Leading Bloodstock agent Paul Moroney believes that impressive three-year-old Alabama Express is the perfect type of horse for the New Zealand stallion market once he is retired from the racetrack. However, he is also realistic that that scenario may not evolve given the potential demand from a number of Australian Stud farms including the Redoute’s Choice colt’s part-owners, Arrowfield Stud.
Trained by Moroney’s brother Mike from his Flemington base, Alabama Express enhanced his future prospects in the breeding barn with a stunning victory in Saturday’s Group 1 C F Orr Stakes (1400m) against the older horses at Caulfield.
Purchased by Moroney from the Sydney Easter Sale for $280,000, Alabama Express impressed him from the minute he saw him with Moroney of the opinion he was secured for a real bargain even before Saturday’s victory. “He was a stunning individual and we were very keen to get him when he went through the ring,” Moroney said. “When we ended up paying $280,000, we both thought we got him for a very good price and I guess with what happened on Saturday that now franks our original opinion.”
Alabama Express has now won four of his seven starts and emulated his sire Redoute’s Choice, who won the Orr Stakes 20 years ago. While there had been interest from a number of breeding operations before Saturday, Moroney knows that will ramp up now the colt has a Group 1 victory against the older horses under his belt. “I was talking with Mike on Saturday night and we think that win probably values him in the $8-$10million range right now,” Moroney said.
“Mike had fielded interest from a number of Australasian farms before Saturday and the phone has been going again in the last 24 hours. “With Arrowfield in his ownership they will have a large bearing on where his future lies at stud but in my heart, I think he is the type of horse that would be perfect for the New Zealand breeding scene.
“By Redoute’s Choice out of an Encosta De Lago mare, he is just the type of colt that we need in New Zealand to keep refreshing our bloodlines. “Savabeel is our leading sire and has done a magnificent job but these are the types of colts that our studs need to be investing in to improve our industry.”
Alabama Express was ridden to victory by Kiwi jockey Mick Dee and became the 37th individual Group 1 winner selected by Paul Moroney, with those horses having won a combined 53 Group Ones.