By Ross Stapleton

In an industry where “mine is bigger
than yours” counts for everything in the sales ring – the Sydney Easter
yearling sales have set a new standard in the size of the cheques for
the progeny of Australia’s hottest new stallion, Redoute’s Choice.

In
just his third season, this super stallion is shaping up as the racing
world’s most spectacular global breeding successor to the great
Danehill, who himself helped transform the local breeding industry
before his premature death, as the world’s most successful shuttle
stallion. And it took Australian racing to prove Danehill’s stud value
before the rest of the world discovered there was literally gold in his
loins!

Last night in Sydney lot 259 – a Redoute’s Choice colt
out of Tugela, that makes the youngster a three-quarter brother to
champion mare Makybe Diva, became the most expensive yearling sold in
Australia at $2.5 million. This new record is but the latest of many
more to come for Redoute’s Choice as the industry still comes to terms
with just how valuable this horse may ultimately become. He is the best
possible advertisment for the Australian thoroughbred industry and the
impact of the “shuttle stallion”.

Yet even now there are racing
people in Australia highly critical of what they see as the “shuttle
stallion” phenomenon ripping out huge local stud fees that are remitted
to major foreign owned studs. Such critics claim this is money that’s
depriving local breeders of a much bigger slice of the Australian
breeding industry. But without the shuttle system whereby many of the
world’s best sires are now being mixed with our own unique bloodlines,
Australian racing really would be much poorer for such myopic
protectionism.

Danehill has given us some of our greatest
champions on the turf in the last decade let alone creating a
succession of local champion stallions and broodmares in their own
right, but it is Redoute’s Choice who is showing how Australian racing
is not only producing more champions of the turf, but increasingly
breeding our own future shuttle stallions.

Redoute’s Choice’s
oldest progeny are now three, and he served more than 200 mares at
Arrowfield stud at a fee of $44,000 in the 2004 breeding season.
Already there is speculation that his 2005 stud fee will reach $100,000
and could even go as high as $200,000, although that seems too much of
a quantum leap. Do the maths though for $100,000 plus multiplied by
200, and then multiply his seasons by, in all probability, at least ten
more years – and that’s without any consideration for turning him into
a dual hemisphere breeding phenomenon or allowing for further inflation
in his fee.

He’s a multi-national corporation all by himself!

You can read more about the record setting pace of Redoute’s Choice in this Agearticle about the sale of last night’s $2.5 million colt.

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