Champion sire Encosta de Lago has been retired from the breeding barn by Coolmore Stud. The 21 year-old stallion, who has battled declining fertility in recent years, has sired 105 stakes winners since retiring to stud in Victoria.
Encosta de Lago (Fairy King) was a top-class three year-old winning the G1 VicHealth Cup and G2 VRC Ascot Vale Stakes. “He was one of the most gifted horses I have trained,” Lee Freedman recalled. “He was an imposing colt with a magnificent action and turn of foot, traits he has passed on to his offspring. Injury curtailed his racing career but it probably helped him as a stallion.”
Freedman trained Group 3 winner Chong Tong out of his first crop and champion filly Alinghi who arrived three years later to win the G1 Blue Diamond, G1 One Thousand Guineas, G1 Robert Sangster Stakes and G1 Newmarket Hcp.
Coolmore Stud stood Encosta de Lago at Blue Gum Farm in Victoria for the start of his stud career but requisitioned him for its Hunter Valley headquarters after Danehill died in 2003.
His first-season service fee had been $8,500 in 1997 and had risen to $38,500 prior to his transfer to NSW. It sky-rocketed to $302,500 after his two Australian titles in 2008 and 2009 but had tumbled back to $38,500 last year.
Encosta de Lago set an Australian record of 147 individual winners in 2008-09. He covered 200 plus books six times between 2002 and 2008 reaching a career high 205 mares in 2005.
Coolmore shuttled him to Ireland in 2007 but he was one of the first sires to contract E.I. in quarantine on returning to Australia and remained in the Hunter Valley for the rest of his stud career.