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Ace in the Hole

Former European champion 2-year-old and Darley-owned sire Xaar (GB) was a stallion that looked to have it all - a rudely talented racehorse that boasted a superb pedigree being by the brilliant Zafonic from the Best in Show family. Despite outstanding credentials and opportunity to match, Xaar failed to reproduce a horse close to his own ability in both Europe and Australia and has stood at different farms in Ireland, France, and Australia the past few years and in fact served a couple of seasons in Western Australia, but has not returned to Australia since 2005. He was last listed as standing at Julian Ince's Haras du Logis in Normandy, France.

While the win of Acey Ducey (AUS) on the weekend in the group II Suncorp Phar Lap Stakes in Australia will do nothing to redeem his reputation, it is yet again a great example of the power that TrueNicks has with its access to The Jockey Club Information Systems' database. Acey Ducey is the second foal of the Known Fact mare Deduce, a half sister to grade III winner Totemic, the dam of the grade II winner (and multiple grade I-placed) Lil's Lad (by Pine Bluff).

A look at his TrueNicks rating page - noting that the report was run prior to his own efforts being included in the calculation - shows that Acey Ducey is a B+ rated horse, a very solid rating and certainly one that should pique interest for a yearling buyer or breeder. Acey Ducey's rating is of course based on the Zafonic/Known Fact cross, one that would have got a fair bit of opportunity as Zafonic, Known Fact, and the latter's son Warning (GB) all stood under the Juddmonte banner in Europe. This is a broader representation of the well regarded Gone West/In Reality nick made famous by classic winners Smarty Jones (TrueNicks, SRO) and Commendable.

Acey Ducey was actually offered at the 2006 Magic Millions yearling sale where he was bought back for a paltry AUS$2,000 and is now raced by well-known breeders Kerrie Tibbie and Richard Boyd of Goodwood Farm, the same farm that raised and sold the recently-retired Australian champion 2-year-old Dance Hero (AUS).

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