TAMARKUZ is about to embark on another season at stud, but this time it is in his third stallion home.
The Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner started his second career at Shadwell in the USA, last season completed a season at Blue Ridge Stud in Louisiana, and now he has moved to Ontario in Canada and is one of a pair of sires under the Ballycrory Bloodstock banner. His fee has fallen again, and now is set at Canadian $4,000.
This has all happened as one of his sons, Tiger Nation, has emerged as a potential star performer, winning both of his starts to date in the UAE. The three-year-old is now a leading fancy for the UAE 2000 Guineas, and perhaps he will go on to bigger and better things.
Changing homes has been a thing for Tamarkuz. Sold as a yearling to Shadwell by his breeder, John D Gunther, for $325,000 at Keeneland, he went into training with Saeed bin Suroor, but appeared on the track in the colours of Godolphin. A maiden winner at two at the third attempt, he added a nursery to that tally and the following season was victorious in a conditions race. Each of these wins came on the all-weather.
He left bin Suroor’s yard to join Musabbeh Al Mheiri, donned the silks of Hamdan Al Maktoum, and as a five-year-old transformed his race record. Tamarkuz won four times in the UAE, including a pair of Group 3 races over a mile, and the $1 million Group 2 Godolphin Mile, all at Meydan. Then it was time for another change, to the US stables of Kiaran McLaughlin, and having run second in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes over seven furlongs, he won at the Breeders’ Cup. On his swansong Tamarkuz defeated the leading young sire and eventual 2017 Horse of the Year winner Gun Runner, and the multiple Grade 1 winners Accelerate, Runhappy and Dortmund.
A son of Speightstown (Gone West), Tamarkuz is one of three stakes winners out of Without You Babe, an unraced daughter of Lemon Drop Kid (Kingmambo). Without You Babe has three stakes-winning siblings, the best of them being Stay Thirsty (Bernardini), winner of the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
Tamarkuz was foaled five years before his half-brother, Without Parole (Frankel). That Newsells Park Stud sire won the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and was placed in a trio of Grade 1 mile races in the USA. Without Parole was followed a year later by She’s Got You (Kingman), a stakes winner and graded-placed in the USA.
Tamarkuz went to stud at a fee of $12,500, but he failed to attract great interest among breeders, and averaged less than 30 foals in his first three crops, the last of them being two-year-olds of 2022. His first small crop held promise that he could be a success, containing the Grade 3 juvenile winner Red Flag and the stakes-placed Kartano, but the second crop had no stakes horses among its dozen or so winners.
Last year’s juveniles contained Lady Lottie and Win Me over, his only winners from a dozen runners, but both of whom were runners-up in stakes races. That crop now has three winners among them, Tiger Nation being the new addition.
Even with Tamarkuz failing to set the stallion world alight, Tiger Nation proved to be popular when offered for sale last year at Fasig-Tipton, selling for $110,000 to Augustus McRae. He is the third offspring of his dam Silken who was unplaced in a pair of starts at the age of five, and she was a daughter of the Claiborne stallion Out Of Place (Cox’s Ridge).
While she showed nothing on the track, Silken had six siblings who were minor winners in the USA, though General Partner (Pulpit) was prolific and scored seven times on the flat and once over jumps there. Their dam Maze (Broad Brush) failed to even place when she raced at three, but two of her half-sisters were stakes winners at Ellis Park, both going on to also win at that level on better tracks.