Azamour, sire of 2012 Prix de Diane Gr. 1 winner Valyra, will shuttle to Brighthill Farm
Four-time European Group One winner and top-flight producer Azamour has been secured for shuttle duty by Brighthill Farm in an historic agreement with His Highness the Aga Khan, one of the great owner-breeders of the thoroughbred world.
The champion older horse of Europe in 2005 will divide his time between his Irish base at The Aga Khan Studs’ Gilltown Stud in County Kildare and Nick and Anne-Marie King’s Waikato breeding operation at Tauwhare near Cambridge.
“We are really excited about this opportunity to stand such a great horse and the first horse owned by His Highness the Aga Khan to shuttle to this country,” Nick King said. “It is a great endorsement of New Zealand and how highly rated our stallion environment is.”
As a two-year-old, Azamour won the Group Two Beresford Stakes and at three he was the Group One winner of the stallion-making St James’s Palace Stakes and the Irish Champion Stakes at three and also placed in both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas. The following season he triumphed in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and was placed in the Breeders’ Cup Turf to seal Champion older horses honours of Europe.
Prepared throughout his career for his owner-breeder by Irish training master John Oxx, Azamour was retired to stud in 2006 and from his third crop left the unbeaten Gr.1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) winner Valyra, who was a leading contender for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe until she suffered a life-ending accident last summer.
He has also left the Group Two winners Eleanora Duse (Beresford Stakes), Shankardeh (Prix de Chaudenay) and the Group Three winners Colombian (Gordon Richards Stakes) and Native Khan (Solario Stakes, Craven Stakes). All four have also been placed at the highest level.
“The beauty of Azamour is not only was he a top-class racehorse he is also a proven stallion,” King said. “He’s a stunning individual at 16.2 hands; we looked at the market and he is exactly what we are lacking.
Australian staying races are dominated by European horses and we can put the NZ prefix to his progeny and sell them with confidence – we’re sure they will be highly commercial.”
The best is also yet to come for Azamour numbers-wise with one of his biggest crop of 100 two-year-olds coming through for the European season.”
By Northern Dancer’s son Night Shift, he is a half-brother to the Group One performer Arazan with their dam the stakes winning Lear Fan mare Asmara. Azamour’s grand-dam is also by Darshaan, the broodmare sire of outstanding Australasian stallion High Chaparral.
“We believe getting Azamour is a huge coup and after extensive negotiations we were able to secure the Southern Hemisphere breeding rights with help from Neven Botica, who purchased (associate sire) Dalghar from His Highness the Aga Khan,” King said.
The Group Three winning Dalghar is a half-brother by Anabaa to the European Horse of the Year and multiple Group One winner Dalakhani, who also stands at Gilltown Stud.
Azamour will join Perfectly Ready, Dalghar and Patapan on the Brighthill Farm stallion roster. He will stand at a fee of $12,000 + gst.
Click here for Azamour's pedigree.
For Azamour's video footage please, click here.