Star Godolphin-owned colt Exosphere has retired from racing to begin a lucrative career at stud after the Golden Rose winning son of Lonhro failed to impress in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 2.
An eleventh place finish beaten eight and a half lengths by defending champion Chautauqua in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’ has turned out to be the final career run of stallion-to-be Exosphere.
Under the training of Godolphin head horseman John O’Shea, Exosphere had 10 runs for five wins including the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) in Sydney last September, victory in which cemented his value at stud.
After pulling up lame post-TJ Smith Stakes, his second unplaced run this autumn following a fourth behind the same Team Hawkes-trained winner in Flemington’s Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) from February, connections made the decision to retire Exosphere early.
Originally the three-year-old was to back-up in this Saturday’s Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) before a possible trip to England for a Royal Ascot bid during our winter.
Instead the young horse, a winner of $1,091,600 in prize money, who O’Shea was full of post-racing praise for will begin a new career as a stallion at Darley’s Kelvinside property in New South Wales.
“[He is] a magnificent individual, with enormous natural talent,” O’Shea told Racing Victoria.
Godolphin’s managing director Henry Plumptre agreed that Exosphere was “outstanding” and while only lightly-raced was an “exciting stallion” prospect for the powerhouse racing operation.
“Exosphere retires with an extraordinary race record,” Plumptre said.
“Because of his unusual size and bulk, he had training issues, but he managed to put together a string of outstanding performances.
“He is an exciting stallion of the future. No fee has yet been set, but we expect him to be popular.”
Exosphere joins a growing list of recently retired star gallopers post-The Championships this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Earlier in the week New Zealand’s Murray Baker confirmed the retirement of last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan who bowed out after a midfield eighth behind Lucia Valentina in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
Superstar international performer Criterion also hits the stallion scene after retiring on the back of an 11th in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which the $7.26 million earner won last autumn.
While many turf stars are heading to stud, there’s still plenty of talented runners set to line up in this weekend’s All Aged Stakes at Randwick.
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