Darley Group winner Bullbars has been purchased by Sheamus Mills Bloodstock to stand at stud in 2012. A stud and service fee is yet to be decided.
“We are rapt to get hold of a horse with his credentials,” Mills said. “He is an outstanding type – a touch over 16 hands with good presence, correct and very masculine. I’m sure anyone who inspects him will book a mare.”
Like champion colt Sepoy, Bullbars is by Elusive Quality and is a half brother to G1 star Helmet and last Sunday’s Black Opal winner Epaulette. Darley trainer Peter Snowden expects Epaulette to keep improving into the Golden Slipper on April 7.
Bullbars won at Caulfield at his sole start as a two-year-old and he claimed a G3 in the C S Hayes Stakes at three before finishing second to Shamrocker in the G1 Australian Guineas.
The C S Hayes has stallions the calibre of Zabeel, Starcraft, Mossman and Dash For Cash on its honour-roll. “He’s top class,” jockey Mark Zahra said after the victory. “I was really impressed by the way he pinned his ears back and had a crack.”
Bullbars follows the likes of O’Reilly, Starcraft, Mossman, Darci Brahma and Casino Prince who were all second home in the Australian Guineas.
Bullbars is the first foal of British bred Singspiel mare Accessories. She is an unraced half-sister to French G2 winners Pozarica (Rainbow Quest) and Annaba (In the Wings).
Sheikh Mohammed sent her to Australia in June 2006 and Bullbars, Helmet and Epaulette arrived in her first three seasons at stud. Helmet is off to Europe via Dubai and Epaulette is destined for much better things after his Black Opal victory.
In fact, Accessories will be one of the most valuable broodmares in the country if Epaulette trains on to win the Golden Slipper.
His sire Elusive Quality (Gone West) has been represented by 72 stakes winners among 715 individual winners at an amazing 69% strike-rate.
His sire sons include young stallions Smarty Jones (Kentucky Derby & Preakness Stakes), Raven’s Pass (Breeders Cup Classic & Queen Elizabeth Stakes) and Quality Road (Florida Derby & Woodward Stakes) as well as the proven Elusive City who has sired 15 stakes winners in his five years at stud.
Elusive Quality didn’t set Australian tracks on fire early on – G1 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Camarilla was the only highlight from his first book.
Darley decided to cut its losses after the 2008 southern season and he’s now based in Kentucky on a permanent basis. But with the benefit of hindsight, Darley might have been a bit hasty.
Soon after Elusive Quality left our shores, the stakes winners began arriving headed by Cardinal Virtue, Related, Elusive Touch, I’m Discreet, Induna, Real Stolle, Bullbars and, of course, champion colt Sepoy.
Bullbars combines the blood of the two best three-year-old males in Australia this season and his pedigree is only going to get stronger. He has performed in races that make a stallion and he’s a great type – there’s plenty to recommend.
Darley stallion retires to stud for 2012