The arrival of Animal Kingdom’s first foal this week was greeted with plenty of excitement at Arrowfield Stud, but no-one was more excited than American visitor Conrad Bandoroff.
And with good reason. Conrad’s parents Craig and Holly Bandoroff own and manage Denali Stud in Kentucky where Animal Kingdom himself was born in 2008. The Stud raised and sold the future superstar and, when breeder Team Valor bought him back as a $100,000 yearling, took a share in him as well.
That decision took the Bandoroff family on what Conrad describes as an “unbelievable ride.”
“He took us to the top of the mountain in the Kentucky Derby and took us back there again in Dubai.”
Ask Conrad about the Animal Kingdom filly from Tumble Turn and it’s hard to shut him up. “I’m really excited by this foal, especially because she’s from a mare by Redoute’s Choice, and Arrowfield can send so many of his daughters to Animal Kingdom. It’s great to see what that mating has produced, she’s such a nice foal with good size, good substance and a great frame on her.
“Dave [Morrissey] took me to see the foal a few hours after she was born and she was already galloping around with a lovely stride. I really think she’ll be a runner!”
Tumble Turn, owned by Arrowfield, Planette Thoroughbred & Belford Productions, is a city-winning daughter of Group 2 juvenile winner Freestyle. This is the smart family of dual 2YO stakeswinner Stella Artois and Group winner Aliyana Tilde (by Snitzel), also foaling this season to Animal Kingdom.
Conrad, 21, completed a semester exchange at the University of Sydney before working the past month or so at Arrowfield, firstly in the Sydney office and then at the farm. He returns to the United States on Sunday to complete his degree in Economics.
He vividly remembers Animal Kingdom as a yearling. “He’s always been a very good-looking horse with a great physique and a very good mental constitution.”
Conrad last saw Animal Kingdom at Darley America in January and says, “He’s really let down as a stallion, and he’s still very attractive. And he always knows where the camera is!”
As for the rest of the Arrowfield roster, Conrad says, “I especially liked Smart Missile and Charge Forward, they’re both great physical types.”
Animal Kingdom and Australia’s reigning champion sire Redoute’s Choice are currently in quarantine and will return to Arrowfield in time for the Stud’s Stallion Open House, Thursday 21-Sunday 24 August.