Feature On Viking Ruler

18 Feb 2008

It is an exciting and relieving moment in any thoroughbred stallion's career when he leaves his first stakes winner. 

Shuttle stallion and Cambridge Stud-owned Viking Ruler's connections will still be cheering Red Ruler's three length victory in the Lexus Championship Stakes at Group Two level at Ellerslie on Saturday.   Viking Ruler was destined to be successful and to see him achieve stakes success with his oldest crop only now three-year-olds is very satisfying to Cambridge Stud owner Sir Patrick Hogan.

Viking Ruler's sire was recently referred to as "the great one" by a member of the internet community.  Super sire Danehill has left 341 stakes winners at a rate of 14% SW/named foals.  His sire record is nothing short of phenomenal, and his influence through his sire sons such as Redoute's Choice, Flying Spur, Desert King, Danewin, Danzero (and more) continues on.  Danehill was truly global and won sire premierships in Australia (9), United Kingdom (3), France (3), and America (AEI).  It is my opinion that if your mare doesn't have any Danehill in her pedigree, then you should send her to the best son of Danehill that you can afford. 

Viking Ruler's first stakes winner could be the start of another exciting chapter in the Danehill story.  But it is not just the Danehill factor that Viking Ruler brings to the table.  Two of the best sires to grace the Australasian industry, Danehill and Sir Tristram, combine to create the core of Viking Ruler's pedigree. 

Sir Tristram is a name that everyone who loves racing in the southern hemisphere should know.  He is a stallion whose influence on racing in this part of the world has been overwhelming, and he was the stallion who snatched the world record number of Group One winners from Northern Dancer.  Think Zabeel, Grosvenor, Kaapstad, Dr. Grace, Maurading, Popsy, Empire Rose, Gurner's Lane and you start to understand how good he was.

Viking Ruler is a son of Sir Tristram's Group One AJC Sires Produce winner Tristalove.  She is a member of the fabulous Eight Carat clan, so Viking Ruler is the result of arguably the three greatest modern influences in Australasia.

A huge amount to live up to.  But live up to it he did. 

The best a horse can achieve is Group One success, and Viking Ruler pulled that off as an early 3YO in the AJC Spring Championship Stakes.  He also ran a gallant fourth in the Caulfield Guineas.  Retired to Cambridge Stud, Viking Ruler was granted the right opportunities.  He received the benefit of standing at a world-renowned farm, and being supported by breeders who knew his progeny would be marketed properly.

His first crop sold well with 36 individuals averaging $83,000.  Among that crop was the colt from Ransom Bay who made $60,000 to the bid of John Sargent.   Named Red Ruler, this colt has won four of his last five starts and is now the favourite for the NZ Derby. 

Red Ruler's dam, Ransom Bay won twice in America over a mile and 1800m.  She is a daughter of successful sire Red Ransom and her dam is a dual Listed winner.  There are many stakes winners in the first three generations of this family, but Red Ruler is the first horse to win at Group level.

If Red Ruler can win the Group 1 Mercedes NZ Derby on March 1, it will be a standout performance for his family and something of a Group One tradition for Viking Ruler.