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Animal Kingdom - Gulfstream - 19/02/2012

Animal Kingdom: Kentucky Derby winner will retire to stud in Australia

  PICTURE: Joe Ganley/EquiSport photos  

Animal Kingdom to retire to Arrowfield Stud

KENTUCKY Derby winner Animal Kingdom will start his stud career in Australia at Arrowfield Stud next September after it was revealed that John Messara's operation has acquired a majority interest in the champion. 

The four-year-old son of Leroidesanimaux is likely to shuttle to the northern hemisphere in 2014.

The deal, which was brokered by Robin Bruss of Northfields Bloodstock and sees owner Team Valor retain a significant interest, is subject to Animal Kingdom passing importation protocols, which involve blood work that should be finalised in the next few days.

Trained by Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom won the 2011 Kentucky Derby on his first start on dirt before running second in the Preakness Stakes.

Last month, he returned from a lengthy lay-off to run second to Wise Dan in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He is slated to make his five-year-old debut in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on February 9 before travelling to Dubai for the Dubai World Cup.

Animal Kingdom will then be flown to Britain in preparation for an additional start, possibly at Royal Ascot in June.

"Animal Kingdom excites us as a rare kind of athlete with a truly international pedigree who is able to express his class on a range of surfaces," said Messara. "He is already rated among the world's elite turf milers and has the potential to become a global superstar in 2013."

Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin said: "Originally it was our intention to race Animal Kingdom for the entire 2013 season. However, the prospect of getting the support of John Messara's Arrowfield Stud in the southern hemisphere was so meaningful, that I advised my partners to sublimate their fun and take the deal.

"It is critically important to get a history-making stallion master behind a new prospect and in John Messara we have that. He has developed two of the world's most successful sires in Danehill and his son, Redoute's Choice. No way I was going to pass up this opportunity."

Team Valor will form broodmare partnerships to breed to Animal Kingdom, with the plan of selling and racing his offspring around the globe.




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