Stud Hero Danzero Returns to Garden State

Zero Rock

Zero Rock will represent top stallion Danzero in the Stradbroke Handicap

One of Australian racing’s best performing stallions, Group 1 winner Danzero will return to Victoria to continue his career at stud in the state where he was trained during his time on the track.

The first Group 1 winner for champion American sire Danehill, Danzero was a top class juvenile who won the 1994 Golden Slipper who has also had brilliant success as a stallion.

An impressive horse with an impressive record as both a racer and sire, Danzero has served the last 15 years with New South Wale’s breeding giants Arrowfield Stud in the Hunter Valley.

During Danzero’s career on the track he also recorded three other black-type wins in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m), Listed HDF McNeil Quality (1100m) and the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (900m).

Adding to his glittering record that produced in excess of $1.38 million in earnings, Danzero also ran second to St. Covet in the 2004 Group 1 AJC Sires Produce Stakes and placed third in that year’s Group 2 Todman Slipper Trial (1200m) behind Pauillac.

Danzero has recently been purchased by up-and-coming Victorian venture Rosemont Stud who secured the star stallion in a major trump for Victorian breeders last week.

Danzero was also the first sire in history to father Champion Two-Year-Olds in dual hemispheres in a single season with Dance Hero in Australia and Soar in England, and Rosemont chief Anthony Mithen was over the moon to have him as part of their operation.

“He looks awesome,” Mithen said of Danzero, Rosemont’s first stallion venture.

“He is in great general health and fitness and I’ve got no doubt he’s got a few great years still to come in the breeding shed.

“It’s a great way for Danzero to finish his stunning stud career.

“I’m just so glad that John Messara (from Arrowfield) has laid faith in our operation to sell ‘Dan’ to us and give the Golden Slipper winner the chance to finish his career with a bang.”

While sad to be letting Danzero go, Arrowfield owner John Messara also said it would be satisfying to see the magnificent stallion see out his career in the ideal surroundings provided at Rosemont.

“He’s a farm favourite and it will provide Victoria with a proven stallion of his quality,” Messara said.

“It would be fair to say he can be missed in the crush of stallions up our way these days, but there is no doubt he is one of the finest stallions we have produced.

“He was bred by us, sold by us, bought back by us and was Danehill’s first Group One winner.

“Understandably, we will be a bit sad to see him go, but I know he’s going to a great home that will give him the best opportunity to finish his duties in a flurry.”

Danzero’s service fee was approximately $11,000 (plus GST) at Arrowfield and Mithen believes he will be just as popular a stallion in Victoria as he was over the border.

“We will look after him and only cover around 80 mares a season which won’t take long to book up,” he said.

“Where else for $10,000 are you going to get a stallion that has thrown 37 stakes winners, seven Group One winners, the best two-year-old this country has seen in the last 20 years in Dance Hero with plenty more still to come?

“He has nearly 100 rising two-year-olds and his Group One winners’ list is not done yet if horses like Zero Rock keep bobbing up.

“He just measures up on all levels for Victorian breeders…he gets good sales results, gets great racetrack results and trainers love them for good reason.

“At $10,000 (ex GST) he is the Zero-risk option Victorians have been lacking for a while now.

“He is an awesome stallion who has produced seven individual Group One winners and I don’t think we’ve seen his last.”

Two of Danzero’s progeny will feature at this Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap Day at Eagle Farm, and Mithen’s prediction of more elite level winners for the stallion could be closer than expected.

The first of Danzero’s crop racing at Eagle Farm this weekend is the Paul Messara-trained, three-year-old filly Pyrography who will line up in the $80,000 Listed Lightning Handicap (1000m).

However it is five-year-old mare Zero Rock, prepared by local Brisbane trainer Kelso Wood, who gives Danzero the best representation on Saturday.

Having run a brave second to Hurtle Myrtle in the Group 2 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m) last Saturday, Zero Rock will be given the chance to add to Danzero’s Group 1 winning offspring when she is saddled up in the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).

Zero Rock is rated a $34 outsider to upset favourites, Doomben 10,000 winner Beaded ($5.50) and Black Piranha ($6) who is out for his third consecutive win in the classic.

Due to be ridden by Tim Clark, Zero Rock is drawn in barrier 14 for the Stradbroke.