Storm Cat Looks Forward to Full Retirement
Two retirement announcements rocked the horse racing industry when Coolmore gave a public statement that Sadler’s Wells was retiring from breeding, and a day later Overbrook Farm retired Storm Cat from his duties as a stud stallion. Both horses have reached the ripe old ages of twenty-seven and twenty-five, which is affecting their fertility. While both legends will be enjoying the remainder of their lives peacefully grazing the fields at their respective stud farms, the horse racing industry is closing the book on a memorable era of near perfect breeding genes.
Over the past breeding season, Overbrook has been monitoring the quality of Storm Cat’s semen and has found a decline since last year. Storm Cat, who has retained a service fee of $500 000 since 2002, has also had to decrease his service fee to $300 000, which is still one of the highest prices in the industry today. None-the-less, Storm Cat will be remembered as a spectacular race horse and a magnificent stallion.
Storm Cat was born in 1983. Sired by Storm Bird, who in turn was the son of Northern Dancer, and out of his dam Terlingua (died in April aged 32), daughter to Secretariat, Storm Cat was born for greatness. It seemed as if he would have a promising racing career after winning the Young American Grade 1 Stakes in 1985, but injuries kept him away from glory as a three year old. His career as a stallion did not start off well, with a service fee of approximately $30 000, dropping to $25 000 and $20 000 in the following years, but once his yearlings started blasting their way through the racing industry, his worth sky-rocketed and led to him having a twenty-four hour armed guard at his side.
His success as a sire has included a hundred and sixty stakes winners, and numerous Grade 1 champions such as Hold That Tiger, Cool Cat, Giant’s Causeway, Silken Cat, Ambitious Cat, Storm Flag Flying, Sweet Catomine, Aljabr, High Yield, Cat Thief, Tobasco Cat, Denebola, Raging Fever, Storm Beauty, Sharp Cat, Bluegrass Cat and Black Minnaloushe. His yearlings have also been the subject of fiery bidding and fierce fighting, with record prices at yearling sales. Prices of over $4 million were paid for yearlings such as Moon’s Whisper ($4.4), Tasmanian Tiger ($6.8), Van Nistelrooy ($6.4), Jalil ($9.7), Objectivity ($6.3) and Mr Sekiguchi ($8mil). Cash Run, a brood mare, was in foal when she was bought for $7.1 million and in 2006, The Green Monkey (Grandson to Storm Cat), sold for $16 million, which was paid by Coolmore.
Storm Cat has had a magnificent career as a sire, and has produced more winning horses than most stallions are capable of. He has had a great influence on the world of horse racing, bringing excitement to the track and fire to the auctions, and even though he has bowed out of the spotlight, he lives on in the greatness of his progeny.