By Lydia Symonds
Gun Runner, the runaway leading second-crop sire in North America, will be available to cover a limited book of mares on Southern Hemisphere time in 2022, Three Chimneys has announced.
The son of Candy Ride (Arg) will be available to breeders in the Southern Hemisphere at a fee of US$75,000 (AU$109,700).
Since retiring to the breeding shed in 2018, Gun Runner has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the U.S. stallion ranks and with only two crops of racing age, he is already the sire of 12 stakes winners, spearheaded by five top-flight winners including GI Preakness winner Early Voting.
Doug Cauthen, the Vice Chairman of Three Chimneys, told TDN AusNZ he believed the stallion had all the attributes to make him a successful sire in the Southern Hemisphere.
“The decision to make the stallion available to cover Southern Hemisphere time is two-fold; firstly, there have been a lot of inquiries about him and we have some matings booked already,” he said.
“Secondly, on a limited basis, we want to try to introduce him into the market because we believe he has all the potential to be a successful Southern Hemisphere (sire) as well.”
Staggering start at stud
With 53 winners from 97 starters this far, three of which have come in Japan, Gun Runner's winners-to-runners strike rate stands at 54.6 per cent, while the 12 stakes winners means he fires at a staggering 12.4 per cent for stakes winners to runners.
The 30 winners, headed by six stakes winners, led him to be North America's leading first-crop sire of 2021 by both winners and earnings in 2021, with GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Echo Zulu his leading earner.
“We have a high respect for the market there and you don't want to go in half-cocked, so we felt that now he is fully loaded to be introduced properly.,” said Cauthen. “There has been demand already and that is encouraging and shows it is the right time.”
“We want to respect breeders' opinions on what they think will work with the stallion,” he continued. “When top breeders show interest, you can give them input, but you should let them decide what will work with the stallion in the market.”
His dam is the GII Molly Pitcher S. winner Quiet Giant, by Giant's Causeway, and she is herself a daughter of Listed scorer and top-producer Quiet Dance (Quiet American).
Gun Runner proved a dominant force on a racecourse, winning 12 of his 19 starts including six at the highest level which saw him accrue $16,037,138 in earnings.
Determination and speed
Cauthen said Gun Runner was a brilliant racehorse himself and instils similar traits within his progeny, making his offspring very popular with trainers.
“He has a great pedigree and he himself was a magnificent racehorse who had very few limits,” he said. “He could come from off the pace, he had determination and he had speed,” he said. “In his progeny, you see lovely action. They are great walkers, they're great movers and they have great minds and they want to do it; these are primary aspects for a racehorse, any horseman or trainer will tell you that and that is what he is passing on to his progeny.
“We are blessed to have him doing so well and we hope and pray it continues. We are encouraged by his talent and we feel the time is right to test out another continent–it is the right time.”