Cambridge Stud will stand Group 1 winning Galileo stallion Cape Blanco in 2012 under an arrangement with Coolmore Stud.
“I’m really excited because I like the horse,” Sir Patrick Hogan said. “He was game every time he ran and he had a great turn of foot, which you need in a stallion these days. He beat horses like Workforce, Rip Van Winkle and Gio Ponti and beat them well.
“Everyone loves Galileo and you can’t get a better sireline in the world, going back through Sadler’s Wells and Northern Dancer.”
Cape Blanco is currently serving his first northern book at Ashford Stud in Kentucky. He retired on a winning note despite fracturing a knee in the G1 Joe Hirsch Classic at Belmont Park in October. That victory followed G1 wins in the Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont and Arlington Million in Chicago.
Cape Blanco (5h Galileo — Laurel Delight by Presidium) was unbeaten in three starts as a juvenile in 2009 including the G2 Irish Futurity. He completed the Irish Derby – Irish Champion Stakes double in 2010 before returning to complete a G1 treble in the United States last year.
“If Cape Blanco was for sale, our kind of money couldn’t buy him,” Sir Patrick said. “We’ve done it twice before standing Cape Cross and Stravinsky. We couldn’t purchase them but they were commercial and popular.
“Zabeel is in his twilight years. We continue to get another year from him and he’s been an amazing stallion, but he’s 25 and he’s not going to be there forever.
“Bearing that in mind, Cape Blanco is going to be a huge horse to have on the farm. He fits the bill because if something did happen to Zabeel, we’ve got a good back-up for those premier-bred mares.”
Sir Patrick admitted a potential disadvantage of not owning Cape Blanco meant that if he became successful as a sire, Coolmore would more than likely transfer him to one of their two Australian stud farms for his southern hemisphere shuttles.
“It’s done no harm in the past when Cape Cross, Stravinsky, High Chaparral and Montjeu moved on. There’s every chance I could lose him to Coolmore Australia but at least we’ve got the opportunity for the next four or five years.”
Sir Patrick will announce a service fee for Cape Blanco in the coming weeks but he intends setting it significantly lower than the figure mooted by Coolmore.
Standing at 16.1 hands, Cape Blanco will join Zabeel (Sir Tristram), Stravinsky (Nureyev), Tavistock (Montjeu), Keeper (Danehill) and Lucky Unicorn (Redoute’s Choice) on the Cambridge roster this year.