Dual-Group One winner Grunt will spearhead Yulong Investments’ move into the stallion market in 2019, standing at the operation’s newly-acquired Yulong Farm in Nagambie, Victoria, for a fee of $13,750 (inc GST).
Trained by Mick Price to win five of his 12 starts, Grunt was officially retired to stud on Thursday having accumulated a brace of elite level victories and A$1,382,450 in prize-money during a stellar career on the track.
“It is tremendously exciting for Yulong’s stallion division to be launched with a dual Group One miler the quality of Grunt,” said Sam Fairgray, COO of Yulong Investments. “Many of the best stallions throughout history have excelled at a mile and we believe Grunt has the profile for success at stud.
“He is an outstanding-looking horse and importantly for breeders, completely Danzig free.”
Purchased from Trelawney Stud’s 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale for $220,000 by Price and Cameron Cooke Bloodstock, Grunt was sighted only once as a juvenile, placing third to subsequent Group One winner Aloisia at Flemington.
The son of O’Reilly broke his maiden impressively at the beginning of his three-year-old campaign, kicking off a four race winning streak which culminated with a tenacious victory in the Gr.1 Australian Guineas (1600m).
Grunt returned as a four-year-old to run out an authoritative two-length winner of the Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in September, beating eight Group One winners in the process, before signing off his racecourse exploits with a creditable fifth in the inaugural running of the A$5million All-Star Mile (1600m) earlier this month.
The four-year-old retires with a Timeform rating of 123, while his trainer is in no doubt as to his potential to excel in the stallion barn.
“An outstanding individual and brilliant 1600-metre horse, Grunt had an excellent temperament and I think he will make an excellent stallion” Price said.
From a stallion-making family, Grunt was bred by Trelawney and is one of three foals to race, all winners, out of the dual-winning mare Ruqquya, herself a half-sister to New Zealand horse of the year and promising Waikato Stud-based sire Ocean Park.
Grunt is a half-brother to the stakes-placed Addison, while further back this is the family of Group One winners Prince Kaapstad, Courtza and Madison County.
Like promising young stallion Dundeel, Grunt carries Zabeel on his dam side, while other sire sons of O’Reilly - Alamosa and Shamexpress - have already sired six Group winners and three Group One winners between them.
“On type and pedigree Grunt will suit a wide variety of mares, which is one of the major attributes that attracted us to him,” Fairgray added. “Yulong has strengthened its broodmare band over the last 12 months and we will be supporting Grunt in his first season with many of these mares.
“We will also be active at the upcoming broodmare sales to ensure he has the best possible start to his stud career.” -ANZ Bloodstock News