Is Alabama Express the next big thing in the breeding barn?
Early days for the regally bred Alabama Express looking forward to a very promising career at stud.
The Australian Breeding Scene
It would be hard to imagine a stallion beginning his career in better fashion than the regally bred Alabama Express (born 2016). To date he has had only 5 runners for 3 unbeaten runners and this tally could easily have been 4. His daughter, Accelar, was beaten a nose at her first and only start at Eagle Farm after coming from barrier 10 in a field of 10. Another daughter, Karavas, after winning a Maiden 2YO then went to Flemington on Oaks Day and won the G3 Ottawa St. A third daughter Poster Girl has won her only start at Caloundra – a meeting that was at metropolitan standard. He has had only one colt to the races, Shangri La Express, who currently holds the distinction of being the early favourite for the Golden Slipper. Not many first season sires have produced an early favourite for that race. The colt earned that distinction by winning the million-dollar Golden Gift – a 2YO race over 1100m at Rosehill. This is a course notorious for a bias against wide barriers. This horse drew barrier 12 out of 14 but showed great early speed to cross over and lead-working at both ends. These runners have seen Alabama Express shoot to the top of the list for first season sires.
Alabama Express was trained by M. Moroney and raced only 8 times. He had only one start as a 2YO for a win in maiden class. As a 3yo he raced 7 times for 3 wins (including one at G1 level) and a second. His G1 win came in the Autumn when victorious against older horses in the C F Orr St (1400m) at Caulfield. In that race he came from barrier 10 (12 strs) and had to cover ground. His career prizemoney totalled $554,750.
He is a son of Redoute’s Choice (1996) an all-time great sire. Three times the head of the Australian sires list, he at one stage commanded a service fee of $300,000+GST. This by itself is not what makes Alabama Express regally bred. It is because he is so closely related to the champion Giga Kick (11 starts 7-1-2 and $9,626,700, including the Everest and 2 G1s). Giga Kick is by a son of Redoute’s Choice-Scissor Kick (2011) ex the imported mare Rekindled Applause (GB) (2001). But Giga Kick is a gelding.
Alabama Express is out of a daughter of Rekindled Express named Lago Ovation (2007) who raced only once and was unplaced in a country maiden. He was her fourth foal.
Alabama Express was retired in 2020 to YULONG STUD (Victoria) for a fee of $25,000+GST. He then covered 141 mares who produced 114 live foals. This was the crop which was offered at yearling sales earlier this year. The average price for those auctioned was $100,262. The top price for a colt was $400K and for a filly $350K. Shangri La Express sold for $220K. In 2021 his service fee was dropped to $22,500+GST and he covered 99 mares for 69 live foals. They will be keenly sought at next year’s yearling sales. There are 4 (3 colts and a filly) listed in the Magic Millions January Gold Coast Yearling Sales.
In 2022 the service fee dropped again- this time to $20,000+GST but his book was only 78 mares for a small number of live foals – 44! They will be keenly sought in 2025 yearling sales. This year it has been a different story at Yulong Stud. He is still serving mares and they are lining up to take advantage of the service fee which is still at $20,000+GST. It is very unlikely that this will be the fee for the 2024 season. A spokesperson for Yulong Stud said that the final number of mares which Alabama Express will have served is likely to be between 180 and 190.