SIOUX Nation has been installed as the odds-on favourite to be crowned the leading first season sire of 2022.
Bookmaker Paddy Power has priced up the market and reckons 4/9 is the right price about the Coolmore Stud stallion, winner of the Phoenix Stakes and Norfolk Stakes as a juvenile.
Havana Grey, winner of the Flying Five and now standing at Whitsbury Manor Stud in England, is the second favourite.
Bloodstock agent Joseph Burke, who is credited at creating this market during his time with Cashmans, believes the favourite will be hard to beat.
“The annual attempt to predict which of the first-season sires are going to be the next Mehmas is never easy but the reality is a sire with statistics like Mehmas normally only emerges once every five or six years, if we are lucky,” Burke said.
“Mehmas topped the list on number of individual winners, stakes winners, stakes horses-to-runners, prize money, et cetera. But given this market is merely based on the number of winners in Britain and Ireland, punters don’t need to pick who is the best sire in the bunch; they merely need to predict who will have the most winners.
“To predict the most winners, you simply need to see if one sire has far more representatives than any other and, as you may have guessed by the market, Sioux Nation has 32% more to run for him than any of the other stallions (158 two-year-olds in 2022).
“Crunching the numbers he merely needs 25% of those to win for him and he’ll have 39 or more winners, which is in excess of what is normally required to win this competition - and a 25% strike rate is very average and achievable - so it really does looks an open goal for him.
“The stallion with the second most to run for him, Cracksman, wasn’t out until October of his two-year-old career himself and so therefore realistically will have no chance of landing the bets, but that doesn’t mean he won’t make it as a stallion as his grandsire Galileo was well down the list of first-season sires and became the most successful sire we have ever seen. For the purposes of this betting market, however, he’s out.
“Next on numbers you have Havana Grey on 113 and, given he had three runs before Royal Ascot, he has a much better chance of maybe finishing second but it’s a win-only market so, for punting purposes, second is the same as last.
“Essentially it comes down to representatives and Sioux Nation simply has far more than any of his contemporaries so is the justifiable odds-on favourite in what looks a one-horse race.”
Burke suggests a competition based on prize money won, rather than individual winners, would be far more competitive. “It takes far more work to compile a market on which first-season sire will take the title on prize money but it’s probably a more balanced reflection on the stallions, as it brings horses that were not simply sprinters into the mix - the classic types such as Saxon Warrior, Cracksman and Roaring Lion.
“It also gives sires who had impressive yearlings but don’t have the huge numbers to run for them - Kessaar and U S Navy Flag spring to mind - into focus.
“The aforementioned sires don’t have the numbers that Sioux Nation does but a win in a sales race or a couple of stakes wins could bring them right into contention in the prize money category. The betting would look very different if it were based on prize money. You’d have another favourite and it would probably be 3/1 the field. It certainly wouldn’t be a one-horse race and it would be exciting to follow.”
Leading First Season Sire
(Based on number of individual winners in Ireland and Britain)
Paddy Power: 4/9 Sioux Nation, 9/4 Havana Grey, 6 Saxon Warrior, 9 Roaring Lion, 12 Expert Eye, 14 Harry Angel, 33 Cracksman, 50 Kessaar, 100 Gustav Klimt, Massaat, Tasleet, US Navy Flag, 500 James Garfield, Lightning Spear, Rajasinghe, Unfortunately, Washington DC