LEADING SOUTH AFRICAN stud farm Drakenstein Stud has purchased DUKE OF MARMALADE from Coolmore Stud in a deal brokered by Blandford Bloodstock.

THE top class son of the great champion DANEHILL, a five time Group 1 winner, was last year’s leading European Second Crop Sire with 9 individual Stakes winners to his name, outperforming the likes of New Approach, Henrythenavigator, Raven’s Pass and Fastnet Rock. Currently Duke of Marmalade is the leading 3rd crop sire in the Northern Hemisphere by stakes winners (12) and horses (9) (TDN Leading sires).

DUKE OF MARMALADE was rated 132 by Timeform after enjoying a spectacular four-year-old campaign in 2008 that included Group 1 wins in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes Gr.1 at Royal Ascot, the Juddmonte International Gr.1 at York and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes Gr.1 at Ascot.

Drakenstein Stud’s owner Gaynor Rupert said yesterday: “I am absolutely delighted that a horse of the quality and calibre of Duke Of Marmalade is coming to Drakenstein Stud to stand alongside Trippi, Horse Chestnut, Philanthropist and What A Winter.”

Mrs Rupert added: “We went to see The Duke last week at Coolmore Stud and we loved him.  He started quarantine yesterday and he will ship to Cape Town next month ready for the next Southern Hemisphere covering season.  Given what his progeny has achieved on the track already and that he has 234 unraced 2 year olds this season, I believe he is an outstanding addition to both the Drakenstein Stud stallion roster and the South African Stallion ranks.”

Duke Of Marmalade has sired 23 Stakes class performers to date including Aiden O’Brien’s classy Venus De Milo, a Group 3 winner of the Give Thanks Stakes and also second in last year’s Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and Irish Oaks.

Duke Of Marmalade is also a half brother to last year’s Investec Epsom Derby hero Ruler Of The World and hails from a really top class family of sires that includes Champion Sire in the US twice – AP Indy, Summer Squall, Al Mufti and Lemon Drop Kid who have all sprung from the foundation mare Lassie Dear who has had such a profound influence on South African racing and breeding.

Blandford Bloodstock’s Tom Goff said: “I believe this is a landmark moment both for Drakenstein Stud and for the South African breeding industry.  I cannot remember when a horse with so many of the high quality attributes that this stallion possesses went to stand in South Africa.”

Goff added: “He is a fantastic physical specimen and was a truly great racehorse by the mighty Danehill.  He has a superb pedigree that was matched by his great turn of foot and he has made a hugely promising start to his stud career.  I greatly look forward to seeing his progeny in South Africa.”

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