Breeding on a budget? That’s not to say that proven Group 1 sires are out of reach.
Those available at a fee of £8,000/€8,000 or under for the 2022 season include an array of accomplished sires priced at an affordable level, especially for those willing to consider older sires.
Falling into that category are three stalwarts who return impressive winners to foals of racing age ratios.
At the top of the list is Coolmore’s veteran Rock Of Gibraltar (Castlehyde Stud; €5,000), a brilliant miler of his era who heads into his 20th season as the sire of 16 Group/Grade 1 winners and 85 black-type winners. Responsible for a successful sire son in Society Rock, himself represented in these ranks by A’Ali and Unfortunately, he returns a winners to foals of racing age strike-rate of 48%.
That figure sits marginally ahead of 46% posted by Kildangan Stud Raven’s Pass (€7,500). Quality is a consistent theme with this veteran, since he also throws a figure of 8.4% stakes winners to runners and is the sire of 37 stakes winners overall, among them last season’s Group 1-winning sprinter Romantic Proposal.
Another to break the 40% winners to runners barrier is Derby winner Sir Percy (Lanwades Stud; £7,000) on 42%. The sire of 50 stakes performers, this welcome representative of the Mill Reef sire line has an extremely bright three-year-old prospect in last year’s Montrose Stakes winner Kawida and remains appreciated in the sale ring, with yearlings selling for up to 120,000gns in 2021.
Overall, the list of Group 1 sires within this price bracket makes for impressive reading.
Rathasker Stud’s roster contains several such horses led by Bungle Inthejungle (€8,000), who hit Group 1 heights last year as the sire of the Nunthorpe Stakes heroine Winter Power. The son of Exceed And Excel has been operating with crops of varying sizes in recent years, ranging from 15 to 94, but that hasn’t stopped him from siring other fast Group winners such as Living In The Past and Rumble Inthejungle, His yearlings also sold for up to €125,000 in 2021.
Rathasker is also home to Coulsty, who remains at €4,000 despite throwing Grade 1 winner Shantisara and the Group 3-winning two-year-old Santosha in his first crop. With two crops on the ground, the son of Kodiac boasts a figure of 19% black-type horses to runners.
Rathasker veteran Clodovil, whose Group 1 record includes 2020 Prix Marcel Boussac heroine Tiger Tanaka, today operates in a private capacity.
However, the stud also offers his tough son Gregorian (€4,500), the sire of 12 black-type horses in total who enjoyed a particularly good season in California in 2021 thanks to the stakes-winning pair Gregorian Chant and Gypsy Spirit. His yearlings realised up to 115,000gns last year.
Group 1 credentials are also offered by Tamayuz (€7,000), who continues to underpin the Derrinstown Stud roster. Previously responsible for the likes of Lockinge Stakes winner Mustashry and top sprinter G Force, Tamayuz was ably represented at Group 1 level last year by the Nassau Stakes runner-up Zeyaadah.
Fellow Derrinstown stallion Awtaad has had his fee halved to €5,000. That would suggest an underwhelming start to his stud career but in fact, his first two crops contain six stakes winners headed by the Group 3 winner Create Belief; only Mehmas has sired more among his contemporaries.
Others to fall into the £5,000/€5,000 price bracket are Derby winner Harzand (Gilltown Stud) and Free Eagle (Irish National Stud), sire of Derby runner-up Khalifa Sat, as well as speed influences Due Diligence (Whitsbury Manor Stud) and Kuroshio (Starfield Stud).
Due Diligence’s good start is reflected by a sizeable crop of youngsters that will run for him in 2023, something to bear in mind for those using him this year, while Kuroshio, the sire of Australian Group 1 winner Savatoxl, is represented this season by his second wave of Europeanbred runners following a three-season break from shuttling. His yearlings realised up to €120,000 in 2021.
Also priced at €5,000 is Elzaam, a noted source of fast, tough stock whose stud record is highlighted by the Group 1 winner Champers Elysees. He remains as popular name on the roster at Ballyhane Stud, which is also home to another quick horse in Prince Of Lir, (€4,000), the sire of Norfolk Stakes winner The Lir Jet out of his first crop.
Dream Ahead’s background as a descendant of Warning and maternal grandson of Cadeaux Genereux makes him an easy fit for much of the British and Irish mare population.
Dream Ahead, meanwhile, swaps France for Bearstone Stud in Shropshire, where he has been priced at £7,500. Bearstone, of course, bred and campaigned his excellent daughter Glass Slippers, one of four Group 1 winners for the stallion. In addition, Dream Ahead’s background as a descendant of Warning and maternal grandson of Cadeaux Genereux makes him an easy fit for much of the British and Irish mare population.
In terms of the Newmarket-based stallions, it was a notably good year for Cheveley Park Stud’s Mayson (£6,000). A popular name with trainers, he was showcased to good effect on the Group 1 stage again by Oxted, winner of the King’s Stand Stakes, as well as the younger Rohaan, who captured the Sandy Lane Stakes and Wokingham Handicap.
The stud’s other fast option, Twilight Son (£7,000), also enjoyed a noteworthy season in 2021 as the sire of five stakes winners, among them the tough juvenile Twilight Jet, who capped an 11-race campaign by taking the Cornwallis Stakes. Yearlings by Twilight Son made up to 135,000gns last autumn.
Cable Bay (Highclere Stud; £8,000) has made an impact with every one of his crops to date, notably as the sire of Temple and Molecomb Stakes heroine Liberty Beach out of his first and the demoted Commonwealth Cup winner Dragon Symbol out of his second. He was the champion British-based first-crop sire of 2019 and as such, has several good-sized crops in the pipeline.
Nor would it be surprising to see Bobby’s Kitten (Lanwades Stud; £7,000) break through as a Group 1 sire in 2022 given he has the excellent Sandrine, last season’s Albany and Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes heroine, to represent him.
Of the less expensive horses, Sixties Icon (Norman Court Stud) remains very affordable at £3,000 despite the presence of three Group 1 winners on his record. Similar comments apply to proven Group 1 sire Cityscape (Overbury Stud; £4,000), who will have his biggest crop of two-year-olds to run him in 2022, and Equiano (Irish National Stud; €2,000), an established speed influence who is best known as the sire of Group/ Grade 1 winners The Tin Man and Belvoir Bay.
The Irish National Stud also stands Dragon Pulse at the same price point.
Speed was also the forte of Temple Stakes winner Pearl Secret (£2,000), who is about to commence his second season at Norton Grove Stud, as well as the well-bred Group 3 winner Swiss Spirit (Batsford Stud; £2,000). Both produce plenty of winners and can be relied upon to impart speed. Tara Stud offer two stakes-producing sons of Dark Angel in Alhebayeb (€3,000) and Estidkhaar (€3,000), the sire of German Group 3 winner Belcarra in his first crop, while proven stakes sire Magician (€4,000), the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, returns from Italy to stand at Meelin Stud.
Also on the move is Fountain Of Youth (£2,000), a Group 3-winning son of Attraction who is new to Millbry Hill Stud, Coventry Stakes winner Buratino (£3,000), the sire of dual Listed winner Snapraeterea who has switched to Hedgeholme Stud, and Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Indian Haven (£1,500), who has moved to stand alongside Hellvelyn (£2,500) at Chapel Stud.
Hellvelyn has been a grand servant for Chapel, with his record including the fast fillies Mrs Danvers and La Rioja. Chapel’s roster also includes an excellent dual-purpose option in Trueshan’s sire Planteur (£4,000), the sire of six Flat stakes winners overall.
Those standing for a private fee include champion Al Kazeem (Oakgrove Stud), whose fertility-blighted stud career is highlighted by the Group 1 winner Aspetar, and Bullet Train (Woodfield Farm Stud), Frankel’s half-brother for whom an international stud career been highlighted by the Australian Group 1 performer Chapada. The French ranks has also been bolstered by the addition of multiple Group/Grade 1 winner and $9.5 million earner Flintshire (€6,500), who switches from Kentucky to Haras de Montaigu. Already sire of the high-class French colt Cheshire Academy out of his first crop, news of his arrival coincided with the win of two-year-old Verbal in a Grade 3 at Del Mar.
STALLIONS WITH FIRST 3YOS
Where better place to start than last year’s champion European first-crop sire?
A total of 35 winners and a prizemoney haul just shy of £800,000 placed Cotai Glory (€8,500) at the top of the European list, thereby providing Tally-Ho Stud with its eighth champion firstcrop sire. His cause was aided by eight black-type winners – no other European first-crop sire could boast more – that included Prix Robert Papin hero Atomic Force. In turn, his stock proved popular at the sales, with yearlings selling for up to €170,000.
Galileo Gold was the first freshman sire of 2021 to break through with a Group 1 winner
One of Cotai Glory’s significant rivals is fellow Tally-Ho Stud stallion Galileo Gold. An excellent miler who captured the 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes, he was the first freshman sire of 2021 to break through with a Group 1 winner when Ebro River captured the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August. Already the sire of seven black-type horses among 25 winners, he looks value at €7,000.
Meanwhile, Aclaim (The National Stud; £6,000) returned the highly creditable tally of 28 winners within his first crop. There was plenty of quality as well within a group that was highlighted by the tough Group 1-placed filly Cachet.
El Kabeir (Yeomanstown Stud; €6,500) fired in three black-type winners led by the Italian champion two-year-old Don Chicco and Listed scorer Masekela, who shares his trainer Andrew Balding with another talented one by the sire in Harrow.
Also on the black-type scoresheet with his first runners was Bearstone Stud’s tough sprinter Mattmu (£2,500), for whom a group of just nine representatives was highlighted by the Listed-placed Favourite Child.
There was also distinct promise shown in the first runners by Decorated Knight (Irish National Stud: €7,500), a multiple Group 1-winning Galileo relation to Giant’s Causeway who heads into 2022 with dual winner Wind Your Neck In, Newbury novice scorer Zain Nights and the unbeaten Silver Bullet Lady among those to his credit.
Another whose progeny threaten to progress significantly at three is four-time Group 1 winner Postponed (Dalham Hall Stud), hose fee has been trimmed to £6,000.
STALLIONS WITH FIRST 2YOS
Having been scrutinised in the commercial arena, it is crunch time for this group as their first two-year-olds take to the track.
In terms of yearling average, the leader among this price bracket was Group 2-winning juvenile Kessaar (Tally- Ho Stud; €5,000). As a son of emerging sire of sires Kodiac, another Tally-Ho success story, it was no surprise to see him prove popular in the sale ring, with his stock selling for up to €100,000 and averaging 30,296gns in Britain and Ireland.
Group 1 miler Lightning Spear (Tweenhills Farm and Stud; £5,000), whose profile is an enticing blend of class and durability, wasn’t far behind on 29,091gns. Although fertility issues means that the son of Pivotal has only 20 two-year-olds to run for him, he still boasts representation in various powerful yards, notably Andrew Balding, Hugo Palmer and Marco Botti.
Similarly, the Group 1-winning sprinter Havana Grey (Whitsbury Manor Stud; £6,000) is represented in the yards of Clive Cox, Richard Hannon and his own trainer Karl Burke, who is listed as having seven under his care. His first yearlings sold for up to 110,000gns, averaged 28,571gns in Britain and Ireland and plenty look as though they should come to hand early.
Tasleet landed stakes successes at two, three and four, and had yearlings sell for up to 80,000gns.
Another fast horse, Group 2 winner Tasleet (Nunnery Stud; £5,000), possesses two-year-olds with Karl Burke, Johnny Murtagh and Archie Watson. The son of Showcasing was a high-class sprinter who landed stakes successes at two, three and four, and had yearlings sell for up to 80,000gns.
Top-class two-year-old form is also offered by Unfortunately (Oak Lodge Stud; €3,500), a fast son of Society Rock who won the Prix Morny in a quick time and boasts representation with Kevin Ryan, Richard Fahey and Richard Hannon, and Coventry Stakes winner Rajasinghe (The National Stud; £3,000), who shares his sire Choisir with Starspangledbanner.
Washington DC (Bearstone Stud; £3,500) was another high-class juvenile whose success in the Windsor Castle Stakes at two was backed up by a placed effort in the Prix de l’Abbaye at three and a Group 3 success at four. The latter is the sole son of Zoffany at stud in Britain and Ireland.
It is also the turn of three members of the illustrious Rafha family to come under scrutiny in Gustav Klimt (Castlehyde Stud; €4,000), James Garfield (Rathbarry Stud; €4,000) and Master Carpenter (LM Stallions; £1,000).
Gustav Klimt and James Garfield were both Group 2-winning juveniles who trained on into Group 1 performers at three while Group 3 winner Master Carpenter was precocious enough to be Mastercraftsman’s first ever winner at two.
The career of Massaat (Mickley Stud; £4,000), meanwhile, is underpinned by a class that saw him win the Hungerford Stakes at four and finish second in both the Dewhurst Stakes and 2,000 Guineas.
As for the ever popular Scat Daddy line, that is represented by Grade 3 winner Smooth Daddy (Starfield Stud: €5,000), whose first yearlings sold for up to £120,000.
STALLIONS WITH FIRST YEARLINGS
It is a testament to the stock that some of these horses produced in their first crop that their second books of mares remained on a par from 2020 into 2021.
That much was evident in the case of the Flying Childers and Windsor Castle Stakes winner Soldier’s Call (Ballyhane Stud; €7,500), who covered 159 mares in 2021 and was represented at the sales by foals that sold for up to 100,000gns.
Also popular was Inns Of Court (Tally- Ho Stud; €5,000), who covered 184 mares (down from 205 in 2020). By popular sire of sires Invincible Spirit, he showed talent and versatility in abundance for Andre Fabre as a Group 2 winner over 5f and Group 1-placed over a mile.
Invincible Spirit is also represented within this group by Commonwealth Cup hero Eqtidaar (Nunnery Stud; £5,000), a half-brother to Massaat, and Group 2-winning sprinter Invincible Army (Yeomanstown Stud; €7,500),who was also a Group 3 winner at two, three and four years. His first foals were the subject of positive remarks at the sales, which played out in an average of 33,375gns.
Invincible Army has been well supported by a range of influential breeders and his foals sold for up to 65,000gns at Tattersalls in December.
Invincible Army was another whose second book of mares hit three figures, as did that belonging to Richmond Stakes winner Land Force (Highclere Stud; £5,000). The first son of No Nay Never to stud in Britain, he has been well supported by a range of influential breeders and his foals sold for up to 65,000gns at Tattersalls in December.
Molecomb Stakes winner Barraquero holds court at Claremont Stud for a private fee, while pedigree is of major appeal to both Portamento (Hedgeholme Stud; £1,500), a Group 3-placed Shamardal son of the top American racemare Octave, and Sogann (Norton Grove Stud; £2,000), a Frankel half-brother to Dabirsim.
Group 3 winner Wusool (Lilling Hall Stud; £2,000) also boasts fine bloodlines as a Speightstown son of Poule d’Essai des Pouliches heroine Torrestrella.
Among the dual-purpose ranks, it was also heartening to see Prince Of Wales’s Stakes winner Crystal Ocean (The Beeches; €8,000) well received at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale, where his first foals averaged 32,333gns – several are slated to come back to the Flat yearling sales this autumn. The popular son of Sea The Stars, who was also runner-up in two King Georges, has every right to make an impact on the Flat as does Irish St Leger winner Flag Of Honour (£2,500), the National Stud’s well-related son of Galileo.
STALLIONS WITH FIRST FOALS
The busiest new sire in Britain of 2021 was Cornwallis Stakes winner Sergei Prokofiev (Whitsbury Manor Stud; £6,000), the next sire son of Scat Daddy in line. A $1.1 million yearling who displayed the precocity associated with that successful line, he covered 154 mares in 2021.
That figure was narrowly ahead of that received by the Group 1-winning sprinter Sands Of Mali (Ballyhane Stud: €5,000), who covered 152 mares, and not far in front of another quick horse in Palace House Stakes winner Far Above (Starfield Stud; €5,000) on 142.
Others to break into three figures included Shaman (Yeomanstown Stud; €5,000), a Group 1-performing son of Shamardal, the tough and likeable grey Way To Paris (Coolagown Stud; €3,500), the 2020 Grand Prix de Saint- Cloud winner who is the only son of Champs Elysees at stud, and Coventry Stakes winner Arizona (Castlehyde Stud; €6,000), a son of the ever-popular No Nay Never.
In Without Parole, breeders have access to a son of Frankel who won the St James’s Palace Stakes,
Several within this price bracket certainly pack a punch as far as race record is concerned. In Without Parole, breeders have access to a son of Frankel who won the St James’s Palace Stakes, boasts a fine female pedigree and possesses the backing of Newsells Park Stud and John and Tanya Gunther – all at £8,000.
Meanwhile, River Boyne (Tara Stud), the only son of Dandy Man at stud, is priced at €5,000 having won or been placed in 16 stakes races highlighted by a victory in the Grade 1 Frank E Kilroe Mile.
King Of Change (Derrinstown Stud; €6,000) is another example. Winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and runner-up in the 2,000 Guineas, he is a Farhh half-brother to another classy miler in Century Dream.
Fellow 2,000 Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win, by Dark Angel, is available at £2,500 under the LM Stallions banner, which also offers the Scat Daddy horse Legends Of War (£4,000), an expensive breezer who went on to win at Grade 3 level in the US, the durable Mr Scaramanga (£1,000), the only son of Sir Percy at stud in Europe, and Windsor Castle Stakes winner Southern Hills (£2,000).
The latter shares his sire Gleneagles with Royal Lytham (Irish Emerald Stud; €2,500), winner of the 2019 July Stakes for Aidan O’Brien. Molecomb Stakes winner Rumble Inthejungle (Norman Court Stud; £3,500) is another accomplished two-year-old who doesn’t break the bank.
It will also be interesting to see how Almanaara (Mickley Stud; £3,000) fares given the four-time winner is a Shamardal half-brother to Dark Angel.
Affordable Group 1 runners among fresh faces
As highlighted in the January edition of Owner Breeder, there are a number of affordable options retiring to stud for the 2022 season.
They include the Group 1 performers Lope Y Fernandez (National Stud; £8,500) and Roseman (LM Stallions; £5,000), both Group 3 winners who were placed at Group 1 level. Lope Y Fernandez, a well-related son of Lope De Vega who cost €900,000 as a yearling, boasts the backing of some powerful connections, notably the National Stud, Whitsbury Manor Stud and Nick Bradley, while Roseman offers access to the Kingman sire line.
Castlefield Stud are offering an enticing €100,000 bonus to the connections of Alkumait’s first black-type winner.
Group 2 winners Nando Parrado (Irish National Stud; €6,000), winner of the Coventry Stakes, and Alkumait (Castlefield Stud; €5,000), a quick son of Showcasing who was successful in the Mill Reef Stakes, are other high-class retirees; Castlefield Stud are offering an enticing €100,000 bonus to the connections of Alkumait’s first black-type winner.
The 2022 intake also includes a pair of Flying Childers Stakes winners in Ubettabelieveit (Mickley Stud; £5,000), a son of noted sire of sires Kodiac, and A’Ali (Newsells Park Stud; £7,500), a tough son of Society Rock who also captured the Norfolk Stakes, Prix Robert Papin and Sapphire Stakes.
For class aligned with durability, also look no further than the talented miler Century Dream (Norton Grove Stud; £3,000). A Group 2-winning and Group 1-placed son of Cape Cross, this admirable performer held his form over five seasons.
Another tough and talented performer, the Teofilo horse Mildenberger (£1,500), is also new to Groomsbridge Stud, having won seven of 24 starts, including twice in Listed company
WHAT THEY SAY
Le Brivido (€5,000) is interesting as one of the first sons of Siyouni to stud. He’s unproven at the moment, with his first crop now yearlings. I think he was a very unlucky horse given that he was dogged by injury and we never got to see his true potential. It is my understanding that both his trainers [Andre Fabre and Aidan O’Brien] considered the horse to be extremely talented.
El Kabeir, a Grade 2-winning, Grade 1-placed son of Scat Daddy, looks good value at €6,000. He is a totally American dirt horse but I thought his first crop of two-year-olds performed very well.
Bated Breath (£15,000) has to be one of the most consistent stallions year in year out. His other great attribute is that he produces horses that race on way past four and five years.
I also think that Australia represents tremendous value at €35,000. His ability to breed horse at a Group level is good and he gets consistent, genuine types who are easy to manage.
John Tyrrell, agent
I think Zarak (€25,000) is going to be a horse that we will hear a lot more of and his price could end up looking value. I also rate Gleneagles (€15,000) highly, his stats are very good and he’s proven that he can throw a good horse.
I also like Kodi Bear (€15,000). He represents value for money with the start he has made, especially as his stock appear to be tough, genuine horses.
New Bay (€37,500) has made a wonderful start, he stands at an excellent farm in Ballylinch and I think he’s very good. At the same farm, Waldgeist (€15,000) is another horse I like. I thought there were some very good first-crop foals by him at the sales.
Among the other unproven horses, I also have huge regard for Pinatubo (£35,000).
Anthony Stroud, agent
Stallions are written off far too quickly in some circumstances and Gleneagles (€15,000) is a prime example. The champion two-year-old and European champion three-year-old won four Group 1 races in his career and has one of the best pedigrees in the stallion book.
Last season was his breakout year with his first Group 1 winner as well as ten other stakes winners. Night of Thunder is part of his sire crop and Gleneagles is leading him in both stakes winners and overall winners while commanding a fraction of the price. While being an out and out miler himself, nearly 50% of his winners have been over 9f and upwards, but he has also produced a Group 2-winning two-year-old over 6f, showing real versatility in the type of horse he can produce. With a starting price of €60,000 now down to €15,000, he represents outstanding value in an inflated stallion fees market.
Alex Stewart, breeder
Unproven: Inns Of Court (€5,000) is great value for a horse who was only beaten a short head in the Prix Jacques Le Marois over a mile and, when he was finally dropped to five furlongs, was a very impressive Group 2 winner in 57.64 seconds. Given the support he received in his first season he will be favourite to be leading first-season sire next year alongside Soldier’s Call (€7,500), who was also strongly supported and had some real racy foals.
Looking at those with their first runners in 2022, I bought yearlings by Kessaar (€5,000) and Harry Angel (£12,500) and both are very forward at this stage so that’s encouraging.
Proven: all three at Rathasker Stud offer value but to be able to get Group 1-producer Bungle Inthejungle, with a 41% winners-to-runners ratio, for €8,000 looks a gift. His fee rose from €5,000 to €12,000 in 2019 so those more expensively-conceived crops will be out this year and therefore another rise is conceivable.
Having been lucky enough to have purchased the Oghill House-bred Quick Suzy for American clients prior to her Queen Mary success, I’m obviously a big fan of Profitable (€12,500)!
Joseph Burke, agent
I have a lot of time for Coulsty (€4,000). Rathasker Stud could have easily raised his fee after his Grade 1 breakthrough with Shantisara last year, especially as he also covered a career high of 104 mares. But he remains at €4,000 – excellent value.
Keeping on the Kodiac theme, the yearlings by Kessaar (€5,000) consistently took the eye last year. It is early days but the chat from the many breeze-up vendors who bought into him is positive and as a son of Kodiac with the backing of Tally-Ho Stud, he needs to be taken seriously.
Proven Group 1 sire Elzaam remains excellent value at €5,000 while in Britain, Bearstone Stud has been bolstered by the addition of Dream Ahead – a fee of £7,500 grants breeders access to the sire of four Group 1 winners who is also an outcross for many mares.
Nancy Sexton, bloodstock editor