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Lope De Vega climbs to career-high pitch as Ballylinch reveals 2021 fees

Exciting young stallions New Bay and Make Believe also receive increases

Lope De Vega: sired his 12th top-level winner at the Breeders' Cup
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Leading stallion Lope De Vega heads the list of prices for Ballylinch Stud's 2021 fees, with the sire of 12 Group/Grade 1 winners pitched at a career-high €125,000, a 25 per cent year-on-year increase.

The son of Shamardal has risen from a fee of just €12,500 in 2013 to establish himself as one of the stallion ranks' brightest stars, with his record including 125 black-type performers achieved at an outstanding strike-rate of 14.5 per cent stakes horses-to-runners.

Results from the Breeders' Cup underlined Lope De Vega's prowess, with Aunt Pearl, winner of the Juvenile Fillies Turf, giving him his second elite level-winning two-year-old of the campaign. He currently sits in fifth on the leading sires' table in Britain and Ireland.

"Lope De Vega's rise to the very top of the stallion ranks continues," said Ballylinch Stud's managing director John O'Connor. "This year's crop of two-year-olds included his 11th and 12th Group 1 winners, with Lucky Vega taking the Phoenix Stakes and Aunt Pearl crowning a magnificent year with her dominant display at the Breeders' Cup.

Aunt Pearl wins the Juvenile Fillies Turf
"There were four Group 1 winners among his 37 stakes performers, while his yearlings averaged almost 3.5 times his 2018 fee and sold for up to 900,000gns."

Joining Lope De Vega is New Bay, the Prix du Jockey Club winner by Dubawi, whose first two-year-olds have created a deep impression, with his European runners including 11 winners, including Royal Lodge scorer New Mandate and undefeated Oh So Sharp Stakes winner Saffron Beach. His fee has been upped from €15,000 to €20,000.

"New Bay has made an exceptional start," said O'Connor. "Among his four stakes horses are Group 2 winner New Mandate and unbeaten Guineas prospect Saffron Beach, who won the Group 3 Oh So Sharp. Statistically he's very strong, with 50 per cent winners to runners and seven horses rated over 90 from only 22 starters in Britain and Ireland.

"He had a really strong year at the yearling sales, with his progeny selling for up to 400,000gns and an outstanding average of €85,000."

Saffron Beach (red) sticks her neck out en route to victory in the Oh So Sharp Stakes
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hero Waldgeist, who kicked off his stallion career with a book of 117 mares at Ballylinch last year, remains at €17,500 for his second season.

O'Connor said of the son of Galileo: "Almost every big race of the 2020 season was a reminder of the quality of his Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe form, with the beaten horses – including Ghaiyyath, Magical, Sottsass and Enable – winning 11 Group 1s between them since.

"We were delighted by how well Waldgeist was received in his first season at stud with 117 mares of outstanding quality; 95 per cent of his book had black type under their first dam, including the 63 stakes performers or producers he covered.

"Gestut Ammerland also entrusted Lope De Vega to Ballylinch, and Waldgeist has every opportunity to follow in his footsteps."

Mishriff: Group 1-winning son of Make Believe
Another young sire who has made a promising start to his stallion career is Make Believe, with his first Classic crop headlined by the Prix du Jockey Club hero Mishriff. He has also been represented by the Group 3 winners Believe In Love, Ocean Fantasy and Rose Of Kildare, and has earned an upgrade from €12,000 to €15,000.

"The results of Make Believe's first crop of three-year-olds put him up there amongst the best young sires in Europe," said O'Connor. "His son Mishriff was a most resounding winner of the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club, and he was backed up by the Group-winning fillies Believe In Love, Ocean Fantasy and the people's favourite Rose Of Kildare.

"What especially impresses me is his progeny's will to win, and we can see that with 46 per cent winners to runners - that's the best of any sire with at least 25 runners in Britain and Ireland."

Jon O'Connor: "We feel we have priced our stallions fairly to give breeders every opportunity to continue our shared successes"
Completing the five-strong roster is Fascinating Rock, a dual Group 1 winner by Fastnet Rock whose three successful two-year-olds have come at a strike-rate of 20 per cent.

"Fascinating Rock was a world champion ten-furlong turf horse and the highest rated by his sire, higher in fact than Fastnet Rock's seven sons that have already sired Group 1 winners," said O'Connor. "He's off to a solid start, with three winners and another four placed from 16 runners.

"Fascinating Rock improved 40lb between his sole two-year-old start and May of his three-year-old career; all the signs point to his progeny also improving significantly over the winter."

He added: "We're thrilled with the results of our stallions this year, and very grateful to the breeders who made these achievements possible. We feel we've priced our stallions fairly, to give breeders every opportunity to continue our shared successes into the future."

Ballylinch Stud 2021 stallion fees

Stallion 2021 fee 2020 fee % change
Lope De Vega €125,000 €100,000 +25
New Bay €20,000 €15,000 +33
Waldgeist €17,500 €17,500 N/A
Make Believe €15,000 €12,000 +25
Fascinating Rock €5,000 €7,000 -29

More fee news: 

Juddmonte release 2021 stallion fees for superstars Frankel and Kingman

Pinatubo offered at £35,000 as 'unpredictable times' reflected in trimmed Darley fees

Cheveley Park Stud makes 'fair and necessary' reductions to 2021 fees

Claiborne Farm cuts War Front's fee to $150,000 amid 'unprecedented times'

Yeomanstown Stud release reduced fees for 2021

Wooded introduced at €15,000 as Haras de Bouquetot announce 2021 fees

We are thrilled with the results of our stallions this year, and very grateful to the breeders who made these achievements possible
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