The beautifully bred De Gaulle (Exceed and Excel) will be standing at John Pratt’s Brooker Park in Darnum, part of Gippsland’s lush dairy region.
A stallion with impeccable breeding and incredible speed, his dam is the dual Group 1 winning mare, Response.
Highly rated as a juvenile and spoken of as the next potential superstar, De Gaulle was touted a genuine Golden Slipper runner, and based on what he had shown, he was good enough to win it.
Trained by Snowden Racing, De Gaulle won his first trial on pure raw ability.
Panicking amongst the other horses, he took off, putting three lengths on the field in the blink of an eye. He maintained his pace, recording the fastest time of the day and beating Diamond Tathagata, the future Group 2 Skyline stakes winner.
De Gaulle fine-tuned his race skills, and in his following trials, he was much more tractable beating Blue Diamond runner up Pariah in his third and final hit out.
Unfortunately, a tendon injury cruelly caused his racing career to be cut short without running a race.
“He could gallop faster than what his body was ready for,” John Pratt said.
“Being by Exceed and Excel he was supposed to run early, but he was just too fast and too young for his own good. I’m sure if he had raced as a late two-year-old or even at three he would have had the chance to win black type races.
“Speaking with stable vet, Johnny Walker, he had never see Snowden so close to tears about a horse breaking down, that he was a top group horse every day of the week.”
As his owners including, Newgate Farm, China Horse Club, SF Bloodstock and Winstar Farm had such a high opinion of De Gaulle, they didn’t geld him and wanted to give him a chance at stud.
John Pratt was able to put his hand up through his good contact, Tim Brown from Magic Millions, whom he had purchased his other stallion Danesis through.
“I was thrilled we were able to secure him, and after doing a bit of research and seeing his trials, I thought this is too good an opportunity to pass up,” Pratt said.
Brooker Park broodmares are building up an exciting broodmare band to go to De Gaulle in his first season with mares by influential sires such as Sadler’s Wells, Volksraad and Carnegie to name a few.
“My business partner Richard Anderson from Quilly Park and I have been purchasing some quality broodmares, selected by Diane Neylon, from the sales to suit De Gaulle’s pedigree.
“I value the advice highly, and believe that we can achieve an advantage by researching the matings.
Being out of the top race mare Response, .De Gaulle is a half brother to the stakes placed three-year-old Fastnet Rock filly Alter Call, who sold for $1.05 million.
Response’s latest foal, a filly by Snitzel sold earlier this year for $1.7 million at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
Richard Anderson has been building up to the day when Quilly Park and Brooker Park were ready to own a stallion.
“It actually came about due to the VOBIS Sires $1 million 1200m two-year-old sprint for nominated progeny of Victorian sires, and we thought here is an opportunity to stand a stallion that is a son of Exceed and Excel, out of the great mare, Response that can offer speed to the VOBIS race.
“When you look at the speed sires down here, most are well and truly out of range from a price point, so De Gaulle provides an exciting and affordable option for the breed to race breeder,” Anderson said.
“We would like as many mares as possible, but at least with our select mares, numbering about twenty, we are setting him up to achieve the best possible results.
“We will get our mares covered as early as possible, so we can have early foals on the ground to give them every chance of success to race as well-grown and developed two-year-olds.”
“For anyone thinking of setting up a breeding operation, with the VOBIS scheme it makes it such an attractive option to come to Victoria,” Pratt said.
Brooker Park offers a walk on service to visiting mares for their two stallions, Danesis (Danehill) and now De Gaulle. Both will stand for a service fee of $2,200 inc. GST. Contact John Pratt on 0427 275 555 for more information.