Triple Group One winning miler Circus Maximus has been secured to stand at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand for the 2021 Southern hemisphere breeding season.
Aptly named due to his gladiatorial qualities, Circus Maximus was a fast, tough, elite level campaigner who was trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien throughout his illustrious career.
A winner at two, the son of Galileo was Group Three placed and a close-up fourth behind subsequent 2000 Guineas-winning stablemate Magna Grecia at Doncaster in the UK in the Group 1 Futurity Trophy (1600m) at the end of his juvenile year.
Circus Maximus began his three-year-old season winning the Listed Dee Stakes (2050m) at Chester before success in Royal Ascot’s Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes (1600m) where he beat European Champion two-year-old Too Darn Hot and Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Phoenix of Spain.
The prestigious St James’s Palace Stakes is a noted sire making race whose winners include Frankel (sire of this seasons Group 1 Australian Oaks winner Hungry Heart and ATC 2YO stakes winner Converge), Kingman, Shamardal and Giants Causeway.
Aside from his debut three-year-old stakes win, Circus Maximus raced a further 12 times, all in Group One company and following his Royal Ascot victory he again proved his class when defeating older horses, including Classic-winning milers Romanised, Olmedo and Phoenix Of Spain, in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (1600m) to gain the title of Champion 3YO Miler in France.
“Circus Maximus travels with a lot of speed and is very tough,” O’Brien said. “He quickens and then toughs it out. He’s that type of horse that can often make a very good stallion.”
Circus Maximus also finished runner-up in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes over a mile at Goodwood before travelling to Keeneland in the USA to close out his three-year-old season with a fourth placed finish in the Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile.
A Champion Miler at four, Circus Maximus returned to Royal Ascot to win his third Group One race in the Queen Anne Stakes over a mile and followed his Royal Ascot triumph with a further four Group One placings including runner-up finishes in the Sussex Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
In all, Circus Maximus won five races from 1600m to 2050m and $2.88 million, and placed top four in 10 of his 13 Group One starts.
Rated 125 by Timeform who described him as “tall, good bodied, highclass performer”, Circus Maximus is by the breed-shaping colossus Galileo, sire of 89 Group One winners and sire of 19 sons who themselves have produced Group One winners.
The prolific Galileo sireline has produced the winners of numerous marquee Australian races including the Melbourne Cup, Cox Plate, Australian Oaks, Australian Guineas and the Doncaster, Epsom and Stradbroke Handicaps. This season alone it is responsible for dual Australian Group One winning three-year-olds Hungry Heart and Montefilia.
Circus Maximus is the only foal of the Group winning racemare Duntle, a dual stakes winner at Royal Ascot who was also first past the post in the Group 1 Matron Stakes (1600m) at Leopardstown, before being relegated to second.
A daughter of champion sire and broodmare sire Danehill Dancer, Duntle comes from an excellent branch of the famous La Troienne family that includes this season’s Australian Group One winning two-year-old Artorius and famed New Zealand sire Noble Bijou.
Circus Maximus continues the hugely successful relationship enjoyed between Coolmore Stud and Windsor Park Stud, highlighted by their previous success together with champion sires High Chaparral, Montjeu and Mastercraftsman.
Circus Maximus will shuttle to Windsor Park Stud’s Cambridge farm from Coolmore Stud in Ireland where he is standing his first Northern hemisphere season at stud.
A stud fee for the world class galloper will be announced in the coming weeks.