Sir Patrick Hogan ended speculation around the 2016 stud fee of sire sensation Tavistock by announcing yesterday he will stand at $65,000 in his seventh season at Cambridge Stud.
That is an increase from $15,000 last breeding season, but the dramatic rise is no surprise to anyone who has been paying even the slightest level of attention.
Cannily, Patrick Hogan waited until after last weekend when former New Zealander Werther, Tavistock's son, won the QE11 Cup in Hong Kong after recently winning the Hong Kong Derby, only the fourth horse to complete the coveted double.
Tavistock's glory was already running off the back of the likes of Volkstok'n'barrell, Tarzino, the remarkable Hasselhoof and Australian Derby winner Tavago.
"It's been a very difficult task to settle on this service fee," said Hogan yesterday. "Mind you, this is only one side of the coin, the other is sorting through the hundreds of service applications and deciding who's in and who is not."
Tavistock retired to Cambridge Stud as a dual group one winner in 2010 and covered 127 mares at $12,500. In 2011 he stood at the same fee, serving 94 and a year later covered 82 at $10,000. A further reduction to $8000 attracted 105 mares.
Hogan said there would be only 60 outside nominations for service this coming breeding season.
"We had more than 280 applications before last weekend and when Werther won again we had another bunch come in. The problem is that by the time you add up share-holder mares and the pre-emptive right of shareholders to send further mares, there are only 60 to 70 outside nominations.
"It really is a dilemma and I find myself in an impossible position trying to satisfy everyone. Those whose applications are successful will no doubt be pleased, but there will be a whole lot of other broodmare owners who will miss out."
Applications included nearly 50 from Australia and nearly the same amount of 45 mares by Zabeel, who features strongly in the pedigrees of more than half of Tavistock's major winners. "I'm absolutely comfortable in my belief that he belongs at that level," said Hogan.
"The way his progeny are developing and performing there's clearly another leap to take in the future, but as things stand now I believe we've got it right."
Cambridge's shuttle stallion Power remains at $8000 after a magnificent first sale earlier this year.
Keeper reduces $1000 to $6000 and freshman Burgundy reduces $1000 to $5000.