Elusive QualityElusive Quality (photo: Darley)Distorted HumourDistorted Humour (photo: B. Livingston)In the past five or six years, America has seen the emergence of four very serious young sires, all of which fit three rather interesting, but by the conventional norms set by the bigger farms, unusual criteria. By any measure, Distorted Humour, Elusive Quality, Mr Greeley and Posse, have emerged as significant stallions, yet besides the “new” criteria which they all have in common, none of them was a Grade One winner.

Mr GreeleyMr Greeley (photo: Gainsway)That said, the other things they have in common are:

1. They all won a Graded race at a sprint distance. In other words, they had genuine speed.

2. They all placed in a Grade One up to a mile.

3. They all ran a Beyer (an American speed rating) of 113 or higher. That means, at their best, they were all proper racehorses, even if they didn’t win a Grade One.

So there’s hope for the “other” stallion operators, and of course at their advertised stud fees, there’ll be joy among the rest of America’s breeders, i.e. those not in the stallion business (and, by definition, the greater majority) who’ll be able to access these horses at numbers which fall a long way short of reflecting what Sheikh Mohammed had to pay to buy them.

Knowing the odds against a stallion’s success though, it’s likely Sheikh Mohammed will face losses on the bulk of his investments, and while we all realise his resources know no finite bounds, nobody likes to lose money in the long term.

Except of course, if it delivers up the scalp of world domination. In that case, whatever the price, it seems the Darley dream may at least, be partly fulfilled.

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