Triple Crown stardust as Zayat comes to town
Justin Zayat inspecting a yearling during the Goffs Orby Sale this week
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos Triple Crown stardust as Zayat comes to town
By Aisling Crowe 4:22PM 29 SEP 2016
GOFFS was sprinkled with some Triple Crown stardust at this week's Orby Sale, with Justin Zayat among the new faces hoping to source a champion.
Zayat is racing and stallion manager for his family's Zayat Stables, owner-breeders of the greatest American racehorse of recent times, American Pharoah, and he has been active at the major European sales this year as part of the operation's plans to expand.
He bought several well-related lots at Goffs to add to the pair of Frankel colts and son of Zoffany that Zayat Stables purchased at Arqana.
Among his purchases were a daughter of High Chaparral out of Noble Pearl for €340,000 on Tuesday.
On Wednesday he went to €475,000 for a colt from the first crop of Declaration Of War out of Sleeping Beauty, a daughter of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Nightime and a half-sister to the dam of Group 3 Kilternan Stakes winner Zhukova and to €360,000 for a daughter of Kodiac out of a half-sister to Anthem Alexander.
"All the yearlings are going back to America," says Zayat, who has been assisted by agents David Ingordo and Justin Casse. "They will go to Florida first, where all our horses are pre-trained, and in March or April of next year we will decide which trainers to send them to."
The 24-year-old graduate of NYU didn't get all the horses he bid on over the two days, however. "We were underbidders on five of the top ten lots yesterday so it's been really hard to buy the good horses," he adds.
Zayat and his father Ahmed have big plans for their racing and breeding operation and they looked to one of the global leaders as the inspiration for the shape they want Zayat Stables to take.
"We're trying to build up our broodmare band to send to our stallions and we've been very much influenced by Juddmonte and how they do everything," says Zayat. "So we'll grow our stables slowly and hope to bring success that way."
No matter what these yearlings achieve for their new owner, Zayat will forever be remembered for Triple Crown hero American Pharoah, his dream horse.
"I'd been missing him so I went to see him [at Ashford Stud in Kentucky] last week and he looked great, very healthy and enjoying life," he says.
"He's put on a little weight but he's still the same horse he was last year – he's just so sweet and loves his carrots!"
The family sent nine mares to their superstar at Ashford in Kentucky and all nine are in foal to the Coolmore resident. In all, American Pharoah covered 200 mares in his first season.
His two-year-old sister American Cleopatra runs in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday and Zayat is hopeful she will go on to the Breeders' Cup after that, reviving memories of American Pharoah's stunning victory in last year's Breeders Cup Classic, where he brought the curtain down on his history-making racing career.
"If American Cleopatra could win the Breeders' Cup this year, it would be fantastic," Zayat adds.
"American Pharoah was a dream horse. He brought American racing to a wider audience and he connected with people.
"He was the horse of a lifetime but we've got to keep looking for another one."