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posted on 23 February, 2018

Novara Park loses foundation stallion Jakkalberry

Exciting young Novara Park stallion Jakkalberry has died following a short illness.

“It’s unbelievable,” Novara Park manager Ray Knight told tThe Informant. “Sometimes shit happens in this game as we know, but this has hit us hard.

“It was essentially a gut infection, a colic-type thing, and he went downhill very quickly. We did all that we could to save him, but he died around 1 o’clock this morning. It was so sudden – he was fine, then he was sick, then suddenly he was in really bad shape.

“It’s devastating for everybody, but in particular I feel so sorry for Luigi (Muollo, stud owner), who invested so much energy and effort into this horse. It had just been starting to pay off as well, with great results at the sales and very good signs from his first crop of runners. It’s just very sad to be cut off at the pass now.”

The son of Storming Home was a half-brother to two Group One winners, and he himself scored at the highest level in the Gran Premio di Milano. He also placed in the Melbourne Cup and Dubai Sheema Classic.

Jakkalberry took up stud duties as the foundation stallion at Novara Park in 2014, and his progeny have sold up to $440,000 at Karaka.

First-crop runner Thomas Aquinas placed on debut last month before finishing a close sixth in the Karaka Million, and he will line up in tomorrow’s Gr. 3 Reid & Harrison Slipper at Matamata.

“It’ll be bittersweet watching that,” Knight said. “I was wondering whether or not to go along, but I think I’ll try to be brave and do it.

“At least we’ve all been in this game long enough to know there are highs and lows, and how to deal with them. It’s really sad that he won’t be around any more, but I think he'll make a difference with his few crops – he’s looking like he could be a very good sire. That’s terrific in itself and something to be proud of, but it’s just a shame that the farm and Luigi won’t benefit from that.

“Hopefully it’ll be onwards and upwards for us from here. We couldn’t be more thankful for having the chance to stand Jakkalberry, and luckily we’ve also got Sweynesse, who has produced some lovely-looking foals. But he’s got a bit to live up to.

“Luigi has taken it remarkably well and he’s already starting to look on the bright side. He's got a great attitude. He was wondering when we should find ourselves another stallion. That’s not something I want to think about today, but we could look at it if the right horse comes along a bit further down the track.”

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