Matchbook Low Commissoin Exchange Heron Stakes winner King of Comedy is to join the stallion roster at Novara Park Stud in Waikato, New Zealand.
King of Comedy followed his listed success at Sandown two years ago with an arguably career-best effort in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, finishing best of all but just too late to catch Circus Maximus and going down by a neck.
Lady Bamford’s homebred subsequently also finished runner-up in the Shadwell Joel Stakes (G2) and Mansionbets Beaten By A Head Diomed Stakes (G3), but after moving to Jessica Harrington from the John Gosden yard he has finished down the field on his two starts this year as a 5-year-old.
He retires with a race record of three wins from 12 starts, having also won novice stakes at Sandown and York.
His pedigree—particularly being a son of Kingman —as much as his race record was a prime attraction for Luigi Muollo, owner of Novara Park, who said: “Kingman is one of the hottest names in European bloodstock circles, and King of Comedy ticked all the boxes of pedigree, racetrack performance, type, and commercial appeal.”
Kingman was named Europe’s Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old colt in 2014 after a sensational campaign that included top-level wins in the Tattersalls Irish Two Thousand Guineas (G1), St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1), QIPCO Sussex Stakes (G1), and Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard-Jacques le Marois (G1).
The Juddmonte sire’s most notable runners include another St. James’s Palace Stakes winner in Palace Pier , recent winner of the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (G1), and Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas, G1) winner Persian King .
Kingman stands at Banstead Manor in Newmarket, where his fee this year was £150,000. His first two crops generated 29 stakes winners at a stakes-winners-to-runners clip of nearly 15%, including four group 1 victors.
He is the best son of Invincible Spirit , who is also the sire of top Australian stallion I Am Invincible . Kingman is also a three-quarter brother to Oasis Dream , the sire of Showcasing and Power , who both stood at stud in New Zealand with great success.
King of Comedy is out of the outstanding producer Stage Presence , by champion miler and successful stallion Selkirk , and who is the dam of Prix de Diane Longines (G1) winner Star of Seville .
She has also produced group 3 winner English Ballet , while King of Comedy is additionally from the family of tough four-time American grade 1 winner Winchester .
Muollo said: “The fact that King of Comedy had tremendous ability, leading him to at one point being rated the best 3-year-old in Europe, and is a son of the mighty Kingman will make him an easy choice for breeders.
“He is a magnificent individual. He is a beautiful bay, very correct, and will let down into a lovely stallion.
“His sire Kingman has been a great success so he possesses all the genetic ingredients to make a successful sire. He will be a very valuable addition to the New Zealand stallion ranks and we will be making available a limited number of lifetime breeding rights in the horse.”
King of Comedy will stand at Novara Park Stud alongside resident stallions Sweynesse and Staphanos at an introductory fee of NZ$7,000.