Ten Best Thoroughbred Sires in past 60 years
“The past 60 years has seen the growth of the shuttle stallion concept, changing the Australian breeding industry forever”.
By TONY ARROLD
Acknowledge: Tony Arrold; ‘The Australian’
Featured Image: ‘Danehill’
From Horse Racing; October 8, 2020
The stallion shuttle era and the explosion of stallion services into double-century figures are two notable milestones of Australia’s thoroughbred breeding industry – not merely for the past 60 years, but in the 221 years since the first recorded thoroughbred stallion, the British-bred Young Rockingham, was led ashore in Sydney Cove.
The dual-hemisphere stallion idea was tested here in 1976 with four young stallions sent from Ireland’s then fledgling Coolmore Stud. The bold but risky and expensive exercise was relaunched in 1989, when the five pioneering stallions included Coolmore’s Last Tycoon, subsequently champion sire for 1993-94.
The shuttle squad of seven in 1990 included Danehill, a Coolmore-Arrowfield Stud joint venture, who was destined to become the phenomenon of dual-hemisphere history, snaring multiple sire’s titles in Europe and Australia, with his record nine in the latter boosted by a further seven crowns claimed by his sons Redoute’s Choice (three), Fastnet Rock (two), Exceed And Excel and Flying Spur, and the past four by his grandson Snitzel.
In tandem with the shuttle fashion growth – the stallion intake from Europe, North America and Japan rose astonishingly to 66 in 1996 – was the startling trend of soaring mare covers.
Danehill became a centurion server in his fifth season, 1994, but he has been put in the shade in the Lothario stakes – the 2019 spring saw nine stallions each serving an average 225 mares after a 2018 high, when 14 stallions each covered a 200-plus book.
10 Best Sires
The stallion shuttle era and the explosion of stallion services into double-century figures are two notable milestones of Australia’s thoroughbred breeding industry.
1.Danehill (US) 1986 by Danzig
2.Sir Tristram (Ire) 1971 by Sir Ivor
3.Better Boy (Ire) 1951, by My Babu
4.Zabeel (NZ) 1986 by Sir Tristram
5.Star Kingdom (Ire) 1946 by Stardust
6.Bletchingly (Aus) 1970 by Biscay
7.Redoute’s Choice (Aus) 1996 by Danehill
8.Wilkes (Fra) 1952 by Court Martial
9.Encosta de Lago (Aus) 1993 by Fairy King
10.Showdown (GB) 1961 by Infatuation