US Champion Gio Ponti joins 2012 Arrowfield roster

Three-time Eclipse Award winner, seven-time Grade 1 winner and $US6 million earner GIO PONTI (USA) (Tale of the Cat-Chipeta Springs, by Alydar) will stand at Arrowfield Stud in 2012.

Arrowfield’s John Messara says, “Gio Ponti’s superlative record will stamp him one of the all-time great American turf horses.”

“His athleticism, good looks and Tale of the Cat’s proven compatibility with Australasian bloodlines make him a very exciting addition to our roster.”

Trained by Christophe Clement, Gio Ponti (pictured) was a stakes-winning 2YO, whose seven Grade 1wins, all in the mile to mile and a quarter range, comprised four consecutive victories in the Santa Anita Frank E. Kilroe Mile, Belmont Manhattan H., Belmont Man o’ War S., and the Arlington Million, a second Man o’ War S. and two runnings of the Keeneland Turf Mile.

In the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic G1 it took the great Zenyatta to defeat Gio Ponti, and a year later he was runner-up to champion mare Goldikova in the Breeders’ Cup Mile G1.

Remarkably, 19 of Gio Ponti’s 29 starts were in Grade 1 races and he won or placed in 15 of them – a record that earned him three Eclipse Awards, as the Champion US Older Male of 2009, and Champion US Male Turf Horse, 2009 & 2010.

Gio Ponti is the best performed son of brilliant 3YO and now successful stallion, Tale of the Cat, sire of 74 stakeswinners, including 20 bred in the southern hemisphere, among them Group 1 winners Glamour Puss, Gathering and Tell A Tale.

Gio Ponti is currently serving his first book of mares at his owner’s Castleton Lyons Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.

Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer, who inspected Gio Ponti in November 2011, says, “He’s a beautifully made, athletic horse whose conformation is perfectly suited to Australian racing conditions. Gio Ponti’s consistent brilliance in top-class turf company at a mile and his electrifying turn of foot off a strong pace make him a very appealing option for Australian breeders and owners who place a premium on those attributes.”

Gio Ponti’s 2012 service fee at Arrowfield will be announced shortly.

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