Kentucky stud duty could call for Flintshire

Flintshire: has won four Group/Grade 1 races during his career

PICTURE: Jessie Holmes / Equisport Photos Kentucky stud career on the cards for Flintshire
By Michele MacDonald 3:30PM 26 AUG 2016

JUDDMONTE'S world-travelling iron horse Flintshire could begin his stud career at the Kentucky branch of Khalid Abdullah's breeding empire in 2017 if he captures the American turf male championship this season.

Garrett O'Rourke, manager of Juddmonte's farm in Lexington, said recently that a championship title would "create the opportunity" for Flintshire to stand in Kentucky.

A six-year-old British-bred son of Juddmonte's Dansili out of Grade 2 winner Dance Routine, by Sadler's Wells, Flintshire has won both his starts this season in America after being sent from former trainer Andre Fabre in France to New York-based Chad Brown.

Overall, Flintshire has won four Grade/Group 1 races in a 21-race career that began in 2013 and has spanned three continents.

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Flintshire could race three more times this year, all in Grade 1 events, with the Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday, the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park on October 1 and the Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita on November 5 his goals, O'Rourke said.

"Obviously it's coming up to the critical point in the season where we have to get into discussions about [Flintshire's stud career], so we will do that between now and October," O'Rourke added. "If he's champion at the end of the year, like we hope he would be, obviously his value is going to be a lot different from what it might be today. So I think it's prudent for us to wait to make any decisions."

When asked if, considering Flintshire's breeding and superiority on turf, the horse could be viable in Kentucky, O'Rourke said "I'd hope so.

"Everyone is nervous sometimes about standing a grass horse [in the US], but then the market gets to where there are fewer of the desirable grass horses available to breeders. At that point in time, I think a horse like him can avail of the opportunity that presents itself.

"So I think that's where he'll probably fall next year. Ultimately, I think it has to be said that if the US is looking like it might go to [a policy of] no raceday medication, everyone will be looking for Flintshire types. That's one thing that we're very proud that he is – he's unbelievably sound."

On his most recent start, Flintshire overcame being trapped in a small field to prevail smartly with a win in the Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga in July, leading Brown to express how impressed he has been with Flintshire's efforts.

Flintshire already is one of the leading earners in American racing history with a ranking of 11th all-time among American-raced runners due to his bankroll of $8,274,910. He won this year's Manhattan Stakes in June and the 2015 running of the Sword Dancer, and earlier he captured the 2014 Hong Kong Vase and 2013 Grand Prix des Paris.

Additionally, Flintshire has placed 11 times in his 21-race career, with those efforts coming in events as prestigious as the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe [twice, in 2014 and 2015] and in the 2015 Dubai Sheema Classic and Hong Kong Vase.

"We're all enjoying it," O'Rourke said of Flinshire's feats.

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