Karakontie, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and French Two Thousand Guineas (G1) at 3, has arrived at Gainesway to begin stud duty in 2016.
Bred and raced by the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Holdings, Karakontie also was one of the leading juveniles in Europe, having won three races in four starts at 2 including the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère Grand Critérium (G1) with a Timeform rating of 115, as well as the Prix La Rochette (G3).
In the Breeders’ Cup Mile, the Jonathan Pease trainee showcased his brilliance and signature turn of foot, dominating a world-class field of older horses and stopping the clock in 1:32.88. He held off a late charge from Alain and Gerard Wertheimer’s Anodin, a full-brother to three-time Mile winner Goldikova, to win by a length.
Flaxman Holdings has a rich history in the Mile, winning the race five times—twice with Miesque, the dam of Kingmambo and third dam of Karakontie, who is out of the Sunday Silence mare Sun Is Up.
“Karakontie strikes a strong resemblance to the Flaxman-bred Kingmambo, who hails from his immediate family,” said Michael Hernon, who inspected the horse at Chantilly.
Gainesway owner Antony Beck cited the farm’s long history of key European imports when announcing the deal to stand Karakontie.
“Gainesway’s founder, John Gaines, transformed the stallion business through a bold vision to bring European imports to the farm,” Beck said. “His vision paid handsome dividends with such significant stallions as Riverman, Green Dancer, Irish River, and Blushing Groom. Each of these imports, like Karakontie, won the French Two Thousand Guineas. Other prominent winners of that stallion-making race were Caro, Shamardal, and Kingmambo himself.
“Karakontie validated his European form with his sensational victory on Breeders’ Cup day. We are excited to add him to our roster and delighted to be doing it with the Niarchos family.”
Flaxman Holdings has retained a significant ownership interest in Karakontie. Both Flaxman and Gainesway are committed to devoting the mares and resources to maximize the stallion’s likelihood for success.
“I am delighted that Karakontie is going to stand at Gainesway Farm,” Maria Niarchos-Gouazé said. “We believe his truly international bloodlines combine to make him a most exciting stallion prospect who we look forward to supporting strongly.”