French breeders are being granted access to one of the best families in the studbook with the arrival of Taj Mahal to start his stallion career at Haras de la Haie Neuve in Brittany next year.
The group 2-winning 5-year-old takes the place of another Coolmore-raced blueblood in Pedro the Great, a Henrythenavigator half brother to Footstepsinthesand who died at the stud aged only 9 this year after supplying the likes of Del Mar Oaks presented by The Jockey Club (G1T) heroine Fatale Bere in his inexpensively bred early crops.
Taj Mahal is by Galileo out of Coolmore’s emerging blue hen You’resothrilling, who has also produced classic winners Marvellous and Gleneagles, fellow group 1 winner Happily and group 3 winner and grade 1-placed Coolmore by the sire.
Cherry Hinton Stakes winner You’resothrilling is in turn a full sister to iron horse Giant’s Causeway and group performers turned sires Freud , Roar of the Tiger, Tiger Dance, and Tumblebrutus as well as to Pearling, the dam of three-time group 1 hero and young Irish National Stud sire Decorated Knight.
Taj Mahal upheld family honor first with Aidan O’Brien, for whom he ran fourth in the QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club (G1), second in the Secretariat Stakes (G1T), and fourth again in the Emirates MacKinnon Stakes (G1), and later in Australia, where under the subtly different name The Taj Mahal, he won back-to-back renewals of the Quayclean Zipping Sandown Classic (G2) as well as the Drinkwise JRA Cup (G3).
Haras de la Haie Neuve’s Tangi Saliou told Jour de Galop that the team behind securing Taj Mahal for the stud—himself, Alain Regnier, and Emmanuel de Seroux—will be sending him plenty of mares.
“We will strongly support him, as we always have done with our stallions in the past,” he said. “He will arrive next Saturday and will be available to view during the Arqana breeding-stock sales.”
“Thanks to Gleneagles’ unimpeachable results we have always been very optimistic about his prospects of success at stud and we could not be happier with how he has done this season,” Hermine Bastide, Coolmore’s representative in France, told Jour de Galop. “He was a very good 2-year-old himself but improved markedly in his classic season and so there is every reason to believe that will also be the case with his offspring.
Taj Mahal will stand his first season at Haras de la Haie Neuve at a fee of €4,000 (US$4,465).