How Special she was

Outstanding sprinter Special has died this week at Arrowfield Stud at the grand age of thirty.

The daughter of Habituate and Sal II resided for most of the past two decades at Arrowfield, where she delivered the last of her 14 foals, three-time winner Dashing Dunlop (by Not A Single Doubt).

During a stellar racing career for champion trainer Colin Hayes, Special won ten races, including the three Group 1 sprints at Flemington, the Lightning, the Newmarket and the Gadsden, now known as the Sprint Classic.

It was in the 1988 Lightning Stakes, where she defeated outstanding sprinters Snippets and Redelva, that Special set the Flemington course record of 55.50 for 1000 metres. That record stood for a remarkable 25 years, until world champion sprinter Black Caviar won the 2013 Lightning Stakes in a time of 55.42 seconds.

Racing in an era of many superlative performers, Special subsequently ran third in the 1989 MVRC William Reid S. G1 behind Zeditave and Vo Rogue (11 Group 1 wins between them), and split Zeditave and Oakleigh Plate G1 winner Clay Hero in her third Lightning Stakes.

Special’s transition to motherhood was almost seamless. She was in foal during her last two campaigns and delivered a colt by Bluebird in August 1989.

Named Strong, he was the first of Special’s nine winners, which included the stakeswinners Specialize (also by Bluebird) & Stavka (by Xaar), as well as Lady Special (dam of G1 winner Bomber Bill and two other stakeswinners). Another daughter, Special Sal left the G3 winner Demographic.

Arrowfield owns Special’s last daughter Distinctive (by Falbrav) dam of the winner Distinctive Flyer (by Flying Spur). She has a weanling colt by Smart Missile and is again in foal to him.

In 18 years at stud, twelve of them in Arrowfield’s ownership, Special missed only three times, and after her final foaling six seasons ago, she began a third career as a cherished nanny mare for Arrowfield weanlings. 

Special by name, performance and nature, she has been buried in the Arrowfield graveyard.

Arrowfield opens at Inglis Easter Sale

Near the historic Big Barn at the Inglis Newmarket Stable in Sydney on Wednesday morning, the Arrowfield hospitality marquee is open for business, after a week of building & furnishing, installation, cleaning & poster-hanging.

Best of all, barista Adrian Capra has cranked up the coffee machine that will fuel Arrowfield clients, guests & visitors for the next nine days.

Most importantly though, the 30 yearlings Arrowfield will present over the three days of Australasia’s premier sale have arrived safely and are already busy with buyer parades.  What a line-up those yearlings are.

View videos, photos & pedigrees for Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter Sale draft  here.

Among the six colts and three fillies by champion sire Redoute’s Choice are sisters to Oaks winner Absolutely & 2YO Group winner Shaaheq, and colts from South African champion National Colour & Group 2 winner Bellini Rose.

Good things come in threes for Australia’s current leading sire Snitzel and Group One sires Charge Forward, Not A Single Doubt and Starcraft.

There’s a trio of Charge Forward colts, including the first foal of Group 1 winner Alverta, also 3rd in the 2010 Newmarket July Cup G1.

Not A Single Doubt has a three-quarter sister to dual stakeswinner She’s Clean, a brother to Group 2 winner Gypsy Diamond and a colt out of Alalunga from the family of champions Sky Classic & Dance Smartly and champion sire Smart Strike.

There are siblings to Champion Singapore 3YO Stepitup, Group 3 winner Lunar Rise and exciting 3YO Havana, all by Starcraft.

And two colts and a filly by Snitzel, among them the impressively powerful brother to Group 1 winner Snitzerland.

Arrowfield will also present two fillies and two colts from the second crop of Manhattan Rain, and a half-brother to Golden Slipper runner Oakleigh Girl, by All American, already the sire of three first-crop winners.

The Arrowfield consignment is completed by a full brother to Group 1 winner Inspiration, a daughter of Group 2 winner Just Dancing, the three-quarter sister to champion filly Serenade Rose and a son of the sensational young US sire Tapit.

The Arrowfield marquee is open until 10 April to clients, guests & visitors for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea – and devilishly good coffee!

Arrowfield's Class of 2013 fires up

Graduates of Arrowfield’s “Class of 2013” are rapidly making their mark on Australian and international racing.

Saturday’s results from Australia and South Africa featured Group successes by Snitzel’s son Time For War (ATC Pago Pago S. G2) and Redoute’s Choice’s daughter Majmu (Turffontein Pretty Polly S. G3). They join Oakleigh Girl (Snitzel), Moonlight Hussler (Hussonet) and Gold Force (Flying Spur) as the first five stakeswinners to emerge from Arrowfield’s 2013 yearling sale graduates.

Hijack Hussy’s win at Doomben on Saturday takes the total of 2YO winners purchased from Arrowfield last year to sixteen – 13 of them successful in stakes or city company.

View videos, photos & pedigrees for Arrowfield’s 2014 Easter Sale draft  here.

Majmu, from Hussonet’s Group 1-winning daughter Spontaneous, was a $300,000 buy for Shadwell Australia from Arrowfield’s Inglis Easter Sale consignment. Prepared for Sheikh Hamdan by champion trainer Mike de Kock, she won the Turffontein Ruffian S. LR on debut earlier this month.

Majmu’s effort to win the 1100-metre Pretty Polly Stakes was particularly good in light of the stable’s pre-race comments: “Majmu should run a little less green this time…She might be outpaced a little as she needs further. But she is very good.”

Nine stakeswinners, led by the outstanding dual Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee, and another 20 stakes performers have flown the Redoute’s Choice flag around the world this season.

The Inglis Easter Sale features 32 yearlings by Redoute’s Choice, among them 3 fillies and six colts cosnigned under the Arrowfield banner.

Every Faith in Not A Single Doubt

The Robert Smerdon-trained filly Every Faith is the 22nd stakeswinner for her sire Not A Single Doubt after winning Saturday’s $80,000 SAJC Laelia S. 1600m LR.

Bred in New Zealand by Gene Tsoi (also owner-breeder of Group 1-winning filly King’s Rose), Every Faith was a $28,000 purchase from Brooklyn Lodge by bloodstock agent Paul Willetts at the 2011 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.

She was then offered by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where she was bought for $130,000 by her current owners Racing Victoria Board member Barbara Saunders, her husband Barry and their daughter Rebecca.

Although her win today was only her second success, Every Faith raced with merit in Melbourne last Spring, when she was 6th in the Edward Manifold S. G2, 5th in the Ethereal S. LR and a courageous 5th in Kirramosa’s VRC Oaks G1.

Every Faith’s dam Zephyria is a winning daughter of champion sire Zabeel from a family that has left several stakeswinners in Europe. Zephyria has a yearling colt by Starcraft and a weanling filly by Snitzel.

Not A Single Doubt was also represented on Saturday by Villa Verde (3rd, ATC Galaxy S. G1) and last year’s Blue Diamond heroine Miracles Of Life (2nd, SAJC Manihi Classic LR). They head a group of seven Group 1 performers by the son of Redoute’s Choice.

Not A Single Doubt has 6 fillies and nine colts in the Inglis Easter Sale, among them a pair of colts and a filly offered by Arrowfield Stud – view their pedigrees, photos & videos  here.

Second stakes success for London Lolly

Sending Lovely Jubly to Charge Forward was a classic best-to-the-best strategy by owner-breeders Joan & Edwina Throsby and it has certainly paid off.

The talented result of that Group 1 match is 2YO filly London Lolly who won Saturday’s $115,000 SAJC Breeders’ S. 1200m G3 with a professional performance that augurs well for her future.

That future may yet include an appearance in the field for next Saturday’s $3.5 million Golden Slipper G1 at Rosehill. London Lolly is now 13th in the Order of Entry.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said, “It’s a long way from Adelaide to Sydney, but I’ll certainly think about it, that’s for sure.

“Winning the stakes race the other day was great but when you win a second one, you frank it. Plenty of horses can fluke one, but you don’t fluke two.”

The red-hot stable Hawkes team has guided London Lolly to Group-winning status within four starts since her Melbourne debut in January. A second at Moonee Valley followed, before she won the MVRC St Albans S. LR on 14 March, beating Bring Me The Maid who won today’s Magic Night S. G2 at Rosehill.

London Lolly is the 7th foal and sixth winner of her brilliant Group 1-winning dam and one of 13 stakeswinners by Charge Forward. All but four of those stakeswinners are from mares by sons of Danehill – as are all five of the Charge Forward colts on offer at the upcoming Inglis Australian Easter Sale. View Arrowfield’s three Easter yearlings by Charge Forward  here.

It is Time for Snitzel

2YO Arrowfield graduate Time For War became the 21st stakeswinner for Australia’s current leading sire Snitzel when he won the $175,000 ATC Pago Pago S. G2 at Rosehill on Saturday.

He is the second son of Snitzel to win the race after Salade in 2011; they are among Snitzel’s 10 juvenile Group winners. Today’s third placegetter Klammer is also by the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice.

Time For War is one of five stakeswinners sold by Arrowfield in 2013. The others are Golden Slipper contender Oakleigh Girl (also by Snitzel),  Moonlight Hussler (Hussonet), Gold Force (Flying Spur) and the exciting Redoute’s Choice filly Majmu, who added Saturday’s Turffontein Pretty Polly S. G3 to her debut stakes win.

Time For War has now won both his starts and more than $175,000 for trainer Gerald Ryan and a syndicate managed by Scott & Renee Darby’s Darby Racing.

The 2YO colt was bred from the Zabeel mare Lady Zabelia by Arrowfield in partnership with Klawervlei Stud and purchased for $56,000 by Darby Bloodstock at the 2013 Inglis Scone Yearling Sale. Lady Zabelia, closely related to champion Might And Power, has a weanling filly by Smart Missile and is in foal to Animal Kingdom.

Time For War and Klammer have extended their sire’s remarkable record since 1 January to 26 stakes performances, including 10 Group & Listed Race successes by 7 different horses: Shamus Award (VRC Australian Guineas G1), Snitzerland (VRC Lightning S. G1), Sweet Idea (ATC Light Fingers S. G2; 2nd, Coolmore Classic G1), Time For War, and Listed Race winners Amorino, Dances on Stars & My Sister Lil.

Snitzel maintains his lead on the Australian General Sires’ list with earnings of $7.6 million, 11 stakeswinners and nine other stakes performers.

Ten vendors will present 17 yearlings by Snitzel at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale which begins on 8 April. Arrowfield’s 30-lot draft includes two colts and a filly by Snitzel – click here to view pedigrees, photos & videos.

Sweet Idea story

The 31st running of the ATC Coolmore Classic at Group 1 level attracted a wonderful field of fillies and mares to Rosehill on Saturday, and unfolded in spectacular fashion when front-runner Steps In Time and jockey Jim Cassidy dared their rivals to catch them.

Only Snitzel’s 3YO daughter Sweet Idea emerged to offer a challenge but it seemed unlikely to succeed until jockey James McDonald summoned the 3YO filly’s great reserves of courage, and the pair began to cut into Steps In Time’s lead.

Doubts about Sweet Idea, racing for the first time beyond 1400 metres, and coming off the only unplaced run of her career, were reflected in the double-figure odds offered to punters on the Coolmore Classic. Those doubts evaporated as Sweet Idea lowered and lengthened stride to hunt down Steps In Time, whose audacious romp suddenly became a desperate battle between two indomitable competitors, each seeking her maiden Group 1 success.

At the line, it seemed that Steps In Time may indeed have found an extra step in time to claim the race and the official photo confirmed that she had prevailed, by a short half-head, with 2.3 lengths back to third-placed Catkins. Redoute’s Choice’s daughters A Time For Julia & Royal Descent made ground late to claim fourth and fifth.

Third stakes win for Arrowfield graduate

Snitzel’s Arrowfield-bred son Amorino added a third Listed Race victory to his record at Ascot in Perth on Saturday, after a successful protest by jockey William Pike.

Given topweight of 59kg, the 4YO gelding started favourite in the $100,000 WATC Grandstand Cup 1500m LR, his first attempt beyond 1400 metres. He jumped well from barrier 1, but soon found himself awkwardly positioned, midfield on the rails.

The stewards accepted that first-past-the-post winner Mr Utopia caused interference to Amorino as Pike tried to get clear, and judged that it was sufficient to reverse the placings.

Amorino has now won seven races and almost $500,000 for owners Elio Galante and family. That’s a healthy return on the $70,000 that Gerald Ryan paid to secure him from the Arrowfield draft at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Amorino was bred by Arrowfield in partnership with Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd from the Marauding mare Steal My Love, a close relative of two champion 3YO fillies, Danendri and Faint Perfume.

Seven of the 9 Group & Listed Races claimed by Snitzel’s progeny since 1 January have been won by Arrowfield sale graduates: Snitzerland (VRC Lightning S. G1), Sweet Idea (ATC Light Fingers S. G2, Magic Millions Guineas (R) LR), My Sister Lil (WATC Ascot 1000 Guineas LR) and Amorino (3 Listed Races).

Sweet Idea almost added today’s ATC Coolmore Classic G1 to that record, instead finishing the most valiant of seconds, beaten a lip by Steps In Time; while Snitzel’s 5YO son Malavio finished third behind Messene & Weary in the ATC Ajax S. G2.

Snitzel remains on top of the current Australian General Sires’ table with $7.4 million prizemoney. His offering at the Inglis Australian Easter Sale comprises 17 yearlings, among them two colts and a filly in the Arrowfield draft –  view photos & pedigrees here.

New winner for All American in Sydney

The Gerald Ryan stable gave Arrowfield’s first season sire All American his third winner when Bachman scored convincingly over 1300 metres at Warwick Farm on Thursday.

The 2YO colt jumped well from gate 5, but Nash Rawiller settled him well off the pace until the field rolled around the turn and space opened up in front of them. Bachman responded generously to Rawiller’s “let’s go” request, took the lead 150 metres out and kept up a strong gallop to win by 1.5 lengths from Double Happy with almost 3 lengths back to Sure And Fast in third place.

Bachman is the fifth winner from the grand racemare and now excellent broodmare Ain’t Seen Nothin’, owned by Arrowfield and John Leaver’s Planette Thoroughbred. She is also the dam of 2013 champion Singapore 3YO Stepitup (by Hussonet) & dual stakeswinner Ain’tnofallenstar (by Starcraft).

Ain’t Seen Nothin’ has a colt by Starcraft, Lot 299 in Arrowfield draft for the upcomng Inglis Australian Easter Sale –  view here.  The first foal of Ain’tnofallenstar, a filly by Redoute’s Choice, will be offered one lot later by Broadwater Thoroughbreds.

Bachman was purchased for $180,000 by Damien Flower’s Jadeskye Racing from the Arrowfield draft at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. He is the 15th 2YO winner from Arrowfield’s graduate “Class of 2013.”

Ain’t Seen Nothin’ is back in foal to All American, also the sire of debut winners Invisible (in Sydney) and American Time, as well as placegetters Tender (at Sandown yesterday) and Lady Trickster (in last Saturday’s Bendigo VOBS Gold Rush 2YO Stakes).

All American has four fillies and three colts at next month’s Easter Sale, including Arrowfield’s half-brother to Group 3 winner and Golden Slipper contender Oakleigh Girl, Goodwood Farm’s half-sister to multiple Group winner Toydini, and Broadwater Thoroughbreds’ three-quarter sister to brilliant 2YO Assail.

All systems go for It's A Dundeel

It’s A Dundeel is all systems go for what promises to be a highlight of the BMW Autumn Carnival, Saturday’s $500,000 ATC Ranvet S. G1 over 2000 metres at Rosehill.

That’s the clear message from the latest video in his online Diary, following his Autumn campaign through to the ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1 at Randwick on the final day of The Championships, 19 April.

View the latest It’s A Dundeel video here.

The 4YO entire opened his Autumn campaign with a one-length second to specialist miler Boban in the Chipping Norton Stakes G1 on 8 March at Warwick Farm. This time he meets the outstanding Melbourne and Australian Cup winner Fiorente.

Interviewed after the 4YO entire’s gallop in company over 1600 metres on the course proper at Warwick Farm, trainer Murray Baker said, “Dundeel pulled up well from the Chipping Norton, we’re very happy with him.

“He’s derived considerable improvement from that first race and stepping up to 2000 metres, a fit horse, it should suit him better. I think Dundeel will continue to improve, he just needs a bit of racing, being a four-year-old, a little bit older, and he’s certainly on the improve the last couple of weeks.”

Arrowfield is the majority owner of the son of High Chaparral who will wear the Stud’s famous black and yellow silks for the second time on Saturday.

James McDonald, his jockey in all but one of his previous 16 starts, will once again have the ride. The pair will jump from barrier 1 in the nine-horse field, which also includes last year’s Ranvet Stakes winner Foreteller, Hawkspur (3rd in the Chipping Norton), Silent Achiever (dominant last start winner of the ARC New Zealand S. G1) and Her Majesty the Queen’s proven Group 1 performer Carlton House.

The last time It’s A Dundeel raced at Rosehill, he romped to victory in the 2013 Rosehill Guineas G1, beating subsequent Doncaster Handicap G1 winner Sacred Falls by almost 7 lengths.

However, his trainer anticipates a much closer battle this time. “He’s pretty well, he looks good in the coat. Dundeel’s got a good turn of foot as we know, Fiorente is an excellent stayer. It should be a good tussle.”