Moon Ballad and Grandera to go to stud in Japan

Two of Godolphin’s star performers, Moon Ballad and Grandera, have been retired from racing and will become stallions in Japan.

Two of Godolphin’s star performers, Moon Ballad and Grandera, have been retired from racing and will become stallions in Japan.

They are to stand at Yushun Company’s Hokkaido base, joining Derby winners Commander In Chief and Oath.

Moon Ballad was a superb winner of the Dubai World Cup in March, trouncing a top-class field by five lengths and more, but he was unable to reproduce that form on his return to Britain in the summer.

The previous year, the Singspiel colt ran well throughout the season and finished third in the Vodafone Derby at Epsom.

“Moon Ballad was super consistent in 2002 and won this year’s Dubai World Cup in great fashion,” said Frankie Dettori on the Godolphin website.

Racing manager Simon Crisford added: “He put up one of the all-time great performances in the Dubai World Cup, showing fantastic acceleration when he turned into the straight at Nad Al Sheba.”

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “He handled both surfaces, dirt and turf, well, winning the Dubai World Cup decisively on dirt and breaking the course record on turf at Goodwood.

“We will miss him, but he has done very well for Godolphin and his pedigree is excellent, which augurs well for his stud career.”

Grandera won three Group Ones races in 2002, landing the World Series, but was something of a quirky character this year.

He took last year’s Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji, the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot (by five lengths) and showed a brilliant turn of foot to capture the Ireland The Food Island Champion Stakes at Leopardstown by a short-head from Hawk Wing.

Dettori said: “Grandera was a bundle of fun last year and won some great races including an unbelievable performance in the Irish Champion Stakes.”

Bin Suroor commented: “Grandera won the World Championship last year and was really great. He is very brave and tough horse, always trying to give his best. I am looking forward to training his sons.”

Crisford called the Grand Lodge horse “a very tough, top international campaigner for Godolphin”.

He added: “The races that stand out are the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and the Irish Champion, which was one of the highlights of our 2002 season.”

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