Value Sires Part V: Everything to Prove

For this final part of the series, we are looking at stallions who have retired to stud since 2021 and will thus have either first foals or yearlings at the sales this year or are about to cover their first book of mares.

There is plenty to digest from three years’ intake and of course prices can often drop after a stallion’s first year at stud, so there could be some value to be found for breeders willing to roll the dice on a stallion about to embark on his third season. He will have first runners before the resultant offspring of this year’s matings make it to a sale. As always, results on the track are everything, and we are very much in unproven territory here. 

As with the earlier parts of this series, the sires have been divided into fee brackets and though there is of course some discrepancy between the euro and the pound, we are treating them as equals here.

Stallions standing at £/€25,000 and above

At £80,000, Baaeed (GB) is the most expensive young sire to retire to stud within this timeframe and it would not have been a surprise if he had commenced covering at a six-figure fee. Instead he is starting at almost exactly the same level as his sire Sea The Stars (Ire) and the problem for Shadwell won’t be filling his book, rather deciding which breeders they have to let down. 

Some will baulk at Baaeed’s absence of two-year-old form but, at 135, he is the highest-rated son of a brilliant stallion with a wonderful pedigree behind him, as well as a race record that includes victory in six coveted Group 1 races in Britain and France. He’ll be given a great chance in his new career and in a few years £80,000 may look very reasonable at this upper level of the stallion market.

Baaeed got the better of Palace Pier (GB) in the 2021 Champion S., but until then the latter had compiled a similar race record, albeit his included maiden and novice wins at two. This top-class miler had his fee trimmed to £50,000 from £55,000 for this year, after a who’s who of international breeders lined up to use him in 2022, when he covered 154 mares, including the dams of Cracksman (GB) and Farhh (GB).

On a swelteringly hot June day in Chantilly, Sottsass (Fr) became the first Group 1-winning colt for his Siyouni (Fr) when landing the Prix du Jockey Club of 2019. One could sense the joy Peter Brant derived that day from winning a French Classic, and that was multiplied the following year when Sottsass claimed the Arc, too. He is of course a son of the Monceaux super mare Starlet’s Sister (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and has been clipped to €25,000 from his €30,000 opening fee. His owner backed him strongly with his own mares and his first yearlings will take to the ring from August. A year behind him and bred on the same Siyouni-Galileo cross is the former champion juvenile St Mark’s Basilica (Fr) who sailed through his 3-year-old seasons with a French Classic double followed up by victories in the Eclipse and Irish Champion S. A heftier price tag of €65,000 greeted his arrival at Coolmore, and his first foals will be arriving this spring, while his half-brother Magna Grecia (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) will be represented by his first runners. A big year for the family.

One name that we can expect to make a big splash at the yearling sales this year is the 2020 Horse of the Year Ghaiyyath (Ire). The first foals of the son of Dubawi (Ire) and Classic heroine Nightime (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) returned a six-figure average just above 100,000gns, with a 375,000gns top lot. He is competitively priced at €25,000 and he has covered some smart mares, including G1 Fillies’ Mile winner Lyric Of Light (GB) (Street Cry {Ire}), G2 Rockfel S. winner and 1,000 Guineas runner-up Lucida (Ire) (Shamardal), and dual Group 3 winner Tickled Pink (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), who is also the dam of G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Victoria Road (Ire) (Saxon Warrior {Jpn}).

Pinatubo (Ire) carried all before him in his unbeaten juvenile season, ending 2019 as the champion in Europe. It is easy to imagine that his offspring could show similar precocity, thus making it a decent bet that his first yearlings will sell well this year. For these reasons, along with strong support from breeders, he has remained at €35,000 since his retirement to stud. His sire Shamardal had started out at €40,000 and dropped in years four and five to half that amount. We all know what happened after that: his fee climbed steadily, along with his reputation for excellence. 

Persian King (Ire) was an early star and a first Classic winner for his sire Kingman (GB). A Group 3-winning juvenile, beating Magna Grecia (Ire) in the Autumn S. at Newmarket, he took the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and then added a further two Group 1 wins to his credit at four in the Prix d’Isaphan and Prix du Moulin. A first try at a mile and a half on his swansong saw him finish third behind Sottsass in the Arc. He entered stud at a sold €30,000 and has been trimmed slightly in this, his third year, to €25,000.

Last season’s champion juvenile Blackbeard (Ire) will remain a brilliant 2-year-old in our memories as he has been retired to stud off his dual Group 1 strikes in the Prix Morny and Middle Park S. From his eight starts, he won six, as early as the beginning of April and including the G3 Marble Hill and G2 Prix Robert Papin. 

At a time when many breeders will struggle to get near his sire No Nay Never, Blackbeard looks an appealing alternative at €25,000 and it’s unlikely that he will lack support. 

Stallions standing at £/€15,000 to £/€24,999

Godolphin had an embarrassment of Shamardal riches in 2019 with Pinatubo stealing the show but Earthlight (Ire) more than holding his own when, just like Blackbeard three years later, he won the G1 Prix Morny and G1 Middle Park. Earthlight’s foals sold well last year and, now trimmed from an opening fee of €20,000 to €15,000, he could well be good value at this level. Victor Ludorum (GB), who completed Godolphin’s hat-track of homebred Group 1-winning sons of Shamardal that year, stayed in training through his 4-year-old season after winning the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and Poule d’Essai des Poulains in his first two years in training. His final win was in the G3 Prix Messidor, and he too is at €15,000 at Haras du Logis.

Hello Youmzain (Fr) has Shamardal on his dam’s side and is a rare son of Kodiac (GB) in France. He’s a durable one, too. In three seasons to race, he was a Group 2-winning juvenile before landing the G1 Sprint Cup at three and the G1 Diamond Jubilee at four. Starting out at €25,000, he’s now at €22,500 in his third season.

At the same stage in their stud careers are two Group 1-winning milers: Kameko and Mohaather (GB). The former, by Kitten’s Joy and a top-level winner at two and three, has had a £10,000 reduction from his opening fee and is now at £15,000, while Mohaather, a sleek son of Showcasing (GB), has also been at that fee for two years, having started at £20,000.

Like the aforementioned Victor Ludorum, Lucky Vega (Ire) also represents the Shamardal line, has his first foals arriving, and is also pitched in at €15,000. He has received significant backing by his owner Yulong Investments, and is one of a number of young sons of Lope De Vega (Ire) at stud. It is doubtless hoped by his connections that he will pick up the baton for this line which is increasingly flourishing in Europe.

Similar comments can be applied to Space Blues (Ire) and the Dubawi sire-line. The hardy little chestnut really hit his stride as an older horse after being Group 1-placed and a listed winner at three. His top-level wins came in the Prix Maurice de Gheest (beating Hello Youmzain) at four, before he signed off at five with an international G1 double in the Prix de la Foret and Breeders’ Cup Mile. He has been competitively priced at €16,000 this season.

The G1 July Cup winner Starman (GB) was one of the busiest Flat stallions of 2022, with David Ward’s statuesque homebred given a rousing reception at Tally-Ho Stud when covering 254 mares at a fee of €17,000. That has been trimmed his season to €15,000.

Entering stud this season in this bracket are the Group 1 winners State Of Rest (Ire) at €25,000, and Mishriff (Ire) and Torquator Tasso (Ger) at €20,000. Perfect Power (Ire) begins at a fee of £15,000 in Newmarket, while in Ireland Bayside Boy (Ire), Minzaal (Ire) and Naval Crown (Ire) are all starting off at €15,000.

Stallions standing at £/€7,500 to £/€14,999

In France, where Wootton Bassett (GB) is almost certainly missed, his fast son Wooded (Fr) was added to the ranks at Haras de Bouquetot in 2021 after winning the G1 Prix de l’Abbaye. Starting off at €15,000, his first yearlings are on the horizon and his fee has been snipped to €12,000.

Wooded went head-to-head in Normandy with Golden Horde (Ire), another Group 1-winning sprinter who joined the Sumbe team and will also have his first yearlings for sale this year. His opening mark of €10,000 has been reduced to €8,000.

Circus Maximus (Ire) has tended to sail a little under the radar, but it should not be forgotten that he is a treble Group 1-winning miler by Galileo (Ire) out of a classy mare in the Group 2 winner Duntle (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). His fee has been halved from his first year to €10,000 in his third year, and he has some potentially smart offspring to represent him, including Proxima Centauri (Ire), a filly out of his breeder’s four-time Group 1 winner Alpha Centauri (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) and a colt out of the smart racemare Banimpire (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire})

Another well-bred son of Galileo, Japan (GB), joined the German stallion division at Gestut Etzean in 2022 and has remained at €11,000 for his first two seasons. The National Stud’s Lope Y Fernandez (Ire) is another with first foals arriving and his fee has also been maintained at £8,500, while the G1 Middle Park S. winner Supremacy (Ire), one of a number of young sons of Mehmas (Ire) to retire to stud in the last two years, has been trimmed from €12,500 to €10,000 at Yeomanstown Stud. A year behind him is another Mehmas horse, Persian Force (Ire), who starts out at Tally-Ho Stud, where he was conceived, at €10,000.

The Chehboub family’s Haras de Beaumont sets out its stall as one of the newest stallion operations in France by standing their own Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and Champion S. winner Sealiway (Fr) at an opening fee of €12,000.

If you set a stallion’s fee against the number of miles covered in their careers then Stradivarius (Ire) would certainly represent value as he raced over almost 65 miles during his 35 races, 20 of which he won, including 18 group races. In fact, any way you look at it, you get plenty of bang for your buck (£10,000, to be precise) when booking a mare to the charismatic stayer, for his noted soundness is exemplified by his elastic movement which has turned many heads since he joined the stallion yard at the National Stud. Throw in the Stradivarius breeder bonus offered by his owner Bjorn Nielsen, which rewards the breeders of his first ten 2-year-old winners with £25,000 each, and first-crop group winners with £100,000 for Group 2 or 3 races and £250,000 for a Group 1 victory, then he is certainly worthy of serious consideration.

Stallions standing at less than £/€7,500

Farhh (GB) may have covered only limited books since retiring to stud in 2014 but he now has four sons at stud. Two of those, Far Above (Ire) and King Of Change (GB), stand alongside each other at Starfield Stud and have their first yearlings on offer later this year. Yes, it’s a chancey time to use any third-year stallion, but at €5,000 and €6,000 respectively, they look well-priced, and the Group 1-winning miler King Of Change in particular came in for some compliments from shrewd operators when his first foals were in the sales rings last November.

We may have trouble saying his name, but Sergei Prokofiev did not go unnoticed when his first foals hit the sales last year either, and the son of Scat Daddy is another ensuring that the Whitsbury Manor Stud stallion barn remains plenty busy over the coming months. At £6,000 he is competitively priced, and the same can be said for River Boyne (Ire), Tara Stud’s Grade 1-winning son of Dandy Man (Ire), who has remained at €5,000, the same fee set this year for Shaman (Ire), the Wertheimer-bred son of Shamardal who is at Yeomanstown Stud.

One of the most interesting horses in this fee bracket is Sands Of Mali (Fr), winner of the Gimcrack at two, followed by the G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint at three among his four group victories. He’s by a stallion that has some people scratching their heads, the dual Group 3 winner Panis, himself a son of the influential Miswaki. At €5,000, Sands Of Mali is an easy horse to breed to, but not just because of his largely outcross pedigree: he was also talented and is good-looking to boot. He has recently been joined at Ballyhane Stud by Space Traveller (GB), a son of Bated Breath (GB) who raced until he was six, having won the G2 Clipper Logistics Boomerang S. and G3 Jersey S. at three. His final start came last season when denied by a head to finish second in the GI Frank E Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita, and he starts his new career at a fee of €6,500.

Also at €5,000 at Castlefield Stud in Ireland is Alkumait (GB). We can be certain that his half-brother Chaldean (GB) (Frankel {GB}) will end up at stud eventually, but in the meantime this Group 2 winner has stolen a march and joins an increasing throng of sons of the popular Showcasing (GB) now at stud.

No Nay Never is another stallion with increasing representation among the stallion ranks and his young sons include Arizona (Ire), who is at Castleyhde Stud and the Molecomb S. winner Armor (GB), a recruit last year to Haras de Bouquetot. Both stand at €5,000, while Armor has been joined at Bouquetot by the G1 National S. winner Thunder Moon (Ire), who stands for €6,000.

A’Ali (Ire), a son of the late Society Rock who notched up four Group 2 wins during his career with Simon Crisford, joined the throng at Newsells Park Stud last season and his fee has been reduced from an opening mark of £7,500 to £5,000 this year, making him another to be a potentially value option for breeders. 

Tally-Ho Stud is represented as the breeder of a growing number of stallions at stud, including A’Ali and also Overbury Stud’s new recruit Caturra (Ire). The Flying Childers winner is the first son of Mehmas to stand in the UK, and he has joined another Tally-Ho-bred, Ardad (Ire), at the Gloucestershire farm, where he will start off at £6,500.

The latest son of Wootton Basssett to retire to stud in France is last season’s Poule d’Essai des Poulains runner-up Texas (Fr), who now stands at Haras de Hoguenet for €3,800.

Big Shuffle’s son Areion (Ger) made a pronounced mark on the German breeding scene over many years, and died last year at the age of 27. He has been succeeded in that country by the Group 1 winner Alson (Ger), who retired to Gestut Fahrhof last year and stands at €6,000, while Rubaiyat (Fr), a five-time group winner in Germany and Italy, is his latest son to take up stallion duties, and he is at Gestut Ohlerweiherhof, where he commands a fee of €4,500.

Value podium:
Instead of selecting a gold, silver and bronze medallist, as is the norm for this feature, I am opting instead for three stallions across the distance range whom I believe represent value at this early stage of their careers. There are no prizes for guessing that Stradivarius is one, and he is joined by the miler Mohaather and the sprinter Sands Of Mali.

The post Value Sires Part V: Everything to Prove appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.