World leading sire More Than Ready has been in the headlines lately, both as a sire of stakes winners, and as a sire of sires. The Grade One winning son of Southern Halo is building up a singularly impressive record in South Africa, and More Than Ready’s local success looks set to continue unabated.
While it is hardly surprising that such an outstanding sire enjoys success in South Africa, More Than Ready’s statistics do make for interesting reading. He has been represented by 8 runners in this country to date – of which six have won, and no fewer than four are stakes winners.
More Than Ready’s current local representatives include two extremely promising looking colts.
The KZN based Diamond King, who has won three of six outings, is being aimed at a classic campaign this year, and has already won a feature race – having triumphed earlier this season in the Listed KRA Guineas Trial.
The unbeaten juvenile, Banaadeer, caused more than a few people to sit up and pay attention when bolting up on debut to win by over eight lengths. He followed up next time out with a convincing victory in the Listed Storm Bird Stakes, prevailing by an easy 4.25 lengths.
Both colts’ recent wins suggest that More Than Ready is likely to feature in some of South Africa’s major feature races this season.
More Than Ready (by far and away the best sire son of champion sire Southern Halo) has, however, been enjoying plenty of success, both as a sire and a sire of sires, outside of South Africa.
His former champion son, Sebring, was represented by his first top flight winner when Dissident won Saturday’s Gr1 Randwick Guineas. Dissident has now won nearly AUS$1 000 000 in prize money.
He is one of 7 first crop stakes winners produced by former Gr1 Golden Slipper winner Sebring, who was Australia’s second leading first crop sire by winners last season.
Sebring is one of two Golden Slipper winners sired by More Than Ready and covered no fewer than 222 mares last season, which should give him plenty of opportunity to build his reputation as a promising young sire.
More Than Ready is also emerging as a promising broodmare sire. His sire, Southern Halo, was an outstanding broodmare sire – with his daughters producing over 170 stakes winners.
More Than Ready is currently damsire of the very promising US based 3yo Vinceremos (Pioneer of The Nile), winner of this season’s Gr3 Sam F Davis Stakes. He is also the damsire of this season’s Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Atalante (Fastnet Rock) as well as the G1 winners Rebel Dane (Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes) and Miracles Of Life (Blue Diamond Stakes).
More Than Ready has been more successful in Australia than North America, in terms of Gr1 winners.
In Australia, the stallion has been represented by nine top flight winners, whilst in the USA, More Than Ready (North America’s Champion Sire of 2YOS in 2010) has sired three Grade One winners.
However, these figures are reversed in terms of individual stakes winners – with More Than Ready’s US representatives proving more prolific than their Australasian counterparts.
His 11 Northern Hemisphere crops of racing age have produced 72 stakes winners (6% SW to foals), while More Than Ready’s Southern Hemisphere tally reads 60 stakes winners (three of which were official champions).
Difference in stud fee for the sire also makes for interesting reading. At Vinery Stud in Australia, More Than Ready stood for AUS $99 000 in 2013 and was the fourth most expensive, behind only Fastnet Rock, Redoute’s Choice and Street Cry.
In North America his covering fee is officially $50 000.
Understandably, sons of More Than Ready are proving popular at stud. In Australia, the grandson of Halo has three highly commercial sire sons at stud, while in the USA he has four sons registered in the Stallion Register.
In Australia, More Than Ready has built up a great record (inevitably) with Danehill line mares. Of his nine Australian Gr1 winners, five are out of mares by Danehill or a Danehill son.
Danehill’s son, Redoute’s Choice, is the broodmare sire of unbeaten Banaadeer, while Danehill Dancer is the damsire of More Than Ready’s Gr2 American Derby winner, Infinite Magic.
His great daughter, More Joyous, is inbred to Halo, and her second dam is by Danehill.
More Joyous, who won over $4.57 million and 21 races, is certainly a magnificent broodmare prospect. An outstanding racemare, she is out of a Gr1 winning daughter of Sunday Silence, and her third dam is the tap-root Australian mare, Denise’s Joy.
More Than Ready is already represented by two sire sons in South Africa – former L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Gimmethegreenlight, (who stands at Varsfontein Stud), and Group One Irish Champion Stakes runner up, Traffic Guard.
An extremely consistent sire, More Than Ready (an exceptional sprinter-miler who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby of his year) is best known as a source of high-class sprinter milers. His stock’s average distance is just over six furlongs – although interestingly enough, two of his US Gr1 winners, Verrazano (Wood Memorial Stakes) and Buster’s Ready (Mother Goose Stakes), won major races over 1800m and 1700m respectively.
A stallion who has left his mark all around the world, More Than Ready’s legacy in South Africa continues to grow. Watch this space!