New stakeswinner for Hussonet

Two-year-old colt Run For Levi became Hussonet ‘s 74th stakeswinner, and his sixth in Australia this season when he won Saturday’s $100,000 BRC Doomben Slipper LR for owner Patinack Farm and trainer John Thompson. On the 2009-10 Australian General Sires’ list Hussonet is now in the top ten by winners (92), wins (146), and stakeswinners (6), and 15th by earnings ($3,950,416).

Bred by Wall Street Thoroughbreds, Run For Levi and his dam Madam Bligh (by Nine Carat) were purchased by Patinack farm for $340,000 at the 2008 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. Madam Bligh, who won ten races and is a sister to three-time Group One winner Spark Of Life, is due to foal to Redoute’s Choice this spring.

Hussonet was also represented on Saturday in Perth by smart five-year-old sprinter Werd (ex Messenger Miss (USA), a three-quarter sister to Green Desert) who picked up his fourth win from his last seven starts in the $50,000 WATC Miss Italy Winter Championship Heat H. over 1000 metres. He’s now won seven races and prizemoney of $235,600.

The past five months have been outstanding for Hussonet who has added six new Listed stakeswinners (Run For Levi, Ego’s Dare, Latin News & Huxssen in Australia, Sky Link in South Africa and Jaconet in England) and his 27th Group One winner (Gold Trail) to his international record since the start of the year.

Five-year-old Gold Trail, who ran a brave fourth in the Singapore TC Krisflyer International Sprint G1 on 16 May, has arrived safely in England where he’ll contest the five-furlong King’s Stand S. G1 on 15 June.

He and Alverta (by Flying Spur ), set for the Golden Jubilee S. G1 over six furlongs on 19 June, give Arrowfield sires the honour of double representation for Australia at Royal Ascot. The third Australian runner at Royal Ascot is Nicconi, current favourite for the King’s Stand.

Hussonet, Australia’s leading active sire of Group One winners, is available to approved mares for foal shares only in 2010.

Snitzel gets his first NH-bred winner in Japan

Two-year-old filly Floreal has become the first northern hemisphere-bred winner in Japan by Arrowfield’s exciting young sire Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice-Snippets’ Lass by Snippets) with an outstanding debut win over 1200 metres at Monbetsu Racecourse, Hokkaido on 26 May.

The filly, the first runner from Snitzel’s only northern hemisphere crop, broke quickly and sped to the front before settling comfortably in second place. It was clear before the turn that everything behind her was struggling and it took only one request by her jockey to send her into over-drive, past the leader and on to a most impressive eight-length victory. View the race video here – check that 2010 05 26 displays on the date menu in the right-hand panel, then click 08R JRA in the box below that. Floreal is No. 6, and her jockey wears a green cap.

Grateful thanks to Shadai Stallion Station for permission to use this link

Floreal is out of Floreana, a daughter of Dance in the Dark (by Sunday Silence) from the family of Princess Tracy, who has enjoyed conspicuous success in Australia through her Group-winning sons Danasinga, Towkay and Cullen, and champion daughter Tracy’s Element, dam of five-time Group One winner Typhoon Tracy.

Snitzel has made a very fine start to his Australian stud career, with eight first crop winners to date this season, including Chance Bye (STC Silver Slipper S. G2) and stakes-placed Jypsiere. With season earnings of $1,038,078 he’s currently second on the 2009-10 Australian First Season Sires’ list, with fellow Arrowfield resident Starcraft in fifth place.

Snitzel will stand the 2010 season at Arrowfield at a fee of $27,500 (inc. GST).

Royal Ascot countdown begins for Alverta

The countdown for Alverta‘s Royal Ascot campaign began yesterday morning after her successful trial at Muswellbrook.

Trained by Paul Messara, the imposing chestnut daughter of Arrowfield’s champion sire Flying Spur and Grilse was ridden by Brett Marshall. As pictured on the right, he ensured the six-year-old mare had an easy trial, to help keep her as fresh as possible ahead of the arduous journey to England.

Alverta has been a headline performer for Flying Spur this season, getting her third Listed Stakes win in Queensland in December, then progressing to victory in the AJC Breeders Classic G2 in February, and a decisive two-length win in the STC Coolmore Classic G1 on 20 March. That was her eighth win from 35 starts and took her earnings to $982,325. That makes her this season’s leading Australian earner for Flying Spur who, along with his fellow Arrowfield champion sires Redoute’s Choice (2nd) and Hussonet (15th), is currently among Australia’s top 15 sires with total prizemoney of $4,062,272.

Alverta’s first assignment in England will be the six-furlong Golden Jubilee Stakes G1 at Royal Ascot on Saturday 19 June. It’s the second British leg of the Global Sprint Challenge and has already fallen to an Australian horse, Choisir, who won it in 2003. The race was established in 1868 as the All-Aged Stakes, became the Cork and Orrery Stakes in 1926 and was re-named for the second time in 2002 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Apart from Choisir, previous winners include champion sire Danehill (1989).

All going well, Alverta will then head to the third British leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, the July Cup G1 on 9 July over six furlongs at Newmarket. The July Cup’s first running was in 1876 and previous female winners include Marwell (1981) and Habibti (1983).

Alverta leaves Scone with her groom Leah Gavranich on Sunday 23 May for Melbourne, where she will be stabled until she departs for England late on Wednesday evening 26 May.

Starcraft Wednesday at Matamata

The excitement keeps building around Arrowfield’s first season sire Starcraft who was represented by two strapping fillies in their raceday debuts over 1200 metres at Matamata in New Zealand today, and came away with a head-turning victory and a fighting second.

Both fillies, the chestnut We Can Say it Now and the bay Simply Brilliant, are trained by Murray and Bjorn Baker and came to Matamata after impressive trial wins at Cambridge on 4 May. Paul and Lyndall Makin’s company, Paulyn Investments Pty Ltd, bred & races the fillies as part of the Makins’ strong commitment to the stud career of Starcraft, who took them to the Group One winners’ circle five times in four countries and was named World Champion Older Turf Miler in 2005.

On a testing track rated Slow7, We Can Say It Now (ex We Can’t Say That by Generous) missed the jump and settled third last by the 800-metre mark. She then moved forward comfortably, but was four wide coming into the straight where she responded to jockey Michael Coleman’s urging and, despite showing her inexperience in the final 200 metres, pushed on powerfully to win by a half-length and two-and-a-quarter lengths in 1:14.18.

Trackside TV’s studio host Darryl Anderson described We Can Say it Now’s performance as, “A real shining light on a misty, cool winter’s day.”

Thirty-five minutes later Simply Brilliant (ex She’s A Pretender by Danehill) started in the second race for maiden two-year-old fillies at Matamata. She jumped with the field and settled fourth, one off the fence, and travelled sweetly before going after the leaders at the top of the straight. As she hit the front it was clear the ground was not to her liking, but she fought on gamely and went down by only a half-head to Pooka’s Sister in 1:13.95.

Starcraft, who stands at a fee of $38,500 (inc. GST) in 2010, has now had five winners and four placegetters from 15 first-crop runners in Australia and New Zealand, among them Group One winner Star Witness (MRC Blue Diamond S. G1) who, like We Can Say It Now, won on debut, and stakes-placed Mr Spock (3rd Matamata Slipper LR).

Starcraft’s other first-crop winners are Starstreamed, Ain’Tnofallenstar (both Australia) and Starcheeka (New Zealand). The son of Soviet Star and Flying Floozie is currently fourth on the Australian First Season Sires’ list, just behind Snitzel, who stands alongside him at Arrowfield.

Historic trifecta for the Hunter Valley

As trifectas go, it does not get much bigger than the three announcements made in Scone during May.

Together, they recognise the Thoroughbred Industry as a major economic driver and cultural component of the Upper Hunter Valley region.

They also demonstrate how much our industry, and the wider community, can achieve when we are well-organised, united and able to present a rational case to government.

First up was Ian Macdonald, NSW Regional Development Minister, who announced the government’s $2 million commitment to upgrade Scone’s airport. That will support economic growth by attracting more people to visit, live, work and invest in our region, across a range of industries and activities, including thoroughbred breeding and racing, tourism and mining.

Then the Scone Racing Club and the NSW Racing Minister, Kevin Greene announced that, beginning in 2011, Scone has been granted a stand-alone Saturday, making the two-day Scone racing carnival Australia’s richest meeting outside of the metropolitan areas.

Arrowfield is one of 12 studs that have committed more than $1.5 million over the next three years to sponsor this very important racing event. We look forward to working with the Club to ensure its outstanding success.

Finally, at Arrowfield on Friday morning 15 May, came NSW Premier Kristina Keneally‘s simple statement, “I can tell you that the Bickham Coal Mine will not proceed.” I was delighted that many of the people who have worked hardest and longest to achieve that outcome were present to hear those words, which were greeted with joy, relief and even a few tears.

The project was stopped due to risks of water contamination and drainage, particularly on the Pages River, and the incompatibility of land use.

The case prepared by the Thoroughbred Industry was a strong one, based on our activity’s value to the nation and its sustainability, and the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) process proved to be robust. The PAC report concluded that the Bickham mine is simply not compatible with the Hunter Valley’s unique rural characteristics, including the horse-breeding industry.

In addition, the NSW Government will immediately amend the Mining State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) to prohibit open-cut mining on the Bickham site permanently.

It should be emphasised that the case presented by the thoroughbred industry to the PAC was not anti-mining, but in favour of diverse and compatible land uses. The Commission’s report has given us the certainty that our multi-billion-dollar industry can thrive and prosper, alongside other important industries in the Hunter Valley.

I am proud that Thoroughbred Breeders, represented at national, state and regional levels, played a key role in these particular campaigns – which are not the last we may need to undertake together.

Charge Forward Double Highlights Cross

With our new high profile son of Red Ransom (USA) All American kicking off his stud career this spring, it’s worth seeing what has worked with our other prominent Australian based sire son of Red Ransom (USA) Charge Forward , who had a double at Gosford on Thursday that highlighted one obvious cross that works.

The best runner to date for Charge Forward has been Group One winning filly Headway, who is from a daughter of Flying Spur, the same cross producing a winning double at Gosford on Thursday with two year-old filly Forward Love and three year-old gelding Fast Forward both from mares by Flying Spur.

The Gai Waterhouse trained Forward Love finished fourth in town on debut back in December, but improved with the benefit of a spell to break her maiden by the best part of a length.

A $55,000 purchase from the Baerami draft at the 2009 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Forward Love is the first winner for her dam Volante Marie.

Winning on debut for Darren Smith was Fast Forward, a $105,000 purchase from the Bellerive draft at the 2008 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

A nicely related type, Fast Forward is the first foal of Sicilia, a half-sister to stakes-winner Yesterday and Donna Dior from another stakes-winner in Donna Cara.

Given that Arrowfield based Charge Forward is free of Northern Dancer, he makes a logical choice for breeders with Danehill or Danzig line mares and so far the mix is working for him with 11 of his 23 winners bred that way including his two best horses Headway and Solar Charged.

He has produced winners from daughters of Flying Spur, Danzero and Redoute’s Choice, who all stand at Arrowfield, as well as two from Danewin mares, so one can’t help but think he’s well placed to go forward if he covers more of these types of mares.

Yearling buyers are already keen on the notion of Charge Forward over mares with Danehill blood, his four top sellers at the yearling sales this year all bred that way and including full siblings to his star performers Headway and Solar Charged.

The stallions that will progress to the top of the sires list in the future will be the ones that can make best use of the myriad of Danzig line mares so All American as a son of Red Ransom (USA) is looming very large on the radar to fulfil that promise.

Tara Madgwick, Breedne

Manhattan ""nick"" seems more obvious now

It did seem an obvious one. Manhattan Rain being (only) a hal brother to our Champion sire Redoute’s Choice meant that he should suit Danehill-line mares.

Firstly, he is significantly Danehill/Danzig free himself. Secondly, the Encosta De Lago/Redoute’s Choice cross has already produced Beneteau (Gr 3 winner and a close 3rd in the Gr 1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes) as well as the Champion Musir (a Gr 1 winner in South Africa and UAE Derby winner on World Cup night). Additionally, the Encosta De Lago/Danehill cross has also produced 5 Stakeswinners including Champion Merlene De Lago. Thirdly, the Manhattan Rain cross over Danehill blood produces the same nick that begot Champion Redoute’s Choice himself, (i.e Danehill over Shantha’s Choice).

It seems like horsebreeding 101, doesn’t it? But will it work in practice?

Well, in fact it already has! Redoute’s Choice’s sister (yes full sister by Danehill Monsoon Wedding, who placed in the Gr 2 Magic Night Stakes at her first start has produced the very smart – now Stakeswinner, Precious Lorraine,(by Encosta De Lago) who was so impressive last Saturday in taking the Listed Oaklands Plate at Morphettville. Encosta De Lago, Shantha’s Choice and Danehill all bundled up in an impressive Stakeswinner. This David Hayes trained filly raced in Mr Yasseen’s famous, yellow, red and green silks and she seems certain to figure in the major spring fillies races.

So if you were thinking Manhattan Rain should suit mares with Danehill close up, you’re probably right – for lot’s of reasons!

Trials Winners for Starcraft in NZ

Starcraft had a big day at the Cambridge trials yesterday, Monday May 4.

Murray and Bjorn Baker produced 2 fillies that were both impressive winners. Firstly, the aptly named Simply Brilliant won her 950m trial convincingly by 1 1/2 lengths in a slick 59.83 in hand. The very next trial the Bakers were at it again this time with We Can Say it Now, who won by 5 lengths in 59.02. We Can Say It Now is a daughter of the Generous mare We Can’t Say That, so she should get over some ground later one. We eagerly await both fillies debuts.

At 1.30pm this afternoon Starcraft also has the smart Starlin resuming from a break at Eagle Farm. Last preperation he was 3rd in a 1000m race at Eagle Farm so we expect he should run well today.

Archer joins Arrowfield

Respected Thoroughbred television presenter and writer, Susan Archer, joins Arrowfield Group on June 1st as its new Communications and Marketing Manager.

Ms Archer brings to Arrowfield a wealth of experience in the Thoroughbred industry including 27 years as an owner/breeder and 20 years as a writer, broadcaster and communications specialist. Ms Archer will be based in Arrowfield’s Sydney Office.

Starcraft Derby Colt?

Keep Cool, a NHT first crop son of Starcraft resumed yesterday (Sunday May 2) in Germany in the G3 Fruhjahrspreis Des Bankhauses Metzler over 2000m at Frankfurt. The official race report said that he “settled as backmarker, swung wide on final turn, quickened well in straight, finished strongly inside final furlong to take second”.

He is apparently pointed towards the German Derby in July. Keep Cool was a 45,000 guineas Tatts October Yearling purchase for BBA Germany. He is out of a Darshaan mare who is a half sister to the smart Bankable who was recently 2nd in the G1 Meydan Dubai Duty Free on World Cup night. All pedigree indications are that the classic distance will suit admirably.