A multiple Group One winner, BELARDO was an outstanding two-year-old whose juvenile season culminated in an explosive victory in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes (7f) which saw him crowned Champion 2YO of Europe in 2014. However, it was arguably his victory in the Group One Lockinge Stakes at four, that was his finest moment leaving no less than eight Group One performers in his wake, seeing him retire with a Timeform rating of 126.
A debut winner at two, BELARDO built towards his Dewhurst victory with a four-length demolition of his rivals in the Listed Washington Singer Stakes (7f) at Newbury before capturing his first Group One. His three-year-old season was tinged with what could have beens – fourth in the Irish 2000 Guineas less than two lengths behind GLENEAGLES, 3rd in the Group Two Challenge Stakes and an agonisingly close second in the Group One Queen Elizabeth at Ascot – saw BELARDO given the rare opportunity for Group One winning colts to continue his racing career as an older horse.
BELARDO'S four-year-old season saw him kick off with a win in the Listed Doncaster Mile, with his preparation gaining momentum before his triumph in the Group One Lockinge Stakes (1m) where the beaten brigade included Group One winners LIMATO, TOORMORE and EURO CHARLINE. A return to Ascot in June saw BELARDO put in the best male performance of Royal Ascot 2016 when a closing second in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes (1m) to the outstanding American mare, TEPIN.
Pedigree wise, BELARDO ticks all of the right boxes. Since announcing Belardo last season, his sire, Champion 3YO LOPE DE VEGA, has gone from strength to strength, and BELARDO is his only son at stud in Australasia. When Belardo was first introduced to New Zealand, LOPE DE VEGA boasted a total of 26 stakes winners incluidng four G1 winners. 12 months later, that tally has risen to 40 stakes winners with two further G1 winners added to the mix taking his G1 tally to six. Adding fuel to the fire is BELARDO's grandsire, SHAMARDAL (Ire) (Giant’s Causeway), sire of over 200 stakes performers including 18 Group One winners. His dam, DANASKAYA, was a multiple Group One performer taking the mantle as Ireland’s Champion 2YO of her season and as a daughter of DANEHILL, brings to the mix one of the most successful and influential sires to have graced the planet.