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Grandera Added To Darley Roster

Darley Australia has added World Racing Series champion Grandera to the roster of new stallions it will bring to its Hunter Valley stud this spring.

Grandera, a standout son of the recently deceased Grand Lodge, boosts the Darley roster that already includes first season newcomer Dubai Destination and Cape Cross, who is transferring to Australia after shuttle seasons in New Zealand.

“Grandera was a talented, super-tough champion who revelled on fast ground and who could unwind an exceptional finishing kick," said Darley Australia manager Oliver Tait.

"He was speedy and precocious and is by a stallion who did very well here.

"He should suit Australia to a tee, and I ’m thrilled we’ll be standing him on our

quickly expanding roster.”

Grandera became an internationally-acclaimed globetrotter, winning three G1 races in three countries as a four-year-old to win the 2002 World Racing Series championship.

It was not unexpected as Grandera had shown his class from the time he started racing as a two-year-old and confirmed it as a classic performer at three.

As a two-year-old Grandera was an impressive maiden winner before he was beaten a neck by King Charlemagne at his first start in a Group race in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes (1400m) at Newmarket.

At three he confirmed his class with a third in the G1 French Derby, beaten half a length by Anabaa Blue, a second in the G1 Eclipse Stakes to Medicean beating

Black Minnaloushe and a second in the G1 Juddmonte International to Sakhee (defeating Medicean) before easily winning the G2 Dubai Arc Trial from subsequent Arc runner up Mubtaker.

He was purchased by Godolphin after that victory, being looked on as in ideal horse to contest the World Racing Series as a four-year-old.

It was during his four-year-old season that he proved his stamina and durability as he travelled around the world in quest of the WRS title.

He went from Godolphin's Dubai base to Kranji to win the G1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) and then went back to Europe to challenge world-class opposition in the G1 Prince Of Wales ’s Stakes (2000m) at Royal Ascot.

Here he outclassed the champion mare Banks Hill and middle-distance stalwart Nayef with a scintillating turn of acceleration to score by five lengths.

That win earned him a Timeform mark of 129, four points better than his sire Grand Lodge.

He then took on another top class field including Hawk Wing and Best Of The Bests in the G1 Irish Champion Stakes (2000m) where he surged past his rivals to score on the line.

Grandera’s travels weren’t over as he was then flown to Australia for the G1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley where he finished third behind Northerly and Defier after having trouble coming to terms with the tight track.

He then proceeded to Hong Kong for his final start in the Hong Kong Cup, having already secured the WRS championship and where his seventh placing made no difference to that title.

A service fee for Grandera will be announced in April.

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