Kildangan Stud’s 2022 fees (where is the value?)
Godolphin are enjoying a resurgence of success on the track. Their European trained tally of Group/Grade 1 wins (17 by Charlie Appleby) almost matched Ballydoyle’s total for the year (18). I’m not sure how those numbers make Charlie Appleby ‘the best trainer in the world’ but that’s another debate.. Success on the track, ensures a pipeline of new stallions for the Darley operation.
Darley will stand 10 stallions in Kildangan for 2022. Over the past two years they have dropped/lost Shamardal, Slade Power, The Last Lion, Buratino, Dawn Approach, Exceed and Excel, Fast Company, French Navy and Fulbright from their Irish roster. Only Shamardal and Exceed and Excel are significant losses. The Irish roster is slightly weaker than its sister stud in Dalham Hall which houses 13 stallions including Dubawi. Nonetheless, It is still a decent roster with a number of interesting prospects,
Kildangan Stud 2022 fee (2021 fee)
1.Belardo €9,000 (€10,000) (2012 Lope De Vega ex Danaskaya by Danehill)
He had a very promising start with his first two year olds in 2020 with a trio of Group winners. This led to a big increase in demand for his services and he covered 182 mares in 2021. Those breeders will now be fretting as he had a quiet year on the track in 2021 and failed to build on that momentum with no new Group/Stakes winners. His own racing career was a bit inconsistent as after winning a Dewhurst, he failed to win in 7 outings at three before coming good again in the Lockinge at 4.
His yearling median increased slightly to €18,633 in 2021 from €14,141 but that is a poor enough return from a crop conceived at €10,000. After his poor season, there will be no queue to use him at €9,000 and he looks a bit overpriced for now.
2. Blue Point €40,000 (€40,000) (2014 Shamardal ex Scarlett Rose by Royal Applause)
Blue Point was a superb racehorse, winning a Gimcrack at 2, two Group races at three and the Kings Stand at 4. At five he was unbeaten in five starts including 3 Group 1’s. He ran twenty times, winning eleven and placed 6 times, so he was durable as well as classy. Now entering his third season, he covered 196 mares in his first season and it was a very strong initial book.
The negatives are that he is from an unexceptional female line, he is an atypical Shamardal in terms of distance preference and he didn’t win his first Group 1 until he was four and was at his best at 5. He has every opportunity to succeed and may very well do but I thought they might have shaved some more of his fee given it’s his risky third season.
3. Earthlight €18,000 (€20,000) (2017 Shamardal ex Winters Moon by New Approach)
Verdict: Fairly Priced
Shamardal had his annus mirabilis in 2019 with three top class unbeaten two year old colts in Pinatubo, Earthlight and Victor Ludorum. Earthlight won his five starts at two including a Prix Morny and a Middle Park in which he beat Golden Horde. Covid interrupted the 2020 season and he reappeared in July 2020. He won two of his 4 races that year (a Listed race and Grp 3) but was beaten in the Prix de la Foret (2nd to One Master) and Prix Maurice de Gheest (4th to Space Blues), running creditably in defeat. His dam was placed in Fillies Mile, his granddam bred two Group 1 winners and his fourth dam produced Golden Fleece so its a good female page. Shamardal now has no less than 17 sons at stud due to stand in Europe in 2022 but only Lope De Vega is a proven sire son. I’m not sure what to think of Earthlight’s fee but in relative terms I think he is better value than Blue Point, being more precocious and from a stronger distaff line.
4. Ghaiyyath €25,000 (€30,000) (2015 Dubawi ex Nighttime by Galileo)
Verdict: Fairly Priced
I was a big fan of Ghaiyyath on the track. His career stats are 9 wins and 3 places from 13 stats with his only unplaced run being on very soft ground in Waldgeist’s Arc. He was capable of some exceptional performances including winning the Grosser Preis Von Baden by 14 lengths, and he was very good in the Summer of 2020 winning the Coronation Cup, Eclipse and Juddmonte International. His pedigree is impressive, as you would expect from a colt who cost €1.1 million as a foal and is out of Galileo’s first classic winner Nighttime. Dubawi is starting to motor as a sire of sires with Night of Thunder and New Bay doing well and promising starts from Time Test and Zarak. The doubt about Ghaiyyath is that he was best at 5 but in his defence he won the Autumn Stakes at two and didn’t get to show his worth at three as he only had a solitary start in September in the Prix Prince D’Orange which he also won. Ghaiyyath is the highest rated son of Dubawi , he is bred on the same cross as Night of Thunder and all things considered I think he is fairly priced.
5. Night Of Thunder €75,000 (£75,000) (2011 Dubawi ex Forest Storm by Galileo)
Verdict: Fairly Priced
Got a belated first Group 1 winner in Europe this year with the Pretty Polly winner Thundering Nights. His yearling median this year was €81,757 a nice return on a crop conceived at £15,000. Night of Thunder had an exceptional first crop (17 stakes winners from a crop of 112) but he hasn’t maintained that blistering pace (3 stakes winners to date from his smaller second crop and none to date amongst his two year olds of 2021. His bigger and better crops are in the pipeline and its reasonable to assume he will benefit from the upturn in quality and quantity. The only quibble I would have is his lack of a real superstar, with his highest rated horse being the Group 2 winning sprinter Suesa. I did a detailed review on Night of Thunder back in 2019 when I said he seemed destined for the very top (see http://www.montjeu.com/night-of-thunders-lightning-start/) and I see no reason to change that view now.
6.Profitable €12,500 (€10,000) 2012 Invincible Spirit ex Dani Ridge by Indian Ridge)
Verdict: Overpriced (slightly)
Profitable won a Kings Stand Stakes at 4 and was runner up in the same race at 5 to Lady Aurelia. He had 129 foals in his first crop and a truly remarkable 85 of them ran this year. There were 25 winners and three stakes horses headlined by Queen Mary winner Quick Suzy. It was a solid start yet the market saw fit to drop his yearling median to €31,722 from €36,955 in 2020. I’m not sure he did enough to warrant a fee increase and thought they might have kept it steady but he did improve markedly with age so its possible his offspring could follow suit..
7. Raven’s Pass €7,500 (€7,500) (2005 Elusive Quality ex Ascutney by Lord at War)
Had a new Group 1 winner this season in the five year old Romantic Proposal who won the Flying Five and Lemista was placed in the Beverley D. However his yearling median has been in steady decline for the past number of years and was only €12,370 in 2021 off a €10,000 covering fee. He has very good percentages for a stallion at this fee with 37 stakes winners from 555 foals (7%) but he has never attracted big books despite being an outcross pedigree for most mares. He is unlikely to recover the market’s affections at this stage and he is not an attractive commercial option for breeders (although his progeny are worth a second look at the sales for purchasers).
8. Ribchester €12,500 (€17,500) (2013 Iffraaj ex Mujarah by Marju)
On the eve of Royal Ascot, Ribchester seemed likely to end up as one of the top first season sires. Ruthin from Wesley Ward’s yard was favourite for the Windsor Castle and Gisburn was strongly fancied for the Coventry. Neither figured in their respective races and the rest of the season was somewhat underwhelming for Ribchester with no real stars emerging. He now has 16 winners from 59 runners and Flaming Rib was his sole stakes winner. His yearling median dipped but was still pretty strong falling from €46k to €34k. The hope for his supporters is that his progeny will improve like he did with age. He won the Mill Reef at two, the Jacques Le Marois at three and the Lockinge, Queen Anne and Prix de Moulin at 4. He is the best son of Iffraaj (sire of Wootton Bassett) from a high class female family. He may well deliver on his potential and by the end of next year his 2022 fee could look an absolute bargain but for now there are safer bets out there.
9. Space Blues €17,500 (na) (2016 Dubawi ex Miss Lucifer by Noverre).
Verdict: Fairly Priced
Retires on a high after winning the Breeders Cup mile. Prior to his victory at Del Mar he had won the Prix de la Foret over 7f. In 2020 he won a high quality renewal of the Prix Maurice de Gheest defeating Hello Youmzain, Earthlight, Golden Horde, Wooded etc. His overall record was 11 wins and 4 places from 19 runs. In many ways, he was a typical Dubawi who improved each season. He won his only race at two, had group 1 placings at three, improved again at four and showed his best form at five.
His dam, Miss Lucifer was a quality performer who won a Challenge Stakes (Grp 2). His pedigree should also suit most of the mares around and he is free of Sadler’s Wells and Danzig. Darley are advertising him as Dubawi’s fastest son and he was seen as a specialist 7f horse for much of his career. His Breeders Cup mile victory was a big plus in increasing his attractiveness to breeders. Sons of Dubawi are doing well but Space Blues lack of precocity has held back his commercial appeal. His fee will probably be gradually reduced each year until he has runners but his opening fee seems quite reasonable for now.
10. Teofilo €30,000 (€30,000) (2004 Galileo ex Speirbhean by Danehill)
Verdict: Overpriced for commercial breeders
A good reliable sire who has joined the exclusive ranks of sires with 100 or more stakes winners. His current figures are 100 stakes winners (7%) from 1492 foals of racing age. He had a stellar year in 2020 with 6 Group 1 winners and added two more in 2021 (Gold Cup winner Subjectivist and Prix Royal Oak winner Scope. He has sired high quality milers and middle distance horses and even a Dewhurst winner but the perception is that he is a sire of stayers and horses who get better with age(reinforced this year). His yearling median was €53,500 last year an increase on the €29,596 median in 2020. Unfortunately for breeders these crops were conceived off €40,000 covering fees. He is overpriced for commercial breeders but as a sire of racehorses he is much better value than many other sires who won’t ever match his record.