Written Tycoon will easily claim his fourth consecutive leading Victorian Sires’ title, but the challenge for Woodside Park’s star is likely to get much tougher in the coming years and the raft of investment in the state should see a new band of top young stallions emerge.
As it stands, Written Tycoon’s progeny have won nearly $9.8 million this season, with a new best for the stallion firmly on the cards should they earn a combined $340,000 before August 1.
The total of 140 winners is short of the high-water mark of 153 last season but will represent at least his second-best season in that regard and he is currently seventh on the overall Australian Sires’ Table. He had a pair of Group 1 winners in 2018/19, Booker and Despatch, two of his six stakes winners for the season.
While there is an array of young stallions ready to chase his title as Victoria’s pre-eminent sire, the tough thing for them is the sheer numbers he has getting to the track in the coming years. His biggest-ever book was in 2016 when he served 226 mares and that crop hits the track this coming season, while his second biggest book of 183 was his current 2-year-old crop.
He served books of 168 and 162 in 2017 and 2018, and with huge support from local breeders, he will have big numbers at the races in the coming years.
Magnus’ consistency shines through
Magnus will finish second in the Victorian Sires’ race after another very consistent season from the Sun Stud staple. He has had 91 of his progeny victorious this season, earning just short of $6 million, which is still within sight of his career high of $6.18 million set in 2014-15.
He has now been a Top 25 stallion in Australia for five consecutive years and has had four stakes winners this season. He is another one whose biggest-ever crop, in his case off a book of 178, will hit the track in 2019/20.
Fellow Sun Stud stallion Bel Esprit first entered the Top 30 stallions bracket in the 2009-10 season, with four crops at the track and he has been at that level or above in every season since.
He is on the precipice of claiming 100 winners in the season for a seventh time after a strong campaign from his progeny, who have earned $5.5 million, the highest level for four seasons, including the stakes winners Belwazi and Tactical Advantage.
He continues to attract good strong books of mares, and even ahead of his 17th season at stud, should continue to have good numbers on both quality and quantity at the track for some time yet.
Chatswood Stud’s Reward For Effort continues to build his resume and has surpassed 100 winners for the first time this season and will be fourth on the Victorian table this year. He has had really good numbers in recent years, so you can only see him building his profile over the next couple of seasons.
Foxwedge on his way
Foxwedge is the stallion who should assume a spot inside the Top 5 Victorian stallions, having moved to Woodside Park this season, he doesn’t feature for 2018/19, but as a guide to where he sits, his progeny have earned $4.8 million this year, which would have put him in fourth.
He has good numbers and quality from his previous time at Newgate to ensure he continues to produce winners as he transitions to Victoria.
Helmet, who hasn’t stood at Darley’s Northwood Park since 2017, has had 89 winners for the season and his progeny have earned $4.4 million, more than any on Darley’s current Victorian roster.
Sepoy is the leader of the active Darley sires with his progeny earning $4.2 million with 66 winners, including a career-high of four at stakes level with four crops now at the track.
Street Boss (USA) had had a career-high of his own with 67 winners in Australia this season, with his progeny earning $3.2 million.
Brazen Beau building
Darley’s young sires are certainly ready to make an impression headed by Brazen Beau, who will win the Victorian First-season Sires’ title with some ease.
He has had six winners and his progeny have earned $1.35 million headed by Accession, to be third overall in the Australian first-season sire standings. Given the support his second crop have got at the yearling sales, with sales up to $1.15 million, you’d suggest there is plenty of quality to come.
The son of I Am Invincible looks to one who can seriously challenge Written Tycoon as leading Victorian sire in the medium-term future should Darley keep him in the state.
Swettenham Stud’s Toronado (Ire) also had a good first season with his progeny on the track, with five winners highlighted by Prince of Sussex. He has had good numbers to back up those promising early results.
Fiorente (Ire) will be the leading Victorian-based second-season sire having enjoyed a breakout 2018/19 with his progeny earning $2.4m. There have been 24 individual winners and significantly four stakes winners. He gets a deserved service fee bump to $27,500 (inc GST) this year and his first crop should improve again heading into their 4-year-old season.
Ill-fated Unencumbered continues to remind those at Three Bridges what they lost with 37 winners with two crops at the track.
Another promising second-season stallion, Shamus Award, looks a great addition to Victoria for the coming season, having had 34 winners including a Group 1 winner Mr Quickie in his two crops to the track. He arrives at Rosemont with some real momentum behind him. Starspangledbanner also returns to Rosemont off his best ever season in Australia in terms of both winners and prizemoney.
The other Victorian-based stallions currently inside the top 100 in the Australian Sires’ race are Love Conquers All, Artie Schiller (USA), Al Maher, Manhattan Rain, Moshe, Americain and Turffontein.
Several Victorian stallions have their first crops ready to hit the track this upcoming season, including Woodside Park’s Rich Enuff, Rosemont’s Nostradamus, Sun Stud’s Ready For Victory and Swettenham Stud’s Trust in A Gust.
The first crops of Woodside Park’s Cable Bay (Ire), Darley pair Frosted and Holler and Sun Stud’s Palentino hit the yearling sales in 2020, while the first foals of Swettenham Stud’s Highland Reel (Ire), Darley’s Impending, Spendthrift’s Overshare, Sun Stud’s Thronum and Woodside Park’s Tosen Stardom (Jpn) arrive this spring.
2019 will also be especially significant for the Victorian scene, with Aquis Farm making its debut in standing stallions in the state with Lean Mean Machine and Siege of Quebec, while Yulong opens its operation with Grunt (NZ). Swettenham Stud’s roster features Sioux Nation (USA), while Spendthrift bring Bolt d’Oro (USA) to Australia.
*This article first appeared in TDN, written by Bren O’Brien