Life’s a Breeze with a Kodiac

The most successful Breeze-Up sire in recent years should again prove popular with buyers this Spring, says John Boyce.  

In 2019 almost £43 million was spent at the breeze-up sales. And while this makes up only 13% of the £330 million paid for yearlings in Europe last year, it’s a very important market for the buyers and sellers involved.

In the past five years, the main sales have uncovered eight Group 1 winners, three of them – La Pelosa, War Of Will and Channel – from the 2018 sales. By far the best graduate since 2015 has been Showcasing’s ultra-fast daughter Quiet Reflection who was sourced from Doncaster for a bargain £44,000 and went on to earn a Timeform mark of 126. The eight Group 1 winners since 2015 cost their new owners an average price of just £111,214, a bargain when you consider that the 51 Group winners from these sales cost an average of £134,366.

It’s a close-run race between the Craven and Arqana breeze ups when it comes to quality. The Craven has produced 57% winners in the period – the same as Doncaster incidentally – marginally ahead of Arqana’s 53%. That said, Arqana graduates have been more likely to become Stakes horses, featuring 53 (10.6%), compared with the 44 (10%) from the Craven sale. Doncaster graduates feature 42 (7%) Stakes winners and Goresbridge 30 (4.3%). Arqana’s ability to find Stakes horses is all the more commendable, given its average price of £101,131, compared with the £130,460 of the Craven breeze up. 

The Group 1 Longines Prix de Diane winner, Channel, was sold at the 2018 Arqana Breeze Up Sale for just €70,000.

The Group 1 Longines Prix de Diane winner, Channel, was sold at the 2018 Arqana Breeze Up Sale for just €70,000.

The breeze ups are quite important too for many stallions, none more so than Kodiac, the stallion of choice for vendors and buyers alike. In the five years since 2015, 139 Kodiacs have been sold at the main ready-to-run sales in Britain, Ireland and France. That’s 70 more than the next most represented sires Dandy Man and Zebedee. And there will be more on offer this spring. 

His 21 Black Type horses and 11 Black Type winners are naturally the most by any sire since 2015. His 11 Black Type winners produce a strike rate of 7.9% which compares very favourably with his overall score of 5.3% and his 15.1% Black Type horses from the breeze ups easily tops his career score of 10.8%. 

The ready-to-run sales are clearly a good place to find a Kodiac. His 11 Black-Type winners since 2015 have cost on average a shade over £119,000 and include the likes of Group 2 winners Ardad (£170,000), Prince Of Lir (£170,000) – both now stallions in their own right – and Fox Champion (420,000gns). Showcasing, the sire of Quiet Reflection, and Siyouni, responsible for Overbury stallion Le Brivido, are the next best with four Black Type winners apiece. Zoffany has had three, followed by a host of sires with two apiece.

Kodiac’s 2yos have proved particularly successful for buyers at the Breeze Up sales since 2015, with 11 of his progeny going on to earn Black Type.

Kodiac’s 2yos have proved particularly successful for buyers at the Breeze Up sales since 2015, with 11 of his progeny going on to earn Black Type.

Everyone is aware of the rags-to-riches story of Kodiac, the Group 3-placed three-parts brother to Invincible Spirit out of Group 1 Prix de Diane heroine Rafha. Rated only 112 by Timeform, Kodiac has always attracted plenty of mares. In fact, only in year three of his 13 years at stud did he ever dip below 100 mares and he’s served an average of 223 for the past six seasons. 

But early on, there was never much quality to his books. His first four contained only ten elite mares. His next four had 70, but since then he’s covered 316 elite mares, an average of 63 over the past five seasons. That’s how popular he’s become over the years. He’s just edged past 1,000 runners and his 54 Black-Type winners give him a strike rate of 5.3%, which is unquestionably low for a €65,000 stallion. 

Again his early poorly bred crops will always act as an anchor on his career stats. But a more relevant picture can be gained from looking at what he achieves with good mares, particularly as more and more of his future runners will have better pedigrees. Remarkably, only a tenth of his runners so far are from mares that can be classified as elite, but he’s sired 9.2% Black-Type winners from these, which is more like what we ought to expect over the next few years.

His best ten runners have an average Timeform rating of 120.4, which is 3lb per horse below what the very best achieve, but again a perfectly respectable score for a sire who had such humble beginnings. There is also variety among his very best, ranging from Group 1 Cheveley Park-winning daughters Tiggy Wiggy and Fairyland to miler Kodi Bear and mile-and-a-half star Best Solution. There’s clearly a different air of expectation for Kodiac nowadays, so some more well-performed breeze up graduates wouldn’t go amiss.

We can of course expect a changing landscape. No Nay Never and Kingman have already had their first Stakes winners from the breeze up sales, as have young sires Outstrip and Due Diligence.  It is the likes of these two latter inexpensive sires that can gain traction in the breeze up market as their progeny are not too expensive and they also have the added benefit of a strong start to their stud careers.


Horse Born Sex Sire Form Price £   Sale 
LEGENDS OF WAR 2016 C Scat Daddy G3wG2p £945,000  TAAPR 
AL RAYA 2017 F Siyouni G3w £450,000  DNAPR 
FOX CHAMPION 2016 C Kodiac G2wG1p £441,000  TAAPR 
DIVINE IMAGE 2016 F Scat Daddy G3w £317,231  ARMAY 
LA PELOSA 2016 F Dandy Man G1w £294,000  TAAPR 
EAST 2016 F Frankel G3wG1p £275,949  GBMBR 
DABAN 2014 F Acclamation G3wG1p £273,000  TAGUN 
QUEEN OF BERMUDA 2016 F Exceed And Excel G3wG2p £241,500  TAAPR 
WAR OF WILL 2016 C War Front G1w £220,299  ARMAY 
ETE INDIEN 2017 C Summer Front G2w £207,026  ARMAY 
MEHMAS 2014 C Acclamation G2wG1p £178,500  TAAPR 
ARDAD 2014 C Kodiac G2w £170,000  DNAPR 
PRINCE OF LIR 2014 C Kodiac G2w £170,000  DNAPR 
DOWN ON DA BAYOU 2017 F Super Saver G3w £163,896  ARMAY 
PRETTY BABY 2015 F Orpen G3w £160,282  ARMAY 
TROPBEAU 2017 F Showcasing G2wG1p £155,270  ARMAY 
MR. MONOMOY 2017 C Palace Malice G2w £155,270  ARMAY 
A'ALI 2017 C Society Rock G2w £135,000  DNAPR 
INDIAN BLESSING 2014 F Sepoy G3wG1p £133,878  ARMAY 
PARVANEH 2013 F Holy Roman Emperor G2w £127,171  ARMAY 
VENTURA STORM 2013 G Zoffany G1w £115,500  TAAPR 
VITALOGY 2017 C No Nay Never G3wG1p £103,513  ARMAY 
RED VERDON 2013 G Lemon Drop Kid G3wG1p £94,500  TAAPR 
BEAR CHEEK 2013 F Kodiac G3w £88,871  GBMBR 
TEPPAL 2015 F Camacho G1w £88,577  ARMAY 
LE BRIVIDO 2014 C Siyouni G3wG1p £82,690  ARMAY 
GRIZZEL 2014 F Kodiac G3w £78,750  TAAPR 
TRUE VALOUR 2014 C Kodiac G2w £76,990  GBMBR 
TAMNIAH 2016 F Nathaniel G3w £66,090  ARMAY 
HOMERIQUE 2015 F Exchange Rate G2wG1p £63,269  ARMAY 
CHANNEL 2016 F Nathaniel G1w £61,684  ARMAY 
RICH LEGACY 2014 F Holy Roman Emperor G2w £59,064  ARMAY 
BLUE DE VEGA 2013 G Lope de Vega G3wG1p £53,323  GBMBR 
BOUNDLESS 2017 C Declaration of War G3w £52,500  TAAPR 
ASHADIHAN 2013 F Kyllachy G3w £50,400  TAGUN 
NIKISOPHIA 2016 F No Nay Never G3w £45,822  ARMAY 
KENZAI WARRIOR 2017 C Karakontie G3w £45,000  DNAPR 
QUIET REFLECTION 2013 F Showcasing G1w £44,000  DNAPR 
KOROPICK 2014 C Kodiac G3w £42,000  TAAPR 
NOW OR NEVER 2013 F Bushranger G2wG1p £42,000  DNAPR 
AMADE 2014 G Casamento G2w £39,376  ARMAY 
DUCA DI COMO 2015 C Clodovil G3w £36,510  GBMBR 
ROBIN OF NAVAN 2013 C American Post G1w £34,154  ARMAY 
OUTBURST 2017 F Outstrip G3w £32,779  ARMAY 
DONJUAN TRIUMPHANT 2013 C Dream Ahead G1w £31,500  TAAPR 
NOMORERICHBLONDES 2014 F Hard Spun G3w £31,500  TAAPR 
ANDA MUCHACHO 2014 C Helmet G2w £20,017  GBMBR 
TINNITUS 2013 C Clodovil G3w £20,000  DNAPR 
ABEL HANDY 2015 G Arcano G3w £16,000  DNAPR 
STREAMLINE 2017 C Due Diligence G3w £13,000  DNAPR 
CHARLINE ROYALE 2015 F Zebedee G3w £9,000  DNAPR 


Sire  Sold   Avg Price £   BTH   BTW   %BTW 
Kodiac    139          69,337      21       11         7.9
Showcasing      62          62,478        8         4         6.5
Siyouni      63        110,460      10         4         6.3
Zoffany      54          54,546        5         3         5.6
Nathaniel      11          65,087        2         2       18.2
No Nay Never      19        120,216        4         2       10.5
Roderic O'Connor      19          12,578        3         2       10.5
Clodovil      19          24,138        2         2       10.5
Scat Daddy      24        327,809        3         2         8.3
Le Havre      25          54,891        5         2         8.0
Arcano      28          25,304        3         2         7.1
Camacho      36          29,868        2         2         5.6
Acclamation      41          72,720        4         2         4.9
Holy Roman Emperor      43          37,791        4         2         4.7
Kyllachy      43          57,779        2         2         4.7
Lope de Vega      45          80,568        4         2         4.4
Exceed And Excel      45        110,534        3         2         4.4

About the author

John Boyce

John Boyce grew up on a stud farm and is a bloodstock journalist and former editor of Pacemaker and of The Thoroughbred Breeder. He was part of the Darley/Godolphin team from 2001 to 2022 as Group Marketing Head and then Group Head of Research. He is currently a partner in a data analytics company based in London.

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