are the facts - The Australian Studbook have released official covering
statistics for the 2016 breeding season which is always interesting reading as
we see just which stallions were the top choice for our breeders.
Top 20 Busiest Sires in Australia for 2016 (source Australian Studbook as at
Top of the heap is Widden Stud's quiet achiever Nicconi, who sired his tenth
stakes-winner on Saturday when Time Awaits landed the Listed SAJC Cinderella
Stakes at Morphettville.
He might be a 'bread and butter' stallion, but Nicconi is proven, reliable, gets
a good type and was obviously priced at a level to please given he covered 110
more mares that he did last year.
Woodside Park's reigning Champion 2YO Sire Written Tycoon set a new benchmark
for himself in covering his biggest ever book of 224 mares. Riding on the back
of siring last year's Golden Slipper winner Capitalist, 2016 was always going
to be a break out year for this stallion, who turns 15 this year and is
completely free of Danzig blood.
Widden Stud's Star Witness had the stars align to achieve his biggest ever book
of 220 mares. His service fee was dropped for last spring to $16,500, his
lowest fee to date and shortly after he produced dual Group I winner Global
Glamour and Group II winning colt Star Turn…. breeders couldn't book in quick
enough once the tide started to turn!
Newgate Farm's Dissident was the right horse in the right place this year.
In 2015, the Australian Horse of the Year covered 197 mares at a fee of $38,500,
but last year the son of Sebring was facing stiff competition from his barn
mate and paternal half-brother Criterion, who was the new big banger at Newgate
priced at $35,750.
Dissident's fee was reduced slightly to $33,000 and when Criterion hit a hurdle
with fertility, he was right there ready and waiting to pick up those mares
still keen to be covered by another just as good son of Sebring.
Criterion has been declared sub-fertile getting just 15 mares in foal, so while
his debut season ended in tears, for Dissident it was the cloud with the silver
Yarraman Park's I Am Invincible is hotter than hot and breeders know it. He
might be standing now at five times his original service fee of $11,000, but he's
worth every penny.
Newgate Farm's Deep Field actually dropped back a bit in his second season going
from 257 mares in 2015 to 204 last year.
The numbers this horse will have when his progeny start racing are going to give
him a distinct numerical advantage over his peers… always assuming his progeny can
As an example, his Group I winning full brother Shooting to Win stands at
Darley and has covered books of 156 and 148 mares.
The most popular first season sire turns out to be Aquis Farm's brilliant Snitzel
sprinter Spill the Beans, who has nosed out Coolmore's Golden Slipper winner
Vancouver by just a couple of mares.
A Group II winner from the family of champion filly and Australian Horse of the
Year Bounding Away, Spill the Beans covered 201 mares at a fee of $11,000.
He was also the busiest sire in Queensland by quite a margin over Eureka Stud's
Spirit of Boom, who covered 146 mares at $11,000.
Coolmore's So You Think appears next having covered 188 mares at a fee of
$49,500, with bookings no doubt increasing as the spring went on and his stock
started to show their hand.
Now here we are in the autumn and So You Think has two Group I winners on the board
in Inference and La Bella Diosa, so breeders who thought he had irons in the
fire, have been proven correct.
The burgeoning success of So You Think may have helped the cause at Arrowfield
with their Champion 3YO Dundeel, another son of So You Think's sire High Chaparral.
Dundeel covered his biggest book of 182 mares last year at a fee of $27,500 and
encouraging sales results with his first yearlings this year give reason for
Widden Stud's Sebring and Arrowfield's Snitzel were the most expensive sires in
the Top 20 busiest list, the former covering 185 mares at $77,000 and the
latter covering 169 mares at $110,000.
It was the first year since 2011 that Snitzel has covered less than 200 mares,
with those past huge books currently driving his runaway success on the track.
Snitzel leads the Australian General Sires List with progeny earnings
approaching $9million, as well as topping the 2YO Sires List and 3YO Sires List.
Everywhere you turn, there's a Snitzel!
The days of shuttle stallions dominating the landscape are clearly over with
the most popular shuttlers being Toronado (IRE), who covered 142 mares at
Swettenham Stud, Dream Ahead (USA), who covered 135 mares at Emirates and More
Than Ready (USA) and Real Impact (Jpn), who both covered 134 mares at Vinery
and Arrowfield respectively.