Last weekend's Group 1 Epsom Handicap victory of Fat Al was an overdue success in the top-flight for Al Maher, a young sire with a reputation that has been enhanced each and every season since first being represented in 2008/09.
Al Maher's notable start to the latest racing season sees him commanding 11th position on the General Sires listing. Significantly, he has achieved this with just 62 runners, yet he boasts just as many individual stakes winners in 2012/13 as the likes of Redoute's Choice (125 runners), Lonhro (145 runners), Snitzel (72 runners) and Mossman (82 runners).
For a stallion standing at a fee of just $16,500 (inc GST), Al Maher's current position on the General Sires standings is a wonderful advertisement for what he has to offer broodmare owners.
After all, Al Maher (pictured) is the only stallion of the current top-10 active sires available for a fee of less than $20,000, and is presently found ahead of the likes of Encosta de Lago ($82,500), High Chaparral ($77,000), Not a Single Doubt ($24,750), Testa Rossa ($33,000) and others.
Since his first-crop 2-year-old winners Majestic Music and Speedy Natalie, stakes winning females and males have flowed freely. Marheta, Becerra, M'Lady Pedrille, Unchain My Heart, Dance With Her and Oasis Bloom are now all black-type winning members of the fairer sex, while the likes of Amaethon, Kinnersley, Bigelow, Budriguez, King Lionheart and now Fat Al establish that Al Maher sires quality runners of both genders. Indeed, his statistics of 80 individual winning colts or geldings against 78 individual winning fillies or mares shows no gender bias and re-enforces his balanced record all round.
One industry authority that doesn't need to be convinced of this fact is acclaimed form analyst Steve Moran. Besides being one of the best known media personalities in Victorian racing, Moran was a part-owner of Marheta and is now also in the ownership of the progressive 3-year-old Zazparella. He doesn't disguise his admiration for the Al Maher breed.
"The wonderful record of Al Maher fillies has been well documented and I've been lucky enough to be involved in a small way," says Moran. "First with a share in the 2010 Doomben Roses winner and Queensland Oaks runner-up Marheta, who was superbly handled by Mike Moroney.
"Now I have another in Zazparella — also with Moroney. She may still be a touch 'new' for this spring but we're confident she too will develop into an Oaks contender before the season is out. She is as classy a filly as you will lay your eyes on.
"My two Al Maher fillies have shown a natural propensity to run 2000 metres and beyond while retaining a turn of foot. I wouldn't hesitate to have another."
Moran also observes: "And the boys go OK too, don't they? Can't believe I didn't break away from the Zazparella Manifold Stakes post-mortem to back Fat Al in the Epsom some 15 minutes later."
The 2012 advertised service fee of Emirates Park resident stallion Al Maher is now looking to represent outstanding value following the first nine weeks of the 2012/13 domestic racing season. For a sum of just $16,500 (inc GST), broodmare owners can go to a sire currently standing in 11th position on the Australian General Sires listing — and a Group 1 stallion to boot!
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