Coolmore’s Wootton Wager Pays Off

History would suggest that the gamble Coolmore Stud took in bringing gun stallion Wootton Bassett to Australia doesn’t always pay off, but Tom Magnier knew there was something special about the horse.

Undefeated and a Group 1 winner at two, Wootton Bassett was retired to stud in France in 2012, where he stood his first few seasons at a modest fee of €6000.

He sired Classic hero Almanzor form a tiny first crop of 23 foals and the bloodstock world started to take notice, with his CV quickly building up thanks to G1 winners Wooded, Audarya and Incarville.

Coolmore acquired the son of Ifraaj in 2020 and he shuttled to Australia for the first time as a 14-year-old the following year.

He has served almost 500 mares in three seasons in the Hunter Valley and when his first Australian-bred yearlings were offered at the 2024 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, there was an immediate response from the market.

In Book 1, 32 yearlings by Wootton Bassett sold at an average of $465,000 – almost seven times his introductory service fee of $71,000.

Among them was Lot 454, a filly out of nine-time G1 winner Avantage who sold for $2.1 million and Lot 666, a colt out of Stakes winner Fiera Vista who was knocked down for $1.6m.

Magnier said breeders who sent mares to the stallion will continue to be rewarded in the sales ring.

“People really got behind Wootton Bassett – the best breeders in the country bred to this horse and they are seeing the fruit from it now,” Magnier said.

“There have been some lovely types around the sales ground and they really look like they’ll suit Australia.

“At home (Ireland), they are very precocious two-year-olds and it would look like it’s the same down here.

“It’s a massive rap we have on him up there and when you go around the sales (Magic Millions) and see all the top trainers and all the top judges, they’re all talking about Wootton Bassett.”

Golden Slipper winner Farnan and Caulfield Guineas winner Ole Kirk were other first-season sires to achieve a ‘seven-figure’ result in the ring at the Gold Coast.

Farnan, who stood at Kia Ora Stud for $55,000 in 2021, had 29 of his yearlings sell for an average of $309,000, while Ole Kirk, who also stood for $55,000 at Vinery Stud, had 24 of his yearlings sell at an average of $213,000.

Solid commercial results were also achieved by breeders who supported young stallions Hanseatic, Prague and Anders.

Rosemont Stud’s Hanseatic only had three yearlings sell in Book 1 but they did so at an average of $238,000 – more than 13 times his 2021 service fee of $17,600.

It was a similar story for Prague, who stood for $16,500 in 2021, with five of his yearlings selling at an average of $217,000.

And Widden Stud’s Anders proved popular with his 10 Book 1 yearlings selling at an average of $194,000 off a $16,500 service fee.


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