Few moments have given us greater pleasure than when our champion Authorized carried our silks to victory in the Derby at Epsom. However, we were lucky in the past year to campaign a truly outstanding horse in Decorated Knight, who swept the Group 1 Jebel Hatta, Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup and Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes during a brilliant season in 2017. His last to first burst to defeat some of Europe’s best in the Irish Champion Stakes will live long in the memory. He is about to embark on his first season at the Irish National Stud and we will be supporting him strongly.
As a homebred, Decorated Knight holds a special place for us and everyone at Blue Diamond Stud. His achievements pay tribute to the development of our breeding operation, which came to fruition with the purchases of Blue Diamond Stud North in 2010 and Blue Diamond Stud South in late 2012, as well as the management of our advisor Tony Nerses, the purchaser of our Classic winners Authorized and Araafa among others who is supported by a wonderful team of staff.
Despite its short history, the stud has already provided us with many high points. In addition to Decorated Knight, there was Ajaya’s win in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York. His victory that day was memorable on several levels, not least in that he is a homebred son of Nessina, who remains part of the broodmare band at Blue Diamond Stud. However, behind him in third was his former paddock friend Raucous, another successful graduate of Blue Diamond Stud.
Ajaya will stand his second season next year at Rathbarry Stud in Ireland.
Last year, meanwhile, saw Aljazzi, a daughter of our Listed winner Nouriya, progress again to win the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes and run second in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot. She stays in training for 2018, when we hope she will fly our flag at Group 1 level.
Our bloodstock, which includes the regally-bred Pearling, a sister to Giant’s Cauesway and the dam of Decorated Knight, Nessina, dam of Ajaya, Nouriya, dual Listed winner and dam of Aljazzi, the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes heroine and Group 1-placed Princess Noor, Group 3 Fairy Bridge Stakes winner Lady Wingshot, Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes winner Shaden, Group 1-placed Princess Loulou, Listed winner Loulwa, Galileo Gold’s sister Choumicha and Mastercraftsman’s sister Maid To Master represents careful selection over an extended period of time by Tony Nerses. We expect the stud to continue flourishing over the upcoming years and have much to look forward to.
Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar
I have experienced very few precious moments in my life: Winning the Derby and the Irish Two Thousand Guineas for my dear friends, Saleh and lmad, has to be up there with the best.
I feel very proud that I fulfilled their trust in me, and both honoured and delighted to have been party to their success.
In 2004, we purchased three horses, Araafa, Authorized and Tariq, that went on to win two classics and a Group 2. No foal purchased at a sale has ever gone on to win the Derby under the same ownership. We have already broken records and made history. Authorized, being crowned Cartier Champion Three Year old in 2007, had to be the icing on the cake.
This was the beginning and we would hope that there is better to come.