Dubai Millennium the £10m a year lover

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The Independent Online

Dubai Millennium, arguably the premier grand cru of the superlative 2000 vintage of racehorses, yesterday faced an audience for the first time since his career on the track came to an end after he limped home from the gallops in early August with a fractured hind leg.

Dubai Millennium, arguably the premier grand cru of the superlative 2000 vintage of racehorses, yesterday faced an audience for the first time since his career on the track came to an end after he limped home from the gallops in early August with a fractured hind leg.

A combination of skilled veterinary attention and his own equable temperament in convalescence meant that he survived the crisis and has now officially taken his place on the roster of stallions at his owner Sheikh Mohammed's Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket.

The big bay son of Seeking The Gold, the brilliant winner of four Group One races - the Prix Jacques le Marois and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 1999 and, this year, the Dubai World Cup in March and the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in June - is set to cover 100 choice mares at a cost of £100,000 a time once the breeding season starts in February, giving him an earning potential of £10m in his first year at his new job. His mates will include Oaks winner Snow Bride, already dam of another superstar, Lammtarra, and the dams of the sprint champions Agnes World and Stravinsky.

Uniquely among British-based horses, his Dubai triumph on dirt makes him irresistible to American as well as European breeders. A third of his mates next year will be from top Bluegrass farms and the last available 2001 booking to him, auctioned recently in Kentucky for charity, made $270,000, a record for a first-season horse.

Superbly bred and with manly good looks, he starts his new career with every advantage but it is still a fact that only five per cent of horses who retire to stud can be ultimately judged successful. Most very good stallions were also superior performers, but excellence as a runner is no guarantee of success as a progenitor.

Succeeding as a stallion is, one might say, a whole new ball game and though Dubai Millennium set a mighty racing standard for the century with his performance in the Dubai World Cup, his currency now is his genes, not his strides.

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