For any breeders who have yet to decide on their 2024 stallions, I have compiled a shortlist of seven budget-friendly sires offering a good risk/reward ratio. In trying to identify value sires, I ignore sires who haven’t had runners, as most new sires will fail. Value sires will typically fall into one of three categories
- Older proven stallions who are getting fee reductions to compete with the more fashionable younger sires. Oasis Dream falls into this category.
- Sires with limited track representation who have shown promise but could be on the cusp of breakthrough success. Frontiersman, Coulsty, Phoenix of Spain and Study of Man are in this category.
- Sires with good reputations with trainers/agents who will deliver in the sales ring regardless of short term results in the track- Awtaad and Holy Roman Emperor are in this category.
1. Frontiersman (2013 Dubawi ex Ouija Board by Cape Cross)
Fee £2000- Standing at Overbury Stud
I wouldn’t normally recommend a horse with a Timeform squiggle who never won above Listed level as a value sire but this guy offers great value for a £2000 fee.
Firstly, the pedigree is exceptional. Dubawi has solidified his standing as a sire of sires, and Ouija Board adds further luster as both a champion on the track and the dam of a good sire in Australia. Frontiersman had a Timeform rating of 121 (albeit with a squiggle) and was runner up in a Coronation Cup so he was higher rated than many sires. His first runners on the flat (Asian Daze and Missy Dolly Rocker) were both winners. He had been marketed as a dual purpose/NH sire by Overbury but I think he is worthy of serious consideration by flat breeders at a peanuts fee.
2. Awtaad 2013 Cape Cross ex Asheerah by Shamardal
Fee €5000- Standing at Derrinstown Stud
Everybody now loves Awtaad as a value sire and for that reason it makes sense to use him. Agents and trainers will feel reassured purchasing his progeny because they have heard enough people repeating the mantra that he is great value. This year will see his fifth crop on the track and after a quiet start, 2 Group/Grade 1 winners (Anisette and Anmaat) in 2023 made everyone sit up and take notice. That said, his stats aren’t that exciting with 11 stakes winners (4%) and he has only 8 two years this year and 27 yearlings next year so I wouldn’t expect any great fireworks on the track in the near future. However at €5k, following the bandwagon should now work for commercial breeders on a budget.
3. Coulsty 2011 Kodiac ex Hazium by In The Wings
Fee €5500- Standing at Rathasker Stud
Despite his lack of representation he has a Grade 1 winner to his name in Shantisara, a Group 3 winner, three Listed winners and two stakes placed runners. This is an impressive record from only 48 cheaply bred runners. He has 75 two year olds this year and 119 yearlings on the horizon. This compares with 68 foals in all his previous crops so his track profile should soar. Kodiac has gained a decent reputation as a sire of sires and Coulsty could be on an upward trajectory.
4. Holy Roman Emperor 2004 Holy Roman Emperor ex L’on Vite by Secretariat
Fee €8000- Standing at Coolmore Stud
A reliable sire who might be a good option for a younger mare trying to get winners on her page. He didn’t have his best year in 2023 but so far he has sired 14 Group 1 winner (9 in the Northern hemisphere) and is operating at 5% stakes winners to foals. He had a healthy yearling median of €31k last year so he is a decent commercial proposition.
5. Phoenix of Spain 2016 Lope De Vega ex Lucky Clio by Key of Luck
Fee €10,000- Standing at Irish National Stud
I thought his first runners exceeded expectations with 20 two year old winners from 51 runners in a crop of 97. With his progeny expected to improve with time, those are more than respectable numbers. Amongst his winners was Haatem, who won the Grp 2 Vintage Stakes so it was mildly surprising that his fee was shaved from €12k to €10k. He had a yearling median of c. €25k last year but if his progeny progress as expected then I think there could be upside in using him.
6. Study of Man 2015 Deep Impact ex Second Happiness by Storm Cat
Fee £12,500- Standing at Lanwades
I’m keen on this beautifully bred, French Derby winner with Miesque as his grandam. His first crop was promising with 11 winners from a total crop of 55, headlined by the Beresford Stakes winner Deepone and Grp 3 placed Ghorgan. The expectation is that as a son of Deep Impact, his progeny will improve with age. I could see him as a classic sire and there aren’t many sires in this price bracket about whom that could be said.
7. Oasis Dream 2000 Green Desert ex Hope by Dancing Brave
Fee £15,000- Standing at Banstead Manor
Oasis Dream has sired 134 stakes winners (7%) and 20 Group 1 winners so his ability as a sire is not in doubt. His fee reflects his age. Older stallions generally have lower fertility and there is a belief that progeny results also show decline in later crops. This is the lowest fee of his career ( he stood a number of seasons at £85k) and I think it is adequately discounted to account for any age related concerns.