Arrowfield Stud's stallion roster will take on a different look in 2020, with dual Group 1 winner Castelvecchio retired from the track at the peak of his powers and Written Tycoon drafted from Victoria to fill a gap left when a decision was made not to shuttle three stallions from Japan.
Arrowfield Chairman John Messara admits the decision to callquits on Castelvecchio's racetrack career was a very difficult one for him personally, with the Arrowfield-owned colt initially aimed at winning the G1 Cox Plate in the spring.
But commercial considerations, plus the fact the new stallionwould be presented with an outstanding book of mares in hisdebut season alongside his own sire Dundeel (NZ), meant it wastoo good an opportunity to pass up and he will debut at $33,000(inc GST).
"We decided to retire Castelvecchio prematurely. We had bighopes of winning that Cox Plate after his effort last year when he was second," Messara told TDN AusNZ. "It was a really hard decision for me, because I'm getting on in age a bit and I thought this was the chance to win a Cox Plate. He was spelling beautifully here and was ready to go back into pre-training next week. But the pragmatic approach tells us that he will get the best opportunity he will ever get at stud this year.
Because of the circumstances where we have a lot of free mares that would suit that horse. There are a lot of Danehill-line mares that would have otherwise gone to other stallions that aren't here. He's going to get a once in a lifetime launch, Castelvecchio, already we have 50-60 bookings from shareholders. It's not going to be difficult to fill him up and makesure he gets a really good start in his life at stud."
Messara the businessman knows it was the right rein to pull,but Messara the racehorse owner can't help thinking about Castelvecchio adding to his successes in the G1 Champagne S.and G1 Rosehill Guineas. "In the end from a business point of view, it's the right thing to do, but from an emotional point of view I would have loved to race him on. He had a lot left to do. He was sound, he was well,and I reckon a couple of those lead-ups into the Cox Plate would have been a beautiful program for him as well as the race itself," he said.
A New Future Is Written
Written Tycoon is the other addition after an agreement wasmade with Woodside Park to move him to the Hunter Valley,having served in Victoria for all but one year of his 13-seasonbreeding career to date. He will make his Arrowfield debut at avery attractive fee of $77,000 (inc GST), a substantial drop onthe $110,000 he stood for in 2019 and being Danehill-free is setto get a very good book of mares.
By Bren O'Brien