HARZAND trounced nine rivals by 16 lengths and more in a Cork maiden, an odds-on success that was followed two weeks later by his defeat of Idaho in the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown, both on heavy ground.
The Aga Khan’s homebred, trained by Dermot Weld, then hit the front over a furlong from home before staying on in great style to win the Group 1 Derby at Epsom by a length and a half from U S Army Ranger, with Idaho another length and a quarter behind in third.
Pat Smullen, who rode the colt in all of his starts, sent Harzand to the front even sooner at the Curragh, the pair going noticeably well from a long way out, taking the lead two and a half furlongs from home and fighting back to keep Idaho at bay by half a length. The dual Derby hero was an early stallion son of the Timeform 140-rated Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and dual classic-winning champion Sea The Stars (Cape Cross), his former team-mate at Gilltown Stud.
We all know what Sea The Stars has gone on to achieve at stud. He is the sire of the runaway Group 1 Deutsches (German) Derby victor Sea The Moon, and that Lanwades Stud-based stallion is now himself a Group 1 sire. Other leading sons of Sea The Stars include the brilliant Baaeed, Crystal Ocean, Cloth Of Stars, promising sire Zelzal, Fifty Stars, and many of these are now in the early stages of their stud career.
Add to this impressive list such wonderful racemares as Sea Of Class, Taghrooda, Sea La Rosa, Emily Upjohn, Vazira, Miss Yoda, Teona and Star Catcher, and it is easy to understand why Sea The Stars is one of the most sought-after sires in the world.
With an impressive strike rate of winners to runners, and with his initial runners over jumps showing great promise, Harzand is one of the best ever recruits to a National Hunt Stud. Con and Claire O’Keeffe did well to secure him for duty at Kilbarry Lodge Stud, and it is a safe bet that he will go on to enjoy top-level success in the same way that such as Jeremy has done in the past,
Even while standing at Gilltown Stud, National Hunt breeders had cottoned on to Harzand’s potential with his National Hunt performers, and many astute people in that sector have sent mares to him in the past three seasons,
Harzand is the best of four stakes winners out of Group 3 Athasi Stakes winner Hazariya (Xaar) and the long list of stakes winners in the first few generations of his family include the Group 1 stars Seal Of Approval (Authorized), Streama (Stratum) and Hittite Glory (Habitat), the latter the Group 1 Middle Park and Group 1 Flying Childers Stakes star of 1975.
HARZAND (IRE), Brown 2013. Champion 3yr old in Europe in 2016 (11-13f.). Won four races, £1,535,850, from 1 mile 2 furlongs to 1½ miles, at 3 years including, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, Curragh, Gr.1, Investec Derby Stakes, Epsom Downs, Gr.1, P W McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes, Leopardstown, Gr.3.
Retired to Stud in 2017, and sire of the winners of 74 races, and £802,564, including GO ON CARLRAS (SWE), French Fusion (IRE), and sire of the winners of 7 races, and £74,784 under N.H. Rules, including Dionis (GER)
Stands at: Kilbarry Lodge Stud, Waterford X91 D602, Ireland.
Contact: Con and Claire O’Keeffe, or Eddie Fanning
Telephone: +353 51 373184, or +353 87 6822773 (Con), 87 3398639 (Claire) or 85 2826899 (Eddie)