bound to travelBound To Travel (Photo Gold Circle)Bound To Travel’s (by Western Winter) victory in Sunday’s Darley Arabian was the first Stakes winning Three Year Old for the Big Five stallions this season, if a recent commentary is correct. Though this looks like a decent sort in the making, it seems remarkable that the five stallions that so dominated the General Sires log (and the sales) a season or two back, should’ve shared just a single Stakes winner among their sophomores this year.

While a single season can hardly be said to represent a trend, the evidence is too powerful to escape the belief that something must’ve gone seriously awry. These horses are just too good to have gone off the boil altogether, and it’s an irresistible temptation to ask whether it hasn’t got something to do with the present level of extraordinary service fees, which have now reached the point where they are beyond the reach of most genuine breeders.