WEATHERBYS has published the 59th edition of the Bloodstock Sales Review — a must-have resource for those purchasing horses in all sections of the market, as well as breeders putting together their mating plans, whether flat or National Hunt.
The book provides a complete analysis of European bloodstock sales in 2023 for all foals, yearlings and older horses in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy. It also includes foals and yearlings either foaled in Europe or by European-based sires at the major auctions in North America and Japan.
Furthermore, the Bloodstock Sales Reviewfeatures comprehensive overviews of the trading year for Tattersalls, Goffs, Tattersalls Ireland and Arqana, as well as tables of the leading sires of 2023 by yearling average, lists of the year’s most expensive yearlings and foals, and a roll of top historical auction prices.
To mark the publication of the book, we compiled a top 10 of the most profitable British and Irish-based yearling sires of last year. We have worked out each sires’ profitability index by dividing their 2023 yearling average by their covering fee of 2021, when the offspring in question were conceived.
1. Havana Grey
Havana Grey has taken the industry by storm, with his first two crops bred off small fees at Whitsbury Manor Stud having yielded 15 blacktype winners to date, including Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes hero Vandeek, July Stakes victor Jasour and Haydock Sprint Cup second Shouldvebeenaring.
Buyers fell over themselves trying to secure one of his third-crop yearlings, conceived at just £6,000, resulting in huge profits for breeders. His 65 lots sold for an average of 90,951gns (€107,914), ten times the cost of their conception. No fewer than 20 made six-figure sums, headed by the half-brother to high-class sprinter Dragon Symbol, sold to Godolphin for 600,000gns at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
2. Sioux Nation
A Group 1-winning son of Scat Daddy who stands under the Coolmore banner, he covered a smaller book in the traditionally difficult third season at stud. But he has since established himself as a highly exciting young sire, getting tough Group 3 winners Brave Emperor and Matilda Picotte and decent strike-rates from his first two crops, and so breeders who kept the faith with him were well rewarded at the 2023 yearling sales.
His 30 lots who changed hands did so for an average of 55,676gns (€66,060), with five making six-figure sums. Cathy Grassick and Joseph O’Brien dug deepest for one of the sire’s third-crop yearlings, going to €310,000 for a half-sister to listed scorer Son Of Corballis at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale.
3. Cotai Glory
Cotai Glory dazzled with his debut crop of two-year-olds in 2021, delivering 35 winners at an excellent strike-rate of 40%, including no fewer than eight blacktype performers who were led by Prix Robert Papin scorer Atomic Force. He has maintained momentum in the last two seasons, thanks to Prix de l’Abbaye heroine The Platinum Queen and Group 3 winners Excellent Truth and Tiger Belle.
Breeders who used the son of Exceed And Excel at the start of his freshman season at a fee of €5,000 were well rewarded at the yearling sales of 2023. He had 54 lots sell for an average of 25,914gns (€30,747), hitting a high of €135,000 for the full-brother to sales race winner King X J, knocked down to Nick Bell and Peter Trainor at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale.
4. Twilight Son
Cheveley Park Stud resident Twilight Son has quietly established himself as a reliable source of classy sprinters since his first crop of two-year-olds raced in 2020, and has gained the respect of the market in the process. His 25 yearlings bred at a fee of just £5,000 in 2021 sold for an average of 28,595gns (€33,928) last year, led by James Tate’s purchase of a colt out of the listed-placed Invincible Spirit mare Ice Gala at the Goffs Premier Yearling Sale for £160,000.
5. Sergei Prokofiev
The first crop of yearlings by Sergei Prokofiev, a typically precocious son of Scat Daddy, captured the imagination of buyers last year. No doubt he was helped by the warm glow currently surrounding his home of Whitsbury Manor Stud, which built Havana Grey into one of the world’s most exciting young sires.
He had 84 lots, conceived at a fee of £6,500, sell for an average of 34,624gns (€41,081), with a high of 220,000gns paid by Sackville Donald for a half-brother to US Grade 3 winner Motorious out of Nell Gwyn Stakes runner-up Squash at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
6. New Bay
8. Kodi Bear