It's A Dundeel impresses in Randwick trial

An emphatic trial win at Randwick on Monday morning indicates that 5-time Group 1 winner It’s A Dundeel is on track for a successful Autumn campaign.

Wearing the Arrowfield colours for the first time, It’s A Dundeel settled fifth behind the strong pace set by Equator and when James McDonald asked him to quicken he responded immediately to win by two lengths in a time of 1:11.3.

McDonald said afterwards, “He went terrific and he’s definitely come back a stronger horse…It’s scary how much he has improved.”

Trainer Murray Baker confirmed that, all going well, It’s A Dundeel will open his Autumn campaign in the ATC Chipping Norton S. G1 over 1600 metres at Warwick Farm on 8 March. It’s A Dundeel’s nine wins to date include the ATC Royal Randwick Guineas at the same track and distance.

Follow It’s A Dundeel’s Journey here.

Sweet quinella in Light Fingers Stakes

Two quality daughters of Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt made a classy quinella in Saturday’s $175,000 ATC Light Fingers S. 1200m G2.

Arrowfield graduate Sweet Idea (by Snitzel) delivered a typically professional performance to win the race by three-quarters of a length from a fast-closing Gypsy Diamond (by Not A Single Doubt), with Champagne Cath a long neck away in third place.

Sweet Idea jumped well from gate 10 to race outside Champagne Cath while the favourite, 4-time Group 1 winner Guelph sat wide, just behind them. When the pressure came on, it was Sweet Idea who went forward and by the 200-metre mark, she had the race under control.

Only Gypsy Diamond, a Group 2 winner over 1600 metres at Moonee Valley last Spring for her owner-breeders Ron Finemore & John Leaver, was able to reduce Sweet Idea’s lead, and her effort delighted trainer John O’Shea. Her principal Autumn target is the Coolmore Classic G1 on 22 March.

Sweet Idea’s ultimate goal this Autumn is the $2.5 million ATC T.J. Smith S. G1  on 12 April, the opening day of The Championships, where she will likely meet another gifted Arrowfield graduate, Not Listenin’tome, and perhaps also the brilliant Oakleigh Plate winner Lankan Rupee (by Redoute’s Choice).

Sweet Idea, now a two-time Group 2 winner, has never been out of the money in ten starts, and has returned more than $1.6 million on the $240,000 trainer Gai Waterhouse & agent James Harron bid for her at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

As the filly’s part-owner David Henderson said, “We think she is the best sprinting filly in the country and her record says that.”

Sweet Idea is one of nine stakeswinners this season for Arrowfield’s outstanding young sire Snitzel, who leads the Australian General Sires’ table with earnings of $6.3 million.

Snitzel has 9 fillies and 8 colts on offer at the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Not A Single Doubt has 15 fillies and 13 colts in the same sale, including Arrowfield’s strongly made colt from Group 1 winer Dowry.

View the 25 yearlings in the Arrowfield draft here, and inspect them at Oaklands from Wednesday morning 26 February.

Red letter day for Redoute's Choice

Lankan Rupee’s dominant victory in the $400,000 MRC Oakleigh Plate 1100m G1 at Caulfield gave Arrowfield’s supersire Redoute’s Choice his 24th Group 1 winner, and the second of three Group wins on a memorable day of high-class racing in Melbourne and Sydney.

A little earlier, at Randwick, the David Payne-trained mare Lilliburlero (ex Regimental Gal by General Nediym) won the ATC Triscay S. 1200m G3 for her owner-breeder Bruce Neill of Cressfield. She is the 110th stakeswinner by Redoute’s Choice, who is currently standing his second Northern Hemisphere season at the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in France.

Less than an hour after the Oakleigh Plate, Robert & Deborah Anderson’s home-bred mare Bonaria (ex Decidity by Last Tycoon) added a second Group success to her record by winning the MRC Mannersim S. 1400m G3. The 5YO mare is trained by Pat Hyland and has now won 6 races and almost $490,000 prizemoney.

As it happened, daughters of Arrowfield’s now-retired champion sire Flying Spur completed both quinellas. Recoinage chased home Lilliburlero, while Hazard was the runner-up to Bonaria.

Lankan Rupee and Lilliburlero are both members of Redoute’s Choice’s 2009 crop which has now produced 17 stakeswinners from only 107 named foals – the same number as his benchmark second crop, but from fewer foals.

Lankan Rupee is the third Group 1 winner from that Class of 2009, after Royal Descent (Australian Oaks G1) & Wylie Hall (South African Derby G1), and the second son of Redoute’s Choice to win the Oakleigh Plate, after Snitzel in 2006.

Caulfield in February has been a fortunate venue for Lankan Rupee’s owner-breeder Muzaffar Yaseen, whose famous Teeley Assets colours were carried by Redoute’s Choice himself in his first Group 1 win, the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on 27 February 1999.  The same colours were in the Group 1 winner’s circle again on this Saturday at Caulfield last year, when 2YO filly Miracles of Life (by Redoute’s Choice son Not A Single Doubt) won the Blue Diamond.

Read more: How Miracles happen: the Teeley Assets story.

Lankan Rupee’s dam Estelle Collection (by Stravinsky), a Group 3 winner from the family of champion sire Lonhro, has a 2YO Redoute’s Choice filly named Timeless Choice, a weanling filly by Manhattan Rain and is once again in foal to Redoute’s Choice. Estelle Collection is based at the Arrowfield Broodmare Farm, where her foals have been born and reared.

Lankan Rupee, who won twice at Group level in Melbourne during the Spring, has now won seven of his 14 starts and prizemoney of $676,260.

Arrowfield’s two brilliant sire sons of Redoute’s Choice added gloss to the day when outstanding 3YO filly Sweet Idea (by Snitzel) led home Gypsy Diamond (by Not A Single Doubt) in the ATC Light Fingers S. 1200m G2. Snitzel continues to lead the race for the Australian General Sires’ premiership with season earnings of $6.3 million and nine stakeswinners among his 58 winners.

Redoute’s Choice has 10 yearlings in the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in March, and 36 lots catalogued for the Inglis Australian Easter Sale in April. Arrowfield will present three colts & three fillies from his 2012 crop in Melbourne – view them here; and six colts & three fillies in Sydney.

Breeder celebrates Caulfield Group success

“A very impressive start to his campaign…and a good enough reason to celebrate today!”

That was the response of Michael Pitt, co-breeder of Not Listenin’tome, four-length winner of the $125,000 MRC Zeditave S. 1200m G3 at Caulfield on Saturday afternoon.

Jockey James McDonald was equally impressed. “He’s one out of the box really. Fresh-up, one trial, that was awesome. They went at a nice clip and he found plenty. He’s a nice horse.”

Not Listenin’tome (Dylan Thomas-Flame of Sydney by Encosta de Lago) was a $270,000 purchase by George Moore Bloodstock from Arrowfield’s draft at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale and is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes for champion Hong Kong trainer John Moore.

Michael Pitt explains tells the story of Flame of Sydney. “I bought her as a yearling in New Zealand in partnership with an old friend, Mark Read. She gave me one of my biggest thrills in racing when she won a stakes race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day, and she then followed it up by coming from last on the home turn to second place in the Group 2 Sandown Guineas.”

Flame of Sydney retired to stud with a record of four wins including the VRC Desirable H. LR, three Group placings and more than $300,000 prizemoney. Both of her first two foals are winners, and Not Listenin’tome looks more than capable of adding to his Group 3 success and second placing behind Zoustar in last Spring’s VRC Ascot Vale S. G1. At this stage he is likely to head to Sydney where the $2.5 million ATC T.J. Smith S. G1 on the first day of The Championships, 12 April, will be his principal target.

Michael says, “Not Listenin’tome is her second foal and he was an outstanding yearling on type. We own Flame of Sydney’s two-year-old Starcraft filly and she is with Bjorn Baker. She’s just coming back in to work and is very promising.  

“Flame of Sydney is now in foal to Snitzel – it will take a lot to get us to sell that foal!”

The Redoute’s Choice-Flame of Sydney yearling filly was the Book 2 sale-topper at last month’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, where she was purchased out of the Arrowfield draft for $280,000 by Power Thoroughbreds.

Michael adds, “If Not Listenin’tome can live up to the hype and win a Group One, it would mark my greatest achievement in breeding – I haven’t managed that to date. Being out of The Flame, as we like to call her, it will be even more special, given the fun she gave us while racing.”

Arrowfield will present a total of 56 yearlings at the two upcoming Inglis yearling sales, 25 in Melbourne and 31 in Sydney. View both drafts here .

Stepitup named Singapore's Champion 3YO

Arrowfield Stud graduate Stepitup has won the 2013 Singapore Champion 3YO Award presented at a gala event on Thursday evening.

Stepitup was purchased for $90,000 by Cliff Brown from the Arrowfield draft at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. He won five of his 8 starts in 2013 including all three legs of the Singapore 3YO Challenge (Singapore Guineas Sgp-1, Singapore 3YO Classic Sgp-2 & Singapore 3YO Sprint Sgp-3), as well as the Colonial Chief S. Sgp-3.

He opened his 2014 season with victory in the Fortune Bowl Sgp-3 earlier this month, taking his career record to nine wins from 1000 to 2000 metres and prizemoney of almost $S1 million for the Tivic Stable and trainer Sonny Yeoh.

Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Stepitup is by Hussonet from the fine racemare Ain’t Seen Nothin’ (by Nothin’ Leica Dane), winner of eight races, three at Listed Stakes level, and several Group placings, including a third in Mummify’s 2003 MRC Underwood S. G1.

Ain’t Seen Nothin’ is also the dam of dual stakeswinner Ain’tnofallenstar (by Starcraft), her 3YO sister Star Pupil (placed this season for Paul Messara), multiple winner Hidden Charges (by Charge Forward) and Bachman (2YO colt by All American). Ain’t Seen Nothin’ is again in foal to All American, while Ain’tnofallenstar has a yearling filly by Redoute’s Choice and a 2013 filly by Smart Missile.

Arrowfield will offer Stepitup’s yearling half-brother by Starcraft at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale.

The Spirit of Flying Spur's golden age

Two new stakeswinners in a week make it clear that champion sire Flying Spur is intent upon turning his retirement into a golden age.

On Wednesday it was Gold Force who earned black type and the winner’s share of the $250,000 Inglis 2YO Premier Stakes at Mornington.

Tonight it was the turn of Zac Spirit who became Flying Spur’s 92nd stakeswinner when he prevailed in a stirring battle with Holy Empire for the $200,000 Three Rings Trophy 1400m Sgp-3.

Trainer Cliff Brown said, “I’m very proud of him. The second horse (Holy Empire) is a very good horse and both were very gallant.” Zac Spirit’s next race will be the 2nd Leg of the Singapore Sprint Series, the $200,000 Kranji Sprint Sgp-2 over 1200 metres on 4 April.

Zac Spirit was bred by Newhaven Park & Colin Tidy from Kidman (by Quest for Fame) and purchased by Brown for $140,000 at the 2011 Inglis Easter Sale. The 4YO gelding is raced by the Zac Stable which also raced his stakes-winning half-brother Zac Influence.

Kidman, herself a Group-placed city winner, and descended from the important broodmare Summoned, has a yearling filly by Manhattan Rain and a 2013 colt by Redoute’s Choice.

Six colts and four fillies from Flying Spur’s final crop will be offered at the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, with a further nine lots catalgoued for April’s Inglis Easter Sale, including Arrowfield Stud’s brother to Group 1 winner Inspiration.

Smart Starcraft fillies take off

Interest in Starcraft’s 21 yearlings at the upcoming Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale has been sharpened by a trio of smart fillies from his 2010 crop.

On Thursday at Bendigo, Leia (ex Gibraltar Campion by Rock of Gibraltar) finished strongly over 1000 metres for her second win in four starts from the Leon Corstens stable.

Purchased by Spicer Thoroughbreds for $220,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale, Leia’s Spring campaign was derailed by a virus, but she looks ready to progress further this Autumn. Brad Spicer reports that a start at Moonee Valley next Friday evening is the next possibility for her.

Leia’s full sister, described by Arrowfield’s Sam Fairgray as “a lovely type, a fluent mover with great balance and a nice pedigree to match”, is Lot 280 at Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale which begins on 4 March. View the Arrowfield draft  here.

In New Zealand on Wednesday, Astardia (ex Ransom Claim by Red Ransom) put up a performance reminiscent of the maiden win of her famous stablemate It’s A Dundeel, when she swept from the back of the field to win handily over 1600 metres at Pukekohe.  Watch the race here.

Astardia, a grand-daughter of 2YO stakeswinner and Golden Slipper placegetter Loving Cup, was purchased by trainer Murray Baker for $65,000 from the Wellfield Lodge draft at the 2012 New Zealand Premier Sale. She is raced by long-time Baker stable client John Rattray, who also raced Group 2 winner Fatal and Group 1 winner Dowry (now an Arrowfield broodmare), in partnership with Alastair Lawrence and Dave Mitchell.

John Rattray says of Astardia, “She’s a very nicely put together filly with a beautiful temperament and I liked the way she flattened out over the last 100 metres.” Likely races for her now include the Lowland Stakes G3 at Hastings on 1 March or the Sunline Vase G3 at Ellerslie on 5 March.

The Baker stable has good experience with the Starcraft tribe after preparing his daughter We Can Say It Now to win twice at Group 1 level.

Last Thursday at Seymour another 3YO Starcraft filly, Choose (ex Choices Are by Redoute’s Choice) turned in a determined effort to win comfortably on debut. Choose was an $80,000 buy for trainers Lee & Shannon Hope from the 2012 New Zealand Ready to Run Sale and is from a three-quarter sister to Group 3 winner and Blue Diamond G1 runner-up Shaaheq.

The Melbourne Premier catalogue includes two colts bred on the Starcraft-Redoute’s Choice cross, Arrowfield’s Lot 46, from Any Other Day,  here; and Supreme Thoroughbreds’ Lot 254, from Fair Choice,  here.

Juveniles anchor Snitzel's brilliant record

Several new lines of emphasis have been drawn this week beneath Snitzel’s burgeoning reputation as a major sire of high-class juveniles. 

On Wednesday Edmund & Belinda Bateman’s powerfully built colt Wandjina sharpened up his Golden Slipper prospects with a 3.5 length defeat of a quality field at Warwick Farm.

Four days earlier at Randwick Ygritte (2nd, ATC Widden S. G3) and Mr Cha Cha (3rd, ATC Canonbury S. LR) took Snitzel’s career tally of 2YO stakes performers to 27.

Ygritte completed an unusual quinella for Snitzel in the Widden, won by Mossfun, the only runner to date from a daughter of Snitzel, and the first hint that Snitzel’s influence as a source of precocious class won’t be limited to one generation.  

Wandjina, Ygritte (both Arrowfield sale graduates) and Mr Cha Cha all look capable of enlarging the significant patch Snitzel is stamping as a sire of 2YOs. He already has a lifetime 35% 2YO winners/runners strike rate, with more than $51,000 average prizemoney per 2YO runner, and 7.4% 2YO SW/runners.

That is giving Snitzel a valuable edge in his current battle for the Australian General Sires’ premiership, where 15% of his total prizemoney has been earned by his 2011 crop, compared with 2% for his nearest rival Fastnet Rock.

Yet Snitzel cannot be pigeon-holed as a specialist 2YO sire, when six of his 12 juvenile stakeswinners, including last Saturday’s Lightning S. G1 winner Snitzerland, have added to their black type records as older horses, and his eight current season stakeswinners come from four crops. 

Shamus Award illustrates what makes Snitzel’s progeny so desirable in the sale-ring and so effective on the track. He was precocious enough to place in four Group & Listed races at two and run fifth in the Blue Diamond S. G1, then stepped up immediately at three to finish third in the Caulfield Guineas G1, and win the Cox Plate G1.

Like Danehill and Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel’s success is firmly founded on early maturing class, but also like them, his impact on Australian racing goes beyond juvenile competition. That’s why, despite fewer runners and fewer crops than most of his main rivals, Snitzel became  Australia’s leading sire in October and why, four months later, he’s still there.

Snitzerland wins Group 1 Lightning Stakes

A little over two years after she made her debut at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in 2011, Snitzel’s superstar Arrowfield-bred daughter Snitzerland crowned her career with Group 1 success in today’s $500,000 VRC Black Caviar Lightning S. 1000m G1.

Perhaps the best description of her performance is supplied by Damien Oliver, who rode the runner-up Shamexpress: “”He was cruising, I bided my time and I thought I had Snitzerland 200m out but she found another gear.”

That extra gear is Snitzerland’s special gift, employed with great effect in all of the eight wins – six of them at Group level – that have earned the bulk of her $1.8 million prizemoney.

The 4YO mare left the gates today with the same zest she displayed two seasons ago, and travelled beautifully for Brenton Avdulla who had to amend his race plan soon after the start.

“I was just going to sit off Bernabeu and after they went 200 metres, I couldn’t so I just let her stride. Inside the 600, I just kept letting her improve and improve. At the 300, I was just full of horse and even when I got to the clocktower, she did the rest.”

Snitzerland held off Shamexpress by a half-length with a further length back to the fast-finishing Samaready, and cut out her final 600 metres in 33.52 to compile a winning time of 57.16.

Snitzerland was bred by Arrowfield and offered at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where trainer Gerald Ryan bought her for $125,000 on behalf of Darby Racing which subsequently on-sold her to Neil Werrett & Steve McCann.

Today’s victory was particularly notable for Neil Werrett, best-known as the managing owner of world champion Black Caviar who won the three previous runnings of the Lightning Stakes and was honoured in the name of today’s race.

Snitzerland is the third Group 1 winner for Snitzel (after Shamus Award & Sizzling) and one of his nine stakeswinners this season. The sensational son of Redoute’s Choice leads the current Australian General Sires’ list with prizemoney of more than $6 million.

Snitzerland’s dam Monte Rosa (by 1993 Caulfield Cup winner Fraar) is an unraced member of the wonderful “Tennessee” family  and is the dam of five winners from six named foals, including stakes-placed Red Dress Marley (by Hussonet) & city winners Akmal (by Flying Spur) & Deleque (by French Deputy), as well as Snitzerland. 

Monte Rosa has a yearling full brother to Snitzerland to be offered as Lot 118 in the Arrowfield draft for April’s Inglis Australian Easter Sale and is again in foal to Snitzel.

Snitzel has 18 yearlings catalogued for next month’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, and 17 lots in the Inglis Australian Easter catalogue.

New stakeswinner for Charge Forward & Arrowfield

Popular Cranbourne trainer Stephen Theodore expressed his jubilation after his stable’s latest big win very simply on Twitter: “road trippin, road trippin, road trippin…”

And Road Trippin’ it was who made the trip to Hobart to claim the lion’s share of the $100,000 prizemoney offered for this evening’s TRC Thomas Lyons S. 1400m LR.

The admirable 4YO son of Charge Forward and Road To Damascus boosted the records of his sire (he’s Charge Forward’s 12th stakeswinner) and his dam (he’s her second stakeswinner from three named foals).

He’s stakeswinner No. 45 from a Flying Spur mare and the fifth black type winner bred on the Charge Forward/Flying Spur cross.

Road Trippin’ completes a quartet of stakeswinners from Arrowfield’s 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft, following Group 2 winners Snitzerland & Flying Snitzel, and multiple Singapore stakeswinner Stepitup.

Purchased by Theodore for $22,500, Road Trippin’ is raced by Chris Alsemgeest, Trevor Christian, Mathew Cox, Ken Fagan, Luke Galliott, Geoff Kemp, Trent Murphy, Hit The Line Racing and Frank & Shirley Welsford. They didn’t have to wait long to get their money back: Road Trippin’ earned almost $77,000 as a juvenile and was Group 2-placed behind All Too Hard at Flemington.

He earned twice that amount at three with a couple of city wins, the Albury Guineas, a Listed Race placing and a brave 5th in the Caulfield Guineas.

This season Road Trippin’ has won twice, placed four times and taken his career earnings close to $370,000. He will remain in Tasmania to run in the George Adams Plate LR at the Launceston Cup meeting on 26 February.

Most of Road Trippin’s owners stumped up again at the 2012 Inglis Premier Sale when Theodore bid $40,000 for Road Trippin’s full brother Crack A Roadie, who earned stakeswinner status and $177,000 in three starts before his premature death.

Last year much the same group returned to Arrowfield’s Inglis Premier draft and paid $60,000 for the pair’s half-brother by Manhattan Rain. Road To Damascus, a winning half-sister to Group 1 winners Bluebird The Word & Porto Roca, does not have a current yearling, but she foaled an All American filly last Spring and is in foal to Animal Kingdom.

It’s been an excellent week for Charge Forward, also represented by the city winners On Strike (Moonee Valley last Friday) & Almighty Charge (Randwick last Saturday), and the promising 2YO filly London Lolly, second at Moonee Valley this evening.

Five yearlings by the brilliant son of Red Ransom are catalogued for next month’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, among them a filly and colt in the Arrowfield draft.