Changing of the guard at Haunui

Multiple Group One winner Ribchester will join Haunui Farm’s stallion roster in 2020. Photo: Supplied

Haunui Farm has announced that the decision has been made to call time on the shuttling career of Group One producing stallion Iffraaj.

“After lengthy discussions with the team from Darley, we have made the decision to retire Iffraaj from Southern Hemisphere serving duties after 12 years. At 19 years of age, the decision was made solely in Iffraaj’s best interests,” Haunui Farm Managing Director Mark Chitty said.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and his entire team at Darley for entrusting us with Iffraaj for so many seasons. 

“He has certainly made his mark in the Southern Hemisphere and his results here have helped lift him to the elite echelon of stallions. His legacy is certainly set to continue in Australasia.

“Iffraaj will be sadly missed by all of us here at Haunui and we wish the Darley team every success with him as he continues his career in the Northern Hemisphere.”

Iffraaj’s retirement comes with an exciting silver-lining for Haunui Farm and the New Zealand breeding industry with the announcement that Iffraaj’s best son, Ribchester, will relocate from Darley Australia to Haunui Farm for the 2020 breeding season.

Ribchester won four Group Ones on his way to being crowned Champion three-year-old and four-year-old miler in Europe and is an exciting addition to New Zealand’s stallion ranks.

“Who better to replace Iffraaj on the Haunui stallion roster than his best son,” Chitty said. “We’re very excited to have Ribchester coming to Haunui in 2020, especially given we were very keen to secure him for New Zealand stud duties when he was initially retired.”

Ribchester spent the majority of his racing career at the highest level with 15 of his 16 career starts at Group level, 11 of those starts at Group One level including four wins – the Prix Jacques Le Marois (1600m), Lockinge Stakes (1600m), Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (1600m) – with a further six Group One placings. 

As a result he received a Timeform rating of 129.

Godolphin Australia Managing Director Vin Cox said the global giant has had a long association with Haunui Farm and he is looking forward to continuing that relationship through Ribchester.

“This is as much a game about relationships as it is horses and our relationship with Haunui goes back to the days of Carnegie,” Cox said.  

“Haunui have managed the Southern Hemisphere stud career of Iffraaj in exemplary fashion so it is fitting that Ribchester can fill the gap he will leave.  

“We are extremely confident of the prospects for the stallion – he has covered good quality mares in each of his two seasons at stud to date and we have a lovely half-sister to Trekking amongst a very good group of weanlings that will find their way into the Godolphin training system.

“We also have the stakes winning three-quarter sister to Colette and the dam of Chenier amongst a dozen Godolphin mares due to foal to him this season. New Zealanders can breed to him with confidence.”

Ribchester will join Champion two-year-old and dual Group One winner Belardo on the stallion roster at Haunui Farm, whose first crop yearlings were well received at Karaka 2020. 

Ribchester will stand for a fee of $15,000+GST and Belardo $10,000+GST.

“The news that Iffraaj wasn’t going to return was a big blow in light of the current COVID-19 situation but to replace him with Ribchester has certainly put a spring in our step,” Chitty said.

“To be offering two champions and multiple Group One winners at these service fees, we hope will assist New Zealand breeders to be able to access world class racehorses, from proven sire lines, at extremely good value.”

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