Exceed And Excel Retires After 'Journey of Excellence'

Exceed And Excel | Darley Stallions

Former Australian champion sire and influential shuttle stallion Exceed And Excel (Aus) (Danehill), described as “an amazing horse from day dot”, has been retired from stud duties by Darley at the age of 23.

The announcement came on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the sprinter's victory in the G1 Newmarket H. at Flemington. After that win for owners Nick Moraitis and Alan Osburg, he was bought by Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum as a stallion prospect and made one final start for Tim Martin in the July Cup in the UK. Exceed And Excel was crowned champion sprinter in Australia in 2003/04, with seven wins from 11 career starts, six of which came at Group level, including the G2 Todman S.

Since those days he has compiled a comprehensive record at stud both in his native Australia and during shuttle stints at both Dalham Hall Stud in England and Kildangan Stud in Ireland. 

“We priced him at A$50,000 in his first season (at stud) and that was aggressive back then. He was immediately very popular, he covered a really good book first year and they sold very well,” said Darley Australia's Head of Stallions Alastair Pulford.

“His first crop was absolutely outstanding so he really announced himself as a stallion immediately. Exceedingly Good won the first two-year-old race of the season at Flemington and we thought, 'We're in business here'.

“A few months later he quinellaed both the divisions of the Blue Diamond Preludes. He got the Blue Diamond winner in his second crop, Reward For Effort, who went on to a career at stud himself.

“His sixth crop was an exceptional crop; we sent a lot of high-class mares of our own to him that year. The level of mares he was getting was high and that crop included the Golden Slipper winner Overreach, Guelph and Sidestep.”

One of the few reverse shuttlers to properly make a mark in Europe, Exceed And Excel's northern hemisphere Group/Grade 1 winners include Margot Did (GB), Excelebration (Ire), Outstrip (GB) and Mischief Magic (Ire). Most recently he was represented by a British Classic winner when the homebred Mawj (Ire) won last year's 1,000 Guineas for Godolphin and Saeed Bin Suroor. He is also the broodmare sire of Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and, through Outstrip, features as the grandsire of Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip (Fr).

Bred by the Ascot Breeding Partnership, Exceed And Excel is a son of Patrona (Lomond) and was bought for A$375,000 at the 2002 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. 

As he embarks on his retirement he is the sire of 18 Group/Grade 1 winners worldwide and is the only Australian-bred horse to have sired more than 200 stakes winners.The elite group of seven stallions to have achieved that feat is completed by his own sire Danehill, Sadler's Wells, Galileo (Ire), Dubawi (Ire), More Than Ready and Deep Impact (Jpn).

Along with the aforementioned Anthony Van Dyck, Exceed And Excel's record as a broodmare sire in Europe is extended by the Group 1 winners Ten Sovereigns (Ire) (No Nay Never) and Vandeek (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}). His sons remaining at stud in Ireland include Cotai Glory (GB), Bungle Inthejungle (GB) and Kuroshio (Aus).

Godolphin Australia's bloodstock manager Jason Walsh also paid tribute to the horse. He said, “He's been the most reliable source of early speed for so many seasons in both hemispheres, and his effect on the breed, and certainly on our organisation, globally has been profound.

“The other thing that makes him remarkable is the number of seasons he would have shuttled consecutively, just amazing.”

“He's been a pleasure to have around, from a personality perspective he's a true gentleman and has been a statesman in our stallion complex for so long. He's got some outstanding young stock coming through from some of our best-performed young mares.”


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