7th Feb 2018
Sun Stud is supporting its Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner National Defense with the cream of its broodmare band as he starts his stallion career at the Irish National Stud this season.
One of the most notable mares the increasingly influential Australian-based operation is sending to the son of Invincible Spirit is wide-margin Irish St Leger heroine Voleuse De Coeurs who, fittingly, was bred and raised at the Irish National Stud.
The first offspring of the nine-year-old daughter of Teofilo is a Dubawi yearling filly and she is back in foal to the same sire.
Sun Stud’s bloodstock adviser David O’Callaghan said: “The stud is very excited about the prospects of National Defense and, accordingly, will be supporting him with a number of nice mares.
“It’s a great privilege for the owners to be able to stand National Defense alongside his illustrious sire Invincible Spirit, who is a great success story doing such a wonderful job in both hemispheres.”
O’Callaghan also suggested Sun Stud would be willing to support progeny of National Defense in the ring.
“The owners enjoy racing and have some horses with Joseph O’Brien so they will also be active at the foal and yearling sales in years to come,” he said.
Among the other high-class mares owned by Sun Stud heading to National Defense, who is standing at €12,000 this year, are the Listed-winning two-year-olds Lady Heidi (in foal to Invincible Spirit), Pure Excellence (in foal to Dark Angel) and Shadow Hunter (in foal to Sea The Stars), as well as the Group 2-winning juvenile Sans Equivoque, who is in line for her first cover.
The operation has also earmarked for the stallion Spiaggia, a winning daughter of Makfi in foal to Golden Horn, as well as Listed winner and Prix de Diane sixth Mademoiselle Marie and Twisted Fate, a daughter of Galileo and Cheveley Park Stakes third Festoso, both maiden mares.
O’Callaghan also confirmed National Defense would shuttle to Sun Stud in Australia this year; no surprise considering Invincible Spirit is held in such high esteem down under with his son I Am Invincible having supplied three Group 1 winners from his early crops and his yearlings having sold for an average of around A$480,000 at last month’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.
“National Defense will certainly shuttle to Sun Stud in Australia,” O’Callaghan reported. “He is perfect for their environment as a Group 1-winning two-year-old, while his sire has done really well and has got an exceptional sire son in I Am Invincible.”
O’Callaghan did not rule out Sun Stud’s Australian-based stallions reverse shuttling to Europe in future either, with Fighting Sun, an unbeaten two-year-old by Northern Meteor, having made a positive early start as a freshman sire.
“Sun Stud is a global business and is always looking for opportunities and would love to reverse shuttle a stallion if the right opportunity presented itself,” he said.
Martin Stevens for www.racingpost.com