Orlandi Predicts Legendary Status For Starfield's Additions To The Roster

Dubawi Legend is new to Micheal Orlandi's Compas Stallions this year | Racingfotos.com


It wouldn't be surprising to learn that the volume of traffic heading to Westmeath has significantly increased in the last few months. The county has welcomed four new stallions with Micheál Orlandi's Starfield Stud housing two of them. King Of Change (GB) has had two seasons under his belt already and joins Orlandi from Derrinstown Stud while Dubawi Legend (Ire) is new to stud this season.

Both stallions offer breeders unique and affordable opportunities for the season ahead and complement Orlandi's growing roster which includes Far Above (Ire), Kuroshio (Aus), Smooth Daddy and Galileo Chrome (Ire).

“It's a great honour to stand a son of Dubawi (Ire),” said Orlandi of Dubawi Legend's sire line. “He was Champion European Sire last year and as we've seen with sons of Dubawi in the shape of New Bay (GB), Night of Thunder (Ire), Zarak (Fr) etc, he's proved to be a sire of sires.”

As well as being from one of the strongest sire lines shaping the breed currently, Dubawi Legend also had other attributes which attracted Orlandi to him.

“He was a top-class 2-year-old,” explained Orlandi. “He was the second highest-rated 2-year-old of his year, he was pipped to being champion by Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) who beat him in the G1 Dewhurst S. His 3-year-old campaign might not have gone exactly to plan but he still showed a lot of speed and won a Group 3 in Germany. He's run enough to show that he is sound and consistent, and he has retired sound of limb and wind.”

Describing his conformation, Orlandi added, “He's 16hh and he has great limbs on him. He's a dark bay with no white on him, which is important to some breeders, as well as having a lovely action.”

Although Dubawi Legend didn't arrive at the yard until January, Orlandi has been pleased with the amount of footfall he has seen in those all-important pre-season months.

“The most mares we have covered with a stallion was 140 and that was for Far Above,” said Orlandi. “Judging by the traction we had with him before his first season compared to the traction we have had for Dubawi Legend, I would envisage we will cover the same number if not more. He's the most popular stallion we have ever retired to stud, bringing in not just my existing clients but also new breeders.”

Orlandi's other recruit, King Of Change, has two seasons at stud under his belt and his first crop of foals were popular at the 2022 foal sales. His top lot came courtesy of a Mareshah Stud-consigned colt at the Goffs November Foal Sale who sold for €50,000 and buyers included the likes of WH Bloodstock, Whatton Manor Stud, Peter and Ross Doyle among others.

“Some might say we are cornering the market of having sons Of Farhh (GB) given that we have Far Above here too,” joked Orlandi. “King Of Change is probably Farhh's leading son because he was second in the Guineas, he won the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. and he's a beautiful, big, imposing horse with a fantastic walk.”

“He spent two seasons at Derrinstown,” explained Orlandi. “He was a stallion prospect we enquired about before he retired to stud but it wasn't meant to be then, but he's joined us now and we are delighted to have him. Those people who sold foals by him or who have yearlings by him now are coming back to use him this year and we had a limited number of breeding rights to sell which went down very well.”

Everyone knows that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make it in any facet of the industry, but it can be especially hard to be an independent stallion operator. Orlandi's Compas Stallions first started back in 2016 with Showcasing (GB)'s Cappella Sansevero (GB) and he has come a long way since then to now be fully established at Starfield Stud with an expanding roster of young stallions.

Reflecting on the business, Orlandi said, “It's going really well to be honest, we are still in business and that's the trick, to stay afloat. We've taken a long-term view that hopefully we can stand stallions successfully and that doesn't just mean that we make a business out of it but that we stand stallions that can impact the breed forevermore.”

With the season in full swing and hopefully many horse boxes navigating their way to the Irish midlands, maybe it won't be long before Compas Stallions puts Orlandi on the global map.

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