Darley, Dalham, Dubawi, Dear?- 2016 fees

Having considered Coolmore’s 2016 fees, the  next step is to look at its main rival Darley. Darley spreads its stallions across the UK, Ireland and France and the growth in its roster sees no sign of abating. To facilitate comparison of the Dalham and Coolmore rosters, I have also converted the sterling fee to euros. The weakness of the Euro compared to sterling is significant in assessing their relative attractiveness.

Stallion 2016 fee (2015 fee)

Dalham Hall Stud

Dubawi £225,000/c.€320,000 (£125,000). (2002 Dubai Millennium ex Zomaradah by Deploy)

Verdict: His merit has never been really in doubt and had a superb season with 9 Northern Hemisphere group 1 winners including King George winner Postponed, French Derby winner New Bay, Dubai World Cup winner Prince Bishop and Juddmonte International winner Arabian Queen. A consequence of all this success is a fee increase of £100,000 over 2015.It looked as if he was going to dethrone Galileo from his usual position as champion sire but ended up as runner-up. To me Galileo still has the edge over his younger rival being a much better sire of two year olds and a lot of Dubawi’s Group 1 winners have needed time to mature (a topic I will return to in future).  My own suspicion is that Dubawi’s fee was set relative to Galileo’s reputed fee of c.€300k and was deliberately set above that level. This is a case of ‘mine is bigger than yours’ (fee wise anyway :)) although in my view his fee should be less than Galileo’s (and perhaps Galileo will be €350-€400k next year). Regardless, at this rarified level, financial concerns and mere 6 figure sums hardly matter for those using the stallion.

Golden Horn £60,000/c.€85,000 (NEW) (2012 Cape Cross ex Fleche D’or by Dubai Destination)

Verdict: Had an outstanding season on the track winning the Derby, Arc, Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes. However his opening fee looks expensive to me. I would quibble with his lack of two year old form (just one narrow maiden victory) and the quality of his female line (highly respectable as his unraced dam unraced is a half sister to Coronation Stakes winner Rebecca Sharp but not an elite female line). His surprise defeat in the Juddmonte International, his erratic behaviour in the Irish Champion Stakes when he should have been disqualified and his defeat on merit by Found in the Breeders Cup also might have been expected to knock some more off his fee.  Given that he is an unproven stallion, his stud mate New Approach is better value and when you convert his fee to euros I think he compares unfavourably with Australia.

New Approach £60,000 €85,000 (£80,000) (2005 Galileo ex Park Express by Ahonoora)

Had a sensational first crop with three two year old winners at Royal Ascot (Dawn Approach, Newfangled and Tha’Ir) and his first crop progressed to annexed the 2000 Guineas (Dawn Approach), the Oaks (Talent) and he sired the Derby runner-up (Libertarian). He has not maintained this momentum and his fee has fallen back from the £80,000 he stood for in 2015 and 2014. This is a reasonable adjustment and although he is still not cheap but he is a fine stallion and is worth his hefty fee.

Iffraaj £22,500 €32,000 (£22,500) (2001 Zafonic ex Pastorale by Nureyev)

A one time champion first season sire by number of winners and a good sprinkling of high quality performers has seen his fee rise from its initial modest level. Had a pretty good year in 2015 with St James Palace Stakes runner up  Latharnach and some high quality two year olds in Group 2 winner Ribchester and Fillies Mile runner up Nathra. That said he never strikes me as a likely sire of a superstar and he seems pricey to me particularly in Euro terms as I would value him at no more than €20,000.

Sepoy £15,000 €21,000 (£15,000) (2008 Elusive Quality ex Watchful by Danehill)

A Golden Slipper winner at two who trained on to be a top sprinter at three. Sons of Elusive Quality have been largely disappointing at stud (Raven’s Pass, Smarty Jones, Elusive City) and at the price I wouldn’t be rushing to take a chance on this being an exception to that rule nor the modest record of most reverse shuttlers.

Poet’s Voice £12,000 €17,000 (£12,000) (2007 Dubawi ex Bright Tiara by Chief’s Crown)

A first crop son of Dubawi who won the Group 2 Champagne Stakes and two and went on to defeat a strong field that included Makfi and Rip Van Winkle in the QE2 stakes at three. Had his first runners this season and they performed reasonably well and more or less in line with expectations if you hold the belief that his progeny will progress with age (which I do). As a superior racehorse, and a son of an exceptional stallion with reasonable early runners he seems fairly priced to me.

Brazen Beau £10,000 €14,000 (NEW) (2011 I am Invincible ex Sansadee by Snadee)

A top Australian sprinter by a son of Invincible Spirit. I’m not sure we need all these reverse shuttlers but he earned a Timeform rating of 127 so his merit as a racehorse is not in doubt. If European breeders want to believe that overseas sprinters are genetically superior, who am I to stop them spending their money 🙂

Farhh £8,000 €11,000 (£12,000) (2008 Pivotal ex Gonbarda by Lando)

An interesting horse, lightly raced with only 10 runs over 4 seasons. His only two runs as a five year old resulted in wins in the Lockinge Stakes over a mile early in the season and the Champion Stakes over 10 furlongs at the end of the season. Won his only runs at two and three and showed progressive form and at four when he was placed in a number of Group 1’s. His dam was dual Group 1 winner in Germany and is compiling a nice record at stud with Farrh’s full brothers Racing History and Basem both being Group performers in 2015. This is also the family of Fame and Glory and Legatissimo. His pedigree with its single strain of Northern Dancer via Nureyev and absence of Mr Prospector makes him almost an outcross for the majority of Britain’s mares. I’m a lifelong fan of Pivotal but I don’t quite buy the description of him used by some advertisers of him as a proven sire of sires. This claim is based on the respectable record of Kyllachy and the good initial results of Siyouni whilst ignoring Excellent Art, Falco, Virtual, Windsor Knot etc. Farhh was a superior racehorse, but his lack of precocity might hinder his commercial appeal. Overall though his fee is not unreasonable at least until we have evidence to the contrary from the track.

Helmet £8,000 €11,000 (€10,000) (2008 Exceed and Excel ex Accessories by Singspiel).

Another Aussie Group 1 winner at two who trained on to land further group 1 success at three. His success of his sire Exceed and Excel has a lot to answer for in terms of all of these reverse shuttlers 🙂 His pedigree is very European looking from a well known European ‘A’ family that includes Annaba (the filly by In the Wings not the stallion Anaaba), Anna of Saxony, Ave, Anipe etc. There is nothing objectionable about him or his fee (and I would prefer him to Brazen Beau) but he just wouldn’t be for me.

Casamento £5,000 €7,000 (€5,000) (2008 Shamardal ex Wedding Gift by Always Fair)

By a very good stallion in Shamardal and a winner of the Racing Post Trophy at two and a Group 3 at three he earned his place at stud. He will have his first two year olds in 2016 so his merit will quickly be apparent. His fee last season of €5000 seemed about right to me, £5000 seems a little pricey in comparison but not outrageous.

Outstrip £5,000 €7,000 (NEW – Darley Club) (2011 Exceed and Excel ex Asi Sempre by El Prado)

A good two year old who won the Champagne Stakes, a breeders Cup Juvenile Turf and was third in the Dewhurst to War Command. He didn’t add to his success at three or four and this is somewhat reflected in his fee. He is well bred by a great sire of two year olds in Exceed and Excel out of a Grade 1 winning mare from the speedy family of Turkish Treasure. He is being promoted as part of the Darley Club which allows breeders a free return in years 2 and years 3 and if all of these are used then you get a lifetime breeding right. Whilst this is clearly a marketing initiative to help fill less desirable members of the roster (and I wouldn’t recommend it for some of the others) in this case I think it represents a  good deal for breeders with significant potential upside. If I owned a suitable speedy mare likely to produce two year olds I would utilise Outstrip (no sitting on the fence there) and if Darley want to use that quote please give me a call to discuss a fee!).

Next week I will look at Darley Irish stallions in  Kildangan…..

No mystery here.

The Prix Morny was expected to see Cranford Cliffs prove himself a superstar.  Instead he finished only third behind narrow winner Arcano.  Arcano is now unbeaten in three runs after winning a Newmarket maiden and the Group 2 July stakes also at Newmarket.  His win wasn’t visually impressive and more improvement will be required if he is to be considered a serious Guineas prospect for next year, although the time of the race set a new track record.

 We are still learning about Oasis Dream and Arcarno’s dam Tariysha was unraced. She is by the outstanding performer Daylami who apart from Irish Derby winner Grey Swallow failed to live up to expectations at stud and is now plying his trade in South Africa. It is early days to assess him as a broodmare sire but he is also broodmare sire this Summer of Group winner Summer Fete (by Pivotal). 

Arcarno’s granddam Tarwiya was a very useful filly for John Oxx at both two and three years of age. At two she had eight runs (unusual for a John Oxx inmate), she took five runs to break her maiden but by the end of the season her cv included wins in a Listed race, the Group 3 C.L Weld stakes and a second place in the Group 1 Moyglare stakes.  She failed to win at three but did manage a very respectable third to Marling in the Irish 1000 Guineas. At stud she has produced a few winners but nothing of significance. One of her non-winning daughters Tahara is the dam of Godfrey Street who won a Flying Childers. Given the pedigree, a price of 90,000 Guineas seemed right when Arcano was offered at the Tattersalls October sales. It is a nice balanced pedigree with the only inbreeding being Mill Reef 4×4 and the Northern Dancer 4X5 that appears in Oasis Dream’s pedigree. Given the way Arcarno stayed on to win, connections might be tempted to step him up to 7 furlongs for the Dewhurst or alternatively they may target the Middle Park which his sire won in 2002.

Arcano is the Spanish word for mystery but there is no mystery about the source of his talent. Oasis Dream has been the story of the Summer, producing a multitude of Group winners across a range of distances.  Twelve months ago it was clear that the best sire in Britain was Pivotal followed by Dansili- now Oasis Dream has overtaken Dansili and Pivotal’s position is under threat.  As the table below shows, since the start of July, Oasis Dream has sired the winners of 10 Group races. He has had three Group winning Two year olds (Misheer, Arcarno and Showcasing), Midday and Arcarno were Group 1 winners and Aqlaam and Main Aim were runners up in Group 1’s. It is a remarkable sequence of success and these results were produced from crop fees of £25000 to £30000.  Recession or not, I expect him to stand for c.£60k next year, he has large crops in the pipeline, he seems to work with all sorts of distaff lines and it seems that only premature death can stop him becoming a hugely significant European sire.


Date Horse age sex  Race and distance Dam (broodmare sire)
 23/08/09  Arcano 2 f  Prix Morny Gr 1 (6f)  Tariysha (Daylami)
 23/08/09  Lady Jane Digby 4 f Walther Jacobs Gr 3 (10f)  Scandalette (Niniski)
 19/08/09  Showcasing 2 f Gimcrack Gr 2 (6f)  Arabesque (Zafonic
 18/08/09 Monitor Closely 3 c Great Voltigeur Gr 2 (12f)  Independence (Selkirk)
 16/08/09  Mullein 4 f Flying Fillies Stakes lstd (6f)  Gipsy Moth (Efisio)
 16/08/09  Sri Putra 3 c Prix Guillaume D’Ornano Gr 2 (10f)  Wendylina (In the Wings)
 01/08/09  Midday 3 f Nassau Stakes Gr 1 (10f)  Midsummer (Kingmambo)
 11/07/09  Tuscan Evening 4 f Royal Heroine Mile  Gr 2(8f) The Faraway Tree (Suave Dancer)
 11/07/09  Aqlaam 3 c Summer Mile Gr 2 (8f)  Bourbonella (Rainbow Quest)
 09/07/09  Arcano 2 c July Stakes Gr 2 (6f)  Tariysha (Daylami)
 08/07/09  Misheer 2 f Cherry Hinton Stakes Gr 2 (6f)  All For Laura (Cadeaux Genereux)


ARCANO (IRE) 2007 c b

Dream (GB) 2000
Desert (USA) 1983
(USA) 1977
Dancer (CAN) 1961
De Nom (USA) 1968
Courier (USA) 1979
Ivor (USA) 1965
Dee (USA) 1968
(IRE) 1991
Brave (USA) 1983
(USA) 1969
Princess (USA) 1974
(IRE) 1985
Reef (USA) 1968
(IRE) 1975
(IRE) 2002
(IRE) 1994
(IRE) 1985
Reef (USA) 1968
(FR) 1971
(IRE) 1989
(USA) 1978
(FR) 1981
(IRE) 1989
(GB) 1972
(GB) 1961
Palace (GB) 1961
(IRE) 1984
On Wood (IRE) 1976
(GB) 1977

Eurovision Sire Contest :)

It’s Eurovision week. All of the countries in Europe (and Israel which hasn’t realised it is in Asia) are sending forth various puppets, freaks, he-males, she-males and the occassional singer to battle for national pride.  I’ll use it as an excuse to review the best sires standing in each country and then see who gets my douze points.

Ireland/ Irlande.- Selection Montjeu

 Possible representatives: Montjeu, Galileo. Very hard to choose between these two as leaving aside the Coolmore hype both are undoubtedly very good stallions. Galileo is the more expensive and Montjeu’s offspring have a reputation as being a bit temperamental. Montjeu has had one more crop to represent him but I think overall that Galileo has had the better quality of mares.  It’s easy to forget just how good Montjeu’s first crop actually was siring the first 2 home in the Epsom and Irish Derby’s with 4 different colts. Authorised’s win last year made it two of out three possible Epsom Derby’s and he has plenty of contenders from Ballydoyle again this year which could lead to an incredible 3 from 4 Epsom Derby’s. Lest you think I’m just being biased given the name of this blog well I’ll rely on the stats on Coolmores website which give the relative percentage of stakes winners to runners which is 9% to 7.4% in favour of Montjeu. Accordingly I nominate Montjeu as the Irish selection

United Kingdom /le Royaume Uni.- Selection Pivotal

Possible representatives: Pivotal & Dansili. Not a lot between them and the future is very bright for both as they are now well established at the top tier of stallions and will enjoy the best of mares. Pivotal is having a great season highlighted by Falco’s impressive win in the French Guineas, but Dansili could match it with Famous Name due to run in the Irish Guineas on Saturday. Dansili has sired an Arc winner something that Pivotal will never do but my preference is for Pivotal as I think he overcome greater obstacles in reaching the top of the tree.

France/ La France- Selection Sinndar

Possible representatives: Sinndar, Anabaa & Muhtathir. Without Linamix there is a real dearth of quality stallions in France. Anabaa is the most expensive stallion in France, he spent time in Kentucky and has been a consistently good sire but to me he was never outstanding. Muhtathir has sired Doctor Dino and Satwa Queen both group 1 winners from smallish crops of lesser mares. Sinndar was unloved by Irish breeders but for me they have missed out on the chance to use one of the few stallions around capable of siring a superstar which he did with Shawanda and he came within inches of getting an Arc winner with Youmzain. For me Muhtathir is the best value of the three but value doesn’t come into these rankings and Sinndar gets the nod.

Germany/Allemagne-Selection Monsun

No contest here. An outstanding stallion with incredible percentages. It should be very interesting to see how he gets on with the bluebloods he has started to attract in the past couple of years. Also we should see a lot more of his progeny running in Ireland and the UK. Fairly priced at 150k the only quibble you might have is the lack of precocity of his runners.

Italy/l’Italie- Selection Martino Alonso

Not a very competitive national contest. The only contenders were Blu Air Force who did well with his first crop, Munir who produced a few stakes horses from minimal opportunities and a few horses who had failed elsewhere. Martino Alonso was the victor purely on the basis of one very tough and versatile horse in Ramonti which doesn’t say much for the opposition.

Czech Republic/la République tchèque- Selection Relaxed Gesture

I did a quick search to see who was standing there and was surprised to see a few familiar names such as Rainbows for Life, Dandoun and Capri. I selected Relaxed Gesture as the best prospect as he is a Group one winner by Indian Ridge from a nice Moyglare family and I would have thought he was worthy of a place at stud at somewhere more upmarket.

Greece/la Grèce- Selection Lujain

Interesting to see that Lujain ended up here. Never sired anything better than Group 3 from his stint at Dalhalm and unlikely that anybody even noticed he left.

Hungary/la Hongrie: Selection Overseas Transfer

Hungary was the home of Kinscem who was unbeaten in her 54 races and one of the greatest racemares of the 19th century. Alas the country is not currently the repository of much in the way of quality bloodstock. I found two stallions listed for the country Satin Stone a Mr Prospector half brother to our Greek entry Lujain and Overseas Transfer an Mtoto half brother to Rock of Gibraltar. Tough decision -Eenie meenie miney moe

 Russian Federation/ La Russie- Selection Massi Seraf

I never heard of Massi Seraf before but he is by Deputy Minister out of Miss Alleged which is an interesting pedigree. In recent years the only Russian sire of note is Leo Castelli the sire of Indian Charlie who spent a few years there before being repatriated to the States.

Turkey- Selection Sri Pekan

 There is a good range of stallions available in Turkey including familiar names such as Common Grounds (who I thought was dead), Distant Relative(who I thought was dead), Sea Hero the 1993 Kentucky Derby winner, Danehill’s brother Eagle Eyed, and Manila (who I thought was dead) who beat Dancing Brave in the Breeders Cup turf. Divine Light the sire of Natagora is also a new arrival. Sri Pekan never hit the heights when at Coolmore but was well capable of siring a stakes horse such as Alayan, Tropical Lady and Whilly. 

And the voting

Douze PointsPivotal, ok he won’t sire you a middle distance colt, but he will do everything else and his fillies stay quite well. To me he is still good value at £85k and Sheikh Mohammed made a smart move by buying a big chunk of him. He is the Habitat of our times and his record is only going to improve. Terry Wogan would be delighted….

Dix PointsMontjeu. Lost a few points for temperament issues but apart from that he is the real deal and keeps delivering group winners over 10 furlongs plus and dont forget both his Epsom Derby winners were Group one winners at 2

Huit Points- Monsun. His stakes winner statistics are easily the best of any stallion around but I still can’t get away from the impression given by the careers of Manduro, Shirocco and now Getaway that you need to wait until they are 4 or 5 before you get a real racehorse. 

Six Points- Sinndar- A fair bit behind the stallions listed above but he is a good sire of racehorses even if the commercial market don’t appreciate him.

Deux Points- Sri Pekan- Free of Northern Dancer and capable of getting a group performer.

Une Point- Martino Alonso. DId I mention he sired Ramonti?

Null Points-Relaxed Gesture, Lujain, Massi Seraf, Overseas Transfer