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.

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