When representatives of Magic Millions turned up at Rosemont this week for yearling inspections ahead of the 2019 yearling sales series, the first question they asked on jumping out from the car was “how many Starcrafts are you showing us?” Contrary to common perception, the determination to get quality Starcraft stock into their sales is not a surprise. His yearlings at this year’s sales averaged over $115,000, headed by a colt from the Bowness Stud draft that made a whopping $340,000 at the Sydney Classic sale. With results like that his progeny have clearly become sought after by the sales companies on the look out for quality stock to put in front of buyers.
Off an advertised service fee of $9,900 in 2015, that $115k average represented a remarkable return on investment for breeders and placed him sixth on the list of Sires By Return on Service Fee for 2018 according to BloodstockData’s 2018 Annual Review of Australian Yearling Sales. It’s an interesting list of sires!
Stallion Average 2015 Fee Multiplier
(Return on service fee + costs)
1 I Am Invincible $438,351 $55,000 5.84
2 Spirit of Boom $150,285 $11,000 4.85
3 Written Tycoon $182,018 $19,800 4.57
4 Not A Single Doubt $232,086 $33,000 4.38
5 Snitzel $470,747 $88,000 4.36
6 Starcraft $116,800 $9,900 3.91
Given the figures, the service fees for these stallions would have to have risen, right? Not for Starcraft. While the fees for the top five stallions have all at least doubled, Starcraft – already the cheapest stallion on the list – has actually fallen, with his 2018 fee currently set at $8,800. But even then the story gets better for breeders. In 2018, Rosemont is repeating their innovative 2017 “Toss The Boss” deal , under which breeders get to choose the sex of their foal. If the breeder doesn’t get what they picked then the breeder gets the foal for free.
With foaling having started for the season last month, Rosemont is receiving steady streams of phone calls from happy breeders advising of the foaling of their latest Starcraft foal – for free. Eliza Grantham from Springfield Farm was one such breeder.
“We heard about the ‘Toss the Boss’ promotion last season and being fans of Starcraft anyway, we sent two mares. One has foaled already and happily for us it was a colt which meant we didn’t have to pay. He is a ripper of a colt, very active and looks like he will be a real runner. We are thinking of racing him but since he’s a colt, he’s a good sales prospect too given the demand for him from Hong Kong. I guess we’ll just wait and see how he grows out. I still can’t believe we have bred him for free.”
The point about Hong Kong is one not lost on astute breeders. From limited runners, Starcraft finished last season in the Top 10 on the Hong Kong sires list last year for the second successive year. He sent Zac Purton straight to the top of the jockey’s premiership when the new season kicked off after he rode Starcraft’s stakes winning son Winner’s Way to victory on the first day of racing. Like the sales companies, the deep bench of agents trading horses to Hong Kong are now well aware of the standing that Starcraft has in that jurisdiction as his reputation as a sire of tough, sound horses continues to grow. The hot phones at Rosemont are not just happy breeders.
With their free Starcraft colt, Springfield Farm are in an enviable position – and they still have another foal to come! Of course, they may lose…. Though even then breeders don’t seem to be too upset. Local breeder Karen Sinclair took a punt on a filly and her mare foaled a colt, for which she will pay the $8,800 fee.
“I couldn’t be happier. I would much rather pay a low fee for a colt that looks as good as this one that will be in demand wherever he goes. I can sell him as a weanling, keep him through to yearling or even breeze him up. Demand for his colts is obviously strong, underpinned by Hong Kong, and the fee is low compared to what he might make. So I reckon this is even better than a free filly”.
With Starcraft and the “Toss The Boss” deal, it seems that everyone is winning.
Call Ted on 0429933955 or the office to discuss or book your mare.