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Pharoahmania from USA to Australia

5 min read

Written by Joe Bianca

Nothing will ever top the month American Pharoah (USA) (Pioneerof the Nile {USA}) had from May 2015 to June, when he became the first horse to sweep the U.S.’s Triple Crown in 37 years. July to August of 2018 will still go down as a landmark time with his yearling results. But perhaps the truest test of American Pharoah’s global appeal, however, will come in Australia.

The former Zayat Stables colourbearer and current Coolmore stallion, American Pharoah emphatically proved himself in the sales ring as one of the most sought-after sires in the world.

His first-crop yearlings have stolen the show at Fasig-Tipton this summer at Saratoga, become crossover successes at Arqana in France, and he has a book of blue-chip mares starting to produce his foals in Australia that will surely add to the international appeal and give him every opportunity to be a global sensation once they hit the track.

American Pharoah at the 2017 Coolmore Australia Stallion Parade

It's obvious that his sire appeal goes far beyond the gates of Ashford and Jerrys Plains.

While it was obvious American Pharoah would be a hit at stud even with a US$200,000 fee attached, it wasn’t quite clear how big of a phenomenon he’d be. Buyers got their first looks at ‘Pharoah’ foals at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton November and Keeneland November Sales, where 10 of his weanlings sold for an average of US$445,500--very impressive numbers for a first-crop stallion.

He has since broken out with his yearlings, selling a pair of seven-figure lots at Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga Sale to OXO Equine and Coolmore’s own M.V. Magnier, respectively, and another for US$875,000 to John C. Oxley.

Then last week at Arqana, the two American Pharoahs entered went for €850,000 to Deuce Greathouse and Cindy Hutson and €750,000 to M.V. Magnier. Add to that a 180,000,000 yen yearling selling to Masahiro Noda’s Danox Ltd. at the JRHA Select Yearling Sale in Hokkaido, Japan in July, and it’s obvious that his sire appeal goes far beyond the gates of Ashford and Jerrys Plains.

Perhaps the truest test of the stallion’s global appeal, however, will come in Australia, where he has shuttled after initially taking up residence in Kentucky. Fully supported with a high-quality assortment of broodmares, his first foals have just begun hitting the ground, which already has the Coolmore Australia connections excited.

“American Pharoah is the horse of a lifetime and probably the most exciting horse ever sent to Australia to stand at stud,” said Colm Santry, Coolmore Australia’s Sales and Nominations Manager.

“There was a great level of intrigue in American Pharoah from Australian breeders while he was racing and we were confident he would attract the appropriate quality of mares for a horse of his status to justify binging him down.”

Such was the demand for American Pharoah in Australia that, according to Santry, his book was pretty much full on the same day it was first announced that he would shuttle last March. And there was no shortage of stakes-winning mares or high-profile Australian breeders waiting to greet him.

"American Pharoah is the horse of a lifetime and probably the most exciting horse ever sent to Australia to stand at stud." - Colm Santry

“His first book of in-foal mares in Australia in 2017 included an incredible 70 black-type performers or producers, including top race mares like Miracles of Life, Sabatini, Lake Geneva and Born To Rock and the dams of Go Indy Go, Preferment, Irish Lights and Action,” said Santry. “

Just as impressive a lineup is the calibre of breeders who supported him in his first season, which include John and Deb Camilleri, Robert Crabtree, Sir Owen Glenn, Bruce Neill, John Muir, Gerry Harvey Ananda Krisnan, Bob Peters, Stuart Ramsey, Gooree Stud and so on.”

Miracles Of Life, pictured here winning the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes is just one of the top race mares currently in foal to American Pharoah

It’s not particularly often that American-based runners’ exploits in dirt racing make such a dent in the sport’s international consciousness, but the cachet that comes along with the U.S. Triple Crown made American Pharoah an instantly recognisable star in all hemispheres.

“There was great awareness of him and his achievements,” said Santry. “He didn’t take any explaining to breeders in this part of the world. I think it’s fair to say that bloodstock enthusiasts love to watch and follow a great horse and it became evident through his Grand Slam winning 3-year-old season that American Pharoah was one of the greatest of all time. Like Frankel in Europe and Winx in Australia, American Pharoah is an incredibly special horse that led the world to fall in love with him.”

The cachet that comes along with the U.S. Triple Crown made American Pharoah an instantly recognizable star in all hemispheres.

Beyond his success on the track, American Pharoah had a reputation for being extremely kind and trainable, which Santry echoes and says has helped him acclimate to his shuttling duties.

“He is a horse with the most incredible temperament and he is a very intelligent horse, which anyone who has ever had anything to do with him can testify,” he said.

Little is known for sure until American Pharoah’s foals get to racing, but if they do live up to their father’s stature on the track, the 11th Triple Crown winner will have representation all over the globe. And that’s enough to get every racing fan interested, no matter the hemisphere.