Why a horse racing pedigree can cause a yearling to cost over £5m

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“They came from good stock” is a saying that could be true in almost all walks of life. Farmers are very careful when mating animals to ensure they gain a valuable crop of youngsters, Cesare Maldini and his son Paolo won 11 Serie A football titles in Italy between them with AC Milan and Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson have both been regular walkers of the red carpet.

It is this stock factor that is so prevalent when paying seemingly amazing sums of money for a horse that has never been seen on the racecourse. After all, would Manchester United pay money to sign a young footballer from the genes of Zinedine Zidane and US female football legend Mia Hamm?

This is the case in horse racing, with two records being broken. The first was a new European record of 3,600,000gns paid by renowned owner John Magner and his partners at Coolmore.

The yearling is a full brother to Secret Gesture, the filly that finished second in the 2013 Epsom Oaks, but importantly links the bloodline of the sire Galileo and the mare Danehill.

Galileo is responsible for 93 different horses to have won Group races during their career, with Frankel, Roderic O’Connor, Intello and Maybe among the Group 1 winners to have Danehill as the dam’s sire. The Galileo/Danehill line is deemed one of the most profitable in racing.

Even a horse that had the success of Frankel did not earn enough in prize money to cover such a fee of 3.600,000gns, but what owners are affectively hoping for is that their purchase can land one or two big races, before going on to have their own successful career at stud.

Sea The Stars was a six-time Group 1 winner as a three-year-old, including the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Having then been sent to stud, it was estimated that his true value was somewhere in the region of £60m.

Therefore, should the record-breaking yearling secure on-track success in the coming years to go with his valued horse racing pedigree, there is no reason why his true value at stud could not surpass this figure.

If this wasn’t enough, rising owner Sheikh Joaan Al Thani set a new world record for a yearling filly when paying over £5m for a sister to 2012 Epsom Oaks winner Was.

Buyer Nicolas de Watrigant was optimistic that she could repeat the achievements of this year’s Arc winner Treve, who is already one of racing’s all-time great females despite only having raced five times.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.