Breeder celebrates historic Cox Plate victory by Snitzel colt

“Over the moon!” was breeder Bob Hannon’s first reaction to Shamus Award’s history-making victory in today’s $3 million MVRC Cox Plate 2040m G1.

The 3YO son of Snitzel is the first maiden to win Australia’s weight-for-age championship race, and joins a stellar group of 3YOs that have won the race in the past 30 years: So You Think (2009), Savabeel (2004), Octagonal (1995) & Red Anchor (1984).

The Cox Plate winner’s prizemoney has shot Snitzel to the head of the Australian General Sires’ list with season earnings of $3,075,922, ahead of Fastnet Rock and Exceed and Excel.

Shamus Award is the 16th stakeswinner and second Group 1 winner from Snitzel’s first four crops. Snitzel’s achievements last season included an Easter Yearling Sale average of $335,000, his first $1 million yearling and 11 Australian stakeswinners.

Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara says, “This is a milestone success for Snitzel, and confirms what his statistics have been telling us for the last two seasons: that he is a major Australian sire in the making.”

Bob Hannon’s relationship with Arrowfield goes back three decades to the 1980s when he was a shareholder in foundation Arrowfield sire Rancher. He was also co-breeder of the sensational filly Amelia’s Dream (by Redoute’s Choice).

Shamus Award is from the Success Express mare Sunset Express, a city-winning half-sister to three winners including Singapore stakeswinner Ghozi.

Bob purchased Shamus Award’s third dam, the Irish-bred mare From The Wood through bloodstock agent Kieran Moore in 1989, and has worked with the family ever since.

Offered by Vinery Stud, Shamus Award made $230,000 at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Sale and is trained by Danny O’Brien for Sean Buckley (who also raced 2007 Australian Horse of the Year Miss Andretti) and Viv Oldfield.

Shamus Award went into the Cox Plate on the back of an outstanding run for third in the Caulfield Guineas G1, and six other black type placings from nine starts.

As O’Brien said after the race, “He certainly didn’t deserve to be a maiden.

“It has not gone to plan because we would have loved to have come here after winning the Stutt (Stakes) and winning the Guineas, but a couple of things went against him in those races.

“Today we got our chance to get out there, make our own luck and show what a good colt he is because he could have easily been a Guineas winner and a Cox Plate winner.”

Sunset Express has what Bob describes as a “beautiful” 2YO filly by Not A Single Doubt who has been broken in and will join Kris Lees’ stable in January. Sunset Express is visiting Snitzel again this spring.

Shamus Award’s second dam Finito Fling has a Not Single Doubt daughter, Fimatino in the Lees stable, and a 2YO Snitzel filly, named Lady Snitzel, sold for $170,000 at this year’s Easter Sale.

Bob works with 11 mares and has owned and managed a New Guinea coffee export business since 1965. He says, “This is one of the beautiful days in life, this is what it’s all about.

“I love the stallion, I chose the mating on type, and to get that result for Arrowfield and for me, that’s fantastic. What a wonderful day!”

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