Stallions Fees: That Was The Week That Was

Mostahdaf will be missed at the Gosden yard but is an exciting new addition to  Beech House Stud
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Our man in Ireland, Brian Sheerin, timed his run to the altar to perfection, leaving his colleagues to sort through and try not to miss any of the plentiful stallion fee announcements over the last week or so. He's now back from his Tuscan honeymoon and has been banned from getting married again.

In case any of you were similarly distracted by nuptials, holidays, or binge-watching The Dry, here's a handy TDN overview as to who's up, who's down, and who's new on the stallion scene. (And a tip to those of you entrusted with sending out press releases: try to send them well before 6pm. Certain members of the European desk get a little tetchy if the pouring of the first gin is delayed.)

The Big Boys

Some things in life remain reassuringly expensive, and that can certainly be said for the top stallions in Europe. In this elite sector, it is not usually a case of finding enough breeders to stump up the money, more a worry for the stallion owner as to how not to offend those who won't make the cut for said horse. 

Dubawi (Ire) became the most expensive stallion in the world earlier this year when his fee was raised to £350,000, and he remains at that level for 2024. He is now joined by Frankel (GB), who has gone up from £275,000 and is about to wrestle the champion sire trophy back from his Newmarket neighbour. 

While the rock-solid trio of Wootton Bassett (GB), Sea The Stars (Ire) and Siyouni {Fr) have all had their fees increased after yet more notable results on the track this season, some of the others in this higher bracket have been held at 2023 prices. 

We're including Invincible Spirit (Ire) in this section. He was at his highest price of €120,000 between 2016 and 2019 and dropped to €60,000 in 2022. He has been listed as private since this start of the 2023 covering season, but by dint of seniority (he will turn 27 in January) and influence, he deserves to be included here.

Dubawi £350,000 (-)
Frankel £350,000 (+ £75,000)
Wootton Bassett €200,000 (+ €50,000)
Sea The Stars €200,000 (+ €20,000)
Siyouni €200,000 (+ €50,000)
No Nay Never €150,000 (- €25,000)
Kingman £125,000 (-)
Lope De Vega €125,000 (-)
Night Of Thunder €100,000 (-)
Baaeed £80,000 (-)
New Bay €75,000 (-)
Invincible Spirit PRIVATE (-)

The Middle Ground

Those on the rise in this sector include this season's three 'buzz' sires, the freshmen Too Darn Hot (GB) and Blue Point (Ire), each of whom has been represented by at least one Group 1 winner, and leading second-season sire Havana Grey (GB), who shows no signs of stopping after his breakthrough season in 2022.

We also have the three most expensive new arrivals, led by the four-time Group 1 winner Paddington (GB).

Various press releases from studs last week referred to the challenging yearling sales in 2023 when announcing reduced fees. Often the top end of the market is immune to this, but that wasn't the case this year and there were retractions in most sales sectors, though it has to be said that these came after a frankly extraordinary 2022, the first fully normal season post-pandemic. 

There have been some notable reductions in fees at most levels of the market, and the results of the foal sales will no doubt determine how many deals there are to be done.

Too Darn Hot £65,000 (+ £25,000)
Havana Grey £55,000 (+ £36,500)
Blue Point €60,000 (+ €25,000)
Dark Angel €60,000 (-)
Zarak €60,000 (-)
Paddington €55,000 NEW
Camelot €50,000 (- €10,000)
Mehmas €50,000 (- €10,000)
St Mark's Basilica €50,000 (- €15,000)
Palace Pier  £45,000 (- £5,000)
Showcasing £45,000 (-)
Starspangledbanner €45,000 (- €5,000)
Ace Impact €40,000 NEW
Pinatubo £35,000 (-)
Sea The Moon £32,500 (+ £7,500)
Kodiac   €35,000 (- €5,000)
Modern Games £30,000 NEW
Churchill €30,000 (-)
Galiway €30,000 (-)
Teofilo €30,000 (-)

Twenty-Somethings

Sioux Nation is a big climber in this bracket but he too has had some fine representatives in his second season with runners. Congratulations are due to Caroline Hanly and Sean Ronan for breeding a horse as tough as his son Brave Emperor (Ire), whose 15 outings in two seasons have resulted in nine wins, including four group wins.

There's a number of young stallions here on the verge of being loved or loathed, depending on how their first runners fare. (Mind you, those decisions are now often made as early as the foal sales, with some later having to admit they were wrong to judge so harshly so soon.)

It is good to see the dependable Nathaniel (Ire), who had another Group 1 winner this year in Poptronic (GB), given a little boost, and similar comments apply lower down the fee scale to Golden Horn (GB), who has risen from £8,000 to £10,000. In both cases, however, they have covered plenty of National Hunt mares. 

By the way, Nathaniel and Cracksman are on the list as their sterling-to-euro price conversion elevates them to just beyond the 20,000 mark.

Chaldean £25,000 NEW
Little Big Bear €27,500 NEW
Sioux Nation €27,500 (+ €10,000)
Acclamation €25,000 (- €2,500)
Ghaiyyath €25,000 (-)
Persian King €25,000 (-)
Saxon Warrior €25,000 (- €10,000)
Sottsass €25,000 (-)
Hello Youmzain €22,500 (-)
Blackbeard €20,000 (- €5,000)
State Of Rest €20,000 (- €5,000)
Torquator Tasso €20,000 (-)
Cracksman £17,500 (-)
Nathaniel £17,500 (+ £2,500)

A Bit of Value

We won't name every stallion in the lower fee brackets here as Oliver St Lawrence provides the excellent service of a full list every year and we are reliably informed that his cards are already being printed in time for the sales.

It is worth remembering that bloodstock journalists generally have lemonade pockets, even if they have champagne tastes. In solidarity with small breeders, we are looking here at a selection of stallions whom we consider to offer value for a variety of reasons. 

Vadeni, €18,000 NEW
Let's not forget how brilliant he was at three.

Shaquille, £15,000 NEW
Extremely fast horse who is introduced at a level which is bound to have breeders beating a path to the new Dullingham Park stallion yard. 

Oasis Dream, £15,000
Tremendous value for a horse of this class. Yes, he's rising 24, but it was only two years ago that he was represented by the champion two-year-old Native Trail (GB), who joins Kildangan Stud this year at €17,500.

Mostahdaf, £15,000 NEW
A whole lotta horse who had a humdinger of a season and is rated only one pound behind Equinox (Jpn). And he's by Frankel, no less.

Earthlight, £15,000
Not all sons of Shamardal will take off in the way that Blue Point did with his first runners, but Earthlight's stock have been popular as foals and yearlings, and it's worth sticking with him at this unchanged fee at what could turn out to be his cheapest level.

Study Of Man, £12,500
His fee has also been held at his 2023 price after a year in which a number of people sat up and took notice of his first runners, led by the G2 Beresford S. winner Deepone (Ire). Classily bred, and as a son of Deep Impact (Jpn) his stock should only improve with age.

Erevann, €8,000 NEW
Failed narrowly to notch his Group 1 win, but he was a solid performer. By Dubawi out of Siyouni's first Classic winner Ervedya, Erevann has the pedigree to succeed and is pitched in at a reasonable starting price.

Dream Ahead, £6,500
He remains woefully underrated and should not be overlooked at his lowest price in 12 seasons at stud in three different countries. 

Iquitos, €6,000
A horse that produces two stakes winners from his first crop of only five foals is going to get noticed, and this treble Group 1-winning son of Adlerflug (Ger) has moved from his home farm of Gestut Ammerland to Gestut Graditz and now Gestut Rottgen. His fee is up from €4,000 last year but remains enticing. 

Awtaad, €5,000
The Irish 2,000 Guineas winner remains at the same fee he's been for the last two seasons even after notching two Group/Grade 1 winners this year. Awtaad may not be prolific but he is more than capable of siring a good horse. 

King Of Change, €5,000
He has been clipped in from €6,000 ahead of his first runners hitting the track in 2024. It remains deeply regrettable that his sire Farhh (GB) does not have better fertility because he is plainly a good stallion. Time will tell if King Of Change can pick up the baton but he's a Group 1 winner from a decent enough family and it's worth taking a chance at this price.

 

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