Rich Hill has Ace in the pack

Dual Group One winner Ace High will stand at Rich Hill Stud  - Supplied
Dual Group One winner Ace High will stand at Rich Hill Stud


High Chaparral’s dual Group One winning son, Ace High, has been retired to Rich Hill Stud, near Matamata, where he will stand for a fee of $10,000+GST for the forthcoming breeding season.

Prepared by David Payne, Ace High was a winner at two and dominated as a spring three-year-old, winning the Gr.3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) before successive Group One victories in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and VRC Derby (2500m).

As an autumn three-year-old he was a close-up fourth in the Gr.1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) behind Kementari, Pierata and Trapeze Artist and was a nose second to Levendi in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m).

In a season thwarted by rain-affected tracks, Ace High won the Gr.2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at four, defeating Group One winners It’s Somewhat and Egg Tart and was beaten 1.6 lengths in the Gr.1 Australian Cup (2000m).

He retires the winner of five races and A$2.3 million in prizemoney.

“He is a son of High Chaparral and there aren’t going to be any more. He could possibly be the last Group One winning son of High Chaparral to go to stud anywhere in the world,” Rich Hill Stud’s Managing Director John Thompson said.

“Ace High is a dual Group One winner in Australia and he won the Spring Champion Stakes, which horses like Dundeel and Savabeel have won, so it is a sire making race.

“His race record, especially as a spring three-year-old, is very similar to Dundeel and we all know what a great start he has made at stud.”

The sire of 23 individual Group One winners, High Chaparral stood for four seasons in New Zealand and clicked with the local broodmare population, with So You Think, Monaco Consul, Shoot Out and Descarado all coming from his incredible first crop, while six-time Group One winner Dundeel was also a product of his time in New Zealand.

“If you look at Ace High’s tabulated pedigree, it just doesn’t come any better,” Thompson said.

“He is out of a Redoute’s Choice mare who in turn is out of a Sunday Silence mare. His fifth dam is a full sister to the dam of Danehill and his sixth dam is Natalma, the dam of Northern Dancer.

“In effect, it is the greatest stallion making family in history.

“There is a whole combination of factors that makes him an extremely exciting prospect for New Zealand.”

It was through (bloodstock agent) Louis Le Metayer that Thompson was alerted to the potential availability of Ace High for stud duties.

“I had a look at him while I was at the Sydney sales and was very impressed with what I saw,” Thompson said.

“He is a big strong horse around 16.1hh. He has the quality of High Chaparral but he also does have a bit of Redoute’s Choice about his physical, he is strong through the shoulder and strong behind.

“Colour-wise, he is quite a dark horse and you can almost see a bit of Sunday Silence there.

He has what are three breed-shaping stallions in his first and second dam which is unusual. It is a combination you don’t often come across.”

Having never previously crossed paths with owner John Cordina, Thompson found an instant connection when the pair met at the races. 

“He is John Camilleri’s cousin and he (Camilleri) not only bred Winx but also raced Vadamos who stands at Rich Hill, so there was a connection there,” Thompson said.

Although Cordina hasn’t been a breeder in a capacity the ilk of his cousin, he will be retaining an interest in Ace High and supporting him with some quality mares.

“We realise it is late in the piece but the opportunity was too good to turn down,” Thompson said.

“I think he will be well-received at an introductory fee of $10,000 and he will suit a wide range of mares.

“I was talking with Sir Patrick Hogan and he was looking at the pedigree and he told me he felt he was ideal based on his formula which has worked. It is especially exciting for Sir Tristram and Zabeel line mares.

“Although we’ve just finalised the paperwork, there are already a number of studs and breeders committed to the horse including Cambridge Stud, The Oaks Stud, Seaton Park, Joan Egan and Pencarrow Stud. But there are still a limited number of shares available in him.”

Thompson said one of the most appealing elements of Ace High was that he was an early-maturing fast stayer that had won at the highest level under Australian conditions and his progeny would appeal to the Australasian buying bench.

“He ran second to Champagne Cuddles at Rosehill over 1100m in October of his two-year-old season, so he must have shown his trainer a great deal early,” Thompson said.

“He was a fast maturing horse that came to the fore as a spring three-year-old and you can’t do that without being extremely physically and mentally mature.” – NZ Racing Desk


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