I Am Invincible reaches new peak with 2018 service fee increase
Stallion to stand for A$192,500 at Yarrman Park Stud
Elite sire I Am Invincible will stand for A$192,500 (£104,364/€120,136) in the forthcoming breeding season, the second-highest advertised service fee in Australia this year.
The fee boost is the second in succession for the Mitchell family-owned stallion, whose remarkable upward trajectory has seen him become firmly established among the Southern Hemisphere's leading stallions.
Only champion sire Snitzel, at A$220,000 (£119,238/€137,307), boasts a higher advertised fee in 2018, with Coolmore flagbearer Fastnet Rock's fee once again listed as private.
Yarraman Park's Arthur Mitchell believes I Am Invincible is deserving of his place among the nation’s most expensive stallions, thanks in part to the feats of this year's juvenile crop, conceived from a service fee of A$27,500 (£14,905/€17,160).
"I think with what he has achieved on the track and in the sales ring, he sits near the top of the tree and is just behind Snitzel, so we think he warrants that sort of service fee," Mitchell told ANZ Bloodstock News.
"He had an outstanding book of mares last year led by Black Caviar and other Group 1 winners. He has had four Group-winning two-year-olds and that is not including Oohood, who was placed in the three major two-year-old races, so with the better mares coming through there is no reason why he can’t stay at the top."
I Am Invincible, who stood for a fee of A$55,000 (£29,800/€34,312) in 2015 and 2016 before jumping to A$110,000 (£59,693/€68,636) last year, is the sire of 31 individual stakes winners, including this season’s Group 1 winners Viddora and Hellbent, and in total has had 18 stakes-winning progeny this season.
Among them are juveniles Pure Elation, who won the ATC Percy Sykes Stakes earlier this month, ATC Skyline Stakes winner Santos, Kindergarten Stakes winner Paquirri and Widden Stakes winner Fiesta.
The Tony McEvoy-trained Oohood, meanwhile, ran third in the Blue Diamond Stakes and was runner-up in both the Golden Slipper Stakes and the ATC Sire' Produce Stakesthis campaign.
Demand for progeny by I Am Invincible has also reached new heights in the sales ring this year, with yearlings fetching a high of A$2,000,000 at an average of A$441,901 from a service fee of A$55,000.
He will be joined by his Group 1-winning son Hellbent this year, with the William Reid Stakes winner set to stand for an introductory fee of A$27,500.
Retired after that breakthrough Moonee Valley success, the Darren Weir-trained five-year-old won seven of his 23 race starts, including a further two Group One placings, with prize-money earnings of A$901,450.
"We targeted him early on and bought into him. He probably should have won a Group 1 last year. He is a top-class sprinter with an outstanding turn of foot," Mitchell said.
"He ran in four Group Ones and was probably a bit stiff in all of them. He should have won the William Reid last year, he was stiff in the Oakleigh Plate this year when beaten a head and a head.
"We think he is a good chance and is a very good looking horse."
The Yarraman roster is completed by Hinchinbrook, whose fee has also been increased following a stellar season, from A$44,000 (£23,874/€27,449) to A$55,000.
Last week, the Mick Price-trained two-year-old filly Seabrook handed him a second Group 1 winner, to go alongside the now Vinery Stud-based stallion Press Statement, with victory in the ATC Champagne Stakes.
Trained by Mick Price, Seabrook also won the Sweet Embrace Stakes during her Sydney campaign to showcase her sire, who is a three-quarter brother to Snitzel.
Like I Am Invincible, the service fee for Hinchinbrook, who has sired 14 individual stakes winners, has also been subject to regular increases recently, the sire having stood for A$16,500 (£8,953/€10,294) for his first five years at stud before an increase to A$38,500 (£20,889/€24,023) in 2016.
"He has had six stakes horses in the in the last month or two with Flippant, Spright, Whispering Brook, Seabrook and, of course, Beat The Clock who is going to start favourite in the Group 1 (Chairman's Sprint Prize) in Hong Kong on Sunday," Mitchell said.
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