Ideal start to new season for The Oaks Stud sires

By Richard Edmunds

10 Aug 2022

Ideal start to new season for The Oaks Stud siresThe Oaks Stud shuttle stallion U S Navy Flag has sired his first stakes winner.

“He served 124 mares last spring, which was his biggest book since 2012.”
Black-type results in both hemispheres provided a perfect start to August for The Oaks Stud, whose stalwart stallion Darci Brahma marked a milestone birthday in style and shuttle stallion U S Navy Flag was represented by his first Northern Hemisphere stakes winner.
Darci Brahma has been a prominent name in the New Zealand industry ever since he was bought by David Ellis for $1.1 million at Karaka in 2004. The son of Danehill went on to win five Group One races on the track, and has since sired a dozen elite winners in a highly successful stud career.
Darci Brahma turned 20 on August 1, and just a few days later Lord Darci became his 57th individual stakes winner with a resolute performance in the Gr. 3 Winter Cup at Riccarton.
“That was a lovely way for Darci to celebrate a big birthday,” The Oaks Stud’s general manager Rick Williams told RaceForm.
“Lord Darci has been a consistent horse who got into that race at the right weight. I didn’t have particularly high hopes for him handling that very heavy ground, but I was happy to be proven wrong.
“Darci Brahma is still going from strength to strength. Sierra Sue’s wins in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Futurity Stakes were the obvious highlights last season, but it was another good year for him in general.
“He served 124 mares last spring, which was his biggest book since 2012, so there should be much more still to come.
“We’re quite excited about his prospects for this season. There are a fair few of his progeny in The Oaks Stud’s racing team that I quite like, and hopefully we can get some of them through to the Guineas. Paul Richards also has the stakes-winning filly Hanalei, who seems to be coming up particularly well.
“And it means a lot to us to have one of Darci’s very best sons, Catalyst, coming up well in a new preparation. He’s had so many things go wrong in the past that you can never get too confident with him – all you can do is take it week by week and hope we can get him to the Tarzino Trophy on top of his game.”
Meanwhile, shuttle stallion U S Navy Flag sired his first stakes winner when Ocean Vision won the Listed Prix de la Vallee d’Auge at Deauville last weekend.
Now shuttling to The Oaks Stud with a service fee of $15,000 after commencing his Down Under carer at Valachi Downs, U S Navy Flag is a son of War Front and was himself an outstanding winner of the Gr. 1 Middle Park Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes and July Cup. His first New Zealand progeny are now two-year-olds.
“We were delighted to see him get that first stakes winner,” Williams said. “He’s had five winners in the northern hemisphere, and I’m hearing that there are still some lovely horses who are yet to emerge.
“We’ve heard some very encouraging reports here too, and now that his progeny are two-year-olds, it’s all about the results now. You can spend as much as you want on promoting these horses, but it’s what happens on the track that counts. I’d love to see one of his first crop come out and pick up an early win.
“We’ve had a few extra bookings for him after that stakes win, and he arrives back here on Friday, so we’re looking forward to showing him to people. It’s an exciting time in his career, and at this stage it’s so far, so good.”