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Swettenham Stud Releases 2021 Stallion Fees

Toronado will stand for an increased fee after siring group 1 winner Masked Crusader.

Toronado

Toronado

Courtesy of Haras de Bouquetot

Swettenham Stud shuttler Toronado, the sire of last month's Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (G1) winner Masked Crusader, will have his southern hemisphere season in the breeding shed carefully managed.

The Victorian farm, owned by Adam Sangster, confirmed the Al Shaqab-owned Toronado would stand for an increased fee of A$49,500 (US$38,462) in 2021 while also revealing the stallion would have his book capped after covering a career peak of 210 mares last year, his sixth at stud.

Rubick
Photo: Courtesy Coolmore Stud/Bronwen Healy Photography
Rubick

Rubick will stand for A$27,500 (US$21,379), down from $33,000, while Puissance de Lune (A$19,800), Highland Reel (A$16,500), I Am Immortal (A$13,750), and Trust In A Gust (A$6,600) will all remain at unchanged fees next season.

Toronado's fee rise—he stood for A$27,500 last year—comes just days after it was announced that Coolmore's sprinter Rubick would relocate to Swettenham Stud ahead of next season.

Sam Matthews, Swettenham Stud nominations and sales manager, said it would be "a bit of a different story this year" for Toronado.

"Last year we had to knock back over 300 mares and, rather than going first in, best dressed this time, we thought we'd hand-select the mares and make sure we had the right ones going to him," said Matthews.

"It's a little bit like a university, I suppose, where the best ones get in first. It's not necessarily the best (race) mares, but also the best on pedigree as well.

"It's something Al Shaqab wanted us to do to make sure that it wasn't just those who called up early, but that they are the best mares for him to give him the best chance (of long-term success)."

Masked Crusader wins the 2021 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley Racecourse<br>
Photo: Mark Gatt
Toronado's son Masked Crusader wins the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley Racecourse

Toronado is the sire of 12 individual stakes winners, with Affair To Remember, Still A Star, and ATC Securities Frank Packer Plate (G3) winner Senor Toba joining the Hawkes Racing-trained Masked Crusader, who was last week sewn up to run in The Everest (G1) in October, all putting the shuttler on the map in Australia.

To help manage Toronado's restricted list of mares, breeders will be required to submit their mare applications through the Tom Seymour-developed Breedr digital booking portal.

As for what criteria that is, Matthews suggested Swettenham has been targeting mares by I Am Invincible and his own sire Invincible Spirit.

"I Am Invincible and Invincible Spirit mares is something we've chased for him specifically, but there's a few others in there as well and we're trying, with Al Shaqab, to go back quite a few generations and work it out to make sure everyone can not only get a return but that it's also the right cross," he said.

"We also don't want to just tap I Am Invincible or Invincible Spirit mares because you can flood the market, and we're trying to keep it a little bit broad.

"We want to give everyone a chance to submit the mares and give everyone a crack at getting a slot.

"Last year he covered a couple of group 1 producers and he covered a daughter of Black Caviar. He covered some really good mares, rather than just nice mares, and this season he will cover a better book again.

"We could have stood him at $66,000 and people wouldn't have batted an eyelid, but it's not Swettenham's way of doing it. We want to still make sure people can get a return along the way."

Matthews, meanwhile, has spent much of this week on the phone answering calls from breeders following news of Rubick's move south.

"Rubisaki is running in the Robert Sangster Stakes (G1) on Saturday, so it could be a good story to be told if Rubick's first group 1 is named after the boss' dad," said Matthews.

"He's probably got 50 mares booked at the moment, and we'll get him down to the farm soon, so people can have a look at him.

"We were excited to announce him, and we've had people call up out of the blue. We've had people who have supported us before, but we've also new people as well calling us, so it's been overwhelming."

Next season looms as a pivotal one for Swettenham as Highland Reel's first 2-year-olds will step out, while I Am Immortal's first foals will be born.

"We can't wait for the I Am Immortals to hit the ground and if they look anything like him, we will be very excited about him," said Matthews.

"He covered 116 mares in his first year. Shareholders and some really good breeders got around him, so he's getting every chance."