Pierata heads Aquis' Queensland-only roster

5 min read
Aquis Farm is set to ramp up its footprint on the Queensland breeding scene, with 15 stallions set to feature on the 2021 roster for its Canungra base, after the decision to bring its New South Wales contingent, headed by Pierata, to the Sunshine State.

The consolidation of Aquis' three-state operation into a single base for 2021 has seen it exit the New South Wales and Victorian market and opt to put the focus of all its stallions in the state where the business started in 2015, and where it first stood stallions five years ago.

It means that Aquis' headline stallion Pierata, who served 168 mares in his debut season at a price of $44,000 (inc GST), highlighted by 25 black-type performers, including Group 1 winner Loving Gaby (I Am Invincible), will relocate for 2021.

The son of Pierro remains at his first-season price, making him the equal with Spirit Of Boom as the top-priced stallion on service fee in Queensland, assuming the Eureka Stud-based stallion remains at $44,000 (inc GST).

Pierata | Standing at Aquis Farm

Invader, the G1 Sires' Produce S.-winning son of Snitzel, also moves to Queensland after three seasons in New South Wales where he served books of 156, 111 and 117. He will stand at the same service fee as 2020, $22,000 (inc GST).

Invader has had 40 of his first crop go through the yearling sales so far in 2021, and they have averaged a respectable $105,353, highlighted by the $550,000 Ciaron Maher Bloodstock paid for one of his colts at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Divine Prophet, whose first crop have hit the racetracks this season, highlighted by stakes-placed Fortunate Kiss and the winner Bleriot, also moves from New South Wales and stands for $16,500 (inc GST). His first two crops at the yearling sales have sold up to $375,000 with an average $67,400.

Brave Smash (Jpn) also heads north and also stands at $16,500 (inc GST), having served 83 mares at a slightly higher fee in 2020. The dual Group 1 winner's first foals hit the ground last spring.

Santos, the Group 2-winning son of I Am Invincible, also enters his third season having served books of 137 and 59 in New South Wales. He will stand at $13,200 (inc GST).

Divine Prophet$16,500$22,000115
Brave Smash$16,500$19,25083
Kiss And Make Up$8,800$8,80033
The Mission$8,800$8,80058
Bellevue Hill$6,600$8,80039

Table: 2021 Aquis stallion roster - fees (inc GST)

Spieth (NZ), whose first yearling crop have averaged $46,342 so far in 2021, moves to Canungra after three seasons and stands at $8800 (inc GST), as does Jukebox, whose first yearlings have averaged $32,333 through the ring.

Bellevue Hill, who debuted last year with a book of 39, is the eighth Aquis stallion to relocate, and will stand at $6600 (inc GST).

Dubious heads the list of previous Canungra residents to retain a spot on the Aquis roster, having been the busiest first-season sire in Queensland last year with 162 covers. He stands at $13,200 (inc GST).

The Mission ($8800 inc GST), Husson (Arg) ($4400 inc GST), Duporth ($4400 inc GST), Kobayashi ($3300 inc GST), Kiss And Make Up ($8800 inc GST) and Performer ($6600 inc GST) complete the roster.

It means that with 15 on the roster Aquis' stallions will make up nearly 25 per cent of sires standing in Queensland in 2021.

Justin Fung

Aquis Farm President, Justin Fung, described the roster as the envy of some of the biggest stud farms in the Southern Hemisphere and said the decision to focus on its Canungra base was a reflection of Aquis’ confidence in the future of the Queensland racing industry.

“Pierata was one of the most exciting first-season stallions to stand at stud in the Hunter Valley last year. He covered an astonishing 168 mares, of which 65 were stakes performers, including Loving Gaby,” Mr Fung said.

“It is only fitting that he, and the rest of our stallions, find their way to our historical home at Canungra.

“We have always had confidence in the Queensland breeding and racing industry, the QTIS prizemoney and the strength of the racing calendar dictated that we have a bigger presence in Queensland.”

The Queensland breeding team will be headed up by Director of Sales, Jonathan Davies.

“Jonathan has built a strong team around him that is the backbone of this operation. I am immensely proud of what he and his team have been able to achieve,” Fung said.

“Jonathan (Davies) has built a strong team around him that is the backbone of this operation. I am immensely proud of what he and his team have been able to achieve." - Justin Fung

“Good fertility results and excellent horsemanship are a testament to how knowledgeable and dedicated they are to the Aquis philosophy of ‘Success is achieved by teamwork, innovation and supporting their clients and the industry at all levels’.”

The decision also puts to rest speculation that Aquis was set for an immediate exit to its stallion interests in Australia.

Aquis' change in strategy became apparent when it and major partner Phoenix Thoroughbreds did stallion deals on several promising colts in 2020, selling a stake in G1 Golden Slipper S. winner Farnan (Not A Single Doubt) and selling Prague (Redoute's Choice) outright. Both deals involved Kia Ora Stud, which is set to re-renter the stallion market in 2021. It also sold Anders (Not A Single Doubt), to a consortium headed by Widden Stud.

Aquis also ended its Victorian operation after two seasons at the end of 2020, with residents Lean Mean Machine and Royal Meeting (Ire) remaining on the property under the guidance of new leaseholder Leneva Park.