Former Melbourne Cup champion Shocking has been retired to begin duties as a stallion at the Rich Hill Stud in New Zealand.
Prepared by Mark Kavanagh throughout his illustrious career, the now five-year-old Shocking is by Irish sire Street Cry from Danehill mare Maria Di Castiglia and retires as Australasia’s sole top-level winning horse for Street Cry.
An outstanding stayer Shocking, purchased for just $45,000 by Laurence Eales, started 27 times enjoying seven victories and eight minor placings earning an impressive $4,981,275, making him a very valuable sire.
“Shocking is a superb type with a unique race record and a global pedigree,” Rich Hill studmaster John Thompson said.
“We’re confident he will be a highly successful commercial addition to the New Zealand breeding industry.
“His progeny will have also great appeal to our overseas buyers who come here to buy tough, sound horses who can perform at the elite level from 1600 to 3200 metres.”
Shocking will stand at Rich Hill Stud at a service fee of around $NZ 12,000 – plus GST joining their roster for the 2011 spring breeding season.
The fee seems a steal considering his sire Street Cry attracts a service fee of approximately $A100,000.
Going out as a dual Group 1 winner, Shocking’s biggest success on the turf came in the spring of 2009 when he saluted in that season’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), overcoming a wide barrier draw and quality field to defeat Crime Scene by three quarters of a length.
Victory in the world’s richest race came directly after Shocking won the Group 3 The Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Victoria Derby Day, October 31, 2009.
Shocking’s other elite level win turned out to be his swansong appearance, the stallion scoring a tidy two length victory over Linton in the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at his home track at Flemington on March 12 of this year.
“His win in the Australian Cup was excellent and he’s been retired while he’s in good health and in good order,” trainer Mark Kavanagh said.
“He graduated to a weight-for-age horse after winning the Melbourne Cup.
“It was a magnificent win in the Australian Cup, his turn of foot was unbelievable.
“You don’t get much better than that.”
The Flemington specialist also won the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in September last year and finished a devastatingly close second to veteran Zipping in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) in October of 2010 showing his excellent versatility from a mile to two miles.
“He’s going to stand at stud at Rich Hill alongside Pentire so he’s got a good chance,” Kavanagh said.
“He got better with age and he was the quietest and most relaxed horse around the stable – he was right up there with the best of them.
“He’s going to a quality stud where he will get the very best opportunities.
“It was a good opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting some of his stock in my stable.
“It was a good time to let him rest on his laurels, he’d done enough and he was in such devastating form, then we got the offer and we decided to go with it.”
Star Sydney hoop Corey Brown rode Shocking for six of his career starts including both of his Group 1 victories and will always be thankful for having been aboard such a talented turf champion.
“He was a very versatile horse and he’ll always hold a special place in my heart,” Brown said.
“He was an absolute gentleman to ride and you could put him anywhere in a race and then just push the button.
“He showed a turn of foot and there’s no doubt riding him has been the highlight of my career.”
Shocking was raced by Laurence and Prue Eales of Eales Racing who were happy to make the decision to retire their ace asset and embark on a new era with him, Eales Racing retaining a substantial share of the horse.
“I have been delighted with the response to the horse from New Zealand breeders,” Thompson said.
“Laurence visited New Zealand for the first time last week and was suitably impressed with our environment for breeding and rearing thoroughbreds and is looking forward to the next phase of Shocking’s career at Rich Hill.”
Currently spelling at home in Melbourne, Shocking is expected to travel across the Tasman and arrive at his new residence in New Zealand in mid-June.