A Jewel of a week for Princess Shorna

After visiting ten Arrowfield stallions during her 17-year breeding life, Princess Shorna has happily taken up a new career as a nanny to weanling and yearling fillies. In the attentive care of the Stud’s expert staff, she approaches her 23rd birthday in great heart.

However, her breeding record isn’t quite complete, and may yet be signed off with a flourish by her last foal.

Princess Shorna’s 2YO daughter Snitzel’s Jewel, already a winner on debut at Gosford in February, scored a handsome victory over 1000 metres at Warwick Farm on Saturday and will now be aimed at next month’s ATC Silver Shadow S. G3, the first race in the rich Princess Series for 3YO fillies.

Snitzel’s Jewel was bred by Arrowfield & Planette Thoroughbred and purchased for $20,000 by Darby Bloodstock from the Bellerive Stud draft at the 2011 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale. The chestnut filly is raced by Scott Darby, Miriam Arora, Fred Frendo’s Independent Trio Syndicate, Gary Bachell, Ray Deeb, Con Varis, Mick Pustavrh, Charles Beynon & Rob Campbell. She is trained Gerald Ryan whose record includes 20 winners by Snitzel, among them Group winners Snitzerland, Flying Snitzel, Hot Snitzel, and Dances on Stars. 

Scott Darby says of Snitzel’s Jewel, “She is a lovely balanced filly that was always going to grow from the time we purchased her as a weanling. It’s been great to see the development she has made, she has lengthened, strengthened and has a wonderful disposition.

“From breaking to racing she has always shown ability. She was a very easy filly to syndicate and even after 2 starts, 2 wins we are not sure yet just how good she is.”

He explains, “At her first start she was trapped off the track, feeling her shins and still won comfortably in class record time, and on Saturday she went to the line with her ears pricked, yet jockey Glyn Schofield reported that she didn’t handle the wet surface. We’re all very excited and if I could, I would have the majority of my syndications by Snitzel, they just all run!”

Snitzel’s Jewel is among Snitzel’s nine juvenile winners in Australia this season, and is her dam’s second winner in the past week. Last Thursday 3YO gelding Substation (by Not A Single Doubt) won at Grafton for Eagle Farm trainer Tracy Green.

Substation and Snitzel’s Jewel are the last two of Princess Shorna’s 12 foals, eight of which have won. The best of them so far has been the bonny stakes-winning mare Hidden Wonder (by Danzero) who earned almost $600,000 before being sold for $140,000 as a broodmare last year.

Descended from a sister to Hall of Fame champion Tobin Bronze, Princess Shorna is by the excellent sire Last Tycoon whose peripatetic stud career included a stint at Arrowfield. His daughters have proved invaluable, especially when crossed with Redoute’s Choice, a combination responsible for 10 SW from 40 named foals.

Interestingly, Snitzel has seen only six Last Tycoon mares, but five of them have left winners to him, notably Group 3 2YO winner Dances on Stars, one of his sire’s 18 stakes performers this season. Snitzel is ending the 2012/13 season as Australia’s leading 4th crop sire, with prizemoney of $6.5 million and 11 stakeswinners. He goes into the spring with a full book of mares to serve at a fee of $49,500 inc. GST.

 

The Next Generation of Success

The man who made supersire Danehill and his best sire son Redoute’s Choice began thinking about the current Arrowfield stallion roster more than a decade ago.

Danehill was still building his extraordinary record, and the first Redoute’s Choice progeny were foals when John Messara started talking about the need for outcross sires that would click with Danehill’s daughters and grand-daughters. It also wasn’t long before he began the hunt for likely sire sons of Redoute’s Choice.

In 2005, Arrowfield launched two stallions that reflected both strands of Messara’s long-term strategy, Charge Forward and Not A Single Doubt.

Charge Forward is the result of an inspired Northern Dancer-free mating planned by distinguished Australian breeder and original Arrowfield director, the late Phillip Esplin. He sent Sydney’s Dream, the last-born of champion sire Bletchingly’s 17 Group 1 winners, to Red Ransom who followed Danehill’s example of dual-hemisphere success.

Built in his damsire’s compact, powerful mould, Charge Forward won Australia’s first 2YO stakes race of the season, the AJC Breeders’ Plate LR in Sydney. Six months later he was runner-up in a superlative renewal of Australia’s premier 2YO contest, the STC Golden Slipper G1, won in record time by champion juvenile Dance Hero (a gelded son of Arrowfield’s Danzero). Champion filly and subsequent US Graded Stakes winner Alinghi was third and future champion sire Fastnet Rock was fourth.

Charge Forward progressed at three to beat Fastnet Rock and Dance Hero over 1000 metres in the AJC San Domenico S. G2, and win the AJC Galaxy H. G1 at his final start. At stud he has fulfilled exactly the role Arrowfield envisioned for him, as a source of precocious, high-class speed and a perfect foil for mares by Danehill-line stallions. Of his 11 stakeswinners, two are Group 1 winners, seven have been successful at two, and eight are from mares by Danehill and his sons.

Like Flying Spur before him, Not A Single Doubt was bred and raced by Arrowfield with a small group of stud clients. The first-crop son of Redoute’s Choice displayed abundant ability as an early 2YO, winning his first three starts before Christmas including a Listed stakes race, before finding Dance Hero and then Charge Forward too strong in more competitive company.

Three unplaced runs at Group 1 level did not dampen John Messara’s confidence in Not A Single Doubt, but it did limit his fee which was set at $12,500. It stayed there for six seasons while he steadily made fans of owners and trainers who enjoyed racing his professional, genuine progeny.

Not A Single Doubt’s breakthrough season came in 2010/11 with six stakeswinners spear-headed by the high-class 3YO colt Squamosa and brilliant 2YO filly Karuta Queen. He took the next step to Group 1 sire status earlier this year when another 2YO daughter, Miracles of Life romped home in the MRC Blue Diamond S. G1 for the man who bred and raced Redoute’s Choice, Muzaffar Yaseen. Now the sire of 17 stakeswinners, Not A Single Doubt is fully booked in 2013 at a fee of $30,000.

In 2006, the Arrowfield roster was further strengthened by the arrival of a second son of Redoute’s Choice, the Group 1-winning sprinter Snitzel, and another outcross prospect, Starcraft (by Nureyev’s multiple European Group 1 winner Soviet Star).

Like Charge Forward, Snitzel won the Breeders’ Plate on debut, then defeated the subsequent Golden Slipper winner Stratum (also by Redoute’s Choice) at Group 3 level. He got the better of Stratum again as a spring 3YO in the AJC Up and Coming S. G3 and three starts later defeated Royal Ascot hero Takeover Target in the MRC Oakleigh Plate G1.

With only four crops of racing age, Snitzel is about to finish his second season among Australia’s top ten sires. His earnings per runner already exceed $95,000, his 36 stakes performers include nine Group winners and five Group 1 performers, and his yearlings averaged $335,000 at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. He will serve a full book of mares in 2013 at a fee of $45,000.

Snitzel, Charge Forward and Not A Single Doubt all emerged from well-established pathways in the precocious speed-oriented Australian racing system. Paul and Lyndall Makin’s world-class miler Starcraft took a very different route to the Arrowfield stallion barn.

Between March 2004 and September 2005 he won five Group 1 races in Australia, New Zealand, England and France, three of them at a mile. In his final European appearance, Starcraft defeated Dubawi in the Newmarket Queen Elizabeth II S. G1 and earned an annual Timeform rating of 128.

Starcraft quickly made his mark at stud, leaving two dual Group 1 winners in his first crop. The Makins’ New Zealand-trained home-bred filly We Can Say It Now beat her own age-group in the1600-metre Levin Classic G1, then defeated older horses at the same distance in the WRC Captain Cook S. G1.

Starcraft’s Australian-based son Star Witness (from a mare by Danehill’s son Lion Hunter) more closely matched the familiar Australian template as an early-maturing sprinter. He is one of six Arrowfield-sired Blue Diamond G1 winners in the past decade, and as a spring 3YO had two runs on Flemington’s famous straight 1200-metre course. He beat his own generation in the VRC Ascot Vale S. G1 and a week later split world champion sprinter Black Caviar and Ortensia in the VRC Victoria Racing Club S. G1.

Taken to Royal Ascot later in his southern hemisphere 3YO season, Star Witness was a brave placegetter in the meeting’s two premier sprints, the King’s Stand S. G1 and Golden Jubilee S. G1.

Starcraft’s 23 stakes performers also include Group winners Hallowell Belle, Lunar Rise and Crafty Irna, as well as the promising rising 3YO colt Havana, and his 2013 yearlings sold up to $420,000.

With this quartet of young stallions all underway, John Messara took an uncharacteristically long break from launching stallions, though not from pursuing them, and it was four years before new names were added to the Arrowfield line-up.

In 2010 the Stud announced another Group 1-winning duo, both co-incidentally bearing American-flavoured names, and both offering valuable outcross options for Australian breeders.

As a grand-looking half-brother to Redoute’s Choice by Fairy King’s champion sire son Encosta de Lago, Manhattan Rain was born with most of his boxes already ticked as a stallion prospect. He added the all-important performance tick with a 2YO Group 1 win, placings in the Golden Slipper G1 and MRC Caulfield Guineas G1 and finally a courageous second to champion So You Think in the MVRC W.S. Cox Plate G1.

Manhattan Rain’s first-crop yearlings were sold this year and will race from several of Australia’s best stables. He is helped by the perfectly timed entrance of the jury on Encosta de Lago as a sire of sires, thanks to Northern Meteor, this year’s likely Champion First Season sire of Australia with 16 individual winners.

Charge Forward’s success encouraged Arrowfield’s investment in a second son of Red Ransom, the handsome All American, bred by John Singleton’s Strawberry Hill Stud.

All American’s excellent 2YO record – he won Group 3 and Listed stakes races, was an unlucky runner-up in the 2008 Blue Diamond and fifth in the Golden Slipper – reflected natural athleticism rather than innate precocity and he was expected to blossom as he grew into his generous frame.

A frustrating 3YO career tested Arrowfield’s patience, but John Messara was prepared to wait for the major performance he knew the colt was capable of delivering. However, even he was astonished by All Americ
an’s decisive two-length defeat of champion So You Think in the 2009 VRC Emirates S. G1, stopping the clock at 1.33.98, the fastest time ever run by an entire over 1600 metres at Flemington.

All American’s first-crop yearlings have been well-received by buyers in 2013, averaging 8 times his $15,000 fee at Australia’s major sales, with a top price of $290,000 paid for Arrowfield’s strapping colt from Miss Victoria at the Easter Sale.

All American is the first Australian-owned stallion to shuttle to the United States after standing the 2011 season at Darby Dan Farm, home of his illustrious paternal grand-sire Roberto.

The first spring 2YO trials in Sydney always attract a large crowd of owners and breeders anxious to see if their dreams of a new racing star have a hope of realisation. The horse that turned heads in 2010 was Smart Missile, by Fastnet Rock from a half-sister to Group 1 winner, and now exciting young sire, Northern Meteor, all tracing to Claiborne’s famous blue hen mare Rough Shod.

John Messara privately described Smart Missile as “the best raw talent I’ve seen since Redoute’s Choice” and after the colt effortlessly won the Breeders’ Plate, he began discussions with owner and breeder Eduardo Cojuangco of Gooree Park Stud.

Smart Missile went on to defeat champion 2YO Sepoy and subsequent Group 1 winner Foxwedge in the ATC Todman S. G2 , and returned at three to win at Group 3 level before running a close second in the ATC Golden Rose S. G1. In all these races Smart Missile posted sectional times that confirmed his highly prized ability to accelerate and sustain his top speed when other horses were tiring.

Messara completed the deal to stand Smart Missile in the autumn of 2012 and, when his fee of $20,000 was announced, his book filled within days. He has proved equally popular again in 2013 and his first foals are expected in August.

Over the past decade Arrowfield has fulfilled John Messara’s three-fold stallion strategy: to secure the best representatives of the Danehill line, the best outcross sires for daughters of Danehill and his sons, and the best possibilities for the next breakout sireline. With the arrival of Animal Kingdom in 2013 all three bases are well and truly loaded.

Watch this space for the grand slam.

Animal Kingdom to make Australian debut at Arrowfield Open House

Australian breeders will have their first opportunity to see Dubai World Cup champion Animal Kingdom when he parades at next month’s Arrowfield Stallion Open House.

The two-time Group 1 winner has been based at HH Sheikh Mohammed’s Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket, England since 20 June, and will make a special appearance at the Darley Stallion Parade for 1500 invited guests today and tomorrow. Animal Kingdom will then join the other Darley stallions in quarantine before flying to Australia on 28 July.

Liam O’Rourke, the Dalham Hall Stud Director reports, “We’re very pleased with the way Animal Kingdom has settled in, it’s like he’s always been here. He enjoys his turn out each day and has been taking it all in his stride.

“He appears a very relaxed sort which is reflected in his good appetite, and he has gained 19 kilograms since his arrival – he hasn’t left an oat!”

Animal Kingdom retires to stud with wins or placings in four of the world’s best Group 1 races, on all three major racing surfaces, at 1600-2000 metres. He is only the second horse to complete the Kentucky Derby-Dubai World Cup double, and was beaten only by US Horse of the Year Wise Dan in last year’s record-setting Breeders’ Cup Mile G1 on turf. 

Animal Kingdom begins his stud career at Arrowfield this spring at a fee of $38,500 inc. GST, and his book already includes 12 Group 1 winners or dams of Group 1 winners. He will shuttle to Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Kentucky from 2014.

The Arrowfield stallions will parade each morning at 9.00 am from Thursday 22 August to Sunday 25 August. They will also be available for informal inspection throughout the four days – please click here for more information.

Redoute’s Choice bids adieu to France

Arrowfield’s champion sire Redoute’s Choice returns to Australia later this month after completing a successful first Northern Hemisphere season at HH The Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in France.

With the final mares in his book tested, Redoute’s Choice has 87 mares in foal for an overall fertility rate of 83%.

The mares Redoute’s Choice served in France represent the best of European genetics and performance, and were sent to him by many of Europe’s leading breeders.

Mares confirmed in foal to Redoute’s Choice are headlined by the unbeaten Horse Of The Year and Arc de Triomphe heroine Zarkava and Group 1 winners Almerita, Alpine Rose, Rosanara, Sagawara, Shareta and Vadawina.

Also in foal to Redoute’s Choice are Born Gold, dam of Champion Goldikova and Group 1 winner Galikova; Lonhro’s sister O’Giselle, carrying a full sibling to Australian Group 1 performer Albrecht; Virtuous, dam of Group 1 winner Virtual; So Squally, sister to multiple Group 1 winner Shirocco; Lumiere Rouge, dam of Group 1 winner Desert Blanc; and Group 1 producer Vadaza.

Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager, Jon Freyer says, “We could not be happier with the season’s results for Redoute’s Choice and we’re grateful to Georges Rimaud and his staff for their first-class care and work with him.

“We also acknowledge the dedication of our own senior groom, Pierre-Hugues Henry who has travelled with Redoute’s Choice and remained with him for the entire season.”

His Australian-bred progeny have not missed a beat during their sire’s French sojourn. Redoute’s Choice reached a milestone century of stakeswinners in February, topped the Easter Sale sire averages for the 9th consecutive year, and has added two new Group 1 winners to his record. He is closing out the 2012/13 season with 20 stakeswinners worldwide and three sons, Snitzel, Stratum and Not A Single Doubt, alongside him at the top end of the Australian Sires List.

Redoute’s Choice is now completing quarantine requirements in England and is booked to return later this month to Arrowfield where he will parade for the first time in 2013 at the Stud’s Stallion Open House, 22-25 August – click here for details.

Snitzel's Smoko blows them away again in Perth

In little more than 5 weeks, Snitzel’s 3YO son Smoko has stamped himself one of the most exciting young horses racing in Perth.  He maintained his unbeaten record with his third win at Belmont this afternoon and did it in a manner that indicates richer prizes are well within his reach.

Jockey William Pike took him straight to the front from barrier 12 and he had no trouble maintaining his lead, then extending it to win the 1200-metre event by almost 3 lengths with his ears pricked. He has now won his 3 starts by the impressive total of 11.5 lengths.

Smoko is yet another talented performer from the Bellerive Stud draft at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale. Other graduates of that draft include multiple Group winner Snitzerland ($125,000), Group 2 winner Flying Snitzel ($25,000), multiple Singapore stakeswinner Stepitup ($90,000), Group 1-placed South African filly Honorine ($80,000) and Group 2-placed Road Trippin’ ($22,500) who posted his fourth win at Sandown on Wednesday.

Smoko was purchased by owner Frank Fiore who told Jay Rooney from The West Australian after the gelding’s second win that he is not tempted by any purchase offers at this stage. “It would have to be a pretty good offer to even think about it. Potential wise, he’s definitely one of the best I’ve had.” 

Co-trainer Clint Price confirmed Smoko will now be spelled and an Ascot summer carnival campaign will be considered. He said, “That was probably his best win to date. That was huge…to be able to kick again after doing a bit of work to cross, he’s definitely something special.

“Obviously there are sprint races between 1000 and 1200 metres that will be suitable for him later this year. We’ll give him a let-up now and have a sit down and work out a plan for his next campaign.”

Bred by Arrowfield in partnership with Planette Thoroughbred, Smoko is the last foal of the Bletchingly mare London Lights, a city-winning daughter of Travel Light (Queensland Oaks G1), from the dazzling New Zealand speed family of Tudor Light and Elabama. London Lights did a fine job at stud, leaving 7 winners from nine to race, notably Only A Lady (AJC Flight S. G1) and Adelaide stakeswinner Lisson Grove.

Smoko has now contributed almost $70,000 to Snitzel’s outstanding $6.4 million season in Australia. His 11 stakeswinners in 2012/13, headed by quality 3YOs Snitzerland, Flying Snitzel & Sizzling and 2YO filly Sweet Idea, and his clear 7th position on the Australian General Sires’ list all confirm that he is, indeed, a major sire in the making.

Snitzel stands in 2013 at a fee of $49,500 inc. GST and will be on parade at Arrowfield during the Stud’s Open House sessions, 22-25 August.   

17th Stakeswinner for Not A Single Doubt

When Doubtfilly won 4 of her first six starts in Queensland during the summer of 2011/12, it seemed that black type success was imminent.

However, horse racing is never that predictable and it has taken another 18 months for the talented daughter of Not A Single Doubt to achieve that stakes victory, in today’s $80,000 BRC Ascot H. 1200m LR at Eagle Farm. 

The 3YO filly did it in typically game fashion, peeling out in the straight, putting her head down and delivering her best effort to win by a short neck from Flying Spur’s son Griffon, with Benny’s Buttons a half-neck away in third place.

Doubtfilly is the 17th individual stakeswinner, and the eighth this season, for her brilliant and popular sire Not A Single Doubt. Today’s success is her sixth from 18 starts and takes her career earnings to $629,700 for trainer Stuart Kendrick, his wife Trudy and their fellow owners who include Paul & Lyn Maguire, Andrew & Hayley Wheeler, Chris & Elizabeth Cook, Russ Collins and Paul Ingerman.

Doubtfilly’s record also includes two high-class fourth placings as a 2YO, in Pierro’s ATC Golden Slipper G1 and Ichihara’s ATC Magic Night S. G2, as well as a fifth-place finish in Dear Demi’s Furious S. G2 last spring.

Bred by Chris & Anthony Musgrave’s Twin Peaks, Doubtfilly is the first foal of Aussie Enchantee (by Alhaarth), a winning daughter of the French Group 2 winner Andromaque (by Woodman), imported in early 2002 by Bob and Rosemary Scarborough’s Wood Nook Farm. Doubtfilly was purchased for $17,500 from the 2011 Magic Millions QTIS Yearling Sale by Darby Racing.

It’s been a milestone season for Not A Single Doubt, sire of February’s stunning Blue Diamond S. G1 winner Miracles of Life. He is closing out the 2012/13 season with almost $5 million prizemoney in Australia, a top yearling price of $300,000 (for Fairhill Farm’s Euchre colt at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale), eight stakeswinners worldwide and a top 15 finish on the Australian General Sires’ table. 

Not A Single Doubt’s 2013 fee is $33,000 inc. GST and he will parade with the rest of the powerful Arrowfield roster at next month’s Stallion Open House, 25-28 August.   

 

Where Champions Stand

At the end of the 1997/98 season, Danehill’s star was close to culmination in Australia, and beginning to rise in Europe. His 44 southern hemisphere stakes winners included 7 multiple Group 1 winners, headed by the Arrowfield-bred Danewin and the enigmatic mare Dane Ripper, and three winners of Australia’s premier 2YO contest, the Golden Slipper: the filly Merlene, and two Arrowfield-bred colts, Danzero and Flying Spur.

In the north Desert King (Irish Derby and Two Thousand Guineas), Danehill Dancer (the National S. and Phoenix S. in Ireland), Kissing Cousin (Royal Ascot Coronation S.) and US filly Danish had given Danehill Group 1 sire status, future stars Aquarelliste, Banks Hill, Mozart and Regal Rose were foals on the ground and Rock of Gibraltar would be born the following year.

The great sire Zabeel, bred by Arrowfield in partnership with Robert Sangster, had interrupted Danehill’s streak of Australian General Sires’ titles, and he would repeat that success in 1998/99. After that, the premiership would belong to Danehill for the next six seasons, giving him a final score of nine sire championships, unprecedented in Australian thoroughbred history.

It was just as Danehill was temporarily eclipsed that the horse who would ultimately succeed him as Australia’s champion sire, and most firmly secure his legacy, began his rise to fame.

A big, good-looking colt called Redoute’s Choice won his first race, a Listed Stakes event, at Caulfield in Melbourne on 20 February 1999.

John Messara picks up the story. “I thought to myself what a good performance it was first time out at that time of year, when all the best two-year-olds are out there. The trainer then said he was going to run him the following Saturday in the Blue Diamond.

“I thought, this is absolutely crazy, they’re running him a week after his maiden start. And they did run him, he drew the outside barrier and he still won the Blue Diamond, a Group One at his second start in a race, and I was absolutely flabbergasted. I thought to myself, from that moment on, this is the real thing, and I must track this horse.”

Bred and raced by Sri Lankan businessman Muzaffar Yaseen, and named for the famous French fashion company La Redoute, the colt was already on Messara’s radar, as he explains.

“I knew the pedigree well, because we were the under-bidders for his dam Shantha’s Choice when she was sold at the Melbourne Yearling Sale for $220,000. I’d seen Mr Yaseen after the sale and I’d congratulated him. Then, when she retired from racing, they’d called me and booked the mare into Danehill. So I’ve had an involvement with Redoute’s Choice from the day he was born, if you like, indirectly.”

The Damascus moment came in October 1999, when Messara was in France for the Arc meeting and Redoute’s Choice ran in the 1600-metre Caulfield Guineas G1, widely regarded as one of Australia’s stallion-making races.

“I remember waiting up at night and getting one of my staff to put the phone on the radio so we could hear the call of the Caulfield Guineas from Paris. It was an extraordinary call where Testa Rossa kicked clear, passed Redoute’s Choice, and Redoute’s fought back to win.”

The 1999 Caulfield Guineas remains one of the best displays of raw talent, and raw courage in recent Australian racing history, an assessment franked by the subsequent careers of the two colts Redoute’s Choice defeated that day.

Testa Rossa won another four Group 1 races and is a successful sire of 46 SW, including the high-class international performer Ortensia, trained by Paul Messara to Group 1 success in Dubai and England last year. Third-placed Commands, an Arrowfield-bred colt, has been a top 10 sire in Australia for the past eight seasons.

John Messara recalls, “With what I knew about Redoute’s Choice, his physical characteristics, his pedigree, and those two performances, I thought I’ve just got to get this horse. I came home from France and approached Mr Yaseen and luckily he sold me a half-interest in him.”

It was to prove another destiny-shaping decision for Arrowfield Stud and the Australian industry, but not everyone shared Messara’s confidence in Redoute’s Choice. Arrowfield already stood two brilliant Danehill sons, Danzero and Flying Spur (Australia’s Champion Sire in 2007), and doubts were expressed about the wisdom of standing a third.

The first Redoute’s Choice progeny sold at Australia’s premier yearling auction, the Inglis Easter Sale, averaged a respectable, if unspectacular, $134,000 off his $30,000 opening fee. That initial crop eventually produced 8 SW from 98 named foals, including the Arrowfield-bred colt Not A Single Doubt who opened his sire’s black type account in the AJC Canonbury S. LR on 20 December 2003. Another four 2YO winners that season were enough to earn Redoute’s Choice the title of Champion First Season Sire.

In 2004/05 he rocketed into third position on the General Sires’ list, behind Danehill and Zabeel, and won his first 2YO Sires’ premiership thanks to Golden Slipper winner Stratum. In 2005/06, with only three crops racing, he claimed the first of his two General Sires’ titles with 12 SW, six of them at Group 1 level: Fashions Afield, God’s Own, Lotteria, Nadeem, Snitzel and Arrowfield’s sensational Champion 2YO, Miss Finland.

Seven years later, the aggregate statistics of Redoute’s Choice’s stud career are astonishing: 105 SW, 23 Group 1 winners (including 7 juveniles, and 12 Classic winners), progeny earnings of more than $93 million, nine consecutive years as the Easter Sale’s leading sire by average, and 63 million-dollar-plus yearlings, among them this year’s Helsinge colt, sold for an Australasian record price of $5 million. More than 20% of the Easter Sale’s turnover since 2003 has been supplied by Redoute’s Choice yearlings.

This season alone Redoute’s Choice has been represented worldwide by 20 SW, two new Group 1 winners, Royal Descent in Australia and Wylie Hall in South Africa, plus 19 other stakesplacegetters.

However, it is his lifetime performance percentages that establish most clearly the margin of quality between Redoute’s Choice and his rivals. His 11.9% SW/Runners, 8.9% SW/Named Foals and 2.6% G1 Winners/Runners place him firmly in the very top bracket of the world’s elite stallions and have attracted the attention of another breeder who, like John Messara, focuses on quality.

That is HH The Aga Khan whose Haras de Bonneval in France has been home to Redoute’s Choice this northern hemisphere season, the first time the champion sire has left Arrowfield since 2000.

As leading European bloodstock commentator Tony Morris wrote in January 2013:

“No horse from the southern hemisphere has ever come north with more impressive credentials, and such conspicuously strong support from the world’s most successful private breeder can only encourage other European breeders, private and commercial, to get involved.”

The exceptional mares in his first French book, including the Aga Khan’s unbeaten champion Zarkava, offer Redoute’s Choice a rare and richly deserved mid-career opportunity to become a major international influence.

In Australia, Redoute’s Choice is already the dominant sire of sires in his generation, with ten stakes-siring sons, six of them with Group 1 winners on their records: Bradbury’s Luck, Duelled, Fast ‘N’ Famous, Not A Single Doubt, Snitzel and Stratum.

John Messara was as quick to secure early-crop colts by Redoute’s Choice as
he had been to purchase Danehill sons. In 2005 Not A Single Doubt joined the Arrowfield roster at a modest fee of $12,500. He has now sired 17 SW including the unbeaten Group 1-winning juvenile Miracles of Life and is fully booked for 2013 at a fee of $30,000.

Group 1-winning sprinter Snitzel arrived at Arrowfield in 2006 and last season, with his oldest progeny only 4YOs, he topped the Australian APEX ‘A’ Runner Index (compiled by Bluebloods magazine with Bill Oppenheim’s blessing) with an exceptional figure of 5.04.

Snitzel has stepped up the pace again in 2012/13 and will end the Australian season on 31 July with 11 SW and $6.5 million prizemoney earned by fewer runners than any other stallion in the top ten.

Arrowfield sold Snitzel’s first $1 million yearling at April’s Easter Sale where his average price of $335,000 was bettered only by Redoute’s Choice and Fastnet Rock.

A 50% fee increase for the 2013 breeding season, to $45,000, has not deterred breeders who filled Snitzel’s book in a matter of weeks.

The fate of sire-lines cannot be predicted with certainty, but it is certain that Danehill and his best son Redoute’s Choice have ensured the durability of Arrowfield’s stallion-making legacy.