Al Thakhira in foal to Toronado
Al Shaqab Racing has retired Group 2 winner Al Thakhira to its French nursery at Haras de Bouquetot in Normandie.
The Dubawi mare is in foal to Toronado after an April cover at the English National Stud. Toronado will serve his first southern book at Swettenham Stud this year for a $22,000 (inc gst) service fee.
Al Thakhira scored on debut at Yarmouth last year and then graduated straight to stakes company for wins in the G2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket and LR October Stakes at Ascot.
The decision to up stumps comes after midfield finishes in stakes races at Lingfield and Haydock Park last month. “She has been a super race filly to us and a pleasure to train,” Newmarket conditioner Marco Botti said. “I’m sure she will mark her offspring with the class that she had. We are sure she will continue to have a long and successful career at stud.”
Her dam Dahama (Green Desert) is a half-sister to Longchamp Listed winner Bezrin (Danzig) from the immediate family of G1 Yasuda Kinen winner Heart Lake.
Toronado is a son of High Chaparral and will shuttle to Swettenham Stud after carrying Al Shaqab’s silks to Group 1 victories in the 2013 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and 2014 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
High Chaparral sired his 15th and latest Group 1 winner courtesy of Free Eagle in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday. Making just his fifth start for owner-breeder Moyglare Stud, he stormed to the lead and then had to dig deep to repel the sustained challenge of classic winner The Grey Gatsby.
“Free Eagle is a very good horse,” trainer Dermot Weld said. “When you’ve got a good horse it makes the training easy, but it hasn’t been easy with him. “He had a stress fracture of the tibia last year and had to miss all the classics. Then he got a heavy head cold a few weeks ago and today was very much in doubt but we got him right on the day that mattered.
“The Irish Champion Stakes will be on the agenda and I’ve always thought the Arc de Triomphe would be the race for him.”