2013 Australian Guineas winner Ferlax has been retired to stud and will stand at Haunui Farm in New Zealand for the upcoming breeding season.
Ferlax made his racing debut with a win at Echuca on November 20 in 2012 and took out races in both Benalla and Sale before being thrown in the deep end at Group 1 level in the Australian Guineas at Flemington on March 2 in just his fourth start.
Ferlax started the Australian Guineas at lengthy odds, despite the withdrawal of raging favourite All Too Hard, but managed to score a narrow win over You’re So Good and Sheer Talent to stamp himself as an exciting stallion prospect.
The son of Pentire had no luck when seventh in the Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 16 and was sent for a stint in the spelling paddock and returned to the races with a fair performance in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on August 10 before finishing second behind glamour mare Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) – beating home Group 1 winners Super Cool, It’s A Dundeel, Green Moon, Fiorente, Happy Trails, Luckygray, Silent Achiever and Seville.
Ferlax was hindered by foot issues in both the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and was sent to spelling paddock prematurely before missing the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival with the same lingering issue.
Connections made the decision to retire Ferlax to stud, rather than attempt to bring the rising five-year-old back for a 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, and Haunui Farm Studmaster Mark Chitty said that he was delighted to acquire the Australian Guineas winner is confident that he can develop into a leading stallion.
“Any horse that can win his first four starts, culminating in a Group One win, is a serious racehorse, especially when the Group One race is the Australian Guineas – a time-honoured and stallion-making Classic run at set weights,” Chitty said in a statement.
“When you consider the list of past winners of the Australian Guineas and see the names of champion sires Zabeel, Flying Spur and Pins, you realise that Ferlax has excellent credentials and prospects for stallion success.
“He is by a champion sire, his dam sire was a champion sire and champion broodmare sire and importantly he is a very good-looking horse.
“As a Group One-winning classic horse, Ferlax fits in well with our current stallion line-up at Haunui, which already features exciting young sires Iffraaj and Showcasing.
“The fact that Jonathan has chosen Haunui and importantly New Zealand as the base for Ferlax provides Haunui and our breeding industry with an exciting new Group One stallion prospect.”
Ferlax finished his racing career with four wins from just nine starts, picking up over $400,000 in prizemoney for connections, and will stand for a first-year service fee of $7000 plus GST.