Rathmor Introduce Noble Tune

Rathmor Introduce Noble Tune

Noble Tune at the Rathmor Stallion day. Images: Candiese Marnewick.

Noble Tune’s arrival was a sight to behold as the young breath-taking stallion prospect walked eagerly next to his handler, a handsome horse with a beautiful head, pricked ears, a perfect length of rein followed by big-striding hind legs that land with perfect precision, he is gifted with an incredibly good walk which is reflected by his outstanding race record.

All of the above is accentuated by his four white socks against a glowing deep dark bay coat – it doesn’t come more perfect than that for any horseman. He is a horse that grabs the eye.

Michael McHardy of Rathmor Stud introduced the first son of Unbridled’s Song to breeders ahead of the opening of the covering season, with guest speakers’ Lynton Ryan and bloodstock agent Alistair Brown addressing the crowd of enthusiastic guests and breeders.

Noble Tune is the complete package for any breeder, a beautifully conformed horse that would suit any mare. Lynton Ryan enthused about how fortunate South Africa was to get a horse of this caliber to stand in this country; he worked closely with the family of Serena’s Song in America and has a deep appreciation of the new blood brought to this country.

It was a sentiment shared with Alistair Brown who was tasked with ‘head-hunting’ a suitable stallion prospect for Rathmor, breeders of South African and American Gr1 winning race-mare Gypsy’s Warning.

Noble Tune at the Rathmor Stallion day. Images: Candiese Marnewick.

Alistair Brown has introduced a number of successful stallions to this country, including the likes of Al Mufti, Fort Wood and Qui Danzig, and apart from his attraction to the colt’s pedigree and first few races – where he immediately “tagged” the colt as a desirable prospect, he recollects his thoughts on the selection of Noble Tune: “In America they document their workout times, and in mid-February this year Noble Tune worked five furlongs in 58.55 seconds, that’s a very good time even for a race of 1000m – and it was just a workout. Noble Tune was on the verge of a major comeback when we bought him; we had hoped that we would get in a race or two, however during the purchasing process they generally will cut back on the training, as they don’t want something to happen to them. He retired 100% sound. It is so nice to see a sound horse here today with clean limbs.”

“We were reaching six weeks before pre-export procedure and we didn’t want to rush just to get a race into him, as we felt the horse had done enough, having won a Gr2 and Gr3, as well as placing a very close second in the Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf – which, of course, was Lasix free.”

“I am just so passionate about the breed and this kind of pedigree, and if you look at the kind of stallions I have found for South Africa – such as Al Mufti, Fort Wood, Goldkeeper, and Qui Danzig amongst others – well, those pedigrees are fantastic pedigrees now; but they were also fantastic pedigrees back then too and it’s the same for Noble Tune.”

Alistair goes on to point out that Noble Tune’s third dam, outstanding race-mare Serena’s Song is still around, and at 22 she has foaled a filly this year by Medaglia d’Oro so the story is far from over.

Regarding Noble Tune’s sire-line, one unique to the South African studbook, Alistair points out that Fappiano is now considered a new branch of the Mr Prospector sire-line. “Unbridled’s Song has two of the top seven first season sires in America this year, and three of the top six second season sires – almost every major farm in Kentucky stands a son of Unbridled’s Song, but only one stud in South Africa has one. He is a very exciting horse and I am so thrilled that Rathmor have got him, and especially for KZN.”

Noble Tune at the Rathmor Stallion day. Images: Candiese Marnewick.

Unbridled’s Song recently made more headlines with his flashy chestnut son Will Take Charge, who was named in the top 10 log of the Longines World’s Best Racehorses. With a Timeform rating of 123, Will Take Charge – Eclipse Champion Three Year Old Male in 2013, was ranked 6th along with the likes of recent Epsom Derby winner Australia and Cirrus Des Aigles, and ahead of Wise Dan.

Third dam Serena’s Song (by Rahy) won 18 times – 11 of those astoundingly all Gr1 status. Inducted into the racing Hall of Fame, at age four she achieved a Time-form Rating of 126. She went on to continue her success in the breeding paddocks and clearly nicked well with Storm Cat – the broodmare sire of Noble Tune.

She produced amongst many Group performers the likes of Gr1 Coronation Stakes winner Sophisticat (Storm Cat) as well as seven-time winner Serena’s Tune, who continued the momentum at stud. It is a family that has produced a number of Bold Black Types including sire Grand Reward.

Noble Tune’s own dam – Serena’s Cat – a $1.4-million dollar weanling purchase by Noble Tune’s breeders Dell Ridge Farm, is a Stakes winner and is also the dam of the impressive Honor Code, a flashy dark-bay colt with white front legs, a Gr2 Remsen Stakes winner who placed second in the Gr1 Champagne Stakes. At age two Honor Code’s Timeform Rating given was 118, making him a favourite for the Gr1 Kentucky Derby before injury prevented him running.

A year older than that of Honor Code, Noble Tune achieved a head-turning race record, getting four wins from seven starts up to 1800m all on turf. Noble Tune was victorious in the Gr3 Pilgrim Stakes at age two and placed second in the Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf over 1600m. At age three he won the Gr2 American Stakes over 1800m in devastating fashion.

Jill Fox of The Fort Stud won a service to Noble Tune, pictured left to right, Jill Fox, Michael McHardy and James. Images: Candiese Marnewick.

Regarding Noble Tune’s depth of pedigree, Alistair points out that it is making waves throughout the major racing countries of the world. “Close Hatches won her third Gr1 in a row in America on the weekend, she is probably the top filly in America right now and she has the exact same pedigree cross as Noble Tune – not only that but the top three year old sprinting filly in Europe, Rizeena, is very closely related to him – its blood that you just can’t ignore.”

Michael McHardy of Rathmor Stud said he was very pleased at being able to secure Noble Tune to stand in South Africa. “We are very excited to have him here and he has everything – pedigree, looks, a great temperament and a top drawer race record. We are also very encouraged by breeders wanting to support him from as far as the Cape and of course those who have attended our stallion day are all equally enthusiastic about him. We have acquired a number of top mares to support him and we look forward to the breeding season ahead.”

Congratulations to Jill Fox of The Fort Stud who won a service to Noble Tune at the Stallion Day.

Noble Tune will stand at Rathmor Stud for a service fee of R25 000.

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