Following the recent sale of Cambridge Stud to Brendan and Jo Lindsay, and the appointment of Henry Plumptre as CEO from April 2018, a new resident stallion has been confirmed for 2018.
Highly Recommended will join the Cambridge Stud roster next season, standing alongside Tavistock, Power and Burgundy.
Berkley Stud's Edwina Morris commented: "We were approached to stand Highly Recommended at Cambridge Stud and we believe that this decision is in the stallion's best future interests. We retain an ownership interest in him and will fully support him in the coming seasons."
The son of superstar sire Fastnet Rock, and half brother to Australian Group winners Sky Cuddle and Sky Love, has had a flying start to his stallion career.
Highly Recommended served 140 mares this season from his South Island base and last season was second on the New Zealand first-season sire table. The freshman sire was fourth among all New Zealand sires for total two-year-old earnings.
"This sire line of Danehill and Fastnet Rock is the most pre-potent and successful thoroughbred line in the southern hemisphere," said incoming Cambridge Stud chief executive Henry Plumptre.
Australian trainer Peter Moody, who prepared Highly Recommended to win the Gr.2 Alister Clarke Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley in 2012, recalled him as "a smashing yearling, a strong and imposing type with a big shoulder and great girth".
"He had a terrific attitude and was mentally very strong too. From a family I have had a lot of success with, he was precocious enough to win on debut over 1000m at Flemington as a two-year-old and train on to win the Alister Clarke at three. That tells you everything about him as a quality colt, to carry that on over two seasons. I had a huge amount of time for him as a racehorse."
The progeny of Highly Recommended have made an early impression with black-type winners.
Waldorf claimed the Listed Ryder Stakes last season then delivered a dominant win in the Listed Wanganui Guineas in September - a race boasting a Highly Recommended quinella with another of his sons, Kirkland.
His filly Joyfully was runner up in last season's Gr.2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes and third in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes last season before joining Sydney trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Highly Recommended struck early this season with his three-year-old Sumstreetsumwhere winning the Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial at Te Rapa.
Stephen Marsh, trainer of Sumstreetsumwhere, said: "I just love the stock of Highly Recommended. They are athletic and great types. He stamps them well and they have brilliant temperaments, key to developing successful racehorses. Most trainers would love to have a stable full of them and I think they will be very popular at the upcoming sales."
Henry Plumptre added: "The future for this promising young sire is exciting. We are looking forward to him transferring north to Cambridge from Berkley Stud where Edwina Morris and Alan Jones have done such a great job with him. In attracting significant books of mares, they have ensured that Highly Recommended has enjoyed strong representation with his first crop.
"With access to a wider pool of quality broodmares, we believe the progeny of Highly Recommended will be keenly sought after domestically and internationally. The overseas interest already shown in his first two crops underlines this fact."
The last value placed on a son of Fastnet Rock was the recent sale of part of Merchant Navy for $30 million, which highlights the underlying value of Fastnet Rock as a sire of sires and the market's appetite for him.