What Could Have Been
Tara Madgwick - Monday June 25
The last Group I race of the Australian season, the Group I Tatts Tiara delivered victory for top class mare Prompt Response and got us thinking about her sire Beneteau and just what could have been had he not died after producing just two crops of foals at Arrowfield Stud.

BeneteauArrowfield have always had the policy of supporting good looking talented sons of their champion sires and Beneteau fit that profile when he retired to stud in 2011.

By champion sire Redoute's Choice, Beneteau was bred by Arrowfield and partners and made $1million when offered at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and bought by Blue Sky Bloodstock.

He started just six times as a two year-old winning his first two starts before finishing third in the Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes and then returned to Sydney to be fifth in the Golden Slipper and sixth in the Champagne Stakes.

He was a good horse, but by no means a great one, so was priced at $11,000 and given the chance to make his own luck at stud.

His two crops of 131 foals, now four and five year-olds have produced 105 runners with 73 winners, 10 of which are stakes-winners headed by his Group I winners Prompt Response (image Steve Hart) and Lasqueti Spirit plus a further four Group winners.

Prompt ResponseThat's 9.5% stakes-winners to runners which marks him as a seriously good sire.

The results achieved by a horse like Beneteau go a long way to explaining why horses like Scissor Kick, Panzer Division and this year Pariah are given their chance at Arrowfield.

The lack of a Group I win on the resume does hold back the service fee charged for a sire, but in no way holds back their chance of success, just look at horses like I Am Invincible and Written Tycoon, two of the most commercial sires in the country.

When evaluating the merits of first season sires it's always good to look past the obvious Group I victories and take into consideration type and pedigree, look hard at what is standing in front of you rather than a race record which can sometimes be misleading.

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