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Kentucky Derby hero in Aussie stud deal
15:29 AEST Fri Dec 14 2012

The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is set to start his stud career in Australia in a deal involving a famed Hunter Valley thoroughbred farm.

In a major coup, Scone-based Arrowfield Stud has secured a majority interest in the breeding rights to Animal Kingdom.

The deals means Animal Kingdom will be retired in time for next year's southern hemisphere breeding season, giving Australian breeders first access to the entire.

But before his racing days come to a close, Animal Kingdom is set for a global campaign, taking in the Dubai World Cup in March and a possible Royal Ascot start in June.

Arrowfield boss John Messara said Animal Kingdom's reputation as a world-class racehorse was poised to go to another level before he was retired.

"He is already rated among the world's elite turf milers and has the potential to become a global superstar in 2013," Messara said.

"Animal Kingdom excites us as a rare kind of athlete with a truly international pedigree who is able to express his class on a range of surfaces."

Animal Kingdom finished second to Wise Dan in the Breeders' Cup Mile and will race in the Grade One Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in February before embarking on an international campaign.

He will join champion stallion Redoute's Choice on the Arrowfield roster.

The deal to stand Animal Kingdom in Australia is conditional on Animal Kingdom passing importation protocols.