Star Kingdom was sired by Stardust and his dam was impromptu. Star Kingdom’s grandsire was Hyperion while the damsire was Concerto.
He was foaled in 1946 and bred by Richard Ball and he was owned by three different people, who included Claude Leigh, Wilfred Harvey, who was a publisher and who bought him for 3,100 guineas at the Doncaster sales and Stanley Wootton who owned him at the Cloghran Stud.
He was brought in from Ireland at £ 4,000 by Stanley Wootton. In reality, Star Kingdom’s bloodline was not overly successful as to expect so much from him. Stardust (his sire) was a good racehorse but was not that great or exceptional.
Upon arriving in Australia, he started 16 times and won 9 times, came second twice and was third once. By the time he retired, he had won five major races, earned £12,352 and was awarded the honour of Leading sire in Australia 5 times. Before being sent to Australia, Star Kingdom had won five major races in Ireland.
These included the 1948 Richmond Stakes, the Greenham Stakes of 1949, the 1948 Gimcrack Stakes, the Jersey Stakes and the Hungerford Stakes of 1949. He was trained by John Waugh and Fred Templemen.
He sired Sky High, who was among the greatest racehorses in history. It is believed that the Australian thoroughbreds that trace their bloodline to Star Kingdom still have the element of speed that was genetically inherited from him.
Star Kingdom’s genes are the reason why his progenies dominated and set records in races taking place over distances of 8 furlongs, 5 furlongs, 10 furlongs, 5 ½ furlongs as well as 4 furlongs.
He was also a good broodmare sire. One of his progenies, Baguette won the Golden Slipper Stakes and went unbeaten during the whole of the season she ran as a two year old. By 1978, it is reported that Star Kingdom had approximately 42 male progenies in various studs in Australia and in New Zealand. It is also estimated that about 100 grandsons were in various studs in Australia and New Zealand.
After having been bought by Stanley Wootton in 1951, he was taken to Australia where he was awarded with the honour of being the leading sire in Australia five times between 1959 and 1965.
He was taken to the Barramul Stud, which was in New South Wales. Star Kingdom stood at the Barramul Stud from 1951 to 1966 (16 seasons). The fact that he won all but one of his wins by large margins, which were in excess of 10 lengths, made him an ideal choice for stud.
He arrived in Australia going by the name Star King, but then had to be registered using the name “Star Kingdom” because there was already a horse named “Star Kingdom”.
In the initial stages, there was doubt as to whether he would be able to be a successful sire because of his relatively small height, which was just 15 hands, ½ inch.
It is reported that his tiny body frame coupled with his delicate nature as a yearling made even his breeder to shut the door on him. It is also the reason why he was sold to Australia by British breeders. Upon arriving in Australia after travelling for a long distance, he looked very weak and had lost weight significantly.
Even after having travelled that, far to buy him, his Australian owners started having regrets of having bought him and were very much disappointed before he started siring successful progenies. About 130 of his progenies won various races as individuals.
He started on a good note when he became the leading sire for two year olds in his first season. However, Star Kingdom proved his worth when he won his first title as Australia’s leading sire in the 1958-1959 season.
His success on the stud was epitomised by the fact that his sires were the first to hit the $2 million mark. His progenies were very successful on the racecourse and they included the first horse to win the Golden Slipper Stakes.
Speed was evidently engraved in his genes and he was awarded 7 times for being the leading sire for two year olds and was a five-time leading sire in Australia. He was also the champion broodmare three times.
Star Kingdom sired a total of 52 progenies that won various stakes.
They were led by the legendary Sky High who won 29 major races.
Others include Skyline, Kingter, King Star, Fine and Dandy, Biscay, Concert Star, Star Affair, Kaoru Star, Citius, Planet Kingdom, Time and Tide, Noholme, Gold Stakes, Cymbal, Sunset Hue; who sired Ritmar and Gunsynd, Mighty Kingdom and Courteous.
Star Kingdom’s headstone stands at the Barramul Stud where he died as a result of blockage of his bowel.