Apres springs a surprise at Sandown
We are constantly reminded that horse-breeding is about probabilities and surprises, not certainties.
Take the experience of Victorian breeder Burnewang North Pastoral this week.
Pictured: Sensational young sire Snitzel takes some exercise in his paddock at Arrowfield – and not a hurdle in sight…(PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)
Begin with a sire Snitzel , a brilliant 2YO and 3YO sprinter whose seven victories were all at 1000, 1100 or 1200 metres. Of his 12 stakeswinners only one has won a single race at 1600 metres (Sizzling in the BRC T.J. Smith S. G1) and none of them has won beyond that distance.
With eight 2YO Group winners among those stakeswinners, Snitzel is already well-established as a consistent source of precocious & high-class short-course speed.
So you put him across a mare, Meribel, whose only win came at 1200 metres as a 2YO. She is by the outstanding New Zealand-based sire Centaine who scored only once beyond 1200 metres in a six-win career, although his progeny did win 3 stakes races beyond 2500 metres.
Arrowfield’s Pedigree Analyst Peter Jenkins notes, “”Apres doesn?t have any stamina in his first three generations, although his granddam was just shy of black type at 2100 metres. Further back on the dam-line, however, the distaff family is thick with Oaks performers and true stayers.””
That genetically distant stamina has obviously travelled well in this case, because the result of the Snitzel-Meribel mating is a 5YO gelding by the name of Apres who won the 3300-metre Mornington Easter Sunday Hurdle on Sandown’s Hillside course in Melbourne on Wednesday.
Ah, the vagaries of breeding.
A handsome member of Burnewang North Pastoral?s inaugural yearling draft at the 2009 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, where he sold for $120,000, Apres fashioned a useful flat career before his hurdles debut, winning $150,390 from five wins up to 2215 metres and 12 placings. Beating his two rivals at Sandown added another $21,000 to the kitty.
He’s also been admirably tough, racing every month since 1 August 2012 for trainer Clinton McDonald, and owners Peter Argiro, Brodie Arnold, John Bath, Ashley Bramich, Justin Crough, Steve Fletcher, Anton Jovanovic & Mile Symons.
It will be interesting to see what aptitude Apres’ 2YO full sister Jalaurabel, in training with Joan Pracey at Hawkesbury in NSW, displays when she gets to the racetrack.
There are 20 yearlings by Snitzel on offer at the Inglis Australian Easter Sale – 4 of them in the Arrowfield draft, here .
With thanks to Burnewang North Pastoral and Steve Brem.