ONE of the most enjoyable invitations each year is to visit Lanwades Stud during the December Sales and to see the stallion’s parade.

Kirsten Rausing and her team offer an opportunity to see the horses in a relaxed atmosphere, and the quartet of sires, all at different stages of their stud journey, were shown by head stallion man James Eustace, who has just completed 11 seasons at the farm, and by Peter Manuel who has looked after Sir Percy for the past five stud seasons.

The man with the microphone this year was local Newmarket icon John Berry, resplendent in cord trousers. He delivered a very personal view of the four stallions, all of whom showed themselves off well to the viewers.

Among the crowds were many discerning breeders from Ireland, England and further afield, and none were watching with more interest that Sea The Moon’s breeders, Heike Bischoff and her husband Niko Lafrentz.

While the stud fees for three of the stallions remain unaltered for 2022, Bobby’s Kitten and Sir Percy at £7,000, and Study Of Man staying at £12,500, the success being enjoyed by Sea The Moon, along with his huge popularity, sees him up to £25,000, just a 10% rise. Given that he is effectively fully booked again, and with a waiting list, it is arguable that he could be priced at more. After all, he and Kingman were the busiest stallions in England this year, covering 172 mares each.

Bobby’s Kitten was described by John Berry as the “specialist miler who could also sprint”. He beat No Nay Never when winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita and he is a son of the six-time champion turf sire Kitten’s Joy (El Prado). The latter is also sire of Roaring Lion, Kameko and Hawkbill.

This has been a good year for Bobby’s Kitten and his nine juvenile winners include the Lanwades-bred Group 2 winner and Group 1-placed Sandrine. His first two crops have now yielded 32 individual winners.

Sea The Moon, the record-breaking German Derby winning son of Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) needs no introduction. The only son of his sire at stud in England, Sea The Moon’s half-brother by Frankel (Galileo) topped the Goffs November Foal Sale when sold through Newtown Stud for €550,000. Sea the Moon’s two-year-old are just his fourth crop and he is consistently used by all of Europe’s leading breeders.

No surprise

This comes as no surprise, given that he averages 60% winners to runners, and he is the sire of nine group winners and 33 blacktype performers. The list is headed by the brilliant Group 1 winning miler Alpine Star, bred and raced by the Niarchos family.

Sir Percy looked a picture of health as he prepares to celebrate his 19th birthday. Parading in front of his owners Victoria and Anthony Pakenham, the son of Mark Of Esteem (Darshaan) is the last remaining representative of the Mill Reef, Shirley Heights, Darshaan sire line standing in Ireland or England. A champion at two and three, he too has an exceptional 60% winners to runners strike-rate.

Study Of Man

The first foals by Study Of Man, the classic-winning son of Deep Impact (Sunday Silence), are on the ground and Lanwades own some 26 of them. Their faith looks sure to be rewarded as the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club-French Derby winner is siring all bays, like himself, with correct conformation and good temperaments.

Study Of Man is bred in the purple on both sides of his pedigree, and he won one of the few classics in the world that can be called a stallion-making race. Recent winners of the French Derby, and all of them successful stallions, are Shamardal, Le Havre, Lope De Vega, New Bay, Darshaan, Montjeu and the former Lanwades sire Hernando.