place in the Derby. Breeders and buyers alike have shown a great deal of confidence in Fastnet Rock as a shuttle sire, and he is expected to prove a leading stallion contender.
Still on the Epsom Derby, Coolmore trainer Aidan O'Brien says he will have four runners paid up for the 2400-metre classic and his best hope is a son of Galileo, Australia. O'Brien says Australia could become the finest horse he has trained and has entrusted the mount to his son, Patrick. Geoffrey Chaucer, Orchestra and Kingfisher are his other runners as he strives to win his fifth Epsom Derby.
O'Reilly tops sale
The Karaka (NZ) weanling sale took place on Monday and the sales-topper was a son of O'Reilly, which has had a sensational 2013-14 season in Australasia after the group 1 wins of Sacred Falls, Silent Achiever and O'Marilyn. Ascot Farm's Bruce and Maureen Harvey went to $NZ160,000 to buy a colt from Miraculous Miss which, ironically, was the same price Mick Price paid for the yearling full brother in February. Some 200 weanlings sold for a $NZ13,282 average, which eclipsed last year's average of $NZ10,857. O'Reilly has had his best season, easily leading the NZ premiership with 51 winners and progeny prizemoney of $NZ2,257,414, while in Australia he is flying with 56 winners and $6,815,228 in progeny earnings. A colt by Coolmore's freshman sire Cape Blanco was the only other weanling to sell for a six-figure sum, fetching $NZ100,000.