Value Sires Part 1: Hellbent proves popular

9 min read
In our first instalment of 'Value Sires' TTR AusNZ has canvassed Louis Mihalyka of Laurel Oak Bloodstock (FBAA), Yarraman Park's Director Harry Mitchell and Group 1-winning trainer John O'Shea to gauge their perceptions of value amidst the recently unveiled stallion fees across Australasia.

Cover image courtesy of Darley

The term ‘value’ can carry varied interpretations depending on the perspective of the audience.

TTR AusNZ has classified it into four categories: proven sires standing for a fee of $50,000 (inc GST) and above, proven sires priced at $40,000 (inc GST) and below, second and third-season sires still perceived standing at a value fee, and new sires standing at any fee (stallions without runners).

$100k plus club

This season sees Australia's reigning Champion Sire, I Am Invincible, sharing the spotlight with Widden Stud’s Zoustar as the country's most expensive stallions, commanding a fee of $275,000 (inc GST), while Newgate Farm’s statistically freakish Extreme Choice also remains at $275,000 (inc GST). Close on their heels is Arrowfield Stud’s four-time Champion Sire, Snitzel, with a fee of $247,500 (inc GST).

Gallery: Australia's reigning Champion Sire, I Am Invincible, sharing the spotlight with Widden Stud’s Zoustar and Newgate’s Extreme Choice as the country's most expensive stallions

Across the Tasman, Waikato Stud’s superstar Savabeel retains his status as New Zealand’s priciest sire, commanding a fee of $100,000 (plus GST). Joining him in the $100k plus club is Darley’s shuttler Too Darn Hot (GB).

Too Darn Hot, the son of Dubawi (Ire), initially stood at a fee of $44,000 (inc GST) during his first four seasons shuttling. However, after a stellar start with nine individual winners and the G1 Champagne S. victor Broadsiding, his fee skyrocketed to $110,000 (inc GST).

Proven Sires $50k plus

Stallions such as I Am Invincible, Zoustar, Extreme Choice and So You Think (NZ) are eligible for this category.

Louis Mihalyka of Laurel Oak Bloodstock (FBAA) told The Thoroughbred Report, “I guess ‘value’ means trying to predict which ones will go up in the future from their current fee.

“I guess ‘value’ means trying to predict which ones will go up in the future from their current fee.” - Louis Mihalyka

“Pierata ($66,000 (inc GST) and The Autumn Sun ($66,000 (inc GST) are both on $60,000 plus this year and are going well enough to suggest they could go up from here in the future.”

Arrowfield Stud’s The Autumn Sun, a son of the breed shaper Redoute’s Choice. Since April, he has sired three individual Group 1 winners: Autumn Angel (G1 Australian Oaks), Vibrant Sun (G1 Australasian Oaks), and Coco Sun (G1 South Australian Derby).

Furthermore, the five-time Group 1 winner sired the trifecta in the G1 Australasian Oaks and has produced four individual stakes winners across nine stakes races, along with nine stakes-performed horses. Priced at $66,000 (inc GST) for the upcoming season, The Autumn Sun continues to attract attention.

The Autumn Sun | Standing at Arrowfield

Mihalyka’s second choice, Pierata, initially stood at Aquis before being acquired by Victoria’s Yulong. The son of Pierro’s first runners this season have impressed, with seven individual winners and two stakes winners, in addition to five stakes-performed horses.

Among them, Coleman clinched the G3 Chairman’s S. and was placed in the prestigious G1 Golden Slipper S. and G1 Sires’ Produce S. Tobeornottobe seized the G3 Thoroughbred Breeders S. after a commendable third-place finish in the G3 Blue Diamond Preview (Fillies). Pierata’s son Fearless also showed promise with placed efforts in the G1 Champagne S. and the G3 Canonbury S.

Like The Autumn Sun, Pierata will also stand for $66,000 (inc GST).

Pierata | Standing at Yulong

Renowned Group 1-winning trainer John O’Shea, alongside managing his thriving Randwick-based stable, delves into breeding as well. O’Shea identifies 'The Beast from The East' Maurice (Jpn) as an exceptional value proposition.

“For me a horse like Maurice is by far and away fantastic value for what he’s done and what his fee is $55,000 (inc GST). I know the market generally is a little off him but I don’t think it’s justifiably so.

“I think for what you get he really is unbelievable value.”

Maurice (Jpn) | Standing at Arrowfield

Maurice, a six-time Group 1 winner in Japan and Hong Kong, has left a significant imprint as a sire with a growing 28 stakes winners globally. In Australia, he has showcased his versatility by siring Classic winners, top-tier sprinters, and stakes-winning juveniles.

His progeny includes Hitotsu, who claimed victories in the G1 VRC Derby, G1 Australian Derby, and G1 Australian Guineas, now standing alongside his sire at Arrowfield Stud. Another son, Mazu, has proven his mettle among the elite sprinters, securing success in the G1 Doomben 10,000 and the G2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint. Additionally, Mazu was placed in prestigious races like the G1 TJ Smith S. and The Everest.

Proven below $40,000

Yarraman Parks' Director Harry Mitchell told TTR AusNZ, “Obviously, I think Hellbent’s pretty good value on what he’s done there’s no doubt about that.”

“Obviously, I think Hellbent’s pretty good value on what he’s done there’s no doubt about that.” - Harry Mitchell

Also sharing Mitchell’s opinion is O’Shea, “Hellbent is getting a bit dearer now but two Group 1 winners, he’s still of incredible value.”

Hellbent, a Group 1-winning son of I Am Invincible started his career at $27,500 (inc GST) before a slight decrease to $22,000 (inc GST). The results of his first crops have seen Hellbent now priced at $38,500 (inc GST) for the last two seasons.

His daughter's Magic Time and Benedetta have both enjoyed Group 1 success this season. Magic Time was Hellbent’s first Group 1 winner when she saluted in the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S. and then this autumn added a second elite-level success in the G1 All-Aged S. The classy Benedetta had been promising to win a Group 1 and finally on Saturday in the G1 Goodwood H.

Hellbent | Standing at Yarraman Park Stud

The two outstanding mares are joined by Group 2-winning juvenile Kristilli, G2 Guy Walter S. victress Hell Hath No Fury and Fully Lit, who claimed the R. Listed Inglis Millennium and was placed in the G3 Black Opal S.

Value play

This season’s first-crop sires are about to enter their second season as stallions with runners. For many, whether it's breeders, trainers, buyers or sellers they still represent value. While those stallions without runners are entering their third and fourth seasons of covering.

Among those impressing O’Shea is Widden Stud’s Zousain, “Of those really young stallions, Zousain is doing a great job and he’s relatively good value.

“He’s had some really nice runners and they’ve sold well at the sales. Zousain produces nice horses and those sorts of stallions are doing a great job.”

Zousain | Standing at Widden Stud

Zousain has risen to $27,500 (inc GST) this season after serving last season for $22,000 (inc GST). The son of Zoustar, who stands alongside his sire at Widden Stud enjoyed a fantastic debut season with his first runners with eight individual winners.

His daughter Drifting claimed the G3 Magic Night S., while Zouna, Chateau Miraval and The Dabble Effect have all been stakes-placed.

Mihalyka picking stallion on the verge of covering their third books said, “Oh, for a crystal ball as there is often so much value in these second and third season discounted sires. There are so many options. No fun not having a pick though, so I will pick Portland Sky, as a 3-year-old Oakleigh Plate winners have been stud successes (Snitzel, Fastnet Rock, Starspangledbanner) and Profiteer, as he would likely have won the Golden Slipper on a dry track.”

“The son of Zoustar (Zousain), who stands alongside his sire at Widden Stud enjoyed a fantastic debut season with his first runners with eight individual winners.”

Like Zousain, Portland Sky is a resident of Widden Stud. The son of Deep Field will stand for a reduced fee of $19,800 (inc GST). The Newgate Stud-based Profiteer stands alongside his sire Capitalist. Profiteer was a fast 2-year-old winning the R. Listed Inglis Millennium and was placed in the G2 Todman S.

Although not returning to Australia this season, O’Shea feels Palace Pier (GB) represented fantastic value at $55,000 (inc GST) in his debut season, “I thought Palace Pier, a son of Kingman is interesting. He was sort on the same basis as Too Darn Hot in his first-season, very good value. He was a horse with a real pedigree and performance by a Champion Sire, and with a sireline that works really well.

“Those sorts of stallions I could buy their progeny every day of the week.”

New boys

Mitchell rates two sons of I Am Invincible set to serve their debut books this season, “I think King’s Gambit is pretty good.

“I also like Hawaii Five Oh. He had talent, as did King’s Gambit. They’re both by my horse, Vinnie, but I reckon that way his sons are going they’re not bad value those horses.

“They are genuinely the ones I like.”

King's Gambit | Standing at Yarraman Park Stud

Hawaii Five Oh, a royally bred son of I Am Invincible, was a dual Group 3 winner and placed in the G1 Stradbroke H. behind The Everest winner, Think About It (So You Think {NZ}). Hawaii Five Oh is standing his debut season at Vinery Stud for $16,500 (inc GST).

Meanwhile, the Gooree Park Stud-bred King’s Gambit will commence his career at Newgate Stud, standing for a fee of $22,000 (inc GST). King’s Gambit won the G2 Roman Consul S. and the Listed Debutant S. and was placed in the G1 Golden Slipper.

O’Shea elected Darley’s new recruit Native Trail (GB), a triple Group 1-winning son of Oasis Dream (GB) as a horse with upside, “I thought he represented good value.”

Hawaii Five Oh | Standing at Vinery Stud

Native Trail won the G1 Dewhurst S. and the G1 National S. as a 2-year-old, before clinching the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas at three. He stands his debut season in the Southern Hemisphere for $27,500 (inc GST).

Mihalyka elects two Group 1-winning colts, “Both Shinzo and Ozzmosis appear good value in their first seasons. While each only won one Group 1, they were both in stallion-making races, and both are products of elite sirelines.”

Shinzo, a son of Snitzel, who claimed the G1 Golden Slipper, will commence his career at Coolmore for a fee of $55,000 (inc GST). While Zoustar’s son Ozzmosis, who won the G1 Coolmore Stud S. has retired to Newgate Farm and is standing for $44,000 (inc GST).

Value Sires
Louis Mihalyka
Laurel Oak Bloodstock
Harry Mitchell
Yarraman Park Stud
John O'Shea