In an article for the Racing Post about the leading first-year covering sires, bloodstock writer Martin Stevens details the covering results for the 2018 breeding season in England and Ireland.
There should be no surprise that Churchill, Coolmore’s classic-winning son of leading sire Galileo, covered more than 200 mares in his first season at stud, but it will surprise some that Coolmore’s great talking horse Caravaggio, a horse of startling pace by Scat Daddy, covered an even larger book.
According to the numbers revealed in Weatherbys online stallion covering data, Caravaggio covered 217 mares, while Churchill bred 211. Both are giant books, even by the contemporary standard of 100-mare books and larger.
In addition, managing books of that size require exceptional vigor from the stallion, as well as intense mare management from the breeding farms, in coordination with the stallion station, to keep the covers per mare to an absolute minimum.
At least 14 first-crop covering sires in England and Ireland had books of 100 or more mares earlier this year, with Coolmore having three of the four most-used stallions. Highland Reel (Galileo) covered 184, placing him a single mare behind Kildangan Stud’s Profitable (Invincible Spirit), who covered 185.
Other first-year covering sires in England or Ireland that might be of interest to American readers include Ribchester (Iffraaj, Kildangan, 154), El Kabeir (Scat Daddy, Yeomanstown, 146), Galileo Gold (Paco Boy, Tally-Ho, 140), Ulysses (Galileo, Cheveley Park, 115), and Postponed (Dubawi, Dalham Hall, 112).
General figures from the US Jockey Club regarding 2018 covering figures hereabouts should be available relatively soon.