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Retired Xaar to stand at Kildangan.

XAAR, the outstanding European two-year-old of 1997, when his victories included an unforgettable performance in the Dewhurst Stakes, has been retired to stud, writes Graham Green.

The five-year-old son of Zafonic is to stand at Kildangan Stud in County Kildare in 2001. Before then, he will shuttle to Arrowfield Stud in Australia for the southern hemis- phere season later this year.

Xaar raced in the Godolphin colours last season and is currently in Dubai, but it was while trained by Andre Fabre for owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah that he established his reputation.

The colt arrived at Newmarket having landed the Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre, and he produced a spectacular seven-length dismissal of subsequent European champion sprinter Tamarisk, with future champion miler Desert Prince back in fourth.

The manner of that win, his third of the season, caught the imagination of racing professionals, media and punters alike, and it resulted in Xaar earning an International Classifications rating of 127, 8lb clear of the next-best of his generation.

Although he was well ahead of his contemporaries at two, the gap had closed when Xaar reached three, and Classic success eluded him. Despite that, a victory in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket and a third behind Swain in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes led to the title of champion three-year-old on the International Classifications (Intermediate).

Xaar was unable to add to his four wins when he raced for Godolphin last term, although he finished third behind Lear Spear in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and was beaten a neck by Compton Admiral in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes, which took his earnings to over pounds 368,000.

Xaar, who is a half-brother to high-class French runner Masterclass and smart filly Didicoy, is out of a half-sister to Sex Appeal, the dam of fellow Dewhurst winners El Gran Senor and Try My Best.

Joe Osborne, managing director of Kildangan Stud, said: "Irish breeders will be very keen on Xaar. He will retire as the top-rated two-year-old at stud in Ireland bar none."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Greene, Graham (English writer)
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 13, 2000
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