The answer to that question in Australasia probably depends on which country you live in. For Australians the answer would most likely be Art Major. For New Zealanders the answer would most likely be Bettor's Delight.
Each dominates the country they reside in but most people today would view the Australasian market as a single entity, a view we subscribe to.
Both stallions cover mares in both countries and a lot of their progency race in both countries in their careers.
Both Art Major in Australia and Bettor's Delight in New Zealand have much larger crops in the countries in which they reside and that tends to make comparisons difficult.
I mean it is hard to compare the Bettor's Delight crop of 230 two year olds in New Zealand this season with the 85 sired in New Zealand by Art Major.
Or the crop of 167 three year olds sired by Art Major in Australia compared against the 56 sired in Australia by Bettor's Delight.
So we have decided to combine the two crops of each sire in both Australia and New Zealand to see if that sheds more light on the subject.
ART MAJOR BETTOR'S DELIGHT
2 YEAR OLDS
NZ - 85 NZ - 230
AU - 129 AU - 84
TOTAL= 214 TOTAL=314
3 YEAR OLDS
NZ - 95 NZ - 109
AU - 167 AU - 56
Looks a touch like swings and roundabouts with Art Major having 100 less two year olds and 103 more three year olds than Bettor's Delight.
We now move on to money won.
ART MAJOR BETTORS DELIGHT
2 YEAR OLDS
NZ - $490,855 NZ - $820,642
AU - $989,531 AU - $515,526
TOTAL - $1,480,386 TOTAL - $1,336,168
3 YEAR OLDS
NZ - $978,028 NZ - $1,101880
AU - $1,384,704 AU - $664,085
TOTAL= $2,362,732 TOTAL= $1,765,965
The tables just reinforce the view that there is very little between these two great stallions.
Art Major has had a stellar year with his two year olds considering he had 100 less than Bettors Delight overall where as the gap in stakes at the three year old level can fairly be laid at the difference in the crop sizes of 103 which favoured Art Major this time.
Stakes in Australia also play a part with New South Wales and Western Australia have far better stakes on average than New Zealand.
While Bettors Delight is $12,500+gst in both countries for the coming season, Alabar have yet to announce the fee for Art Major although it has been set at $9,500+gst in recent seasons which in the context of this seasons results now seems like a bargin.
Overall it is close to a dead heat for us although if Art Major can have another two year old season like he did with this years crop, he may get his nose in front.
However that won't be easy as Bettor's Delight has 294 yearlings in Australasia while Art Major only has 202.