Recently retired three-year-old colt Soul Patch will start his stud career at Rangal Park Stud, Euroa this season.
The outstanding son of Shamus Award, out of God Bless Us, was retired after finishing third, beaten 1.4 lengths in the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington on February 29.
Soul Patch, trained at Cranbourne by Ken Keys had eight starts for three wins, one second and two thirds totalling $605,850.
Rangal Park owner Eric Buttler said Soul Patch’s service fee has been set at $8800.
“The horse has only had eight starts and has been retired due to injury. In those eight starts he had three wins, including a Group 2 win (Moonee Valley Vase) and had Group 1 placings,” Buttler said.
“I would like to have any horse that had eight starts and earnt over $600,000 in prizemoney.
“If he could do that in eight starts, give him a little bit of maturity, what could you expect? Your expectations would be pretty high if you put him back in work but due to injury that’s not going to happen.”
Buttler said the service fee had been set in recognition of what “was happening around the traps at the moment.”
He said that although Soul Patch got over a bit of distance – up to 2500m when he finished fourth in the Group 1 Victoria Derby – he has Snitzel on his top line and Flying Spur on his dam side.
“So there is plenty of speed in there if you want to unlock it by breeding speed to him,” Buttler said.
Asked if he was always keen to get Soul Patch after his premature retirement, Buttler said: “Yes, but it was just an approach with willing participants at the other end that we secured his services.”
Keys bought Soul Patch for $45,000 from the Armidale Stud draft at the 2018 Tasmanian Magic Millions Yearling Sale. His wife, Louise was managing owner of the colt.
He said while Soul Patch’s injury was unfortunate, it was terrific that he would get his chance as a stallion.
And Keys has always believed that Soul Patch would have become a genuine Group 1 winning horse if his career hadn’t been ended with a tendon injury.
“He was still learning his trade – what might have been,” Keys said.
“Even the last start, and we didn’t know it of course, Craig (Williams) said he felt he didn’t warm up before the race and adrenalin took over.
“I couldn’t work out how the second horse went past him because no other horse had gone past him in a race.
“His ability to run quick sectionals was amazing.”
Keys believed that Soul Patch was more a genuine miler and isn’t sure whether running a place in the Derby was beneficial to breeders.
“He wasn’t a true stayer,” Keys said.
“Up to 2000m I would suggest.
“But he could run fast and that’s the bottom line. He won as a two-year-old (over 1200m) at his one start and I guess we could have run more but we decided not to.” He had a 25 week spell before resuming as a three year-old.
Keys said he certainly believes Soul Patch has the chance to make it as a stallion but says who knows whether he’ll get the numbers to be given that opportunity.
“But he is a chance and I’m just rapt that he has got a home,” he said.
Keys, who also trained and owned Rich Enuff before selling a percentage of the stallion to Woodside Park Stud, sent Rich Enuff’s dam, Hotnuff to Shamus Award last year when he relocated from the Hunter Valley to Victoria’s Rosemont Stud at Gnarwarre.
“I got in early with that one and he is a good stallion and will keep getting better.” he said.
A half-brother to Soul Patch, two year-old Indictment (Street Boss/God Bless Us), ran fourth on debut at Caulfield on Saturday which convinces Keys that the family is on the up. Keys also trains the colt and paid $95,000 for him at the 2019 Tasmanian Yearling sale.
“It’s a family that will grow,” Keys said.
Keys and Buttler also enjoyed some success during the week when Bobby Rocks won at Pakenham over 1400m.
While Keys trains the five year-old, Buttler stands his sire, Danerich, at Rangal Park.
Buttler said they had a bit of a hiccup with Danerich last year when he injured a back leg and was unsure whether he would able to fulfil his stud duties, but he did.
Buttler described Danerich as under estimated.
“He produces winners on wet or dry conditions, colts or fillies and he has had winners from 900m up to 3200m. Danerich currently has got 65 per cent runners to winners’ ratio” Buttler remarked.
“He is a very much under estimated stallion and always has been. He has passed under a lot of people’s radar but he is certainly got the goods.”
Danerich (Danehill/Millrich), a Group 3 and listed winner, stands at Rangal Park for a service fee of $6600.
Buttler said he was always keen on Danerich as a stallion prospect and got him when his racing career finished early in 2007.
“He has done a masterful job at stud,” he said.
“He has never had any Group 1 mares lined up for him at the front gate and for the mares he has covered he has done an exceptional job.”