07/11/2013 2:49PM

Animal Kingdom’s Southern Hemisphere breeding plans taking shape

Barbara D. Livingston
Animal Kingdom is preparing to ship to Australia for his first breeding season at John Messara's Arrowfield Stud.

Kentucky Derby winner and champion Animal Kingdom is preparing to travel to his new home in Australia, where local breeders will have their first opportunity to inspect him next month. 

The 5-year-old Leroidesanimaux horse, who won the Kentucky Derby in 2011 for Team Valor International and captured the Dubai World Cup this spring, is set to begin his stud career in September at John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud near Sydney, New South Wales, which acquired a majority interest in his breeding rights late last year. Animal Kingdom, who will stand for $38,500 Australian (about $35,328), already has 12 Group 1 winners or producers in his book at Arrowfield.

He will shuttle to spend the 2014 Northern Hemisphere season at Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s Darley at Jonabell Farm near Lexington, Ky., which acquired a 29 percent interest this spring. Team Valor retains a minority interest.

Animal Kingdom, trained throughout his career by Graham Motion, finished 11th in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes June 18 at Royal Ascot in his career finale, retiring with earnings of $8,387,500. He arrived at Darley’s Dalham Stud near Newmarket, England, on June 20 to prepare for his trip to Australia.

“We’re very pleased with the way Animal Kingdom has settled in, it’s like he’s always been here,” Dalham Stud director Liam O’Rourke said. “He enjoys his turnout each day and has been taking it all in his stride. He appears a very relaxed sort which is reflected in his good appetite, and he has gained 19 kilograms since his arrival – he hasn’t left an oat."

Animal Kingdom was to appear at Darley’s stallion show in England on July 11 and 12 before joining the operation’s Australian shuttling stallions in quarantine. He will fly to Australia on July 28.

Arrowfield will host its stallion show from Aug. 22 to 25, with the stallions parading each morning and available for informal inspection throughout the four days.