Rising force Phoenix Thoroughbreds has made a notable addition to its growing bloodstock portfolio with the purchase of a 50 per cent stake in The National Stud's newcomer Aclaim.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to invest in a Group 1 winner from a fast emerging and influential sire line," said Phoenix Thoroughbreds' Kerri Radcliffe.
"He was an ultra-tough, classy and consistent performer with a great pedigree. He's also a smashing-looking horse. If he passes on his looks and ability to his offspring he should have every chance of becoming a successful stallion."
Aclaim is by Acclamation, whose sire sons are headed by Dark Angel, who supplied three new Group 1 winners in 2017.
He hails from the family of Classic winners Montjeu and Galileo Gold, as well as Group 1-winning sprinter Goldream.
His exceptional pedigree is backed up with an impressive race record that includes decisive victories in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret and the Group 2 Park Stakes.
Aclaim's introductory fee has been set at £12,500.
Aclaim winning the Prix de la Foret at Chantilly, photo Liesl King
Radcliffe explained that Phoenix Thoroughbreds plans to support Aclaim both at stud and in the sales ring.
"We're going to buy four or five top-class mares to go to him and, more importantly, we're going to be interested in buying his foals and his yearlings at the sales," she said.
The operation has made an impact on sale rings on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the year, including when purchasing the sale toppers at Arqana's Breeze-Up and August Yearling sales at €1.4 million and €1.55m respectively.
More recently, Radcliffe was in action at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale, where she went to $3m for the Grade 1-winning mare Nickname, a daughter of Scat Daddy, to add to the operation's burgeoning band of broodmares.
"We're starting our own broodmare band so we're going to have a very nice bunch of horses for breeding and racing," explained Radcliffe.
The expenditure has not been without success, however, as Radcliffe recently returned from a stateside trip to see Phoenix Thoroughbreds' Dream Tree, one of three winners from as many runners for the owners in the US, land a Grade 3 at Santa Anita.
"It's been a pretty amazing year, our strike-rate has been quite unbelievable and it was nice to finish the year with a Grade 3 winner," reflected Radcliffe, whose husband, Jeremy Noseda, has trained five winners from six runners for Phoenix Thoroughbreds in Britain, including the Albany Stakes third Take Me With You.
"We've had five winners in Britain, two of which are stakes horses [Lansky and Take Me With You], and in America we've had three winners from three runners and two Graded stakes horses. And in Gronkowski we might even have a Kentucky Derby contender on our hands."
Radcliffe added that it was too early to say how many horses Phoenix Thoroughbreds plans to have in training in 2018, but did reveal that a number of new trainers will be sent horses.
"We've got new trainers on our book," she said. "We'll be using Steve Asmussen and Todd Pletcher as well as Bob Baffert in the States. And in Europe we'll also be sending horses to Sir Michael Stoute and Andre Fabre. It's very exciting."