Derby Winner Aiming For New World Record

Ruler Of The World arriving at Allevamenti della Berardenga last month

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An awful lot has changed in the world of Italian breeding since Nearco (Ity) was bred in 1935 by the legendary Federico Tesio. The Pharos (GB) colt's faultless 14-race career, which included victories in the Derby Italiano and Grand Prix de Paris, led to his sale, on the cusp of World War II, to stand in England at Beech House Stud, where a bomb shelter was constructed to ensure his safety. 

It proved to be a precaution worth taking. As the sire of Nearctic and grandsire of Northern Dancer, Nearco's influence on the breed has been profound, even while the Thoroughbred heritage of his home country has sadly dwindled during that time. His breeder famously uttered the words to which fans of the world's most famous Classic cling in what sometimes feels like vain hope that its own significance will endure.

“The Thoroughbred exists because its selection has depended, not on experts, technicians or zoologists, but on a piece of wood: the winning post of the Epsom Derby,” decried Tesio. 

He would then perhaps have appreciated the fact that Nearco's fifth-generation male-line descendant, the 2013 Derby winner Ruler Of The World (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), has recently arrived in Tuscany to continue his stud career at the Cipriani family's Allevamenti della Berardenga, also know as Scuderia Andy Cap.

The beautifully bred son of the Kingmambo mare Love Me True counts Duke of Marmalade (Ire) (Danehill) among his four black-type siblings, and sired the four-time Group/Grade 1 winner Iridessa (Ire) in his first crop. His 3-year-old daughter La Petite Coco (Ire) has also been something of a revelation this season, winning four of her six starts, including the G2 Blandford S. and G3 Give Thanks S.

If recent activity at the farm near Siena is anything to go by, Ruler Of The World may find himself pretty busy during the early part of 2022. He replaces his fellow Classic winner and son of Galileo, Magician (Ire), who set a new Italian record when covering 134 mares at the farm last year before returning to Ireland to stand at Meelin Stud.

Bloodstock agent Marco Bozzi will be managing the stallion along with his partners Guido Berardelli and Mattia Cadrobbi, all of whom were also involved with Magician. Cadrobbi was named president of the Association of Italian Breeders (ANAC) in March but is stepping down from that role following Saturday's election, though he remains on the board. Rome-based Bozzi and Berardelli have been in partnership for 28 years and set up the Italian Thoroughbred and Trotting Sales (ITS) which has recently ended its collaboration with fellow Italian sales company SGA.

Explaining the background to Ruler Of The World's transfer to Italy, Bozzi says, “In the past we have stood College Chapel (GB), Dr Devious (Ire), King Charlemagne (Ire), and then we had a gap for a long time. Coolmore wanted to relocate Requinto (Ire) so we took him, and he went very well. After Requinto was relocated to Saudi Arabia we had the opportunity to have Magician last year and he was very popular.”

He continues, “Magician was then requested to go back to Ireland and we needed some more horses. I have a good relationship with Haras de Bouquetot, and Benoit [Jeffroy] offered me Ruler Of The World. This is very good for Italy to have a Derby winner, and the sire of a Group 1 winner. He's a magnificent-looking horse with a wonderful pedigree and we have already had a lot of interest in nominations. La Petite Coco beat Love last time out and is staying in training.”

Ruler Of The World is not the only new arrival at Allevamenti della Berardenga for the 2022 season, as he will be joined later this week by Cappella Sansevero (GB) (Showcasing {GB}), who moves to Italy after six seasons in Ireland under Micheal Orlandi's Compas Stallions banner. 

“Ruler Of The World is a stayer and we needed something with a bit of speed,” said Bozzi. “I didn't know Micheal Orlandi but he is of Italian origin and he offered us Cappella Sansevero, who has 70 foals this year. I think we can get him at least 50 or 60 mares. He's by Showcasing and is an outcross.”

Magician's book of mares in 2021 was not far off 25% of the entire broodmare population in Italy, which has dropped from around 1,700 only a decade ago. The stallion ranks have however also been boosted this year with the arrival of the Shadwell duo of Markaz (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Adaay (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}).

Siena is better known for another form of horse racing as the historic home of the Palio, and for those sending their mares to the farm run by Melissa Cipriani, there are some unusual incentives. Located less than an hour from Florence and under two hours from Pisa and Rome, that stunning area of Tuscany is home not just to a number of breeders but also some star names.

Bozzi says, “There are lovely old villas and vineyards surrounding the stud. Sting and Leonard DiCaprio have villas nearby and it's a beautiful area. Some of the Palio jockeys are clients of mine and they have mares.”

He adds, “Many breeders bring their mares and then spend a long weekend locally. Siena never gets too cold–it has a micro-climate which is perfect for the mares. It's an area that includes a lot of breeders and that's why it is a great place to stand a stallion.”

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