published: 01 Apr 2015 in General
John Boyce is a bloodstock and pedigree analyst. A former editor of The Thoroughbred Breeder and Pacemaker, he was Darley’s Group Head of Marketing and now conducts bloodstock analysis and oversees copywriting for the organisation.
EVERY major racing nation needs a dominant sire or dominant sires. While Redoute’s Choice has filled that role in Australia for several years now, challenged as he is by the likes of Fastnet Rock and Exceed and Excel, Europe has always had a supreme sire from 1985, the year Sadler’s Wells retired to stud. When this great stallion son of Northern Dancer came to the end of his long and illustrious career, up popped another great one in the form of his Derby-winning son Galileo. Between them they have provided 30 years of top class service to the European industry.
However Europe is blessed with many excellent stallions and exciting prospects at the moment. In this article, we are examining active sires who already have runners on the track. Moreover, by using Timeform ratings to assess the high achievers, we will get a unique insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each sire.
There are three Timeform measures that are very useful in defining a leading sire. The first is the average TFR of his best 10 runners. There is no hiding place with this statistic: one or two outstanding runners won’t be good enough to ensure a high score. The second is the ratio
of runners getting to and beyond a TFR of 100. This statistic casts a slightly wider net and helps to even out the discrepancies in quantity of runners. The third and final one is a sire’s overall average TFR. This number gives us an insight into a sire’s ability to have a positive effect on most of his runners, not just the very best.
As we will see from the accompanying table, different sires are good at different things. We have ranked our table by the ratio of a sire’s runners that are rated 100 or higher. This is equivalent to good Listed horses and above.
Well, there is no escaping him. Galileo with 38.6% TF100+ horses is the best sire in Europe at the moment. His overall average of 91.8% is also the best in the business as is his top 10 average of 132. To put this last number in context, suffice to say that only Danehill and Sadler’s Wells have ever got past 130 in the 25 years to 2014. It must be said that this particular measure is highly dependent on the longevity of a sire’s career as he is likely to improve his top 10 throughout his career.
We all know that Ireland-based Galileo gets the very best mares and therefore why shouldn’t he be the best sire around? While that is generally true, it has to be said that not all stallions can get the best out of the best mares. Indeed, research points to the fact that many who earn the support of better mares often fail to capitalise, but with Galileo it’s a different story. When you cast an eye over what his mares have done with other sires, it quickly becomes apparent how good this sire really is: with other sires, his mares produced 31.3% good enough to get to or beyond that TF100 mark and their overall average was 87.5. As we can see, Galileo comfortably beats these two numbers.
It is generally accepted Dubawi is the best sire in Britain and the Timeform figures do confirm this fact. With 31% TF100+ runners, he’s the only other sire above the 30% mark. His 126 average TFR for his top 10 runners is excellent, particularly for a stallion in his sixth year. Only Dansili’s 128 and Pivotal’s 126 can match or better his number, and Dansili was in his 11th year in 2014 while Pivotal was in his 15th. A fairer comparison would be to use Dansili’s top 10 average of 122 and Pivotal’s
121 after six years. Dubawi’s mares set a standard of 23.8% TF100+ runners when covered by other sires, so the fact that he could add in excess of seven points is excellent. It will be interesting to see what happens when his best-bred crops start to race in earnest.
Dalakhani’s 26.6% was achieved with the likes of classic winners Conduit and Reliable Man. You can be sure that with the support of his owner-breeder HH The Aga Khan, he lacked nothing in opportunity.
Next on our list is Juddmonte’s Dansili, Danehill’s best northern hemisphere stallion son, with 26.1% runners rated 100 or more. Dansili has got as much from his mares as any other stallion and his 128 average for his best 10, headed by outstanding gallopers Harbinger and Rail Link, could easily creep closer to the 130 mark during the next few years.
Of the younger sires on our list, the obvious one to keep an eye on is Galileo’s half-brother Sea The Stars. With just two years under his belt he already has an impressive TF100+ ratio of 25.9% and the third highest overall average of 88.5. That said, the average posted
by his mares with other sires is a massive 42%. It’s very unlikely Sea The Stars, or any other sire for that matter, could reach this level of success. It is a fact of life that many of his first crop mates were proven older mares. n
|Sea The Stars||Cape Cross||2||85||22||25.9||88.5||115.4|
|Oasis Dream||Green Desert||8||561||141||25.1||86.5||122.7|
|Cape Cross||Green Desert||12||729||168||23||84||124.2|
|Rock Of Gibraltar||Danehill||9||453||94||20.8||82||122.7|
|Invincible Spirit||Green Desert||9||640||132||20.6||84||125.4|
|Exceed And Excel||Danehill||7||461||80||17.4||81.1||120.5|
|Holy Roman Emperor||Danehill||5||287||43||15||80.3||120.1|
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