A multiple Group One winner, BELARDO was an outstanding two-year-old whose juvenile season culminated in an explosive victory in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes (7f) which saw him crowned Champion 2YO of Europe in 2014. However, it was arguably his victory in the Group One Lockinge Stakes at four, that was his finest moment leaving no less than eight Group One performers in his wake, seeing him retire with a Timeform rating of 126.
A debut winner at two, BELARDO built towards his Dewhurst victory with a four-length demolition of his rivals in the Listed Washington Singer Stakes (7f) at Newbury before capturing his first Group One. His three-year-old season was tinged with what could have beens – fourth in the Irish 2000 Guineas less than two lengths behind GLENEAGLES, 3rd in the Group Two Challenge Stakes and an agonisingly close second in the Group One Queen Elizabeth at Ascot – saw BELARDO given the rare opportunity for Group One winning colts to continue his racing career as an older horse.
BELARDO'S four-year-old season saw him kick off with a win in the Listed Doncaster Mile, with his preparation gaining momentum before his triumph in the Group One Lockinge Stakes (1m) where the beaten brigade included Group One winners LIMATO, TOORMORE and EURO CHARLINE. A return to Ascot in June saw BELARDO put in the best male performance of Royal Ascot 2016 when a closing second in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes (1m) to the outstanding American mare, TEPIN.
Pedigree wise, BELARDO ticks all the right boxes. Since announcing BELARDO in 2017, his sire, Champion 3YO LOPE DE VEGA, has gone from strength to strenghth and BELARDO is his only son at stud in Australasia. When BELARDO was first introduced to New Zealand, LOPE DE VEGA boasted a total of 26 stakes winners including four G1 winners. 12 months later, that tally has risen to 49 and six. Adding fuel to the fire is BELARDO's grandsire SHAMARDAL (Ire) (Giant’s Causeway), sire of over 200 stakes performers including 20 Group One winners. BELARDO's dam, DANASKAYA, was a multiple Group One performer taking the mantle as Ireland’s Champion 2YO of her season and as a daughter of DANEHILL, brings to the mix one of the most successful and influential sires to have graced the planet.
BELARDO's first crop of Southern Hemisphere foals have created quite the impression and with over 80% of his first book of mares immediately related to black type, BELARDO has been given every opportunity to hit the ground running when the time comes.