One of the joys of racing is the rags to riches story, writes Renée Geelen. It is these horses that keep people returning to racing – after all, most of us aren’t oil barons, or billionaire property developers. We are here because we love horses, we love racing, and every year there are horses like Jameka (dual Gr1 winner bred off a $8,800 fee) and Yankee Rose (a $10,000 yearling) who give us hope.
Hope and optimism are the keys to this game, and every year broodmare owners hunt through the list of stallions looking for the horse who will fulfil that hope. And there are plenty of them to get excited about.
Stallions like Written Tycoon, a non Gr1 winner, who started his career in the under $10,000 category, going as low as $6,600 one season. Now with horses like Golden Slipper winner Capitalist, Doomben Ten Thousand winner Music Magnate, and NZ’s Manawatu Sires Produce winner Luna Rossa on his record, his fee continues to climb. Quality can be had for a value price; and Written Tycoon had many stakes winners from his cheap crops.
Others in the top twenty of the current Sires Premiership who started out at fees at or under $10,000 include I Am Invincible, Commands, Nicconi, and Duporth. And Not A Single Doubt, whose progeny are in huge demand and who now stands for $88,000, stood his first sex seasons for not much more than $10,000 – $12,500 + GST. That should have breeders giving Arrowfield's young sire Panzer Division some serious through at under $10,000. There is plenty of value if you just go hunting!
Among the Sires in this competitive bracket in in 2017, there are 23 sires of Gr1 winners, giving breeders plenty of options when it comes to proven sires for their mares. One of those is Casino Prince, astonishing really for a stallion responsible for super star All Too Hard, and the sire of over 100 individual winners for each of the past twp seasons.
There are also many stallions in this price range who are young, emerging sires of stakes winners who are well worth a punt. Written Tycoon was in this latter category when he sired a Golden Slipper winner.
If you want to throw your hat in the ring, there are 22 freshman sires priced under $10,000, and three of these are Gr1 winners: Awesome Rock (standing at Gold Front for $8,800), Under the Louvre (standing at Grandview Stud for $7,700) and Vert de Grece (standing at Geisel Park Stud for $5,500). Another 12 are group winners – Alpine Eagle, Counterattack, Defcon, Furnaces, Honorius, Lucky Street, Mahuta, Odyssey Moon, Rommel, St Jean, Swear, and Worthy Cause.
You don’t need to be a billionaire to breed a group winner, and you certainly don’t need to spend huge sums to have a genuine chance at success in this game. The racetrack is a great leveller, and breeders positioned in the $11,000 and under service fee bracket have plenty of excellent choices for their broodmares in 2017.