Secret Hills Farms (ex Palmaday Farm) is set to re-launch itself as a force on the Queensland breeding scene. The Beaudesert based nursery has been through some tough times in the last year, but with a new addition to the stallion roster and new ownership, the future looks bright.
Secret Hills’ Julian Blaxland confirmed the stud had acquired former boom juvenile Exceedingly Good for their stallion line up for the upcoming season, making him the first son of Exceed and Excel to stand at stud anywhere in the world.
“He is a terrific addition for the farm and should really find his niche in Queensland,” Blaxland said. “It’s a great coup for the stud to be able to stand the first son of Exceed and Excel.”
Bred by Tony Santic’s Makybe breeding operation, Exceedingly Good (3c Exceed and Excel-Common Smytzer by Snippets) was a $400,000 purchase from the 2007 Inglis Easter Sale.
Regarded as one of the best two-year olds of his year, Exceedingly Good burst onto the scene with a gutsy win in the Listed Maribyrnong Trial at Flemington before beating eventual G1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Reaan in the G3 Maribyrnong Plate.
“He was one of the stronger two-year olds I had in the stable and a very smart colt,” Trainer Lee Freedman said. “It’s a big task for a young horse to win down the straight and he did it twice at stakes level.”
Following a second to stable-mate Wilander in the G3 Blue Diamond Prelude, Exceedingly Good finished an unlucky seventh in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes in his final run as a two-year old. Returning as a three-year old he finished third in the Listed Vain Stakes at Caulfield. He was then unplaced at his next three runs and found to be suffering a minor leg injury and was retired.
“He had a little bit of soreness in one of his hind legs,” Blaxland said. “The connections felt that it was better not to risk him breaking down and there were a lot of positives for him to retire to stud.”
Exceedingly Good is the third foal for the stakes placed Common Smytzer, making him a half brother to the stakes winning Common Interest (More Than Ready), who is also trained by Lee Freedman. Only lightly raced, Common Smytzer won two of six starts and is a half sister to Listed QTC McDougall Stakes winner Our Majestic Blue (Bluebird).
Blaxland believes Exceedingly Good’s pedigree will appeal to most breeders. “He is a typical Danehill horse, who is a great mover,” Blaxland said. “His pedigree highlights a mixture of speed and versatility.”
Blaxland added that some high quality mares have already been secured to be served by the young stallion in his first season including G1 AJC Flight Stakes winner Cheeky Choice (Redoute’s Choice). “He is going to be given every opportunity to succeed and the owners have purchased some well bred mares,” Blaxland explained.
Breeders will get their first opportunity to see Exceedingly Good when he steps out in a sire parade at next week’s Magic Millions National Sale. “He arrived three weeks ago and looks in fantastic order,” Blaxland said.
Exceedingly Good will stand for a service fee of $7,000 inc gst and joins fellow stallions Minardi ($6,000), the sire of recent Italian Thousand Guineas winner My Sweet Baby and Fusaichi Pegasus stallion Dr Green ($5,000).