Perfect Power, the only horse to win three six-furlong G1s at two and three by June of his three-year-old season, has been retired from racing and will stand at Dalham Hall Stud in 2023.
The outstanding son of record-breaking freshman sire Ardad broke his maiden in early June last year and, just eight days later, flew home to take the G2 Norfolk at Royal Ascot. It's a stallion-making race, won in 2013 by No Nay Never. Perfect Power – racing in the yellow silks of Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmook Al Maktoum – came home in a quicker time than the 2017 winner, current leading first-crop sire Sioux Nation.
The first of his three G1 victories came in the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville, making another last-to-first move and winning going away. It was the beginning of a particularly successful association with jockey Christophe Soumillon, who said, 'As we got to the final 500m, I could sense the horses I was following weren’t going to take me into the race. I took a risk to go inside, and he had to be brave to squeeze through a gap. When I asked him to go, he had an amazing turn of foot. The turbo kicked in! I pressed a button and he went. It really is not usual to ride such a fast two-year-old.'
His status as the best sprinting juvenile of the year, and Champion juvenile in France, was confirmed with another blast of his trademark finishing kick in the G1 Middle Park Stakes. In completing the Norfolk-Morny-Middle Park treble, he was emulating the feat of Scat Daddy’s sire Johannesburg back in 2001. Soumillon, who also rode G1 juveniles Dutch Art – one of only four horses to complete the treble in the last five decades – and fellow French Champion Siyouni, assesses Perfect Power as 'the best two-year-old I have ridden.
Perfect Power opened his three-year-old campaign with an impressive win in the G3 Greenham at Newbury, stylishly seeing out the seven-furlong trip – but the mile of the 2,000 Guineas proved to be beyond him. Perfect Power returned to Royal Ascot's six furlongs after defeat at Newmarket – reminiscent of the race record of his great-grandsire, Danehill – and sealed his third G1 victory in Europe’s premier sprint for three-year-olds, the Commonwealth Cup. The victory made him the only horse ever to have won a trio of six-furlong G1s at both two and three so early in his career in the history of the Pattern. Trainer Richard Fahey said, 'When you've got great belief in a horse and they don't let you down, it's fantastic. He's a dude, a special horse.'
Perfect Power is the star of Ardad’s high-class first crop. This sire line has proved extremely adept at producing horses with the unusual precocity and mental maturity to be at their best in the June of their juvenile season: his grandsire, Kodiac, has produced no fewer than 15 juveniles to win or place at Royal Ascot from 13 seasons at stud – that's a record – and Ardad is off to an even faster start, with three Royal Ascot two-year-olds winning or on the board from just two crops. Perfect Power is the highest-rated and most accomplished Royal Ascot juvenile colt from the Kodiac line.
Bred by commercial powerhouse Tally-Ho Stud, Perfect Power comes from a stout female line – a feature of the families of several sprint winners who have excelled at stud, among them Invincible Spirit and Pivotal – and his dam was rated 95 for her middle-distance form. He was the highest-priced auction horse from Ardad's first crop, selling for 110,000gns at the two-year-old sales. 'I was lucky enough to buy Ardad as a two-year-old,' said purchaser Richard Brown, of Blandford Bloodstock, 'and when I saw this fellow at the breeze-ups, I couldn't believe how similar he was: the same strength and power, the same fluent movement and great walk. Above all, the same bombproof, laid-back temperament. If Perfect Power stamps his stock as well as his sire, what a hot property he will be!'
Sam Bullard, Director of Stallions, said, 'We are delighted Perfect Power is coming to Dalham Hall Stud. Breeders from all around Europe will have admired his performances in many of the great races for two- and three-year-old sprinters and it is a rare opportunity for British breeders to have access to a stallion with such precocity and speed.
“His powers of acceleration are exactly the sort of thing that makes our sport so thrilling. What's more, he's a fantastically muscular colt, and an especially good mover: he is very likely to throw commercial youngstock in his own speedy image.”
A fee for Perfect Power will be announced at a later date.