Posted On: Thursday, 13 April 2017
Sir Patrick Hogan is promising to assert self-control when it comes to restricting Tavistock's book of mares this season.
In announcing that Tavistock's service fee would remain unchanged at $65,000 plus GST plus a live foal guarantee for the 2017 breeding season, Sir Patrick has admitted he allowed Tavistock to serve more mares than he would have wanted last season.
"He's had two or three hectic years. We had more than 300 applications to Tavistock last year and I had planned on restricting him to 160 mares," Sir Patrick says.
"But then I can only blame myself for sending a few extra of my own mares to him than I should have and a few shareholders wanted late services and he got up to 194 so it got away on us a bit. This year, I'm putting it on record that I'm going to stay a lot stronger. At least, that's what I'm planning anyway."
While Sir Patrick was in jovial spirits in announcing his stud fees for the 2017 season, he admitted he did have some serious thinking to do before deciding not to raise Tavistock's service fee in reaction to the demand from breeders and the stallion's remarkable racetrack and sales results.
"Marcus [Corban, stud manager] and I have just returned from Sydney and the demand from Australian breeders has remained strong. We took nearly 30 applications for bookings to Tavistock just in the few days we were there," Sir Patrick said.
Tavistock's service fee rose from $15,000 plus GST in 2015 to $65,000 plus GST last year as a result of Group One success through Volkstok’n’barrell, Tarzino, Tavago and Werther.
Already this season, Hong Kong horse of the year Werther has returned to top form, winning the Gr.1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in February and Volkstok’n’barrell claimed his fourth win at racing’s top level when he surged to a narrow victory in New Zealand’s richest weight-for- age race, the Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
The win showed Tavistock to be a sire not only adept at producing a Classic winner but also one capable of leaving a hardy, older campaigner and, in Volkstok’n’barrell’s case, one still far from a spent force past the halfway mark of his five-year- old season.
“He’s been a great stallion, always with a top performer on the racetrack and one that has provided lucrative rewards for the breeders who have supported him,” Sir Patrick said.
“In Werther, he shown he’s capable of siring a world-class racehorse but we’ve seen a string of Classic winners by him and there’s several more bubbling just beneath the surface. Volkstok’n’barrell encompasses everything about a Tavistock racehorse - a good-looker with a great turn of foot and plenty of courage.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the best of Tavistock is yet to come because the book of mares he served in 2016 was by far the best quality he has been paired with so far.”
Among the mares Tavistock served this season were Group One winners Provocative, Elegant Fashion, Seachange, Pondarosa Miss, Guiseppina, Banchee, Soriano, Veloce Bella and Shez Sinsational, as well as others the quality of Abidewithme, November Rain, La Sizeranne, Kind Return, Tarzino's dam Zarzino, Lovetrista, Diamond Like, Tavago's dam Sara Ann and Kawi's dam Magic Time.
In Sydney last week, Provocative fetched $1.2 million to top the Inglis Chairman's Sale.
"It certainly would have helped her price that she was carrying a Tavistock foal," Sir Patrick said.
The likes of Tavidream, Hiflyer, Harlow Gold, Singapore Group Two winner Infantry and last week's impressive 9 1/2-length debut winner Tannhauser have kept Tavistock's name to the fore in recent weeks.
Sir Patrick has also revealed plans to change his systems of accepting a booking to Tavistock, so as to not keep breeders waiting for a long period for finding out whether or not their mare has been accepted.
Instead of breeders lodging their applications to Tavistock before a booking date then waiting to hear back from Cambridge Stud once all the applications had been received, Sir Patrick has vowed to assess the credentials of the mares as each application comes in.
"I found looking back on last year that there were people not accepted that had to wait for around a month to find out, only to be disappointed," Sir Patrick said.
"While they might have had an alternative mating on backup, I've decided that this year each mare will be assessed almost immediately after an application has been made. It might mean that breeders who get in too late might find that they have missed out but at least the breeders making early applications won't have to wait long before they know whether their mare has been declined or accepted.
"Looking at the mares that have already been accepted, Tavistock's book must be getting close to two-thirds full already. The demand for Tavistock foals is still there. The market was strong on Tavistock yearlings at the sales and though the horse could well have warranted a service fee increase, we've decided to leave it the same."
In the premier session of New Zealand Bloodstock's sales at Karaka in January, 39 Tavistock yearlings went under the hammer at an average of $148,589, with a top-price of $425,000 for the Cambridge Stud-sold colt out of On Arrival, knocked down to Yu Long Park Investment, while a Cambridge Stud-sold filly out of Ana Zeel fetched $400,000, the winning bid going to Melbourne trainer Ciaron Maher.
A remarkable aspect of Tavistock's impressive sales statistics was that his service fee for that season was just $7000 plus GST, while 43 of his yearlings were sold to international interests - 36 to Australia, five to Hong Kong and two to Singapore.
Sir Patrick has increased Power's service fee to $12,500 plus GST plus live foal guarantee on the back of a terrific season for the sire.
"He's second overall leading sire of New Zealand-based sires of two-year-olds and he's leading first-crop sire for New Zealand and England. He's had a Group Two winner here in Gift Of Power and she's returning to work shortly in preparation for a campaign aimed at the 1000 Guineas," Sir Patrick said.
"Power sold up to $380,000 at Karaka at an average of $171,000 and that was all from a $9000 service fee."
Burgundy has also attracted a fee increase to $7000 plus GST plus live foal guarantee after a strong start for the Redoute's Choice stallion.
"He didn't have any premier yearlings at Karaka but his select sales results were very good off a $6000 fee. He sold up to $145,000 at an average of $48,000. His first three runners were all winners," Sir Patrick said.
Proven Group One Danehill sire Keeper's fee has been reduced to $5000 plus GST plus live foal guarantee for 2017.
"Keeper is still proving to be a reliable source of winners and he'll be popular at that price, I'm sure," Sir Patrick said.
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