South African Star Charles Dickens Retires To Drakenstein Stud

Charles Dickens | Chase Liebenberg Photography & Design

South African wunderkind Charles Dickens (SAf) (Trippi–Demanding Lady (SAf), by Dynasty {SAf}) has been retired to Drakenstein Stud in South Africa, according to published reports.

Bred and raced by Drakenstein, the 4-year-old won 10 of his 13 starts and was placed in his other three for total earnings of R5,119,813 (£211,799/€247,085/$268,544). An undefeated stakes winner at two, the chestnut went six-for-eight at three with a score in the G1 Cape Guineas, followed by runner-up efforts in the G1 L'Ormarins King's Plate and G1 Cape Derby. Back in the winner's enclosure with a victory in the G2 Guineas, he added the G1 Gold Challenge in his sophomore finale. His final three starts were a half-length win in the G3 Matchem S. this October, a third in the G2 Green Point S. in December, and he signed off with a victory in the 2024 L'Ormarins King's Plate this month, a “Win And You're In” for the 2024 GI Breeders' Cup Mile.

Drakenstein's Gaynor Rupert told TBA South Africa, “Retiring Charles Dickens was a very hard decision to make. I would have loved to have seen him race until the end of the season, he would undoubtedly have won a few more big races but he has nothing left to prove.

“It is in the interest of the horse and of the shareholders that after much consultation, we decided to retire him and give him plenty of time off before the start of the breeding season.

He was blessed with speed, an incredible turn of foot, sheer brilliance, intelligence and remarkable cadence. I'm sure he will pass these traits on to his future progeny and we can't wait to see them.”

The Equus Champion 3-Year-Old and Equus Champion Miler is out of South African Broodmare of the Year Demanding Lady, who won the G2 Ipi Tombe Challenge. Charles Dickens is a full-brother to the G1 Cape Derby runner-up Charles (SAf) (Trippi) and to the stakes-winning Somerset Maugham (SAf) (Trippi), who was third in a pair of Grade 3s. This is the extended family of Group 1 winners War Command (War Front) and Rollout The Carpet (Aus) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), who was also the champion 2-year-old filly in New Zealand.

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