The bloodstock industry is facing its own cost of living crisis in 2023, with soaring prices for essentials such as feed, keep and transport putting  breeders under fresh financial pressure. As such, getting value for money on nominations has arguably never been more important.

The good news for those on a budget is that there is plenty of choice – and value – out there, with a broad cross-section of stallions standing for £10,000/€10,000 or under across the British and Irish Flat roster, from those proven at the highest level to a fresh intake of bright new things.

The Gold standard among established sires

At £7,500, Bearstone Stud’s Dream Ahead packs plenty of punch with a strike-rate of 52 per cent and 61 stakes performers headed by four Group 1 winners, while Cheveley Park Stud resident Mayson rates a rock-solid option at just £6,000 with a record of 27 black-type horses topped by dual Group 1 hero Oxted.

Dream Ahead: a Group 1 sire at a reasonable price. Photo – Bearstone Stud

Other proven options in Britain with a track record of Group 1 success include Lanwades Stud stalwart Sir Percy and Oakgrove Stud’s Al Kazeem, both of whom stand on a private basis, and Norman Court Stud’s Sixties Icon at £3,000. Those looking for something liable to bring a bit more speed and precocity to the mix also have Due Diligence (Whitsbury Manor Stud: £5,000), who has a sizeable crop of juveniles on the ground this year, and prolific winner producer Swiss Spirit (Batsford Stud: £2,000) to consider, Chapel Stud is also home to the seasoned source of speed Hellvelyn (£2,500).

Irish breeders are practically spoilt for choice given the variety on offer but at just €6,500, Rathasker Stud’s Bungle Inthejungle makes obvious appeal. He is best known as the sire of Nunthorpe heroine Winter Power, who heads a roll call that also includes Lowther Stakes scorer Living In The Past and Molecomb winner Rumble Inthejungle. He has covered six-figure books in recent years, giving him plenty of opportunity to enhance his record further in the seasons to come, and as a reliable source of speedy, forward-going types he looks set to develop into a real friend to the commercial breeder.

Rathasker is also home to the ever-reliable Gregorian, whose fee of €4,500 looks a snip when you consider his yearlings fetched up to €130,000 in 2022.

Another who should make the shortlist of every breeder looking to secure a bargain is Ballyhane Stud’s Elzaam. The secret may well be out about this son of Redoute’s Choice as he covered over 150 mares in 2022, but at a fee of €4,000 it looks well worth jumping on the bandwagon. He has a winners-to-runners strike-rate of 48 per cent while his best performer is the Matron Stakes heroine Champers Elysees. However, his British and Irish stats don’t tell the whole story as he also has a bit of a knack of coming up with runners who are sourced inexpensively before being traded for a tidy profit once they’ve proved their prowess – think the likes of Playa Del Puente, Vincy and Win Win Fighter. All in all this proven upgrader offers plenty of upside for such a humble fee.

An eye-catching pair of €10,000 stallions stand under the Coolmore banner in Footstepsinthesand and Holy Roman Emperor. The duo have been around a while but have shown that they come up with the goods time and time again, with the former responsible for a punchy 144 stakes performers, including seven Group/Grade 1 winners and last year’s Group 2-winning sprinter Brostaigh, while the latter has an even more impressive 181 black-type runners on his record, which is headed by 14 top-flight scorers and features last year’s Group 2 winner Jadoomi.

There is a distinctly international look to the Coolmore duo’s respective records, and the same is true for Darley’s Kildangan Stud stalwart Raven’s Pass, who has 63 stakes performers on his CV, which in turn gives him an impressive 13.5 per cent black-type performers to runners ratio. His four Group 1 winners are headed by Romantic Proposal.

Other sires with a proven track record of producing top-flight winners are Ballylinch Stud’s Make Believe (€10,000), who is best known as the source of Classic and three-time Group 1 hero Mishriff and also had yearlings fetch up to 220,000gns last year; Dawn Approach (Redmondstown Stud: €5,000), sire of 2,000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes victor Poetic Flare and Godolphin’s southern hemisphere-bred star Paulele; and Kuroshio (Starfield Stud: €5,000), whose dual-hemisphere record features Australian Group 1 scorer Savatoxl and the Group 3-winning Kurious.

Another Group 1 sire is the Irish National Stud’s Equiano, who stands at just €2,000 and is joined by Free Eagle (€5,000) and Dragon Pulse (€2,000). Meelin Stud is now the home of two established names in Dark Angel’s son Alhebayeb (€1,000) and Irish 2,000 Guineas hero Magician (€3,000).

Dawn Approach: sire of Group 1 miler Poetic Flare. Photo – George Selwyn

A vintage crop

It may just prove that 2017 saw a vintage crop of new retirees to stud, with the class headed by rising stars Mehmas and New Bay. However, while that pair now stand for €60,000 and €75,000 respectively in 2023, there are other names who retired in the same year whose achievements are not to be sniffed at.

The popularity of Mehmas and New Bay is not only reflected in their covering fees, but also the fact their daughters have fetched huge prices at the sales, with the former supplying the €3.2 million Malavath, while the latter was represented by the 3,600,000gns Saffron Beach.

Right in their slipstream on this front is Dalham Hall Stud’s Territories (£10,000), whose best daughter Rougir sold to Peter Brant and Michael Tabor for €3 million at Arqana in 2021. Underpinning that price was the filly’s Prix de l’Opera success, and she added a second top-flight victory by winning the E.P. Taylor Stakes for her new connections.

Rougir is not Territories’ only seven-figure offspring, as Hoo Ya Mal, runner-up in the Derby and subsequent winner of the March Stakes, sold to Australian connections through McKeever Bloodstock for £1.2 million at the Goffs London Sale. That pair head a list of 18 stakes performers who have gained black type over a diverse range of distances.

Another from this group with a top-level winner to their name is Rathasker Stud’s Coulsty, whose seven stakes performers feature Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup scorer Shantisara. Breeding to the son of Kodiac in 2023 looks a savvy commercial move at just €4,500 as he has big crops in the pipeline having served six-figure books in 2021 and 2022.

Another sire whose progeny have struck up a good record in the US is Bearstone Stud’s new recruit Belardo (£6,500), with his three Group/Grade 2 winners including Bellabel and Gold Phoenix, as well as Rockfel Stakes scorer Isabella Giles.

Both Awtaad (Derrinstown Stud: €5,000) and Twilight Son (Cheveley Park Stud: £7,000) have supplied a dozen stakes horses apiece, with the former’s record headed by the French Group 2 winners Anmaat and Al Qareem while the latter is responsible for King’s Stand Stakes runner-up Twilight Calls. Bobby’s Kitten (Lanwades Stud: £6,000) has five stakes performers to his name, headed by Royal Ascot-winning two-year-old and dual Group 2 scorer Sandrine.

Twilight Son: already sire of the high-class sprinter Twilight Calls. Photo: Zoë Vicarage

Breeders looking for a source of proven speed at a chickenfeed fee also have Buratino (Hedgeholme Stud: £3,000), Charming Thought (March Hare Stud: £3,000), Estidhkaar (Tara Stud: €3,000); Mattmu (Bearstone: £2,000) and Pearl Secret (Norton Grove Stud: £2,000) as options, while those with more classical aims have Roveagh Lodge Stud’s The Gurkha (€3,500).

Stallions with first four-year-olds

While there are plenty of noteworthy accomplishments among the stallions included in this feature, very few can boast Classic success. However, one that can is Aclaim, who has relocated from the National Stud to Manton Park and earned a deserved increase to £10,000, up from £6,000, after his debut crop produced 1,000 Guineas heroine Cachet.

The George Boughey-trained filly was no flash in the pan either as her sire has six other black-type performers to his name, including the Listed-winning sprinter Royal Aclaim. The market has already reacted accordingly as his 2022 yearlings sold for up to 200,000gns.

Cheveley Park Stud’s Ulysses (£10,000) may not have a Classic winner on his record yet but he has sired an Irish Derby runner-up in Piz Badile. As a son of Galileo and the Oaks winner Light Shift, Ulysses always seemed likely to prove a source of Classic three-year-olds, which makes it all the more noteworthy that his six black-type performers also include a Royal Ascot two-year-old winner in Holloway Boy, who made a winning debut in the Chesham Stakes no less.

Also boasting Royal Ascot two-year-old  success is Kildangan Stud resident Profitable (€9,000), whose record includes Queen Mary Stakes scorer Quick Suzy. The son of Invincible Spirit has sired ten black-type performers, with Wed another Group 2 winner in the Prix du Calvados.

This cohort also includes the multiple Group 1-winning racehorses Decorated Knight and Postponed, who are standing at the Irish National Stud and Dalham Hall Stud at €5,000 and £5,000 respectively.

Decorated Knight: multiple Group 1 winner boasts one of the best pedigrees in the book. Photo – Bronwen Healy/Irish National Stud

Stallions with first three-year-olds

There is no better way for a young stallion to catch breeders’ attention than with winners, and none among those standing for £10,000/€10,000 or less who had their first runners last year can boast more successes than Harry Angel had with his first two-year-olds.

The Dalham Hall Stud-based son of Dark Angel notched 21 juvenile winners in Britain and Ireland at a clip of 47 per cent. The dual Group 1-winning sprinter enjoyed black-type successes further afield, with Proverb and Arkansaw Kid landing Listed contests in France and Australia respectively, while his son Marshman ran to a lofty rating of 113 when second in the Gimcrack. Harry Angel is standing at £10,000 in 2023, half his introductory fee, but if he can build on his early foundations it is not hard to envisage that price heading back in the opposite direction.

His stats bear a striking similarity to Tally-Ho Stud’s Kessaar, who registered a strike-rate of 48 per cent with 20 winners from 42 starters. Although he is yet to sire a stakes winner, he has supplied a handful of smart types and that omission is more than factored into his fee of €5,000.

Although Rajasinghe couldn’t lay up with those two in terms of winners, he couldn’t have been expected to be given just ten runners. However, it is noteworthy that eight of those passed the post in front for an unrivalled strike-rate of 80 per cent. He has covered only small books to date, but this National Stud resident looks a sleeper well worth some enhanced support at a mere £3,000.

Rajasinghe: has posted some exceptional stats. Photo: George Selwyn

Tweenhills’ Lightning Spear (£5,000) also posted a punchy strike-rate with four of his eight runners (50 per cent) hitting the mark, as did Oak Lodge Stud’s Unfortunately (€3,500) with seven successes from 17 starters (41 per cent).

The only thing better than winners are stakes winners, and on that score Shadwell’s Nunnery Stud sire Tasleet has plenty to shout about as his 13 sons and daughters who struck in Britain and Ireland are led by Coventry Stakes hero Bradsell, the highest-rated runner by a first-season sire in 2022. Despite having such a notable talent on his record, Tasleet is available at just £6,000 this year. Rathbarry Stud’s James Garfield (€4,000) was another who got on the black-type scoresheet thanks to Maria Branwell’s Listed National Stakes success.

Juddmonte’s Expert Eye (£7,500) wasn’t far behind the likes of Harry Angel and Kessaar with 18 winners and achieved his biggest racecourse success, victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, at the end of his three-year-old season, so it may be fair to assume his stock will follow suit. Similar comments apply to Coolmore’s US Navy Flag (€10,000), winner of the July Cup at three after Middle Park and Dewhurst Stakes glory at two, and Mickley Stud’s 2,000 Guineas runner-up Massaat (£4,000), who had eight and six winners respectively in Britain and Ireland in 2022.

Also on the mark with multiple winners was Bearstone Stud’s Washington DC (£3,000), while Smooth Daddy (Starfield Stud: €4,000) and Master Carpenter (March Hare Stud: £1,000) were also on the board.

Stallions with first two-year-olds

Breeding to a stallion in the year he has his first runners is not without its risks, as the acid test of the racecourse will quickly expose those whose progeny fail to come up to scratch. Thankfully breeders aren’t going into battle completely blind as the market has already dropped some big hints as to who’s hot – and who’s not – at the latest round of yearling sales.

Yeomanstown Stud’s Invincible Army appears to have solid claims in this year’s first-season sire race as he has a sizeable debut crop, was a precocious and talented sprinter, winning the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes at two and the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes at four, and is by a thoroughly proven sire of sires in Invincible Spirit.

And, moreover, buyers liked what they saw of his stock at the sales as his first yearlings averaged £44,008 from a fee of just €10,000, with his five six-figure youngsters headed by a 140,000gns colt bought by SackvilleDonald at Book 1. Despite having so many ticks in all the right boxes, he is available at just €7,500 in 2023, which could look good value in the not too distant future.

Tally-Ho Stud has developed a serious reputation for launching talented sires onto the market, and they also have a son of Invincible Spirit fielding his first runners in 2023 in the classy Inns Of Court (€5,000). The Group 2 Prix du Gros- Chene winner covered his first mares at €7,500 and has a hefty crop of 169 ready to go into bat for him. No fewer than 136 of those pitched up at the sales last year, and 122 sold for an average of £29,886. Seven of those made a six-figure price, led by the 175,000gns colt signed for by JS Bloodstock at Book 1.

A third son of Invincible Spirit from this cohort is Shadwell’s Eqtidaar (£5,000),  who actually boasts a better race record than the other pair having won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot at three. The half-brother to Massaat and Mujbar has 54 foals in his debut crop and  saw his first yearlings average £16,281 for 30 sold.

Coolmore’s Calyx (€10,000), who wouldn’t have even appeared in this feature in previous years having started out at a fee of €22,500, also descends from Invincible Spirit as a son of Kingman. He raced only four times but flashed his  brilliance to win three of those starts, most notably the Coventry Stakes on just his second outing. His yearlings averaged £48,977 for 63 sold, while he has 103 two-year- olds to represent him this year.

Coventry Stakes winner Calyx was an early highlight for Kingman – Photo: George Selwyn

No Nay Never could hardly have had a bigger 2022 and this year will see his first stallion sons field their first runners. Among those is Highclere Stud’s Land Force, a well-related sort who won the Richmond Stakes at two. His debut crop was conceived at a fee of £6,500 and sold for up to 180,000gns as yearlings, which in turn contributed to an average of £32,779 across the 75 sold from a group of 115 first-crop foals.

Another son of No Nay Never is Sweep Lane Stud’s The Irish Rover (€2,500), who was third in the Phoenix Stakes during his own juvenile season.

Another interesting commercial option for breeders to conjure with is Ballyhane Stud’s Soldier’s Call (€7,500). The son of Showcasing was an out-and-out sprinter with his four victories all coming over five furlongs at two, when he was also beaten just a neck by Mabs Cross in the Prix de l’Abbaye. Those wins included an impressive all-the-way success in the Flying
Childers Stakes, while he also reached the frame in three top-flight contests at three.

His debut crop contains 121 foals, meaning he has the ammunition required to make a similarly big impact in his second career. He had three six-figure yearlings, the most expensive of which went the way of Katsumi Yoshida at 100,000gns at Book 1, while the group averaged £29,100 from a fee of €10,000.

Stallions with first yearlings

Whitsbury Manor Stud can do little wrong at present with the likes of Havana Grey and Showcasing, and the Harper family appear to have another upwardly mobile young prospect on their hands in the shape of Sergei Prokofiev (£6,000).

The strapping son of Scat Daddy won the Cornwallis Stakes at two and has proved popular with breeders since he retired to Whitsbury Manor having covered a shade over 300 mares in his first two books. His first foals received a similarly warm reception when they arrived at the  sales last winter as 52 of his sons and daughters sold for an average of £27,840, having been bred at a fee of just £6,500.

The group was topped by the colt out of Avengers Queen who was bought by Chasemore Farm at Tattersalls for 95,000gns, while other judges such as Tally-Ho Stud, Glenvale Stud and Camas Park Stud were among those to sign for his offspring.

Without Parole (Newsells Park Stud: £7,000) also made an impression on buyers at the foal sales, where 19 of his sons and daughters fetched an average of £28,270, headed by a €70,000 filly bought by WH Bloodstock. The well-bred son of Frankel, whose sire’s fee has risen to  £275,000 for 2023, is best remembered for his victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes. He covered 158 mares during his first two seasons at Newsells Park Stud, 13 per cent of which possessed black-type.

Without Parole: first foals were well received at auction. Photo – Newsells Park Stud

Coolmore have two names with their first yearlings this year in Arizona (€5,000) and Circus Maximus. The former, who stands at Castlehyde Stud, was a Royal Ascot-winning juvenile just like his sire, the red-hot No Nay Never. The Coventry Stakes scorer’s first foals sold for up to €60,000 from a covering fee of €7,000.

Meanwhile, Circus Maximus offers breeders access to a serious amount of pedigree and performance for a covering fee of just €10,000. The Niarchos family’s son of Galileo won three Group 1s over a mile and also emulated the feat of his dam, the Danehill Dancer mare Duntle, by landing back-to-back Royal Ascot successes. He defeated King Of Comedy and Too Darn Hot to land the St James’s Palace Stakes before returning to annex the following year’s Queen Anne Stakes.  His first foals included a colt out of Shuffle who went the way of Camas Park Stud for 50,000gns.

Another Group 1-winning miler welcoming his first yearlings this year is King Of Change (€6,000), who finished runner-up in Magna Grecia’s 2,000 Guineas before rounding out his three-year-old career with victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. The son of Farhh switches from Derrinstown Stud to Starfield Stud for 2023 having seen his debut crop fetch as much as €50,000, with Peter and Ross Doyle giving that sum for a colt at Goffs.

Another son of Farhh on the Starfield  roster is speed machine Far Above, whose  truncated racing career was capped by victory in the Palace House Stakes. The youngster has caught the imagination of plenty of breeders having covered back-to-back six-figure books, while Blandford Bloodstock went to 52,000gns for his priciest foal at the Tattersalls December Sale. He remains unchanged at a fee of €5,000.

Another whose forte was speed is Ballyhane Stud’s Sands Of Mali (€5,000), an outcross option as a son of the Miswaki stallion Panis. He won five races, most notably the Gimcrack Stakes at two and the British Champions Sprint Stakes, in which he defeated Harry Angel, at three. His first two seasons have yielded a foundation of 228 mares and a leading foal price of €60,000 given
by Joe Foley for the half-brother to Extortionist.

Ballyhane’s biggest success story is Dandy Man, whose sole son standing in Europe is Tara Stud’s River Boyne (€5,000). The majority of his racing took place in the US, where he won the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes for Jeff Mullins and Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal.

Yeomanstown Stud’s Shaman (€5,000) did the majority of his racing in France where he won the Prix d’Harcourt and also reached three Group 1 podiums between the ages of three and four. The son of Shamardal offers pedigree and well as performance as he hails from a blue-chip Wertheimer family.

March Hare Stud have a quartet of names at this stage of their careers in Scat Daddy’s son Legends Of War (£4,000), 2,000 Guineas runner-up Tip Two Win (£2,500), Gleneagles’ Windsor Castle Stakes-winning son Southern Hills (£2,000) and multiple winner Mr Scaramanga (£1,000) .

Norman Court Stud is home to Molecomb Stakes scorer Rumble Inthejungle (£3,500).

Stallions with first foals

Not only did Supremacy cover the biggest book among the value sires who retired in 2022, but he also covered the best in terms of quality, with his 186 mares including 31 (17 per cent) black-type performers, all of which gives the Middle Park and Richmond Stakes winner a decidedly solid foundation. Despite getting his second career off to such a promising start, his custodians at Yeomanstown Stud have rather generously clipped his fee from €12,500 to €10,000 for 2023. Supremacy is, of course, by Mehmas, whose sire Acclamation is the source of a flourishing line that is responsible for Yeomanstown’s greatest success story Dark Angel, another Middle Park Stakes winner who rose from a humble covering fee of just €7,000 to become the sire of 13 Group/Grade 1 winners and one of the finest stallions in the world.

Alkumait had plenty in his favour when he joined the roster at the up-and-coming Castlefield Stud, being a well-related winner of the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes. He duly covered 105 mares in his first season, and breeders have every reason to view him in an even more positive light at a fee of just €5,000 in year two with his pedigree having received several notable boosts. His dam has bred five black-type performers, the most recent of which is the exciting Chaldean, a Classic prospect for 2023 having won the Acomb, Champagne and, most importantly, the Dewhurst Stakes at two. Moreover, Alkumait and Chaldean’s Kingman half-sister sold to Juddmonte for 1,000,000gns during the December Sales.

Lope Y Fernandez also got his stallion career off to a positive start with 134 mares in his debut book at the National Stud in Newmarket, ten per cent of which boast black type. There were also plenty of well-bred types among that number, with siblings to the likes of Kodi Bear, Showcasing and Subjectivist, as well as the dam of Group 1 winners Awelmarduk, Crackerjack King and Jakkalberry. The son of Lope De Vega, who was placed in five Group/Grade 1s having cost MV Magnier €900,000 as a yearling, remains at £8,500.

Lope Y Fernandez: top miler stands at the National Stud.

At the Irish National Stud, Coventry Stakes scorer Nando Parrado served a 130-strong book of mares in his debut season, 15 (12 per cent) of whom achieved black type on the racecourse, including the Oaks runner-up Something Exciting and the Group 3-winning and Irish 1,000 Guineas third Oh Goodness Me. The well-bred son of Kodiac stands at an unchanged €6,000.

British-based breeders have access to three second-season horses each standing for £5,000 in 2023 in A’Ali, Roseman and Ubettabelieveit. Four-time Group 2 winner A’Ali, a son of the much-missed Society Rock, won the Norfolk and Flying Childers Stakes at two, as well as the Prix Robert Papin, and attracted 114 mares to the Newsells Park Stud covering shed.

Mickley Stud has its own Flying Childers winner in Ubettabelieveit, who also ran third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. The son of Kodiac covered 98 mares in his first season.

The Group 1-placed Roseman’s biggest success came in a Newmarket Listed contest over a mile, in which he beat the Group 2-winning and Group 1-placed Century Dream, who stands at Norton Grove Stud at a fee of £3,000.

New for 2023

Few, if any, horses retired to stud in recent times can boast the depth of racecourse achievement that Stradivarius (The National Stud: £10,000) can. The son of Sea The Stars won 20 races, 18 of which came in Group company, meaning he has won more Pattern contests than any other horse in European history. His impressive CV not only highlights his soundness and immense appetite for racing, but is capped by seven Group 1s, namely his four Goodwood Cups and hat-trick of Gold Cups.

Persian Force (Tally-Ho Stud: €10,000) may have retired at two but he packed plenty into his solitary season in training, running eight times between March and November. He showcased his precocity with an impressive debut in the Brocklesby Stakes and went on to follow in the footsteps of his sire, the record-breaking Mehmas, by winning the July Stakes. Possessing plenty of speed and a likeable attitude, the Amo Racing-owned colt was also placed in three Group 1s, namely the Phoenix and Middle Park Stakes, as well as the Prix Morny.

Overbury Stud introduces its own son of Mehmas in Caturra (£6,500). The youngster has plenty of similarities with the stud’s breakthrough sire Ardad, as both were bred by Tally-Ho and both won the Flying Childers Stakes during their racing days.

The Dubawi line is also thriving and that puts the spotlight on Starfield Stud’s newest recruit, the well-bred Dubawi Legend (€6,500), winner of a German Group 3 at three and also runner-up to Native Trail in the Dewhurst Stakes at two.

Tosen Stardom (Zenith Stallion Station:  €7,000) offers something completely different as a son of Deep Impact who won a brace of Australian Group 1s, namely the United Petroleum Toorak over a mile and the ten-furlong Emirates Stakes. The 12-year-old shuttles from Woodside Park in Australia.

Another new recruit with an international edge to their profile is the good-looking Space Traveller, who will stand at Ballyhane Stud at €6,500. The  joint-highest rated son of Bated Breath won five times while in training with Richard Fahey, most notably the Jersey and Boomerang Stakes.

He later switched to the US stable of Brendan Walsh, for whom he reached the frame in four Grade 1 events, including when runner-up in the Woodbine Mile and Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes.

Stradivarius: few horses can boast his depth of achievement. Photo: George Selwyn

Three experts pick their sires to watch

“Ulysses is my number one value option. He’s extremely well-bred, he’s got a huge pedigree, and he had plenty of pace himself. He had a Chesham winner last year with Holloway Boy too so he can get you a good two-year-old. I bought two by him in Book 1 that have gone to Ralph Beckett, including Dance In The Grass’s half-brother for 170,000gns. Territories is a very solid stallion too; he gets two-year-olds and he’s had some top-class fillies. I’m breeding to both stallions.

“I’m also a fan of Aclaim and Make Believe, and I think Due Diligence should have a good year too.”

Alex Elliott, bloodstock agent


“There’s two types of stallions I tend to focus on, the young pretenders with runners and the proven Group 1 options. Harry Angel and Tasleet have both had good starts and hopefully their records will keep on improving. Then from the Group 1 racehorses who are proven Group 1 producers, I like Planteur, Dream Ahead and Havana Gold. All three of those stallions have nice pedigrees, and if we had a filly by Dream Ahead then we’d probably keep her because hopefully he’ll start to emerge as a broodmare sire.

“I absolutely loved Stradivarius when I saw him. He’s so athletic, the right size and very powerful. We’re trying to breed racehorses first and foremost because winners is what keeps our
business going.”

David Hodge, Llety Farms 


“Bearstone’s Dream Ahead and Ballyhane’s Elzaam have proven track records that punch well above their covering fees. It is not hard to envisage their commercial appeal taking a step forward in the near future too, as both have progeny from six-figure books due to run in the coming seasons.

“Among the younger names, Invincible Army has plenty in his favour for those looking to take a punt on a horse with his first runners this year, while Crystal Ocean’s pedigree, race record and yearling sale results make him a leftfield option with plenty of upside for those prepared to put fashion to one side.”

James Thomas, bloodstock writer