Few newcomers to stud ownership in the Hunter Valley have made bigger impact than George Fraser, the owner of the Ilala Stud on the opposite side of the highway to his parents historic St Aubin's Stud, less than five minutes drive south of Scone.

Since Fraser launched Ilala two years ago as a stud offering mare owners an opportunity to breed in the Hunter Valley at modest cost, they have built up an impressive team of eight sires, seven of which are available for use in the 2007 season, and a big broodmare band.

Scone raised George Fraser, like everybody in the industry shocked at the effect of the equine influenza and concerned at the impact it could have on 2008 foal numbers because mares can't get to stallions because of travel restrictions, is offering an opportunity for breeders to use the Ilala mares and sires under lease arrangements.

"So, given that you can't come to us, we'll do our best to come to you," he said in announcing the package.

"We will lease a mare to you for the 2007 season, and cover it with an Ilala stallion. The progeny will belong to you. We will get the mare of your choice to the Ilala stallion of your choice, include the agistment, reproductive vetting, and raising the foal to weanling stage costs, and then you take it," Fraser said.

He has compiled a package of costs for each sire ranging from $33.00 to $39.00 day which takes in the stallion usage, mare and foal care, but these can but cut in half by foal share arrangement. It is a scheme which could introduce new breeders to the industry as well as being helpful to existing breeders.

One of the most innovative studmasters in the industry, George Fraser also recently annouced a 'parachute' deal, one which guarantees mare owners marketing yearlings by the sires they stand at Ilala a profit on service fee costs.

Subject to terms and conditions, details of which are available from Ilala Stud, P.O. Box 597, Scone, 2337, phone (02) 6545 3001, fax (02) 6545 9260 or www.ilalastud.com, Fraser says, "If your yearling does not make twice the price you paid for the stallion service, we will send you a cheque for the difference. We believe in our stallions, and we are putting our money where out mouth is. So if the breeder backs us, we will back the breeder in return."

The IIala Stud sires for 2007 are Oh Oklahoma (Rosehill Guineas second by Singspiel (IRE), Amalfi (Victoria Derby winner by Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Carnegie), Eagle Rise (Danehill winner), Filante (Star Way dual Group 1 winner and second twice Cox Plate), Techrico (a son of supersire Zabeel and Vain Australasian Champion 2YO Filly Vaindarra), Sippin' Bourbon (USA) (half-brother by Hennessy to Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones) and Vice Admiral (IRE) (brother by Deputy Minister to Dehere, sire of Group 1 winners Australia and America). Oh Oklahoma and Sippin' Bourbon are new sires for 2007.

Brian Russell Bloodstock Media Service Published 04/09/07