Thursday, 6 September 2007

Brilliant racehorse, brilliant sire?

Motivator, Hurricane run, Scorpion, Authorized…all sons of the brilliant Montjeu and all Group 1 winners of classics over middle distance trips. Montjeu must be a brilliant sire, right? He’s just sired another Derby winner, which in itself makes him a success at stud? Well, that depends on how you judge success.

In order to evaluate Montjeu’s stud performance I analysed a sample of his progeny, specifically those that met the track during the 2004 and 2005 flat seasons.
The stats
2004 - 43 runners in total; 23 colts and geldings and 20 fillies
2005 - 69 runners in total; 46 colts and geldings and 23 fillies

Based on his 2004 and 2005 runners, Montjeu covered 41 mares with existing group or listed class progeny to other stallions. He produced 27 group or listed class individuals from these mares. Of the remaining 71 mares he covered, 13 had no other known offspring.

So what does this mean? Using those mares with offspring to other stallions as the sample (71 in total) we can derive that; 58.57% of the Montjeu progeny to run in 2004 and 2005 on the flat came from dams with existing group or listed class progeny to other stallions. Montjeu produced 27 individuals of similar ability from these mares. This equates to 38.02% of the sample.

I feel this is a most suitable (and efficient) method of evaluating stud performance, as performance on the track does not always correlate to breeding. I.e. a great racehorse does not always make a great sire or dam.

Now we all know samples can be biased, so I took a look at the overall picture.

As of 30th August 2007, Montjeu has sired 30 individual black type winners from a total of 242 individual runners. Represented as a percentage this is 12.39%. Now, that’s a pretty good percentage, but how does it translate to earnings? His progeny have earned a total of £11,212,652. That averages to £46,333 per horse (to meet the track that is). Again, a pretty healthy looking statistic. Now look at the median earnings of his progeny.

Median earnings £5,269

Spilt your coffee? Swore out loud? That is the ‘typical’ earnings of a son of Montjeu. The ‘median’ or typical sales lot goes for a fraction under £60,000 (based on 2003 – 2006 global sales data). However, you must realise that a proportion of his progeny have not run enough to contribute much, if any earnings. So lets look at the average and median earnings of his progeny to have 4 or more runs.

Average earnings of £72,434

But more importantly, median earnings of £10,638.

The skewed distribution below illustrates this:

Click image to enlarge.

So it appears that Montjeu either sires the brilliant middle distance runner like Authorized and Hurricane run or the considerably worse, struggling to win a claimer at Southwell type, and not much in between.


It’s worth noting I only took his progeny to meet the track in the sample, not those foals (however many there may or may not be) that did not make it. It’s also worth noting I used ‘group or listed class’ and not winners. Those that fit into this group showed a minimum of strong form in group races (if they had not placed or won black type). You will have to trust my interpretation of the formbook!

A detailed report regarding Montjeu as a stallion will be available discussing what types of mare he does best with, analysing his most successful earners and their commonalities and more. I’m back to University in a week or two, but should have it rustled up by then! Contact me if you want a peek.

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