MORE Than Ready son Verrazano, the unbeaten Kentucky Derby favourite and the horse hailed as a potential superstar by part-owners Coolmore is almost certain to take up stud duties in Australia once his racing career is finished.

The Todd Pletcher-trained colt’s grip on most favoured status to win at Churchill Downs became a stranglehold after his dominant win in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby (1700m) last weekend in Florida.

“There is no doubt that Verrazano is a very exciting colt,” Coolmore’s Tom Magnier told Sportsman.

“He’d won his first two starts by a combined margin of 24-lengths, earning rave reviews, but Saturday was his first run in Stakes company.

“He looked to make the step-up with ease, never coming out of second gear to win eased down by 3-lengths and he was supremely impressive.

“From what I have been told by the team in America, he is a fabulous looking horse and there is no doubt that he’s potentially an exceptional three-year-old.

“The bookmakers have made him favourite for the Kentucky Derby and obviously if he keeps progressing in the manner that he has to date, he is going to be a big chance in that race.

“I understand that he is likely to have a prep run for the Derby in a Grade 1 in either New York or Florida, so that is the next step for him, but at this stage, as an unbeaten, handsome and well-bred colt, he looks a potential superstar,” Magnier said.


Clearly there would be a spot for Verrazano at Coolmore’s Kentucky franchise, Ashford Stud.

From there it would seem only logical that he shuttle to Coolmore’s Hunter Valley HQ to build on the recent wave of success by USA sires and inject some Halo-blood into the roster at the same time.

“It is interesting to note the success of US sourced sires in Australia of late with the likes of Dear Demi and Whittington flying the flag for Dehere and Tale Of The Cat respectively and the likes of More Than Ready, Street Cry and War Pass having sired smart winners,” Magnier noted.

“It would be fantastic to think that Verrazano might develop into a horse capable of coming down here to join our roster in the future and on the evidence of what we have seen to date, he certainly looks to have all the necessary attributes that we look for in a young sire.”