Highly talented sprinter Lofty Strike, the son of Snitzel who was narrowly denied in some of Melbourne's signature group 1s, will stand at Victoria's Swettenham Stud in 2024.
The Julius Sandhu-trained group 2-winning 2- and 3-year-old—a son of Golden Slipper (G1)-winning filly Overreach—will not race again after studmaster Adam Sangster bought the Paul Lofitis-owned 4-year-old, bringing an immediate end to the 12-start career of the stallion who possessed a blistering turn of acceleration.
The rising 5-year-old entire will stand for an introductory service fee of AU$22,000 (US$14,300; AUS$1=US$0.65).
"I don't think there'll be a stallion who goes to stud this year, and I can't think of one in recent years, who has got a pedigree as good as his and the race record to go with it, being a group 2 winner and an undefeated group-winning 2-year-old and multiple group 1-placed colt," Swettenham general manager Sam Matthews told ANZ Bloodstock News. "Physically, he's a belter as well, so he's got the three Ps (pedigree, performance, and physique) locked away."
The 2022 Blue Diamond Prelude (G3) winner, who won his first start at Flemington, Lofty Strike was dramatically ruled out of the Blue Diamond Stakes itself when one of the favorites when Racing Victoria veterinarians declared he was mildly lame.
Daumier, now at Twin Hills Stud, finished third in the Prelude behind Lofty Strike before taking the Blue Diamond, the first of 17 group 1 winners the beautifully bred stallion would beat home.
At 3, Lofty Strike won the 2023 Rubiton Stakes (G2) while he finished runner-up in the Oakleigh Plate (G1) and the Newmarket Handicap (G1), the latter won by champion filly In Secret.
Matthews believes Lofty Strike provides breeders with a tremendous value-for-money first-season option.
"If he wins one of those group 1s, he's an AU$25 million horse and the sectionals he ran in those races were just incredible," he said. "You don't see horses do what he did. He was a victim of his own circumstances as he'd sit back and come home from back in the field.
"We can stand him at a AU$22,000 service fee, rather than a AU$60,000 service fee, which is what he probably would have been had he got his head down. It's great for the breeders, he's one of the best-bred colts in the country standing at a very, very affordable price."
Bred by Corumbene Stud's George Altomonte, who also bred and raced Overreach, Lofty Strike was a AU$280,000 purchase by Lofty Thoroughbreds' Paul Lofitis out of the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
He is 3x3 Danehill and Snippets and again Matthews stressed the new stallion's pedigree was a good fit for Swettenham.
"Obviously, we don't have a son of Snitzel and four of our five stallions are Danehill-free, so we were looking for a suitable Danehill-line stallion. He's colonial and he's speed-on-speed," Matthews said.
"You look at the job that Russian Revolution is doing and I think Trapeze Artist is a very, very nice stallion. You look at those sons of Snitzel and Lofty Strike had that early 2-year-old speed. He's 16.1hh, so he suits a lot of mares physically."