First Defence and United States sold to stand in Saudi Arabia
Grade 1 winner First Defence, sire of champion Close Hatches, has been sold to continue his stud career at Haif Stud in Saudi Arabia in a deal brokered by Chad Schumer of Schumer Bloodstock and Khalid Alsyari.
The 12-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song previously stood at Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky.
Trained by Bobby Frankel on behalf of Juddmonte Farms, First Defence won six of 14 starts for $580,534 in prize-money.
A top-class sprinter who was effective on both dirt and turf, he took the 2008 Grade 3 Jaipur Handicap at Belmont Park before turning in a brilliant performance to run out the 6 3/4 length winner of the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga. He also won the Long Branch Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Monmouth Park and ran second in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes and Grade 2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap.
First Defence hit the ground running at stud when his first crop contained multiple Grade 1 winner Close Hatches and the high-class British 2yo Dundonnell. Close Hatches was crowned the champion older mare of 2014 after sweeping the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap, Ogden Phipps Stakes and Personal Ensign Stakes while Dundonnell landed the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at York before becoming a prominent runner in Hong Kong.
A stallion who has made an impact in both North America and Europe, First Defence is also the sire of Graded/Group stakes winner Antonoe and Irish Jasper.
First Defence is a product of one of the deepest Juddmonte families in the Stud Book as a son of Grade 1 winner Honest Lady, herself a Seattle Slew half-sister to Grade 1 winners and successful sires Empire Maker and Chester House. His granddam dam, Toussaud, won the Grade 1 Gamely Handicap and is today noted as a matriarch of Juddmonte’s operation.
Joining First Defence in Saudi Arabia is United States, who stood the 2016 season at Northwest Farm in Florida.
The son of A P Indy is the sire of G3 winner and G1-placed La Irunesa from three small crops of racing age.
The nine-length winner of his maiden at Gulfstream Park, he boasts an excellent pedigree as an A.P. Indy son of Blithe, a half-sister to Fusaichi Pegasus from the immediate family of Pine Bluff.