For breeders, the relationship between a stallion’s service fee and the price of his yearlings represents the cutting edge of profitability.
In Australia, where more Stakes winners are sold as yearlings at auction than in any other major racing country, the equation is even more relevant.
A recent study by Thoroughbred Daily News (TDN) reveals that the Darley stallions who will stand in Australia in 2019, and who had 25 or more yearlings sold at auction this year, are among the best value available. When comparing all stallions in Australia by fee ratio, the Darley stallions are represented four times in the top ten.
First-crop sire Kermadec led the way with his fee only making up 17% of his yearling average and his young companion Exosphere holding an average return on investment of 4.2 times his 2019 service fee. Proven performer Exceed And Excel also maintained impressive statistics, and when you add in sale topper Brazen Beau, the figures stack up.
Exceed And Excel has had 39 yearlings sell at this year’s sales for an average of $291,744. He will stand at a fee of $88,000 this year, and if he maintains his average breeders could receive up to 3.31 times their return on investment.
Lot 337: Colt by Exceed And Excel x Written dash sells for 1.7 million at the 2019 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale
Brazen Beau, whose first crop has performed with distinction on the racetrack, and who has topped two major yearling sales this year, will stand for $49,500, 20 per cent of his average yearling price.
By comparison, the TDN study showed the service-fee-to-price ratio among Australia’s highest-priced stallions stands at more than 50 per cent.
Even among those Darley stallions who didn’t have 25 yearlings offered in Australia this year, the comparisons are difficult to ignore.
Lonhro for example, who will stand for $77,000, had 12 yearlings go through the ring for an average of $260,000, his fee only making up 30% of his yearling average.