This just in: the Melbourne Cup is fast becoming ‘The Race That Thwarts a Nation’. Nobody except newly arrived Martians should have been greatly surprised by an Irish 1-2-3 in the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
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Venus De Milo
As is so often the case when a horse either dies or is sold, Duke Of Marmalade's record since has taken a marked turn for the better.
Timing is everything in racing, and the latest masters (or should we say "mistress") of the art is Gaynor Rupert's Drakenstein Stud: they got it right when they snatched the present log leader, Trippi, from under the noses of the Americans, and they've done it again with Duke Of Marmalade, sire on Sunday of the victress of the Prix de Diane Longines (the French Oaks).
European Champion Older Horse of 2008, Duke Of Marmalade, is a 5 time Group 1 winning son of the late Champion Sire, Danehill, out of the Group placed Love Me True.
DUKE OF MARMALADE (IRE)
(Danehill - Love Me True)
Leading South African stud farm Drakenstein Stud has purchased Duke Of Marmalade from Coolmore Stud in a deal brokered by Blandford Bloodstock.
The top-class son of the great Champion sire Danehill, a five-time Gr.1 winner, was last year’s leading European Second Crop Sire of Stakes winners, outperforming the likes of New Approach, Henrythenavigator and Raven’s Pass in that regard. Duke of Marmalade is currently the leading third crop sire in the Northern Hemisphere by Stakes winners (twelve) and horses (nine).
Duke Of Marmalade was rated 132 by Timeform after enjoying a spectacular four-year-old campaign that included Gr.1 successes in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Juddmonte International at York and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Drakenstein Stud’s owner Gaynor Rupert said: “I am absolutely delighted that a horse of the quality and calibre of Duke Of Marmalade is coming to Drakenstein Stud to stand alongside Trippi, Horse Chestnut, Philanthropist and What A Winter.”
Mrs Rupert added: “We went to see The Duke last week at Coolmore Stud and we loved him. He started quarantine yesterday and he will ship to Cape Town next month ready for the next Southern Hemisphere covering season. Given what his progeny has achieved on the track already and that he has 234 two-year-olds to race this season, I believe he is an outstanding addition to both the Drakenstein Stud stallion roster and the South African Stallion ranks.”
Duke Of Marmalade has sired 23 Stakes class performers to date, including Aidan O’Brien’s classy Venus De Milo, a Gr.3 winner of the Give Thanks Stakes who was also second in last year’s Gr.1 Yorkshire Oaks and Gr.1 Irish Oaks.
Blandford Bloodstock’s Tom Goff said: “I believe this is a landmark moment both for Drakenstein Stud and for the South African breeding industry. I cannot remember when a horse with so many of the high quality attributes that this stallion possesses went to stand in South Africa.”
Goff added: “He is a fantastic physical specimen and was a truly great racehorse by the mighty Danehill. He has a superb pedigree that was matched by his great turn of foot and he has made a hugely promising start to his stud career. I greatly look forward to seeing his progeny in South Africa.”
Duke Of Marmalade is a half-brother to Gr.1 Derby hero Ruler Of The World and hails from a top-class family of sires that includes Champion Sire A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, Al Mufti and Lemon Drop Kid, who have all sprung from the foundation mare Lassie Dear, herself a profound influence on South African breeding.
Extract from European Bloodstock News