Stud plans for Highly Recommended

Group 2 winning Fastnet Rock stallion Highly Recommended has been retired from racing.

Highly Recommended reached a career-high in the 2012 MVRC Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) when he relegated classic winners Ethiopia (Australian Derby) and Sangster (Victorian Derby) into the minors.

Appearing next in the G1 Rosehill Guineas, the colt sustained a horizontal fracture to a knee and was given a six month break to recover.  Tried again as a four-year-old, he was beaten little more than a length in the G3 Villiers Hcp at Warwick Farm last December.

“The Villiers encouraged us to persevere, however, after some subsequent below-par efforts we could see he wasn’t showing his true potential,” trainer Peter Moody said.  “Regretfully, we’ve decided to retire him.”

Highly Recommended (4h Fastnet Rock – Suggestive by Al Hareb) won on debut as a two-year-old at Flemington over 1000m.  “He never really ran a bad race until the injury.  He got beaten a lip by Galah in the Carbine Club at Flemington and then got too far back in the Sandown Guineas only to go down by a length.”

By champion sire Fastnet Rock from Turangga Stud mare Suggestive, he is a member of a very select band of Australian mares to have produced five stakes winners comprising Highly Recommended, Sky Cuddle (G1 VRC Emirates Stakes), Sky Love (G3 Qld Tattersall’s Cup), Hint (LR Penang Gold Cup) and Undeniably (LR MRC Christmas Stakes).

Suggestive is also the dam of Strive to Excel (Redoute’s Choice) who was placed in the 2013 LR Tasmanian Derby.

Randwick Bloodstock’s Brett Howard is fielding offers for Highly Recommended.  “He will likely be Fastnet Rock’s only Group winning son to retire to stud in Australia for the coming season,” Howard said.  “I can’t imagine placing him at stud will be too difficult.”