Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and defining value is a very subjective measure. Looking at the published fees for 2013 there were a few fees that took my eye as representing particularly poor value. I wouldn’t have time to list all the overpriced first season sires, so I’m restricting myself to those sires with runners……
Poor Value Sires
1. High Chaparral (1999 Sadler’s Wells ex Kasora by Darshaan) 2013 fee €25,000
I could just cut and paste my comments from last year regarding High Chaparral- yes he was a great racehorse, yes he has done very well in Australia/New Zealand but there is no way his European results merit a €25000 fee. It is extraordinary to think that he has yet to sire a European Group 1 winner from his huge number of European conceived progeny. His sales returns have been good for the past two years but sooner rather than later European breeders will wake up to the fact that he is only managing 3% stakes winners and is due a significant cut in fee. By way of comparison for the same fee you could access Dalakhani who has 5% stakes winners and has sired 5 individual European Group 1 winners.
2. Footstepsinthesand (2002 Giant’s Causeway ex Glatisant by Rainbow Quest) 2013 fee €10000
Not as egregiously bad value as his stud mate but nonetheless I think Footsteps has been a disappointment and is now overpriced. He has managed only 2% stakes winners and if you take into account that his stud fee was over 20k for his first three years at stud, his record is not going to improve in the coming years. His median for the past two years has hovered around his stud fee so the commercial market is hardly in love with him. Interestingly he is the last and only Storm Cat line horse now in Coolmore Ireland but I’m sure if a suitable offer came from overseas, Coolmore would be happy to offload him and that particular experiment would come to an end without too many tears being shed by Ireland’s breeders. By way of comparison you could use Azamour for the same fee and he has 4% stakes winners.
3. Elusive City (2000 Elusive Quality ex Star of Paris by Dayjur) 2013 fee €12,500
I wrote about Elusive City last year when he was France’s most expensive stallion at €15000. He no longer holds this particular title but he still remains a sire who manages only 2% stakes winners and he remains considerably overpriced. You could pick 20 stallions who represent better value but two similarly priced Mr Prospector line stallions that are far better sires (albeit standing in the UK) are Medicean and Zamindar.
4. Teofilo (2004 Galileo ex Speirbhean by Danehill ) 2013 fee €35,000
I might be eating my words on this one, given that he produced three very nice two year old colts last year in Loch Garman, Havana Gold and Trading Leather. However I’m not arguing that Teofilo isn’t capable of producing high class horses but to me he didn’t do enough last year to justify a hike from €25000 to €35000. This is particularly the case when I felt that his three year olds were somewhat disappointing although admittedly the absence of his first crop star Parish Hall had a big impact on this. His stud fee owes a lot to the growing belief in Galileo as a sire of sires and the fact that he shares the Galileo/Danehill cross with Frankel probably helps along with some strong Autumn sales results. People are taking a punt of fashion and on potential and although he is an interesting sire his fee should have stayed at its 2012 level until he truly delivered on that potential. By way of comparison at the exact same fee, his stud mate Cape Cross has demonstrated his ability to produce the goods and I would rather the proven over the possible any day.