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Golden Horn Enjoying Stallion Life
The early signs are positive that last season's European Horse of the Year Golden Horn (Cape Cross-Fleche d'Or, by Dubai Destination) can emulate his exceptional racetrack deeds in the breeding barn, reports At The Races. Almost a year on from his English Derby heroics at Epsom, the champion colt is revelling in his second career as a stallion at Darley's picturesque Dalham Hall Stud at Newmarket. Dalham Hall's director of stallions, Sam Bullard, said the 4YO son of Cape Cross had thus far proven to be "unbelievably good" in the breeding shed. "He broke the track record when he won the Derby and was the highest-rated turf horse in the world last year. It was a huge boost to our operation that Mr Oppenheimer [owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer] decided to send him to us to stand here," said Bullard. "We bought 50 per cent of the horse and subsequently sold 30 shares in the horse. Interestingly enough, those shares were sold to 14 different countries, which is an indication of the international attraction of the Derby." Bullard added: "I'm delighted to say he's started off his new career in the same way he finished his old career. He's unbelievably good." The racing world will have to wait at least three years before Golden Horn's first crop is ready to race, but Bullard said the numbers for his first book of mares gives him every chance of success. "He has had a book of 145 mares and of those mares, 74 of them were Group One winners, dams of Group One winners or immediately related to Group One winners," said Bullard. "So he has a book of the highest quality. On our stallion roster, only Dubawi and Shamardal would have a superior book of mares." He added: "He's got almost exactly 100 of those mares tested in foal so far. He is incredibly efficient and 93 per cent of the mares we've had scanned are in foal, which is incredible. He is still young and at the start of his career and it is hugely exciting." Trained by John Gosden, Golden Horn proved an outstanding performer throughout 2015 with four victories at Gr1 level, namely in the English Derby, Eclipse Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes, and Europe's most prestigious event, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. He retired with a record of 7 wins from 9 starts and over £4.3 million prize money. Golden Horn currently commands a stud fee of £60,000 and will regularly cover four mares a day between 8am and midnight.