Thunder Snow heads up Darley Japan roster

Thunder Snow will stand his first season on the Darley roster in Japan at a fee of ¥2.5 million (£17,500/€20,500).

A Darley homebred, he became the first ever horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups earlier this year and is a Group 1 winner from two to five on both turf and dirt.

Thunder Snow, the highest-rated colt from the family of the brilliant Balanchine, is a half-brother to four stakes winners including May Hill Stakes scorer Ihtimal. His two-year-old sibling Eastern World was a promising second on his debut in a strong-looking novice event at Kempton on Wednesday.

Darley announced fees for the ten stallions at its Japanese branch in 2020 and also new for breeders is another multiple Group 1 winner in Hawkbill, who will stand at a fee of ¥1m (£7,000/€8,300).

From the family of the great Dubai Millennium, Hawkbill’s victory in the Coral-Eclipse, where he finished ahead of The Gurkha, was rated equal to Roaring Lion's win in the same race. He went on to land the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic, beating Poet's Word by three lengths.

Pyro (¥2.5m) has enjoyed another fantastic year, siring no fewer than 29 two-year-old winners on the dirt, and he boasts an impressive 77 per cent winners to runners strike rate.

Also standing at ¥2.5m is champion sprinter Fine Needle, winner of last year's Grade 1 Sprinters Stakes and Grade 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen. His first foals will arrive in the new year and he will continue to stand alongside his sire Admire Moon, who will be available to breeders at a fee of ¥1m. 

Another stallion whose first foals will be born in 2020 is Talismanic. The Breeders' Cup Turf winner is the best US-sired son of Medaglia D'Oro and hails from the family of Deep Impact. He will stand at a fee of ¥1.8m.

Completing the roster are Discreet Cat (¥1.5m), whose first Japanese runners hit the track next year, American Patriot (¥1.5m), Furioso (¥1m) and Monterosso (¥500,000).

Shotaro Kajiya, nominations manager for Darley Japan, said: "We're delighted to offer Japanese breeders a wonderful line up of stallions with two very exciting new horses: Thunder Snow, who won Group 1 races on both turf and dirt, plus the precious Hawkbill - a potential successor to Kitten's Joy.

"We're very grateful for the support of our breeders and look forward to seeing you at the stallion complex in the new year."