Fastnet Rock Top Australia Covering Sire

Coolmore Stud stallions dominated Australia's covering sires list.

Headed by Fastnet Rock, Coolmore Stud stallions filled six of the top 10 places in terms of number of mares covered during the 2008 Australian breeding season, according to the Australian Web site

Fastnet Rock, by Danehill, was second to Bel Esprit on the list in 2007, but landed one place higher this year with his tally of 248 mares.

Barnmate Encosta De Lago was the only other sire to cover in excess of 200 mares in 2008, down from six stallions that topped that mark in 2007. Encosta De Lago finished second with 227 mares.

Other Coolmore stallions in the top 10 were Choisir (fourth with 194), Lion Heart(fifth with 191), Holy Roman Emperor (seventh with 180), and Oratorio (10th with 173).

The figures were released by keeper of the Australian Stud Book Michael Ford, who reported 26,100 mares were covered during the 2008 season.

Lion Heart, who stands at Coolmore’s North American satellite Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., stood for $16,500 in Australian funds (approximately $10,800 in U.S. funds). His 2009 fee at Ashford is $20,000.

Only one other U.S.-based stallion, More Than Ready , finished in the top 10. More Than Ready, who is based at Vinery near Lexington, ranked ninth, with 175 mares covered. He stood for $110,000 in Australia (approximately $72,000 in U.S. funds). His 2009 fee at Vinery is $45,000.

The number of Australian covers is up from the EI-affected 2007 breeding season, when 24,549 mares were covered despite the presence of equine influenza. Ford said a more relevant comparison was 2006, when 26,851 mares were covered. Ford said he expects the 2009 foal crop to reach 18,000 foals compared to 18,600 for the 2007 crop.

A total of 768 stallions covered mares compared to 858 stallions in 2006.

Danehill’s dominance can be gauged by 114 sons and 56 grandsons being as part of that total. Nearly half of the stallions standing descend from Danehill’s grandsire, Northern Dancer.

Bernardini was the only other U.S.-based stallion to rank in the top 20, finishing 15th with 155 mares. Bernardini, who stands at Darley in Australia, is based at Darley near Lexington. His 2009 U.S. fee is $75,000.

Top 20 by Number of Mares Covered
Stallion    Sire    No. Covered    Farm
1 Fastnet Rock, by Danehill, 248, Coolmore
2 Encosta De Lago, by Fairy King, 227, Coolmore
3 God's Own, by Redoute's Choice, 196, Eliza Park
4 Choisir, by Danehill Dancer, 194, Coolmore
5 Lion Heart, by Tale of the Cat, 191, Coolmore
6 Snippetson, by Snippets, 187, Widden Stud
7 Holy Roman Emperor, by Danehill, 180, Coolmore
 8 Show A Heart, by Brave Warrior, 176, Glenlogan Park
9 More Than Ready, by Southern Halo, 175, Vinery Stud
10 Oratorio, byDanehill, 173, Coolmore
11 Flying Spur, by Danehill, 171, Arrowfield
12 Not A Single Doubt, by Redoute's Choice, 161, Arrowfield
13 Stratum, by Redoute's Choice, 159, Widden Stud
14 Dylan Thomas, by Danehill, 157, Coolmore
15 Bernardini, by A.P. Indy, 155, Darley
16 Lonhro, by Octagonal, 154, Darley
17 Commands, by Danehill, 151, Darley
18 General Nediym, by Nediym, 148, Widden Stud
19 Exceed And Excel, by Danehill, 148, Darley
20 Strategic, by Zeditave, 148, Darley