Terrific start by Dick Turpin

Dick Turpin arrives back at Mungrup Stud for his second southern book with a ringing endorsement from the English National Stud.

A Group 1 winner of the prestigious Prix Jean Prat (1600m) at Chantilly, Dick Turpin retired with a Timeform rating of 127 – the highest of any stallion standing in Western Australia.

“We’re delighted to shuttle him to Australia,” English National Stud managing director Brian O’Rourke said.  “He returned to us in terrific shape after that first book at Mungrup Stud and obviously enjoyed his work down there, too.”

Dick Turpin’s first northern foals are cracking sorts according to O’Rourke.  “They’re a terrific bunch and they will be nominated for the Tattersalls Sale in December,” he said.  “I’m certain they will help boost his next book up here next year.”

Among the foals that will showcase Dick Turpin at Tattersalls is the filly from Tarqua.  Her dam is a homebred for Lord Carnarvon and is a half-sister to Cool Creek.

Dick Turpin and Cool Creek were both prepared by champion trainer Richard Hannon and both were Group 2 juvenile winners.  Cool Creek claimed the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury and Dick Turpin completed a winning hat-trick in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.

Dick Turpin returned at three to defeat his stablemate Canford Cliffs in the G3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury.  He followed up with seconds in the G1 English and French 2000 Guineas and then delivered a career-best performance with a four length victory in the G1 Prix Jean Prat.

After adding an Italian Group 1 in September 2011, he became the first stallion signed to stand at the English National Stud since O’Rourke took over as its managing director.

O’Rourke, 44, was born into a well-known Irish racing family and started his working life at Coolmore Stud before spending 12 years in Kentucky.

He joined the English National Stud shortly after the Levy Board handed over its control to the Jockey Club in 2008.  The Newmarket operation had been bailed out by the government-appointed Levy Board several times since the 1980s.

Within 14 months, O’Rourke and incoming National Stud chairman Ben Sangster turned 20 years of losses into a profit.  “There was no confidence in the place,” O’Rourke recalled.  “It was a challenge and hard decisions had to be made.  Now we are gathering momentum.

“Dick Turpin’s southern breeding rights have been an important part of that process.  He was an outstanding racehorse and I really believe in him as a stallion.”

Mungrup has kept Dick Turpin’s fee at $8,800 (inc gst) this year.  For more details, broodmare owners should call the stud at (08) 9853 2103.

– Karl Patterson