The last of four statistical articles focuses on the race records of Sires at Royal Ascot over the last ten years. We all expect the top sires on the list whose offspring cost the most to be the ones we all tend to back, but it will be interesting to see if that is actually the case.
A quick consensus gave us a list of five stand-out sires, starting with the one and only Galileo, the top sire of the last few years and surely one who can provide a simple profit? Amazingly, the answer is a quite resounding NO, with 158 runners seeing 18 winners for an 11% strike rate but a level stakes loss of £57.71. 33/1 shot Sword Fighter in the Queens Vase last season was the only double-figure priced winner and therein lies the problem – everyone backs the Galileo progeny and the value has all but disappeared.
Next on the list comes the great Dubawi, another fine race horse and another successful stallion, and one who has been better for punters than Galileo – but not quite good enough to make any money. 73 runners have seen 9 winners for a strike rate of 12% and a small loss of just £3.63, with 12/1 shots Fox Hunt (Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes 2011) and Fennell Bay (King George V Stakes 2012) leading the charge.
Dansili (who never won a Group One) has been more successful as a stallion and been responsible for the likes of Harbinger, The Fugue, and Flintshire to name but three, though even he fails to land that illusive Royal Ascot profit. 80 runners yield a respectable 12 winners (15%) which catches the eye but even a small loss of £3.77 is still wide of expectations though one winner at good odds such as Fallen For You who took the Coronation Stakes by three and a half lengths in 2012 could soon turn those figures around.
Trying to cover all bases and distances, the next sire on the list is Acclamation, now an eighteen-year-old and responsible for some top class sprinters. Sadly his 2 Royal Ascot winners from 75 runners were both with the one horse (Equiano in 2008 at 22/1 in the Kings Stand Stakes and in 2010 at 90/2 in the same race), leaving a hole in punters pockets of £46.50 and not one to trusted at Royal Ascot.
Lastly, Exceed And Excel was a top sprinter in Australia and is a top sire as well and the only one on our five that actually makes a profit (and a good one too). 84 runners over the ten years covered have seen just the 4 winners (5%), but thanks to the 100/1 win of Flashmans Papers as well as the 33/1 win of Belgian Bill, he is showing a profit of £71.00 and not only tops the “famous five” originally selected, but is the most profitable stallion of all in the last decade.
Only four extras to mention now thanks to Exceed And Excel topping the charts (see above), though common sense again tells us to ignore any stallion with only a few runners in the period covered. Noverre is surprisingly next on the list with 2 winners from just the 12 runners and a profit of £65.00 from a 17% strike rate. Naturally the 50/1 win of Nijoom Dubai (`Albany Stakes 2007) and the 25/1 win of Langs Lash (Queen Mary Stakes 2008) have skewed the figures, but statistics are just that – and the profit figure still stands.
Oasis Dream won three Group Ones on Good to Firm going and the ability to pass that on may explain his Royal Ascot record of 11 winners from 89 runners, or 12%. Add in £34.00 of profit and he is a stallion well worth following on the quicker going after the likes of Approve winning the Norfolk Stakes at odds of 16/1 in 2010 and over sprint trip on fast ground his horses seem particularly successful. With 4 winners from just the 24 runners (17%), American sire War Front deserves a good mention and has turned a profit of £33.50 over the last ten years. All four went off at decent prices (War Envoy 10/1, Brave Anna 16/1, Declaration Of War 15/2, and War Command 20/1), and all were trained by Aidan O’Brien making that particular combination even more interesting. Holy Roman Emperor ends the list and is perhaps another surprise name but with 3 winners from just the 30 runners (10%) he fully deserves his place in the hall of fame. A profit of £29.00 may not inspire but he is still one of the few to make punters any money at all, and thanks to Louis The Pious (33/1 Buckingham Palace Stakes2014), Ishvana (20/1 Jersey Stakes 2012), and Banimpire (3/1 Ribblesdale Stakes 2011), his followers have made good money.
Add the five successful sires together and you come to a profit figure of £232.50 to a mere £1 stake which isn’t riches, but isn’t too bad in the circumstances. Aidan O’Brien trained sons of War Front look interesting for the future as do any horse sired by any of the five mentioned. They will not find you the winners at Royal Ascot – but they may help you make up your mind, or at least put you off those whose chances are far worse than the betting may imply.