Captain Sonador retires to Raheen Stud

Thursday, 26 May 2011

News that Shamardal won’t be shuttling to Darley this year comes just hours after his Group 1 winning son Captain Sonador arrived at Raheen Stud in readiness for his first season at stud.

Captain Sonador (4h Shamardal – Pushing Daisies by Kenny’s Best Pal) was being set for the G1 Stradbroke Hcp but has been retired after battling bottomless tracks in Sydney and Brisbane.

His introductory service fee has been set at $10,000 (+ gst).

Raheen studmaster Basil Nolan jnr welcomed Captain Sonador to the Gladfield Valley nursery on Wednesday afternoon. “He settled in straight away and we’re thrilled to stand a horse of his calibre. There’s plenty of time for him to let down before the stud season starts.”

Captain Sonador is the highest ranked Group 1 miler to stand in Queensland since Show A Heart retired to stud in 2002.

“General Nediym and Show A Heart have been great examples in recent years of successful stallions who started their racing and breeding careers in Queensland,” Nolan said. “Like them, Captain Sonador is a tough racehorse who excelled in the best of Group 1 company.”

Captain Sonador was a two year-old winner at Doomben and he returned last year to win at Doomben and Eagle Farm as well as being placed in the G2 Hobartville Stakes and G1 Randwick Guineas.

He reached a career-high with a Group 1 victory in the AJC Epsom Handicap at Randwick in October 2010. The last Queenslander to win an Epsom was the legendary Goondiwindi grey Gunsynd.

Raheen Stud won the race to secure Captain Sonador ahead of several high-profile studs earlier this year.

Captain Sonador won the LR Gold Coast Goldmarket in January but he bogged down on a Heavy 10 in the Gold Coast Stakes in March and another Heavy 10 in the G1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick in April.

Connections decided to abandon a Stradbroke start after he struggled on another heavy surface in the LR Prime Minister’s Cup on May 7.

“Captain Sonador had nothing left to prove,” Nolan claimed. “He beat Sacred Choice in the Epsom and she went on to win the G1 Myer Classic and this year’s G1 Doncaster Mile.”

Being a Group 1 winning son of Shamardal is another factor in his favour.

Shamardal has built a record second-to-none among emerging dual-hemisphere stallions. He has sired 192 winners of 374 races at a 68% strike-rate! There have been 28 individual stakes winners of 48 stakes races among that total. And his stakes-winners to winners strike-rate is a staggering 14.6%.

Darley’s decision to keep Shamardal in England is a blow to the Australian breeding industry. But it’s a bonus for Raheen who can offer breeders a readymade replacement in Captain Sonador.

For further information, broodmare owners can contact: Basil Nolan (0407 140 711) or Basil Nolan jnr (0407 162 296).