Encosta de Lago Reaches New Peak as Stallion

Figures from the Australian Stud Book reveal that Encosta de Lago set a new mark for number of mares covered in 2005, according to the Australian Associated Press.

The Coolmore-based Encosta de Lago smashed the previous mark, set in 2004 by Redoute's Choice at 213, with 242 mares covered last season. Eliza Park's dual group I-winning son of Royal Academy, Bel Esprit, came in second on the list with 209.

Encosta's new season barnmate at Coolmore, Fastnet Rock, was the only other sire to top 200 for the season, with 204. Fastnet Rock is one of six sons of Danehill in the top 10 by numbers.

The others are Arrowfield Stud's Redoute's Choice (4th with 190), Emirates Park-based Al Maher (6th), Coolmore's Rock of Gibraltar (7th), Blue Gum Farm's new boy Elvstroem (8th) and Darley's Untouchable (10th).

Rounding out the top 10 by numbers were Iglesia (5th - Oaklands Stud) and More Than Ready  (9th - Vinery). More Than Ready will stand the 2006 Northern Hemisphere season at Vinery near Lexington,

The list includes three first-season sires--Fastnet Rock, Al Maher, and Elvstroem.

Coolmore Stud's Peter O'Brien said Encosta de Lago handles his workload easily. "It doesn't bother him at all--he's so fertile. It's no problem for him and he does it on his ear. He was actually quiet in December because he got through so many in the previous three months.

"September was his busiest month because he had so many dry and maiden mares, who can be covered early in the season.

"He wasn't burnt out at all and he's just sitting back now spinning his wheels. Every time we put a bridle on him to take him to his paddock he thinks he's going to the covering barn."

O'Brien said it was a similar story with Fastnet Rock. "If you let him, he'd cover 500," he said. "He covered his last mare like it was his first. With these fertile stallions, you can do big numbers quite easily."

Encosta de Lago was the first sire to go through the 200 mark when he covered 201 mares in 2002. The following year he once again headed the list with 202.

The son of Fairy King set a new personal best in 2004 with 208 mares, but lost the record to Redoute's Choice (213).

The Stud Book reported that there were 20 stallions that had covered 150 or more mares in 2005. Those with 100 or more numbered 68. These figures are from 850 registered stallions.

At the bottom end of the scale, there were 33 stallions that covered just one mare, while another 38 had to make do with two matrons.

There was a total of 263 sires that covered 10 mares or less, with the number growing to 382 for those sires that had 20 or less coverings.