Godolphin flag-bearer Astern has been retired and will join Darley’s Kelvinside roster later this year.
A winner of 5 races in 9 starts including the G1 Golden Rose earlier this season, Astern bows out as the highest-rated son of Darley’s champion stallion Medaglia d’Oro.
As a two-year-old, he won his first two starts, staking his claim for top juvenile status in mid-season when he also took the G2 Silver Slipper Stakes. But a wide barrier – he drew 16 of 16 – scuppered his chances of adding the G1 Golden Slipper to his CV, and following a luckless run, he finished 11th.
He bounced back from that Golden Slipper defeat with a win in the G3 Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick two weeks later.
Following a short spell from racing, he returned in brilliant form to land both the G2 Run To The Rose and the G1 Golden Rose and rounded off that spring campaign with solid seconds in the G2 Roman Consul and G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
John O’Shea was full of praise for a colt he always held in the highest regard. “He’s the best colt I’ve ever trained by far and away in terms of ability and we are very lucky to have put a saddle on his back. He had a wonderful demeanour, explosive turn of speed and he was prominent in our thoughts as soon as he entered the stable.
“His three-year-old spring was destructive with his win in the G1 Golden Rose stamping him as the dominant three-year-old in the country.”
Astern’s dam Essaouira was a brilliantly fast daughter of Exceed And Excel and his grand-dam, Alizes won the Magic Night Stakes and was favourite for the Golden Slipper before succumbing to injury.
O’Shea said he has the potential to make a major impact on the Australian breeding industry. “I think he will be an outstanding stallion because he will throw horses with great temperament and good speed. Most commercial breeders want a horse that presents very well and looks the part and if he throws them in the image of himself he’s going to have all those things.”