Turkish National Stud bids for Coolmore sires

The Jockey Club of Turkey is set to announce the acquisition of Coolmore-based sires Dehere, Lion Heart and Powerscourt.

Dehere and Lion Heart shuttle to Australia from Coolmore’s Kentucky base while Powerscourt stands at its Irish headquarters.

If the deal goes through, the trio will stand at the Turkish National Stud alongside 21 other stallions.  Former Australian based sires to have home-grown progeny in Turkey include Royal Abjar, Okawango, Sri Pekan and Eagle Eyed.

Dehere retired to Coolmore’s US base at Ashford Stud in 1995 but was sold to stand in Japan four years later.  He returned to Ashford in 2006 and is a regular shuttler to Australia where he has been represented by the G1 winners Belle Du Jour and Defier.

Haskell Invitational winner Lion Heart has been extremely popular since retiring to stud five years ago.  The son of Tale Of The Cat has been represented by 11 stakes winners worldwide and finished sixth in the 2009 North American second crop sires’ list with earnings over $4.42 million.

The Jockey Club of Turkey – which is overseen by the government – has maintained a continual programme of acquiring stallions to upgrade its bloodstock over the last 20 years, boosted by its share of betting revenue.

The increased interest has not gone unnoticed in the USA according to Kentucky-based agent Chad Schumer.  “There was more Turkish participation than ever at the Keeneland November Sale and they were paying good prices,” says Schumer.  “I’ve been looking at several stallion prospects for Turkey, and from what I’ve heard, there are more agents doing the same.”

Turkey’s broodmare population has grown from 1,356 to 3,166 during the period 2000-08.