MANATEE, a well-bred dual Group 2 winner, has been purchased to stand at Ronnie O’Neill’s Whytemount Stud in Co Kilkenny in a deal brokered by bloodstock agent Richard Venn.

The 10-year-old son of Monsun had stood at Haras de Hoguenet in Normandy since 2017, and his first crop of three-year-olds has already yielded the French jumps winners Imagine Allen and Ronchette.

Manatee was bred by Darley and is by outstanding stamina influence Monsun out of the Group 3-winning Galileo mare Galatee, making him a half-brother to Hardwicke Stakes and Yorkshire Cup winner Dartmouth.

He was trained by André Fabre to win four races including the Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris and Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly, and to run fourth – beaten less than two lengths – in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at the highest level.

“I’m delighted to have got the opportunity to buy him,” said O’Neill. “He arrived on Thursday and he’s an absolute beauty – a big horse with a rich, dark coat and a lot of presence about him. That’s what Irish National Hunt breeders want, and he fits the bill.

“He’s by the right sire, too. Monsun is going to have a huge influence on jumps breeding and there are fewer and fewer of his sons coming through.”

Manatee will stand at Whytemount Stud alongside Affinisea, Feel Like Dancing and Valirann next year, with fees to be confirmed at a later date.