You wont have a 2015 foal if you don’t cover your mare!

For many the breeding season is over with a May or early June foal on the ground.

With the industry pushing more and more for early foals nearly all broodmare owners in the flat racing world where they race as 2 year olds are not that keen on a June cover. While the national hunt is not as rigid as they don’t race till 4 years of age and by then a “late” foal is not such a drawback.

Of course there are always exceptions with decisions taken now to cover older mares at this time of the year a regular enough occurrence. Depending of course as to the mares breeding record , pedigree and winners this is pretty much your last chance to have a foal in 2015.

So what do you do?

My instinct is to cover, as an infoal mare has potentially more value than a empty one and it costs nearly as much to keep a barren mare over the winter than one in foal!

So where do you go? If I were in the flat breeding area I would probably call it a day but if pushed I would choose a proven stallion at this stage of the year such as Arakan at Ballyhane, with the son of Nureyev doing well. Dark Angel at Morristown Lattin has been getting a fair share of Black Type winners since going to stud with the son of Acclamation a real option depending on the money you might have to invest. While Ballylinch Stud has the Giants Causeway horse Intense Focus on offer with a regular supply of winners to his name.

On the National Hunt scene! well you should start with a look at the recent sales results from the 2013 store horse results and the foal sales at the end of last year. Once that is complete have a look at the top winning sires this season and see which ones are not RIP and still covering!

A review of the results of Point to Pointer sales has thrown up High Chaparral as a horse that sells well both on the flat and over jumps.

Assuming his Stud fee is out of the reach of many lets look a little lower down the money chain.

Shantou by Alleged standing at Burgage Stud in Co Carlow is a great option in my view. A tough and consistent racehorse he is regularly hitting the mark in the winners circle.

Another horse that gets a nice share of track winners in Britain is Co Kilkenny Knockhouse Stud’s, Millenary. The son of Rainbow Quest went to stud late in his life as he raced on for so long, but he gets winners and deserve a look see.

Sadler’s Wells has such an impact on the racing world it is difficult to ignore him and I wont! Blackhall Stud in Co Wexford has full brother to In The Wings on offer in Morozov. He is now getting enough runners on the tracks to be making an impact and they can race , so he is worth consideration.

When I reviewed the stallion table at the end of this Point to Point season I noted that four of the top five Milan, Flemensfirth, Oscar and Presenting are still alive and well. With Coolmore and Rathbarry Studs in charge, their books of covers might be full but deserve a call if your mare warrants it.

This is no more than a reminder that its not to late to cover, there are plenty more options including Jeremy, Arcadio, Royal Anthem, Robin Des Champs etc etc.

Just make your mind up and dont forget you wont have a 2015 foal if you don’t cover your mare!

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