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Dunaden to stand at Overbury Stud

Melbourne Cup and triple Group One winner heads to Gloucestershire base 18 August 2014

Brilliant racehorse Dunaden, the winner of more than £5,000,000 in prize money, will take up stallion duties at Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire.

His owner, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, and Overbury Stud’s Simon Sweeting, have reached an agreement and the triple Group One winner will cover some high-class mares in 2015. A fee will be announced shortly.

Best known for his victory in Australia’s most famous race, the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup, Dunaden also landed two top-grade races over a mile and a half – the Gr.1 Hong Kong Vase and Gr.1 Caulfield Cup. During seven seasons he ran 46 times, won ten races and was placed a further 19 times.

David Redvers, Sheikh Fahad’s racing and bloodstock advisor, said: “I am delighted we have found Dunaden a wonderful home with such a professional operator as Simon Sweeting.

“Being based close to Tweenhills Farm & Stud will enable us to walk in plenty of Sheikh Fahad’s best mares to be covered by him. Sheikh Fahad is determined to give the horse the opportunity to shine at stud as he did on the racecourse.

“We will be looking at all sorts of incentives to secure him the best book of Flat mares in addition to the dual-purpose types he is bound to attract.”

Simon Sweeting added: “It is a hugely exciting to be standing a horse of Dunaden’s stature and to be involved with Sheikh Fahad and David Redvers.

“Everything about Dunaden suggests he can become a successful sire – he is an extremely attractive individual, both in looks and temperament, he is a triple Group One winner, rated 130 by Timeform, and he won more than £5,000,000 in prize money . “I fully expect breeders to share in Sheikh Fahad’s enthusiasm for the horse.”

The peak of Dunaden’s career was achieved after being bought privately by Sheikh Fahad through Redvers in the autumn of 2010. In April the following year he was sent to trainer Mikel Delzangles and won the Gr.3 Prix de Barbeville on his first start for the yard. His target became the Melbourne Cup, and after a prep-race victory in the Gr.3 Geelong Cup he duly landed the big one, beating another major prize-money winner, Red Cadeaux.

In prime form, Dunaden continued on his travels and a month later won the Gr.1 Hong Kong Vase. Back in Australia in 2012 he took the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup, and while unable to add to his winning score in 2013 put up some stellar efforts at the top level. He was fourth in the Gr.1 Dubai Sheema Classic, third in the Gr.1 Prix Ganay, second in the Gr.1 Coronation Cup, second in the Gr.1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (beaten just 1¼l by Novellist), and then fifth in the Japan Cup (only 1½l behind winner Gentildonna).

From there he went on to finish third in the Gr.1 Japan Cup, beaten ¾l by winner Dominant and just a short head behind multiple Stakes heroine The Fugue. Dunaden’s full-brother, Pearl Dragon, who also races under Sheikh Fahad’s Pearl Bloodstock banner from Delzangles’ stable, recently won in France on debut. The pair are sons of high-class miler Nicobar, having been foaled by the Kaldounevees mare La Marlia. Kaldounevees himself was responsible for siring outstanding performers Ange Gabrial and Terre A Terre.