Dubai: Darley’s Australian wing has received a massive boost with the addition of multiple Group One-winning colt Helmet to its already strong stallion roster.
The son of Exceed And Excel, a record-breaking winner of last year’s Group One Caulfield Guineas, has been retired and will stand at Darley’s Northwood Park in Victoria for the forthcoming breeding season.
His stud fee has been set at A$33,000 (Dh125,000) including tax.
Oliver Tait, Darley’s chief operating officer, said on the stud’s website: “Helmet was among the very best colts in an elite generation. Few horses can win three G1s across two consecutive seasons and Helmet did it the hard way, out in front.
“He was a remarkable talent, rated superior to his sire Exceed And Excel who is such a successful and popular horse on our roster.”
Helmet had 14 career starts, winning six of them. His final race was at Royal Ascot in June where he finish seventh behind the unbeaten Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1). Prior to that he ran in the UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan, a race that was won by Irish raider Daddy Long Legs,
All his wins were achieved in Australia, including four at Randwick and two at Caulfied.
Helment scored a sequence of four straight wins as a juvenile, culminating with a Group One double in the Sires’ Produce Stakes and the Champagne Stakes. He finished the season rated 123 by Timeform, behind only fellow Darley homebred Sepoy.
In his Classic season the front-running colt posted a third Group One victory when landing the Caulfield Guineas in record time.
His Timeform rating rose to 127, placing him only behind Sepoy’s 129, and putting him ahead of top horses like So You Think, Choisir and his own sire Exceed And Excel, at that age.
Darley Stud is a thoroughbred breeding operation owned by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Darley breeds horses in Australia, France, Ireland, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States.
Darley Australia has four studs, one in Victoria and three in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
In 2008, Darley Australia acquired the well-established Woodlands Stud and Crown Lodge.