Just as the stallion ranks are full of over-priced, over-hyped dross there are also a few examples of good value sires for the canny breeder. Below are four sires that I believe represent good value for either owner breeders or commercial breeders and sometimes both.
1. Medicean (1997 Machiavellian ex Mystic Goddess by Storm Bird) 2013 fee £10,000
I wrote about Medicean last year when he stood for £8000 and after an exceptionally good year on the track a modest increase to £10000 is fully justified. In my view he is now the best value sire around. 2012 saw him sire three Group 1 winners in Siyouma ex Sichilla by Danehill, Bayrir ex Balankiya by Darshaan and Capponi ex Nawaiet by Zilzal to bring his lifelong total to 9 Group 1 winners. A strong supporting cast included other Group winners Sapphire ex Polished Gem by Danehill, Casaca ex Priena by Priolo, Mince ex Strut by Danehill Dancer, Regal Realm ex Regal Riband by Fantastic Light and Al Shemali ex Bathilde by Generous. Those are the sort of results that outperform many sires standing at a multiple of that fee and will bring market recognition. His 2012 sales results were decent with a median of 26,000 guineas. His son Dutch Art has also made a very impressive start to his stud career,which might bring some reflected glory. Medicean’s overall stats at 4% stakes winners are decent and he represents great value for owner breeders, particularly anyone who likes the thought of a horse who will improve with age and racing or for commercial breeders as he is modestly priced for such a proven stallion, with solid sales results.
2. Dalakhani (2000 Darshaan ex Daltawa by Miswaki) 2013 fee €25,000
Dalakhani is now half the fee he was in 2009 and 2010. He is a proven sire of 5% stakes winners and the proven successor to his sire Darshaan. He has already sired 4 classic winners in Moonstone, Duncan, Reliable Man and Conduit. His sales median was 72000 gns in 2011 and 47000 guineas in 2012, so he should still be of interest to commercial breeders as a sire who offers a good prospect of commercial success. In addition the risk for breeders is reduced as his fillies have almost the same median as his colts, which is not surprising given that Dalakhani is free from Northern Dancer and there are plenty of people willing to use his daughters to try and follow the famous Sadler’s Wells /Darsahaan cross. In conclusion he is a high quality proven stallion, with very sound percentages who is reasonably priced on his achievements to date and who can be profitably utilised by owner breeders and commercial breeders alike.
3.Kendargent (2003 Kendor ex Pax Bella by Linamix) 2013 fee €6000
I wrote about Kendargent last year when he stood for €4000 and his very small first and second crops continued to give the impression that this is a sire going places. If he continues his rate of progress with bigger and better crops in the future he might just go and become a Gallic rags to riches story to rival Ahonoora.
4. Azamour (2001 Night Shift ex Asmara by Lear Fan) 2013 fee €10,000
Azamour is a good sire with good percentages whose fee has dropped from €15,000 to a reasonable €10,000. 2012 also saw him sire his first Group 1 winner and classic winner in Valyra, who unfortunately died shortly after her French Oaks win. He has sired plenty of high class performers but lacked a real standout in the UK or Ireland, hence the drop in fee and for commercial breeders the fact that his 2012 median dropped to 12000 gns will have activated the alarm bells and he is not recommended for commercial breeders. However for owner breeders, I think he is a useful sire for the money who is well capable of getting a decent horse with some regularity.