Are Stallion Fees a Predictor of a Foal’s prize-winning Potential?

Stallion fees are a poor predictor of a foal’s prize-winning potential. This conclusion was reached by A J Wilson and A Rambaut based on their work published in 2008 (Biol Lett 2008, April 23 4(2) :173-175. As few racehorse owners are avid readers of Bio Lett I thought it would be interesting to see if this work measures up against the current leading Australian stallions


The Researchers used 554 active stallions and 4476 foals as their database. I have taken the current top ten sires in the Australian premiership list and calculated the racetrack performance of each of the top 10 horses of each sire. Their racing performance was rated as 4 points for a G1 win, 3 points for G2, 2 points for G3 and 1 point for a Listed race. I have called this Total Stakes Wins.

A Stallion service fee was due on each of these horses in the year before foaling. The total fees paid to each of the ten stallions is found by summing that paid for each of these best 10 progeny. The results are set down below in a simple XY scatter graph.

Results for Stallion Fees and Foals Potential


The results are given in the form of a scatter plot. A strong correlation would be at best a straight line fit. However, in this case the results are too independently variable to consider putting any straight line to link the points. Thus, I believe this data confirms the findings of A J Wilson and A Rambaut.  Stallion fees are a poor predictor of a foal’s prize-winning potential.

The graph has some degree of relevance. The stallion with the best rating has an Accumulation Service Fee of 198 and a Stake Performance rating of 93. But as time  passes and the data of most of the 10 best horses is now a few years old.  Stallion service fee have also changed. Another thing learned is that you don’t have to pay for expensive sires to get a good foal. Its all in the pedigrees. You still might have to pay big to get that..