Tagaloa retires to Yulong

Yulong Stud has announced the retirement of Blue Diamond Stakes winner Tagaloa (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), who begins the next chapter of his career this spring.

Outstanding looks and a quality pedigree earned Tagaloa a $300,000 price tag at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, and he quickly compiled a racing career to match.

“Tagaloa exemplifies the ideal profile for an Australian stallion – he’s good looking, a Group 1 winner at two, trained on to win another Group race at three and is a complete outcross,” said Sam Fairgray, Yulong’s Chief Operating Officer.

Trained by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, Tagaloa made an early impression, winning his only trial before stepping out to place third in the Group 3 Maribymong Plate on debut. He then backed up with a win in the Strath Haven Preston 2YO Plate at Moonee Valley.

His 2-year-old season was headed by a dominant victory in the G1 Blue Diamond S. at Caulfield, beating home Hanseatic, Away Game (Snitzel) and Personal (Fastnet Rock). It was the second-fastest time ever by a 2-year-old over the track and distance since August 2007.

Tagaloa returned at three to win the G3 CS Hayes Stake in an exceptional performance, running a faster last 400m than G1 Lightning Stakes winner Nature Strip, on the same day.

He then went on to place in the G1 Australian Guineas, while other notable results included a second in the G2 Todman S. and fourth in the G1 Golden Slipper. He retires with a record of three wins and more than $1.4 million in stakes.

Tagaloa is the first son of superb Japanese stallion Lord Kanaloa (Jpn) to go to stud in Australia, and a major opportunity for Victorian breeders.

“To have a horse like him, a stunning physical and Blue Diamond winner with an international outcross pedigree, stay in Victoria is a massive vote of confidence in the local industry,” said co-trainer Trent Busuttin. “Yulong are leading the pack, setting the standard of new development in the Victorian industry.”

A son of two-time champion Japanese sire King Kamehameha (Jpn), Lord Kanaloa was Japan’s champion first-season sire in 2017 – siring 32 winners in that debut season, 12 more than his nearest rival. The two-time G1 Hong Kong Sprint winner has so far sired a total of 25 individual stakes winners, headed by the ten-time winner and twice Japanese Horse of the Year Almond Eye (Jpn).

Tagaloa is the first foal out of winning mare Vasilissa (Jpn), whose sire Heart’s Cry (Jpn) is best known in this part of the world for producing the breathtaking Cox Plate winner Lys Gracieux (Jpn).

Vasilissa is a half-sister to three black-type performers, headed by stakes winner Tricolore Bleu (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn). Their dam is Penkenna Princess (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}), who won two races at two then trained on to win the G3 Fred Darling S. and placed in the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas.

“We were impressed by his temperament as a yearling, this came through as an early 2-year-old and makes him a beautiful horse to deal with now,” said Busuttin.

“On type he’s a big powerful, striking colt. He’s got a lovely head, athletic physique and a great frame.”

At this year’s Inglis Australia Easter Yearling Sale, a half-sister to Tagaloa by Not a Single Doubt fetched $900,000.

Tagaloa will stand at Yulong Stud alongside Written Tycoon, Alabama Express, Grunt (NZ) and Yulong Prince (SAf), with fees to be announced this week.