mick_gossMick Goss
(Arc Dubai)


The one game that appears to have remained impervious to the financial world’s warnings of woe in the international economy, is the thoroughbred market. Across the length and breadth of the world, events during the past three month’s thoroughbred auctions point to a boom in prices on an unprecedented scale, and our piece on Australian stud fees last week, tells us that studmasters in that part of the world are as bullish as ever about the state of racing’s economy. A glance at those stallions whose owners have announced fees for the forthcoming season in South Africa, points to much the same, with all of Western Winter, Fort Wood and Jet Master still occupying the ethereal heights at R200 000-R250 000 a piece. There is a significant gap between those three and a trio of horses in Count Dubois, Jallad and Trippi (the Rupert’s new acquisition) on R100 000 a pop, while there have been significant increases for Silvano (R60 000) Captain Al (R70 000) and National Emblem (R80 000).

One question remains: In a market as limited as ours, can breeders expect to make a consistent and reasonable return on R200k plus service fees, when there are three stallions sharing that market? Of course, the question is of academic value ultimately, to the extent that most “armchair” breeders are driven largely by perception (as is the case in Australia), and they will continue to pay whatever it takes in order to access those stallions that occupy the top of the charts, whatever the commercial consequences.

The real world however, is the one in which professional breeders live and they have to keep asking themselves whether, in dedicating that sort of cash to one or two mares, they are not spending a disproportionate sum on a relatively narrow number of mares, at the expense of the broader herd. At the end of the day, the long-term viability of one’s stud depends upon the success of the farm at large, and it seems to make both commercial and strategic sense to spread the budget across a bigger spectrum of horses, rather than concentrating it so tightly, in the hope of one “big hit”, while raising the risk staked on those mares substantially in the process.

In our experience, great stallions get almost as many ordinary foals as good stallions do, and that means that only the very best foals become proper money-spinners. For every “ordinary” foal you get by an expensive stallion, you start wishing you had ten by the horse that stands for considerably less, and for which you outlaid a fraction of the money.

For reader’s interest, here are those local fees already published :






Sire

Standing

2007 fees

2008 fees


Indigo Magic

Arc n Ceil

R 10,000

Free


Joshua Dancer

Avalon

R 5,000

To be announced


Var

Avontuur

R 35,000

T b a


Tamburlaine

Cheveley Stud

R 10,000

R10,000


Badger's Drift

Cheveley Stud


R10,000


Tiger Hunt

Connington

R 10,000

R 5,000


Qui Danzig

Daytona


R10,000


Manshood

Gary Player


R 6,000


Wolfhound

Gary Player


R10,000


Dynasty

Highlands Stud


R12,000


Jallad

Highlands Stud

R 100,000

R100,000


Spectrum

Highlands Stud

R 80,000

R80,000


National Assembly

Highlands Stud

R 80,000

book full


Windrush

Highlands Stud


R15,000


Albert Hall

Klawervlei


R 8 000


Captain Al

Klawervlei

R 35,000

R70,000


National Emblem

Klawervlei

R 65,000

R80 000


Jet Master

Klipdrift Stud

R 200,000

R200,000


Parade Leader

Lammerskraal Stud

R 15,000

R15,000


Western Winter

Lammerskraal Stud

R 200,000

R250,000


Count Dubois

Litchfield

R 100,000

R100,000


Trippi

L'Ormarins


R100,000


Black Minnaloushe

Maine Chance Farms

R 90,000

R90,000


Silvano

Maine Chance Farms

R 50,000

R60,000


Victory Moon

Maine Chance Farms

R 30,000

R30,000


Fort Wood

Mauritzfontein Stud

R 200,000

T b a


Strike Smartly

Mauritzfontein Stud

R 25,000

T b a


Dupont

Normandy


R 5,000


Saumarez

Odessa


R40 000


Ecomium

Rathmor


R 5,000


Woodborough

Rathmor

R 10,000

R10,000


Daylami

Riethuiskraal Stud

R 80,000

R80,000


Imperial Stride

Riethuiskraal Stud


R35,000


Grey's Inn

Rosedene Stud

R 20,000

R20 000


Goldkeeper

Sandown Stud

R 50,000

R50,000


Ashaawes

Sandown Stud


R12 000


Meisques Approval

Scotts

R 35,000

R35,000


Overlord

Scotts

R 8,000

R 8,000


The Sheik

Scotts

R 5,000

R 5,000


King of Kings

Somerset

R 30,000

T b a


Requiem

Springvalley

R 10,000

R15,000


London News

Starston Stud

R 6,000

R 6,000


Toreodor

The Alchemy

R 12,000

R12 000


Eyeofthetiger

The Alchemy


R 8,000


Right Approach

Wilgerbosdrift

R 20,000

R20,000


Tiger Ridge

Wilgerbosdrift

R 80,000

R80,000

No doubt, there will be those enquiring as to when Summerhill’s fees will be announced. Of course, we’re not masters alone of these, as they require the sanction of some of our principals in Dubai, and that involves transocean discussion before we release them. It’s become practice for us to deal with them at the end of May, so for those of you who are looking forward to them, please keep that date in mind.

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