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Welcome to Valachi Downs

Valachi Downs is a boutique thoroughbred stud located near Matamata, in the heart of  New Zealand's thoroughbred nursery: the Waikato. Established from modest beginnings, the farm has grown from the original 50 acre dairy farm purchased in 2005, and has developed into a 270+ acre horse breeding operation. The stud has been purpose built from the ground up and reflects the many terrains of the region. Hill country, rolling pastures and lush flat lands make up the landscape of the farm, along with first class stabling facilities and kilometres of post and rail fencing. The stud reflects the focus on quality and attention to detail that is synonymous with the co-founder of Ryman Healthcare and stud owner Kevin Hickman.

Valachi Downs has enjoyed success, in both the sales ring and on the racetrack.The stud's first draft at the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales in 2008 saw a record high Select Sale price of $300,000 for a Scardee Cat colt from Valachi Downs mare My Kinda Girl. Then in 2011 and 2012 it was Derby winners that bought the stud to the fore.  Australian Derby winner Shamrocker was raised at the stud and sold through the Select Sale for $65,000 for Valachi clients.






History-making Champion Sprinter U S Navy Flag to Valachi Downs

With great excitement Valachi Downs announce exquisitely-bred three-time Group 1-winning Champion sprinter U S Navy Flag (USA) (War Front {USA}) will stand at the Matamata property in 2019.

For the first time in history, New Zealand breeders will have the opportunity to breed to a Champion European two year old and three year old sprinter, who beat older horses in the breed-shaping Group 1 July Cup.

“There has never been a sprinter of this elite-level stand at stud in New Zealand, let alone with the incredible pedigree U S Navy Flag possesses,” said Valachi Downs General Manager Jonathan Scully. “We are beyond delighted to offer this precocious speed sire to breeders.” 

U S Navy Flag offers a beautiful blend of elite sirelines and a bluechip pedigree through a deep black-type family. A son of top international sire War Front, U S Navy Flag is from a four-time Group 1-winning daughter of Galileo, Misty for Me, a Champion two-year-old and three-year-old in Ireland. He is a brother to three-time Group 1 winner Roly Poly. 

Debuting as an early two-year-old, trainer Aiden O’Brien travelled U S Navy Flag to Newmarket for the Group 1 Middle Park S. after he saluted in the Group 3 Curragh Round Tower S. He upstaged his Group 1 Phoenix S.-winning barnmate Sioux Nation in his maiden Group 1 victory, before backing up a fortnight later into the Group 1 Dewhurst S.  

When defeating an exceptional field in the Dewhurst, including eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf hero Mendelssohn, U S Navy Flag became the first horse for 35 years, since Diesis, to land the Middle Park-Dewhurst double.

After the historic win, jockey Ryan Moore was effusive in his praise for the outstanding juvenile. “He’s been a remarkable horse,” Moore said. 

“It was a good Dewhurst today and he was strong at the line. This is a massive feat.” 

U S Navy Flag returned at three to run second in the Group 1 Irish 2,000 Guineas, before dropping back to his preferred 1200m-distance in the Group 1 July Cup against older horses. The ultimate European sprint Championship, the July Cup has produced winners Oasis Dream, Anabaa, Starspangledbanner and Stravinsky, plus Danehill who finished second, amongst others, who have excelled at stud.

In this impressive victory, U S Navy Flag created a piece of racing history by completing a Newmarket Group 1 triple crown in the form of the Middle Park, Dewhurst and July Cup.

Upon retirement to Coolmore Ireland, trainer Aiden O’Brien described U S Navy Flag as ‘brilliant,’ stating, "speed is his biggest attribute but heart is his next biggest, he never lies down and is an amazing horse.”

The arrival of U S Navy Flag to Valachi Downs highlights the commitment of the farm to accessing the best bloodlines in the world.

“I recently traveled to Coolmore to physically inspect U S Navy Flag and can describe him as the epitome of a Danzig-line sprinter. He is strong, neat and correct, the same dark-bay colour as his sire War Front and grandsire Danzig,” said Scully. 

“He will add an enormous injection of high quality speed to our broodmare population.”

After covering a full book in his maiden season at Coolmore Ireland, U S Navy Flag will shuttle to New Zealand to commence the 2019 season at a fee of $20,000 + GST.

Stud Address:

165 Buckland Road, Matamata 3472

Office: Administration/Accounts


PO Box 79084 Christchurch 8446

Ph: +64 3 336 0260