Armory a perfect fit for Mapperley-Windsor Park partnership

By Dennis Ryan

19 May 2022

Armory a perfect fit for Mapperley-Windsor Park partnershipGalileo’s high class son Armory is a perfect fit for a joint venture between Mapperley and Windsor

The paper evidence around pedigree and performance was compelling enough for Simms Davison to seriously consider the high quality Irish-bred Armory for the Mapperley Stud stallion roster.
However that became a no-brainer when he travelled recently to Australia to inspect the son of Galileo, convincing him he was the perfect fit for a joint venture with close associate Windsor Park Stud.
Armory had grabbed the attention of Davison and Windsor Park principal Rodney Schick as the potential answer to their quest for a stallion with the necessary credentials. A racing career that took the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt from Group-winning two and three-year-old to racing in three continents and finishing second in the W S Cox Plate, proved Armory’s class and adaptability, while a pedigree combining the blood of breed shapers Galileo and Danehill left nothing to the imagination.
“Once Roddy and I had decided this could be our boy, I travelled to Australia to inspect him,” Davison told RaceForm. “As soon as I saw his walk, I knew he was exactly the horse we were looking for.
“He’s one of the best-walking horses I’ve ever laid eyes on, and with everything else about him it stands to reason he’s the sort of stallion we should be breeding to.”
Amory’s racing career spanned 16 starts for five wins and seven minor placings across five countries. His career began in Ireland with seven starts at two that netted wins in the Gr. 2 Curragh Futurity Stakes and Gr. 3 Leopardstown Tyros Stakes. He was also second to champion colt Pinatubo in the Gr. 1 Curragh National Stakes, and in France he finished second in the Gr. 1 Longchamp Criterium International and third in the Gr. 1 Longchamp Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
First-up at three years he finished fourth in the Gr. 1 Irish 2000 Guineas and filled the same placing in the Gr. 1 Curragh Tattersalls Gold Cup before winning the Gr. 3 Curragh Royal Whip Stakes and finishing third in the Gr. 1 Irish Champion Stakes. That led to a one-race Australian campaign in which he finished second to fellow Irish-bred Sir Dragonet in the Cox Plate.
Armory didn’t reappear until the following May when he won Gr. 2 Chester Huxley Stakes, followed by a third placing in the Gr. 1 Royal Ascot Prince of Wales’s Stakes and fourth in the Gr. 2 York Stakes. After a first-ever unplaced result in the Gr. 1 Mister D Stakes at Chicago’s Arlington Park course, he was sold to a high-profile Australian syndicate, only to be retired without racing again.
“His race record says everything about him,” added Davison. “He ran in 10 Group Ones in three different continents and was in the frame in eight of them.
“He was up and going and competing against the very best at two, then went on to perform at three and finish that year with his Cox Plate second. Then at four his form was top class again, so he’s got so much going for him as a stallion.
“He performed in that 1400-2000-metre distance range, which as we know is what the market wants, but the really exciting thing about this horse is that he was up to the best class right from his two-year-old days.”
With an introductory fee announced at $10,000, Armory will have obvious appeal in a competitive market, and while he is owned outright by Mapperley and Windsor Park, a limited number of breeding rights will be available to broodmare owners.
Armory’s acquisition is a further boost to Davison’s ambition as a third generation family member to re-establish Mapperley as a significant player on the thoroughbred breeding landscape. Windsor Park has been a big part of that story, mainly through the multiple premiership-winning stallion Volksraad, whose career was divided between both farms. Another combined effort produced champion gallopers and now leading stallions So You Think and Dundeel, both of them sons of former Windsor Park shuttle High Chaparral.
The past season has been one of continued success for stallions standing at both nurseries. Mapperley’s Group One-winning High Chaparral stallion Contributer has already proven his credentials through first-crop son Lion’s Roar in the Gr. 1 Randwick Guineas as well as being four times Group One placed. He is also the sire of Gr. 2 Lowland Stakes winner and New Zealand Oaks placegetter Llanacord, while recent winners Tevere, Soprano Supreme and Aris Aris have also added to his profile, taking his tally of individual winners to 50.
New Zealand Derby winner Puccini has come to light with five first crop winners as well as the two-year-old stakes placegetter Wolfgang. His progeny include the smart three-year-old filly Le Villi, who won twice for original trainer John Wheeler before being sold to Australian interests. She is set to run in Saturday’s Gr. 2 Doomben Roses.
The recent headlines at Windsor Park have been dominated by young stallion Turn Me Loose with second-crop member Lickety Split’s win in the Gr. 1 Sistema Stakes along with stakes wins by Prix de Turn, Alabama Gold, Ancient Girl and Turn the Ace.
Established associate Shamexpress has also achieved Group One siring status through his star daughter Coventina Bay’s wins in the Gr. 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes and Bonecrusher NZ Stakes, along with Zola Express, the winner of the Gr. 2 Awapuni Gold Cup and Listed Wanganui Cup, and Gr. 2 Wellington Guineas winner Shamus.