Written by Paul Vettise
Sun Stud has cut services fees for all stallions in 2020 and most notably for roster leader Fiorente (Ire), considered by the Victorian farm to be unfairly pigeon-holed in some quarters, who will stand at $17,600 (inc GST).
While he was a G1 Melbourne Cup winner, Sun Stud Sales and Nominations Manager Philip Marshall said Fiorente’s record was ample proof of his ability to win and place in top-class company over much lesser distances.
“Winning a two-mile race isn’t the be all and end all for him. Yes, he won the G1 Melbourne Cup, but he was by no means just a two-miler. People have got to remember him for the fact that he was unlucky when beaten in the G1 Cox Plate.
“He was also a Group 2 winner over 1600 metres and he was Group 1-placed over 1400 metres in the All Aged S. He certainly wasn’t just a dour horse, he was probably more of a 1600 to 2000 metre horse.”
Marshall said that quality was in evidence in a number of Fiorente’s progeny, whose oldest crop are now 4-year-olds.
“We saw Hawkshot who was best off over a mile and we thought his brother Power Scheme was going to be more of a stayer, but he’s probably more of a miler as well. We saw Florent win the VOBIS Guineas at Caulfield the other day, which again was over a mile.
“I think Fiorente has been a little bit confused among breeders. A lot of them have thought, he won a Melbourne Cup so he’s going to be producing 2400 metre plus horses and that certainly doesn’t look the case.
“He’s a stallion with a significant turn of foot and that’s what set him aside from most, if not all, Melbourne Cup winners in my opinion.”
“He’s a stallion with a significant turn of foot and that’s what set him aside from most, if not all, Melbourne Cup winners in my opinion.” – Philip Marshall
Fiorente’s 2020 fee has been reduced from $27,500 (inc GST) to $17,600 (inc GST) while Group 1 producer Magnus will stand at $15,400 (inc GST), down from $16,500 (inc GST) last year.
“He’s Mr Consistency and he’s a horse you can set your watch by and keeps lobbing up at the right times,” Marshall said.
“He had another Group 1 winner in Streets Of Avalon this year, multiple stakes winners and stakes horses and very rarely does a day go by when you don’t see another winner somewhere in the country.
“He represents awesome value this year and I think this year more than most breeders may sway back to that tried and tested method. He represents a very, very safe bet and first-season sires may find it a little bit harder than previous years.
“We don’t know where the landscape is going to lie over the next six to 12 months so I think that the tried and tested way will be a safe bet for a majority of breeders. There won’t be a safer bet in Victoria than Magnus, that’s for sure.”
“There won’t be a safer bet in Victoria than Magnus, that’s for sure.” – Philip Marshall
In setting its 2020 fees, Sun Stud also sought opinions from a number of regular clients.
“It’s unprecedented times and every stud farm has had to think long and hard about their fees. We came to the conclusion that we would reduce our fees across the board and that’s no reflection on the stallions, it’s just the times,” Marshall said.
“We have to be aware that people are going to be a bit more apprehensive and we have to look after our breeders. You look after people by reducing costs in just about every industry and this is no different.
“We had a round table and reached out to a lot of our loyal breeders to find their needs and wants. It’s all well and good us tossing ideas around a table, while socially distancing I might add, but you have to go to the coal face to talk to them and help them carrying on their businesses.”
Invincible Spirit’s (Ire) Group 1-winning son National Defense (GB) was something of a surprise packet for Sun Stud last season covering 159 mares and his fee has been reduced from $11,000 (inc GST) to $9900 (inc GST).
“We knew he would be reasonably popular, but even we were stunned by the level of support. As we all know he had the injury issue and couldn’t come out the season before and that can always leave a bit of a bitter taste when a horse doesn’t come out.
“That weighed on our mind, but it didn’t make one iota of difference, it was a huge result for the horse.”
Sun Stud’s fees have been cut an average of 25 per cent with associate stallions Palentino to stand at $14,300 (inc GST), Bel Esprit, Fighting Sun and Thronum all at $7700 (inc GST) and both Ready For Victory and Squamosa at $4400 (inc GST).
Sun Stud 2020 fees
|National Defense (GB)||$9000||$11,000|
|Ready For Victory||$4400||$6600|
(All fees inc GST)