Sunday, April 07, 2013

Darley has acquired a 29% interest in Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom, Arrowfield Stud and Team Valor International announced April 3.

As a result, Animal Kingdom will stand in the Northern Hemisphere at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. The son of Leroidesanimaux will stand in the Southern Hemisphere at John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud in Australia.

“Animal Kingdom is outstanding,” said Darley’s COO Oliver Tait. “Not only is he immensely talented, he has shown a rare ability to excel on turf, synthetic, and dirt, and win at a range of distances up to the mile and a quarter of the Kentucky Derby and the Dubai World Cup. His win at Meydan last Saturday was all class.”

Added Arrowfield’s chairman John Messara, “We are delighted to partner with Darley in the ownership of Animal Kingdom and management of his future international stud career. We have always had a great working relationship with Darley and have the utmost respect for HH Sheikh Mohammed and the Darley management team.

“With our unprecedented combined support Animal Kingdom will have every opportunity to develop from a champion racehorse into a champion sire.”

Current plans call for Animal Kingdom to travel to England to race, with the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) or the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot as possible engagements.

Animal Kingdom’s majestic two-length victory in the March 30 Dubai World Cup over 2,000 meters was the first U.S.-trained success in the race since it has been held on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Meydan. The win took his career earnings to $8.3 million.

The Kentucky Derby winner was crowned U.S. champion 3-year-old colt of 2011. As a 4-year-old, in his first start for almost nine months, Animal Kingdom was an impressive second to eventual U.S. Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) on turf at Santa Anita Park in course-record time.