Starcraft book trebles in size as breeders 'toss the boss' for free cover
Rosemont Stud offer entices mare owners to use Group 1 ace
Stallion operations are always thinking of innovative new ways to drum up business for their charges and Anthony Mithen of Rosemont Stud in Victoria, Australia, has come up with a humdinger.
Mithen is claiming to have managed to treble the book size for Starcraft for the coming breeding season with his 'toss the boss' promotion.
Breeders are given the chance to call what they want – a colt or filly – and if they get the opposite, they do not have to pay the A$8,800 (£5,400/€5,900) covering fee.
"We were struggling to get mares to him because people seemed to think he would be leaving Victoria," Mithen told the Sydney Morning Herald. "We decided to give them the assurance that he would be here for the next couple of years at least and hopefully more. That's why we bought out Arrowfield.
"He has had only 30 or 40 mares for the past couple of seasons, but we already have 90 bookings for this year because of 'toss the boss'.
"I think everyone involved in racing is a punter at heart and this way they are getting a 50-50 chance of a free service.
"They only have to pay on a live foal and if they say they want a colt and get a filly, well then it's free."
New Zealand-bred Starcraft found fame both south and north of the Equator by winning three Group 1s in Australasia for trainer Gary Newham before owner Paul Makin sent the horse to Europe.
Starcraft was sent out by Luca Cumani to win the Prix du Moulin and to take the notable scalp of Dubawi when he landed the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 2005.
The son of Soviet Star, now 17, has had some success as a stallion by supplying the top-class sprinter Star Witness and dual New Zealand Group 1 scorer We Can Say It Now.