THIS SIDE UP:FEE CUTS CAN REBOOT THE SYSTEM
by Chris McGrath
As we have come to expect, in a trading environment that nowadays owes so much to their boss, it was the guys at Spendthrift who first put their heads over the parapet.
This week, anyway. To be fair, the original lead actually came from Chuck Fipke--a match for the unorthodoxy and initiative even of B. Wayne Hughes, and prepared way back in the spring to waive his 2020 stallion fees altogether.
Fipke reasoned that his entire pitch was to small breeders, who were already looking down the barrel as the pandemic took hold; and also that he owned his stallions outright, duly having no responsibilities to shareholders. This week, however, Spendthrift became the first in a rapid series of big farms to grasp the nettle with some extremely purposeful fee cuts, at every level, for 2021.
It's a fascinating situation, because you could argue that stallion fees have in recent years ceased to make sense from either side. For those breeders who must retrieve costs in the sales ring, the commercial imperative to use only new sires tends to require them to spend far too much on unproven potential. For farm accountants, equally, the window of opportunity is so narrow that corralling adequate books even into years two and three is becoming harder and harder; so much so, that even exorbitant opening fees may not square the ledger. Cont. p3
ONE MORE RACE FOR THE PARTNERS IN A HORSE OF A LIFETIME
by Sue Finley
After Uni (GB) (More Than Ready)s 5-year-old campaign which concluded in the Champion Turf Female award, bloodstock advisors suggested to the partners in her ownership group that it might be time to retire and sell her. After all, the owners had probably already gotten more than they had bargained for: they had campaigned her at three, four, and five, and watched her win three Grade I stakes as well as Grade II, Grade III and Listed events.
TODAY’S GRADED STAKES
8:55a QIPCO British Champions Sprint S.-G1, ASC
9:30a QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares S.-G1, ASC
10:00a Killavullan S.-G3, LEO
10:05a Queen Elizabeth II S. sponsored by QIPCO-G1, ASC
10:40a QIPCO Champion S.-G1, ASC
5:30p Lexus Raven Run S.-GII, KEE