Well-bred four-year-old Aclaim, whose form reached a new peak with victory in the G1 Prix de la Forêt at the beginning of the month, will be retired to the National Stud in Newmarket for the 2018 season. Unbeaten at two and rated the best-ever three-year-old by Acclamation after victory in an especially classy renewal of the G2 Challenge Stakes at Newmarket, the Martyn Meade trainee was even higher rated this year at four. His career culminated with convincing wins in the G2 Park Stakes at Doncaster and his Chantilly triumph on Arc day. Aclaim, who is owned by his breeders Dermot Farrington and Canning Downs, will stand at £12,500 Oct 1, Special Live Foal, and he will be managed by John Ferguson and Mark McStay in conjunction with Tim Lane, manager of the National Stud. They will be offering breeding rights in the horse.
Aclaim won on his debut over six furlongs as a juvenile before taking major Class 2 handicaps over six furlongs and a mile at three. Seven furlongs emerged as his ideal trip after victory against older horses in the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup at Newbury, his prep for defeating G1 Cheveley Park winner Lumiere and G1 sprinter Tasleet in the G2 Challenge Stakes in his final outing at three. This season, a narrow second in the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville presaged authoritative victories in the G2 Park Stakes and Europe’s seven-furlong championship decider, the G1 Forêt. ‘Aclaim was a joy to have in the yard,’ said Meade. ‘He’s a handsome horse, and not just deeply talented but extremely genuine. I’d look at him and feel such pride and pleasure, and his G1 win at Chantilly – watched by all the team – was one of great joy.’
Aclaim, a son of Dark Angel’s sire, Acclamation, is the first foal of Aris, a Stakes-placed juvenile who beat G1 winner Gordon Lord Byron to break her maiden. Her half-sister, Again, won the G1 Irish 1,000 Guineas, while Aclaim’s grandam is a half-sister to Arc hero and leading sire Montjeu. This is also the immediate family of Abbaye and King’s Stand winner Goldream and 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold. Aclaim, the best in the family short of a mile, retires rated 123 by Timeform – superior to both Acclamation and to Dark Angel, and better than every horse either stallion has sired over seven furlongs or more.
Ben Sangster, Chairman of the National Stud, said, ‘How exciting to have a new stallion of such obvious commercial appeal joining the National Stud. I’d like to thank Aclaim’s owners for having faith in us.’ The Duke of Roxburghe, who succeeds Sangster in January, said, ‘Having Aclaim on the roster is marvellous news. The National Stud is delighted to be standing a fast young stallion with Classic bloodlines and a bona fide chance of being a big success.’