Not so long ago Coolmore, Darley and Vinery did not have an Australian bred stallion on the roster.
By the time Redoute's Choice ended Danehill's reign in 2006 the swing back to the local product was in full swing and had all farms scrambling to secure the top performers while still on the racetrack.
None had more financial clout than Sheikh Mohammed who outlaid a reported $22 million to secure Exceed And Excel from colt's owners Alan Osburg and Nick Moraitis shortly after he had won the Newmarket Handicap.
From the tenth crop by Danehill, Exceed and Excel is out of the imported Lomond mare Patrona whose dam Gladiolus carried the blood of two American legends close-up in her pedigree. Her sire Watch Your Step is a son of the great Citation while her dam Back Britches is a daughter of the legendry Carry Back.
Exceed And Excel was the leading first crop sire of 2007-2008 with his now Darley stablemate Lonhro in third place. While Lonhro has subsequently outstripped him, Exceed And Excel has forged a reputation as a prolific sire of precocious two-year olds. He was runner-up to More Than Ready in 2008-2009 and was third last season.
While he had a star last season in Helmet, his current crop of juveniles has a lacked a top liner. But Exceed And Excel leads the pack with 19 individual winners and he looks to have leading chances in the four races for two-year olds at Warwick Farm and Caulfield.
In the Natalie Hunter Hcp (1000m) at Caulfield the Peter Moody-trained gelding Planet Voyage will be out to avenge his narrow defeat at Sandown at his most recent start. A $190,000 Magic Millions yearling, Planet Voyage is the first foal of Gooree Stud's 5-time stakes-winner Pasikatera (Thunder Gulch).
In the Karen Clements Hcp (1000m) for fillies, Exceed And Excel has the consistent Pinecliff Thoroughbreds homebred Dance Card, a daughter of the stakes-winning Stravinsky mare Volcada.
At Warwick Farm Exceed And Excel has two chances in The Optus Sprint (1100m) for fillies. Last start Gosford winner Soapbox is another bred by Gooree and sold at the Magic Millions. She was knocked down to trainer Anthony Cummings for $200,000 and is fourth live foal of duel Listed stakes-winner Actress.
Looking to break her maiden and bring up 20 2yo winners for Exceed and Excel this season is the Darley homebred Omniscient a daughter of Listed stakes-winners Omens a three-quarter sister to Skytrain and a half-sister to Group 2 winner Manana and multiple Listed stakes-winner Accept.