Redoute's Choice filly wins debut in South Africa

Honorine, a 2YO daughter of Redoute’s Choice and Zaldivar, opened her career with an eye-catching defeat of older fillies and mares at Scottsville in South Africa yesterday.

Trainer Mike de Kock is reported to have a high opinion of the Arrowfield-bred filly sold for $80,000 by Bellerive Stud at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale. Form Bloodstock was the buyer and returned to this year’s Melbourne Sale to pay $70,000 for Honorine’s half-sister by Hussonet, also offered in the Bellerive draft.

Zaldivar (by Honour and Glory) is from the family of the Aga Khan’s champion filly Darjina, French Derby winner Darsi, other Aga Khan Group 1 winners Daryaba & Daryakana, and Australian Group winners Gentle Genius and her son Ironstein. Zarjina has a weanling filly by Hussonet and is in foal to Beneteau .

Redoute’s Choice has a fine record in South Africa: from only eight runners has has had two astakeswinners there, champion 2YO colt Musir and Group 2 winner Bishops Rock.

Redoute’s Choice, sire of 89 stakeswinners including 21 at Group 1 level, stands in 2012 at a fee of $137,500 inc. GST.

$110,000 for Manhattan Rain weanling colt

The three weanlings by Manhattan Rain offered at the Magic Millions National Weanling Select Sale have all sold handsomely, with a top price of $110,000 achieved today for the colt from the winning Danehill mare Entrust.

Pictured: The $110,000 Manhattan Rain-Entrust weanling colt, from the immediate family of Singapore champion Big Maverick. (PHOTO: Katrina Partridge)

Presented by Glastonbury Farms, he was knocked down to the Victorian-based Musk Creek Farm, which sold champion 2YO Pierro at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. Intriguingly, the price is just $10,000 below the top-priced weanling sold in the same ring ten years ago from the first crop of his half-brother Redoute’s Choice .

A short time later, the Manhattan Rain filly out of another Danehill mare, this time One Dream from the family of Charge Forward , was purchased by Magic Millions as agent for $72,500. That brought Manhattan Rain’s sale average to just over $86,000.

Manhattan Rain stands his third season at Arrowfield in 2012 at a fee of $33,000 inc. GST.

$77,500 for Manhattan Rain weanling

The Wise Breeding Venture was the successful bidder for the first Manhattan Rain weanling through a Magic Millions sale-ring today when she paid $77,500 for the attractive dark bay daughter of Bondi Blonde (by Red Ransom).

Offered by Strawberry Hill Stud, the filly is from the family of stakeswinners Danroad, Newtown Jet & Tippitaka.

Pictured: The Manhattan Rain-Bondi Blonde filly fills the eye in the Magic Millions sale-ring. (PHOTO: Katrina Partridge)

The filly is the first of four Manhattan Rain weanlings (three fillies, one colt) in the National Sale catalogue.

Manhattan Rain (Encosta de Lago-Shantha’s Choice by Canny Lad) is the Group 1-winning half-brother to champion sire Redoute’s Choice, standing his third season at Arrowfield at a fee of $33,000 inc. GST.

Melito tops National Broodmare Sale

Sale-ring highs for champion sire Redoute’s Choice are not limited to yearlings. His most desirable racing and broodmare daughters also attract competitive bidding and seven of them have sold for $1 million or more since 2008.

Pictured: Melito winning the 2010 AJC T.J. Smith S. G1. (PHOTO: Martin King)

The latest Redoute’s Choice mare to sell at that level is magnificent dual Group 1 winner Melito (ex Cloister by Marauding) who was sold in foal to Encosta de Lago at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Select Sale which concluded on the Gold Coast today.

In fact, she broke right through the million-dollar mark when Coolmore’s Tom Magnier paid $1,650,000 for her. Presented by her breeder and racing owner John Rippon’s Reavill Farm, Melito is the second highest-priced Redoute’s Choice mare, behind champion filly Samantha Miss, sold for $3.85 million in 2009.

Two well-performed daughters of Flying Spur also achieved top-ten prices at the Select Sale. Well-known agent James Bester purchased both of them, dual Group 3-winning filly Bliss Street for $450,000 and Group 2 winner Vintedge for $430,000.

Mares in foal to other members of the Arrowfield roster also sold well. Limerock Lass & Queen Hazel, both in foal to Manhattan Rain , made $210,000 and $160,000, and Bellerive Stud sold Bella Sunday in foal to All American for $75,000 to Strathallan Park Stud, Victoria.

Group-placed city winner Solchow, Augustagrand & Lady Mulan, all in foal to Not A Single Doubt made $180,000, $130,000 & $80,000 respectively.

Stakes-placed US-bred mare Banker’s Choice, carrying a positive test to Snitzel , was knocked down to James Bester for $200,000, and Garry Cuddy paid $72,500 for Aussie Crawl, in foal to Starcraft .

Not A Single Doubt completes triple century of wins

Leading young sire Not A Single Doubt passed a milestone on Sunday when Bellerive Stud graduate Can’t Be Doubted posted his sire’s 300th win in Australia.

Can’t Be Doubted (ex Arabian Jewel by Theatrical) won over 1600 metres at Nowra for trainer Greg Hickman who bought him for $20,000 at the 2009 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

Pictured: Single Style, one of Not A Single Doubt’s 9 Australian 2YO winners this season, flew home on debut at Warwick Farm in April. 17 days later she was a stakeswinner. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Not A Single Doubt has also sired the winners of another 52 races offshore headed by the stakeswinners Always Certain (Singapore) and Castlethorpe (South Africa).

The son of Redoute’s Choice has had a particularly good season with his Australian 2YOs, producing 9 winners of 15 races, includng stakeswinners Single Style & Cheyenne Warrior, and multiple winner Doubtfilly, a terrific fourth in the Golden Slipper S. G1. Their efforts have put him in sixth spot on the Australian 2YO Sires’ list, with prizemoney of more than $920,000.

However, the next opportunity for Not A Single Doubt to add to his tally of 9 stakeswinners seems most likely to come from his second-crop son, the 4YO gelding Cavallo Pazzo when he contests the WATC Belmont Sprint G3 on 9 June.

Cavallo Pazzo (ex Annuity by Euclase) was second to star sprinter Barakey in the Northam Stakes LR before an impressive last-start victory at Belmont on 19 May.

Trainer Ted Martinovich‘s comments about Cavallo Pazzo could apply to many of Not A Single Doubt’s progeny. “He’s pretty tough and can handle any going. He’s never had a problem, either.”

Martinovich prepares Cavallo Pazzo for long-time clients Nic Giorgetta, Rob Mitchell and Wayne Forrest. He was a $22,000 buy from the 2009 Adelaide Magic Millions Sale and has earned over $275,000.

Not A Single Doubt stands at a $24,750 fee in 2012.

Acknowledgements to: Karl Patterson, AAP

Snitzel sizzles at Scone & Doomben

Anyone wondering why Arrowfield’s brilliant young third crop sire Snitzel is in such hot demand need only read the racing & sale headlines over the past three days.

Pictured: Arrowfield’s $90,000 Snitzel-Sharp Enough filly topped today’s Inglis Scone Yearling Sale. (PHOTO: Katrina Partridge)

At Scone on Friday, his Arrowfield-bred and -sold 2YO daughter Tinszelda (ex Kirby’s Song (CAN) by Sultry Song) won the $100,000 Inglis 2YO Challenge by 3 lengths from Centrepet, also by Snitzel. Tinszelda is now unbeaten in 3 starts and her prizemoney plus BOBS bonuses total more than 7 times the $19,000 Scone trainer Rod Northam paid for her at the 2011 Inglis Scone Yearling Sale.

On Saturday Snitzel’s 2YO son Sizzling (ex Admirelle by General Nediym) took out the $175,000 BRC Champagne Classic 1200m G2 at Doomben, with yet another Snitzel, Dances on Stars in third place. The two colts will meet again in the BRC Sires’ Produce S. G2 in a fortnight, with Sizzling almost certain to back up in the T.J. Smith S. G1 a week later.

Sizzling was bred by John & Trish Muir’s Milburn Creek Thoroughbred Stud and was purchased for $260,000 by John Foote from the Evergreen Stud draft at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Sizzling is one of Snitzel’s nine Australian winners in the past nine days.

Finally, Snitzel and Arrowfield Stud topped today’s Inglis Scone Yearling Sale when the filly from Sharp Enough was knocked down to Warwick Farm trainer David Vandyke for $90,000. Sharp Enough, who died last year, was a winning half-sister by Kaapstad to champion New Zealand 2YO Keeninsky.

Snitzel is the sire of 8 stakeswinners – all but one achieving that status at two – and is third on the current Australian 2YO Sires’ list with ten winners, 4 stakeswinners and just over $2 million prizemoney. He stands the 2012 season at a fee of $33,000 inc. GST.

Gio Ponti, just how good was he, really?

Gio Ponti was the most dominant turf horse in recent US history. But just how good was he really?

Pictured: Gio Ponti winning the 2009 Arlington Million G1 over 10 furlongs (2000 metres) – one of his four consecutive Grade 1 victories that year.

A VERY EXCLUSIVE CLUB

He won 7 Grade 1 races – all on turf – and well over $US6 million in earnings making him the leading all-time stakes earner from the famous Storm Cat sireline. In the process he annexed 3 US Eclipse Awards for end of season Championship honours. Consider that before Gio Ponti there were only 13 stallions who retired to stud after capturing at least three Eclipse Award Titles. The list is a veritable Who’s Who of the great colts that have graced the racetracks of America:

| Secretariat | Buckpasser | Dr Fager |

| Affirmed | Seattle Slew | Cigar |

| Spectacular Bid | Ack Ack | Arts and Letters |

| Damascus | Tiznow | Skip Away |

| Curlin |

Of this elite group the nine oldest stallions have sired an astonishing 527 stakeswinners, an average of more than 58 stakeswinners per sire. Cigar proved infertile and the last-named trio are still at stud, with Tiznow and Skip Away having sired 37 & 20 stakeswinners respectively to date, while Curlin’s oldest are juveniles of 2012.

Stud success is never guaranteed by racetrack honours, but the ability to secure three or more Eclipse Awards seems the closest thing to future job security for top racing colts.

The members of this honour roll have something else in common. Not one of them has ever made it to our shores. Arrowfield Stud is about to change all that with the arrival this coming spring of Gio Ponti.

ONE OF HISTORY’S BEST AMERICAN TURF PERFORMERS

A winner of no fewer than 11 stakes races, including 7 Grade One turf contests from coast to coast in the USA, Gio Ponti was a model of rare class, soundness and consistency. All but one of his 29 career outings were in black type events, yet he failed to earn a cheque only twice.

Furthermore, Gio Ponti won or placed in 15 of the 19 Grade One events he contested, earning over US$6.1 million in the process. He was crowned US Champion Older Male in 2009 and US Champion Turf Male in both 2009 and 2010. Gio Ponti’s victories included successes in such prestigious events as the Keeneland Turf Mile (twice), the Man O’War Stakes (twice) and the Arlington Million, while runner-up efforts to Zenyatta in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic and to Goldikova in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Mile were equally meritorious.

It’s a record that makes him the US equivalent of our Lonhro. He was a classy juvenile, brilliant at 3, dominant at 4 and 5 years, tough, sound, consistent and always courageous, characteristics that John Messara says, “cannot be underestimated when selecting a stallion prospect in the modern era”.

SIRELINE PROVEN IN AUSTRALASIA

The quality of Gio Ponti’s race record is matched by his pedigree. His sire Tale of the Cat has been the most successful sire son in the antipodes of two-time Champion USA Sire Storm Cat. A son of the Champion English 2YO Storm Bird, Storm Cat proved a sensation when retiring to stud after a Grade One juvenile triumph, racking up 176 stakeswinners worldwide, including 35 at Group/Grade One level.

Tale of the Cat, a former Champion USA Sire of 2YOs, numbers among his 20 southern hemisphere-bred stakeswinners to date, the Group 1-winning sprinters or milers Glamour Puss (VRC Salinger Stks, SAJC Goodwood H.), Gathering (WATC Railway S.) and Tell A Tale (NZ 2000 Guineas).

The Storm Cat sireline has proved admirably suitable for Australasian conditions and is clearly a serious alternative for breeders seeking diversity away from the Danehill sireline. Storm Cat sons or grandsons have so far produced a remarkable 111 Australasian-bred stakeswinners, 17 of them victorious at Group 1 level. These include such stars as iron horse Grand Armee (7 G1 wins), current sprint star Hay List (3 G1 wins), Champion NZ 2YO Jokers Wild and the Oaks-winning trio of Faint Perfume (VRC Oaks, STC Storm Queen S.), Once Were Wild (AJC Oaks) and Boundless (New Zealand Oaks). Furthermore, Storm Cat, generally through his daughters, has nicked very well here, in particular with his close relation Royal Academy. The Storm Cat/Royal Academy nick has already produced Group 1 winners Foxwedge and Irish Lights.

TOP-DRAWER FEMALE FAMILY

Gio Ponti’s distaff pedigree is laced with first-rank names, among them his damsire Alydar (6 G1 wins & Champion USA Sire), granddam Salt Spring (Champion Argentine 3YO Filly & G1 winner), and close relative Cigar (twice USA Horse of the Year & 11 G1 wins). They all hail from the taproot family of foundation stallions Sundridge and Sainfoin.

So in Gio Ponti, a perfect outcross for Danehill-line mares, Arrowfield has secured one of the best US turf horses of all time. How does he measure up against the best Australian horses in his distance range, 1600m-2200m?

GIO PONTI & AUSTRALIA’S BEST

Timeform provides an authoritative comparison, awarding Gio Ponti a figure of 130 – higher than Cox Plate winners Northerly, Sunline, Makybe Diva, Octagonal, Saintly, and Super Impose. Timeform’s Gary Crispe describes Gio Ponti as “a modern day Strawberry Road.”

Arrowfield Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer, who inspected Gio Ponti in Lexington last November, describes him as “an extremely handsome, masculine, solid bay, standing 16.1 hands, with a wonderful girth and shoulder, excellent balance and an imposing presence”.

Gio Ponti has begun Northern Hemisphere stud duties in 2012 in Kentucky at his owner’s famous farm Castleton Lyons. He has proven extremely popular there, booking out in just one week. The US turf champion will stand at Arrowfield for $22,000 (inc. GST) in the 2012 southern hemisphere season.

More Kiwi success for Flying Spur

Arrowfield’s champion sire Flying Spur has enjoyed consistent success in New Zealand ever since his outstanding second-crop daughter Flying Babe won six races as a 2YO there in 2000/01.

Many of New Zealand’s most notable breeders have supported him over the last decade including the famous Dennis BrothersTony, Ray, Martin & Joe – who sent their dual Group 1 winner The Jewel (by O’Reilly) to Flying Spur’s court in 2006. The result was a filly named The Glitzy One who scored her fourth, and most valuable victory in last Saturday’s CJC Great Autumn H. at Riccarton.

Already stakes-placed in the 2011 Otago Breeders’ S. LR, The Glitzy One seems capable of achieving black capital status alongside her many illustrious relatives, including The Phantom and The Phantom Chance, who won five Group 1 races between them.

Flying Spur has been represented by 23 winners in New Zealand and five have been stakeswinners, four of them as 2YOs: San Luis (Manawatu Sires’ Produce S. G1), Flying Babe & Velasco (both winners of the Matamata Breeders’ S. G2), Flying Fulton (ARC Great Northern Foal S. LR, and now a Group winner in Singapore) and Spur Bird (Gore Guineas LR).

In Australia, the 2010/11 season has been excellent for Flying Spur, with five stakeswinners (Vintedge, Satin Shoes, Bliss Street, Gliding and Full of Spirit) and $3.3 million prizemoney taking his lifetime tallies to 85 stakeswinners and earnings of more than $100 million. Of the five active Champion Sires of Australia available to breeders in 2012 he is the least expensive, at a fee $33,000 inc. GST.

Florentina brings up 89 SW for Redoute's Choice

John & Deborah Camilleri‘s lovely home-bred filly Florentina has always looked capable of black type success and today her moment came, in the $125,000 GCTC Gold Coast Guineas 1200m G3.

Pictured: Florentina as a spring 3YO. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

The David Payne-trained 3YO prevailed by a length to score her second win and become the 89th stakeswinner (17th this season) for her champion sire Redoute’s Choice .

Florentina and her half-brother, G1 winner Gathering, are from the Peintre Celebre mare Celebria, who shares her grand-dam Dancing Show with Redoute’s Choice. It’s also the family of Group 1 winners Umatilla, Hurricane Sky, Platinum Scissors, Al Maher and Manhattan Rain .

Florentina is the third stakes-winner to carry a double cross of Dancing Show, following Shared Reflections and Tranquility. Her full sister made $450,000 at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale when secured by Segenhoe Thoroughbreds.

Redoute’s Choice stands the 2012 season at a fee of $137,500 inc. GST.

Sizzling stakes quinella for Snitzel

Snitzel ‘s army of brilliant 2YOs continued its relentless march today when Sizzling and Dances on Stars filled the first two placings in the $100,000 GCTC Ken Russell Memorial Classic 1200m LR.

Racing for the first time since his fourth in January’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic, Sizzling (ex Admirelle by General Nediym) was forced wide rounding the turn, but quickly reeled in the leaders and raced clear to win by 4.5 lengths.

“Brilliant,” trainer Kelso Wood told AAP from the mounting yard after the race. “That’s all I can say. He’ll run in the Champagne Classic at Doomben next start then go to the Sires’ Produce and the TJ Smith.”

Bred by John & Trish Muir’s Milburn Creek Thoroughbreds, Sizzling was a $260,000 purchase from Evergreen Stud Farm by bloodstock agent John Foote at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. The colt’s owners include David & Diane Devine who have also enjoyed success with another Wood-trained, Arrowfield-sired stakeswinner, Zero Rock.

Sizzling and G3 winner Dances on Stars are among Snitzel’s remarkable tally of 17 Australian stakes performers this season, and Sizzling becomes the 8th stakeswinner for the brilliant son of Redoute’s Choice.

Of those 17 current season stakes performers, no fewer than eight are juveniles.

Snitzel stands the 2012 season at a fee of $33,000 inc. GST.