Ladies Man: Lucrative Stud Career Awaits Animal Kingdom
Editor's note: This story was updated after the Royal Ascot race.
He was the favorite to win at Tuesday's Royal Ascot race in Britain, but even though Animal Kingdom suffered a terrible disappointment, finishing eleventh out of thirteenth, there could still be hope for him.
The thoroughbred, who has already won this year's Dubai World Cup and the 2011 Kentucky Derby, will retire at the end of the race, and his owners plan to use him as a stud to breed new race horses.
John Messara, chairman of Arrowfield Group, which has majority breeding rights for Animal Kingdom told CNBC on Tuesday: "He'll be busy all year-around but he'll be in great demand because he's known all over the world," Messara said.
Messara had hoped that a win would boost the fees that Animal Kingdom could earn for breeding.
Animal Kingdom's current stud fee is $40,000, but this is just a starting point, said Messara.
"Until a horse proves himself as a stallion, as a maker of successful babies, if you like, it's hard to establish a very high fee… this horse still has to [prove himself], and so his fee is related to his performance to date, his bloodlines and so on," Messara said. "Of course, if he wins at Ascot there will be pressure to raise his fees further."
Messara has stud stallions that earn fees of up to $300,000 because they have proved to be great progenitors. The price takes into account not only the willingness to breed, but also a horse's performance and bloodlines.
Last year, newspaper reports said Frankel, a horse that retired after a 14-race unbeaten career, was to earn a stud fee of 125,000 pounds ($190,000).
Arrowfield plans to use Animal Kingdom as a "shuttle stallion." The term is used to describe horses that are used for breeding in the Southern hemisphere for part of the year before being shuttled to the northern hemisphere for the rest of the year.
Animal Kingdom will start serving in the breeding season in Australia in September before being transported in December to the Jonabell Farm in Kentucky owned by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's for further duties as a stud.