In The NZ Breeding Barn…….Stallion News (as of 8/7/24)

Rob Courtney


Powerhouse NZ stud Woodlands has no change to its stallion line-up from the previous season. Champion sire Bettor’s Delight will be arriving back soon from America and it has already been well publicised that he will then be permanently based in NZ from this point on. The stud is expecting him to be fit and ready to go when the Southern Hemisphere breeding season begins.

There is an ample supply of his frozen semen should difficulties arise.

Boom sire of last season Sweet Lou who stood at the discounted fee of $5k will have that fee increased to $11250 but with a 20% discount that reduces to $9k. There were around 400 mares bred to Sweet Lou last season across Australasia.

Sweet Lou

Perennial top sire American Ideal who passed away last year has fallen off the radar it would seem for many NZ breeders but continues to leave very good horses across the globe and his broodmares are beginning to do a fine job as well. The stud has enough frozen semen to accommodate breeders for the upcoming season only.

Proven trotting sire What The Hill, who is vying for top spot in a number of age group categories again this season, is going to have his stud fee reduced from $7k to $5k as Woodlands recognises the hardship of many who are trying to sustain their harness interests.

At Dancingonmoonlight, stud manager Sam Langrope is welcoming the opportunity to have Bettor’s Wish still available to NZ breeders.

The 1:47.6 son of Bettor’s Delight (24 wins + $2.6M) has done a sensational job with his first small American crop punching well above its weight and his progeny also sold very well at our own NZ yearling sales. From a USA crop of only 39 foals, that 2yo crop placed him 3rd on average earnings, behind only Captaintreacherous & Sweet Lou.


Bettors Wish

After his health issues of last season and the fact that he has only one testicle, his American owners have decided to have him available courtesy of frozen semen only. Langrope indicated that they have enough for 40-50 mares this coming season.

Tactical Landing (Muscle Hill – Southwind Serena) who is starting to kick some real goals in both hemispheres will have his fee remain at $15k for this season before it increases in 2025. There is every chance he might sire the consecutive winners of the Hambletonian classic from his first 2 crops in North America. Tactical Approach did the business from his first crop and Karl was the superstar 2yo from 2023.

With this success, it was pointed out that he could easily command a fee of around $30k if domiciled in Europe but the owners seem intent on making him available worldwide.

Keeping things in context, Tactical Landing competes for mares in the same American state as Muscle Hill and Walner

Southwind Frank, the well credentialed son of Muscle Hill, has been sold to European interests and there is only a small amount of frozen still available to NZ breeders. Any mare being served (10 max) will be served by a ‘double dose’ and at $4k this fee is payable on ‘live foal’ Langrope explained.

Southwind Frank is the sire of Bond (1:51.2 + $1.4M), 2023 USA 3yo Trotting Filly of The Year

It’s a sign of the times but Nevele R Stud principal Ged Mooar acknowledges that the breeding game is in a tough place, both for broodmare owners & stallion owners and that to increase breeding numbers (which is so important to the sustainability of the pool of racehorses) we ‘all need to be singing from the same song sheet”.

To that end, a number of their stallion stud fees have been reduced, including those that they share with fellow heavyweight Alabar, and with further discounts and loyalty bonuses available, it is hoped that this acknowledgement will motivate breeders to ‘go again’.

Always B Miki drops to a fee of $7500 (after being $9500 last season) and with the likes of Aardie’s Express, Cold Chisel and Franco Indie carrying the flag in the southern hemisphere, his continued popularity seems to be well founded.

Former champion pacer Lazarus drops from $7500 to $5k. And he was a champion! In 51 starts, he was only out of the top three on two occasions on his way to earning $4.5M.



Despite his well-documented fertility issues, his progeny have still performed with distinction in America and last season he left Nathan Street (from a SBSW mare) the fastest 2yo in Australia at 1:50.5. In NZ, he has a very small crop of 3yos and no current crop of 2yos. He will not be available across the Tasman and will be firmly domiciled in Canterbury for the coming season. With a 20% discount and at a fee of $4k, he would seem to be very good value.

For those with smaller budgets, Ultimate Machete deserves closer scrutiny.

Like many of his colonial colleagues, he has had only moderate support from NZ breeders (with ‘non commercial’ mares?) and last season served just the 13 mares.

But with his oldest progeny only 3, nearly 40% of his NZ 2 & 3yos have qualified headed by Ultimate Racy Girl ($115k in 15 starts) and Ultimate Cullect (4 wins from 5 starts). Interestingly, both are from Direct Scooter line mares.

In Australia, the 1:51.9 son of Bettor’s Delight has been much more popular producing 198 foals and winning $585k in stakes. 50% of his starters have become winners, averaging nearly $19k per starter.

His $2500 service fee can get reduced by 20% and at $2000, he would seem to be extremely good value especially if one is breeding to race.