Breed to Race – Let’s Take a Look at Queensland
Earlier this month we published two very well read stories highlighting some of the value sires priced below $10,000 that might offer owner breeders a better chance of producing that much longed for winner and this week we’ve turned the focus to Queensland which in the past two years has produced two bargain priced stallions that have achieved astonishing results.
Of course, we’re talking about Spirit of Boom and Better Than Ready.
As a dual Group I winner of over $2.4 million in prizemoney, there was never any doubt Spirit of Boom was a great racehorse and he is a sibling to another Group I winning sprinter in Temple of Boom, but let’s be honest here, the pedigree page was hardly what many breeders see as commercial.
His sire Sequalo was a prolific source of winners, but Spirit Boom was his best offspring by a long way, and his stakes-placed dam Temple Spirit has produced two Group I winners, but her family is completely barren of Black Type.
All of that raised some big questions for anybody contemplating Spirit of Boom in his first season, but priced attractively at $11,000 he covered 154 mares and has never looked back.
Last season he dominated the Australian first season sires list by winners churning out 18 including five stakes-winners to finish second by earnings to only Zoustar, whose initial service fee was $44,000.
To stand toe to toe with a highly commercial sire like Zoustar, has made Spirit of Boom a hot commodity and his yearlings have since sold through the roof selling for as much as $500,000. (Click here to read the story on $500,000 Warfare, a winner last week).
His service shot to $55,000 last spring when he covered 217 mares and this year Eureka Stud have priced him at $44,000.
You wouldn’t think lightning could strike twice, but it has with Lyndhurst Stud’s Better Than Ready currently the leading two year-old sire in the country by winners, his tally of 20 on a par with I Am Invincible and one ahead of Snitzel.
A listed winning sprinter by champion sire and proven sire of sires More Than Ready (USA), Better Than Ready was nowhere near as good a racehorse as Spirit of Boom, but did have a stronger pedigree on paper being from a half-sister to stakes-winning sprinters Publishing and Miss Mooney Mooney from the family of champion two year-old Rancher..
He started at a fee of $9,900 covering 138 mares and like Spirit Boom has not looked back proving a remarkable source of precocious fast juveniles.
When word started to spread about the ability shown by Better Than Ready two year-olds, he covered 236 mares last spring and this year has a fee increase to $33,000.
Spirit of Boom and Better Than Ready are now the two highest priced sires in Queensland, so no longer fit the parameters for this story which seeks to find the more modestly priced sires, but if you believe things come in threes then maybe there’s another horse out there to follow the trail blazed by these two remarkable young sires.
If you’re looking for proven value under $10,000 in Queensland it’s impossible to go past Aquis Farm’s Domesday.
A blue-blooded son of Red Ransom (USA) that started his career in NSW for Darley, Domesday is one of those quiet achievers that always seems to bob up with a seriously good horse and from the point of view of a breed to race broodmare owner, that’s exactly what you want.
Last season it was Group I ATC Coolmore Classic winner Daysee Doom and this season he sired Victoria Derby winner Extra Brut and even though he’s rising 17, Domesday has good fertility and has covered 100 plus books of mares since switching to Queensland. A service to him at $9,900 is money well spent.
Raheen Stud were thinking outside the square in securing Fastnet Rock’s talented Group I winning son Heroic Valour, who covered 116 mares last spring.
Bred in Australia at Coolmore, but sold at Karaka through the Curraghmore Stud draft to David Ellis for $400,000, Heroic Valour was an undefeated Group I winning two year-old in New Zealand.
Like Spirit Boom, he’s a sibling to another Group I winner in $2million earner and AJC Doncaster Handicap winner Triple Honour, and while his race record as an older horse failed to match his early potential, there is no doubt Heroic Valour has good looks and Group I ability.
Fastnet Rock is well proven as a sire of sires through horses such as Hinchinbrook, Smart Missile and Foxwedge, so there is every reason to believe Heroic Valour can make an impression and priced at $7,700, he appeals as a good gamble.
In all honesty the jury is out on Snitzel as a sire of top class commercial sires with a number of his high profile Group I winning sons now at stud and only achieving moderate success so far after receiving good opportunity.
It only takes one horse to turn that around and while plenty are tipping Russian Revolution as that horse, Queensland breeders will be hoping it’s Group II BRC QTC Cup winner Spill the Beans.
Retired to Aquis at the end of his three year-old season, it’s fair to say he’s a horse that probably had more to offer if we take a line on his three-quarter sister Kenedna.
By Not a Single Doubt, she was a Group II winner at three and four, but has blossomed this season to win the Group I ATC Coolmore Legacy and BRC Doomben Cup with her trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace harbouring big plans for the $2million earner in the spring.
Kenedna and Spill the Beans are from Falbrav (IRE) mare Miss Dodwell, who comes from an outstanding Black Type family featuring Australian Horse of the Year Bounding Away. This is a family that can do anything, they sprint, stay and everything in between, so underestimate Spill the Beans at your peril.
He was the busiest first season sire in Australia in 2016 covering 202 mares and if the resulting crop of now rising two year-olds come out running then this will be the last time you go to Spill the Beans at $11,000.
Footnote : Many of you will read this story and think, hang on where’s Sidestep? Currently the leading first season sire in Australia by earnings thanks to his Golden Slipper winning daughter Kiamichi, Sidestep did start his stud career at Darley in NSW before moving to Telemon Thoroughbreds last spring.
He stood his first three seasons at a fee of $11,000 in the Hunter Valley and then was priced at $7,700 last year in Queensland and covered 57 mares. Given his overwhelming success, Sidestep stands this spring at $22,000 and will undoubtedly be popular!