Almanzor crowned Champion First Season Sire

Almanzor crowned Champion First Season Sire1 Aug 2022

Almanzor had New Zealand first season sire honours in safe keeping some months ago before he was officially bestowed the prestigious title at the season’s close.

He claimed the crown with unsurpassed progeny earnings for a freshman stallion and to cap a sparkling start to his career also earned the Champion Two-Year-Old Sire title.

The son of Wootton Bassett enjoyed a multiple Group 1-winning career on the racetrack and has quickly turned stallion potential into performance with his first crop of Australasian two-year-olds in 2021-22.

From his Southern Hemisphere residency at Cambridge Stud, Almanzor’s New Zealand representatives amassed first season sire record earnings of $701,935.

“He’s been the champion first season sire off the back of Dynastic’s Karaka Million win, which was great,” Cambridge Stud Chief Executive Officer Henry Plumptre said.

“I think more importantly for us is that even though his winners haven’t all been metropolitan ones, he’s showed he’s got depth out there and can build on that next season.

“He’s had seven individual winners, which for me is almost as important as the Karaka Million win.

“The Karaka Million is a critically important race if you’re a Kiwi and buying through the New Zealand Bloodstock Sales series and it was very rewarding that the horse won.”

Almanzor’s flagship performer to date is Te Akau colt Dynastic, who also finished runner-up in the G1 Sistema Stakes. His performances have him bidding for Champion Two-Year-Old honours.

“I don’t think anyone who looked at Dynastic as a yearling thought for one minute that he would be a January two-year-old,” Plumptre said.

“They look like three-year-old types, they are big, scopey horses with plenty of size and substance that will take time to grow into themselves.

“If you take on a European style of horse I suppose you have to accept that to a certain extent. We’re obviously delighted with the title of champion first season sire and what we need to see now is more of them coming through.

“Importantly for New Zealand and Cambridge Stud is that we know the Australian trainers that have got them are very much engaged with the horse.

“It’s important that the local boys have Almanzors and we want them to prosper, but 65 per cent of our yearlings go to Australia and that’s where we have to make a mark.”

Dimaggio and Trav were also New Zealand winners for the sire and Andalus was twice Group placed while in Australia, Almanzor’s sons Grinzinger Bishop, Virtuous Circle, Roznamla and Islero all posted victories to draw further attention to their sire.