02/28/2014 1:56PM

Darley buys majority interest in Cairo Prince

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Barbara D. Livingston
Darley has purchased a majority interest in Cairo Prince, winner of the Holy Bull Stakes on Jan. 25.

Sheik Mohammed al-Maktoum’s Darley operation has purchased a majority interest in multiple graded stakes winner Cairo Prince, considered among the leading candidates for the Kentucky Derby.

The Pioneerof the Nile colt, winner of the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes on Jan. 25, will remain in the barn of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and will race in the colors of Godolphin Racing. He will continue to point for the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 29.

“We are excited to be involved with such a promising 3‐year‐old at this time of the year,” Jimmy Bell, president of Darley America, said. “And it is also special that our longtime trainer is handling the horse and we have the opportunity to share this excitement with the colt’s current owners.”

The Holy Bull, which Cairo Prince won by 5 3/4 lengths, was the second graded stakes triumph for the colt, who also won the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes last fall. His only loss in four career starts is a runner-up effort to Honor Code in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes. To date, he has bankrolled $512,000 and earned 14 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby, placing him eighth on the current list of contenders. He is currently ranked first on the Derby Watch list produced by Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman and Mike Watchmaker.

Cairo Prince had been campaigned by the Namcook Stables of Terry Murray, Paul Braverman, Harvey A. Clarke and Craig W. Robertson III., which purchased him for $250,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale.

“We are very pleased to be aligned and in partnership with one of the preeminent Thoroughbred racing and breeding operations in the world,” Murray said.

From the first crop of Pioneerof the Nile, Cairo Prince is out of the multiple stakes winning Holy Bull mare Holy Bubbette. Holy Bull, the 1994 Horse of the Year, spent his stud career at the Bell family’s Jonabell Farm near Lexington, Ky., a facility that was later purchased by Darley. He was pensioned in 2012.

Cairo Prince is a three quarter-brother to Grade 1-placed winner Nonna Mia. Nonna Mia is by Empire Maker, the sire of Pioneerof the Nile.