Talkin' Horses - Live Discussions

Alan Porter Pedigree Advisor

Wednesday Dec 14, 2005

Pedigree advisor Alan Porter has been professionally involved with Thoroughbreds for almost 30 years, has been a writer on racing and breeding for more than 25 years, and has been planning matings for 18 years.

Over the years, Porter has written columns for The Daily Racing Form, The Thoroughbred Daily News, Pacemaker, The Australian Bloodhorse Review and Owner, Breeder International, as well as contributing to numerous other publications in Europe, Japan, and North America.

Porter has also authored three books, appeared as a speaker at numerous seminars and conferences around the world, provided pedigree commentary on camera for Fox Sports network and New York Times Television, and has been involved in the matings for more than 100 stakes winners, including champions or classic winners in at least ten countries.

Most recently (all in 2005) these include Frost Giant [Killavullen Stakes (G3)], Blues and Royals [UAE Derby (G2)], Seeking the Ante [Nassau County Stakes (G2)], Indian Vale [Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3), Falls City Handicap (G2)) and Benicio (Victoria Derby (G1)].

Montreal, QB:
Hello Mr. Porter, I realize that Ghostzapper is a truly brilliant racehorse, but does that warrant a $200,000 stud fee in his first year? Thank you for your time.

We're starting with a tough one. It is a higher fee than horse such as Smarty Jones, Mineshaft and Fusaichi Pegasus have retired at in recent years. On the other hand, Ghostzapper is almost certainly the best runner we've seen in North America at least since the Cigar/Holy Bull era, and possible longer than that. He was also rare in that he was outstanding over such a wide range of distances.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to supply and demand. Ghostzapper will be supported by a very strong group of mares from his owners, and that means that there will probably be a relatively small supply of seasons available. In turn, this means a higher stud fee than if he had to be filled with 100-150 outside mares. At the end of the day, the market will decide...if $200,000 is too expensive, he won't get the outside mares his connections want and there will be an adjustment.

Springfield, MO:
If you could have a free breeding to just one of the new stallions for 2006, which would you choose?

I suppose the obvious answer is Ghostzapper, as he's the most expensive! Actually, there are a lot of interesting horses retiring this year, and in part it would demand on what mare or mares I had. I am coming up with Saint Liam as potentially fitting a lot of different mares; so of the top horses, if I had to start with the free breeding and then find a mare, I might go with him.

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