Starcraft to stand at Rosemont Stud

A joint venture between Arrowfield and Rosemont Studs will position Champion miler and Group 1 sire Starcraft in Victoria this Spring at a fee of $11,000 inc. GST. 

The handsome son of Soviet Star has been based at Arrowfield Stud since 2006 and is the sire of 15 stakeswinners and 11 other stakes performers. They are headed by Champion Australian 3YO Colt Star Witness and outstanding New Zealand filly We Can Say It Now, both dual Group 1 winners. 

Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara says, “Starcraft has already justified our faith in him as a sire of top-class performers and, with around 300 foals coming on stream from his latest four books we’re confident there’s plenty of good news ahead of him. All of Starcraft’s current shareholders, including Arrowfield, will retain ownership of the horse, and we’ll be sending several mares to him at Rosemont this season.”

Messara adds, “Anthony Mithen’s personal enthusiasm for the horse is a major factor in our decision to move Starcraft. When we also considered Rosemont’s ability to support him and the appeal of a fresh pool of mares, a move to Victoria made excellent sense at this stage of Starcraft’s career.”

Rosemont Stud owner Anthony Mithen says, “Starcraft is a horse we’ve targeted for some time now. We contemplated approaching Arrowfield 12 months ago but had our hands full re-launching Starspangledbanner. The timing for us this year was perfect.

“Starcraft is such a stunning looker and gets great-looking stock which is priority number one for us at Rosemont. Type is everything and he produces some of the most attractive yearlings around that sell incredibly well – up to $650,000 at Easter this year.”

Mithen continues, “Starcraft sold more than 50 yearlings at all the top sales and averaged nearly $70,000. That is some effort. It also tells breeders finalising their matings for 2014 that Starcraft has plenty of unraced quality progeny out there in some of the very best stables. I am certain he will produce more topline runners in the next 12 months.

“Add the fact Starcraft’s Victorian-bred progeny will qualify for the riches of Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold, and he is a no-brainer. I’ve got a feeling we are in for a very busy week!”

Mithen adds, “I’ve contacted a few of our best clients with mares here at the farm over the weekend to let them know he will be available here at Rosemont and they all booked mares to him on the spot.

“We will be sending a dozen or so very nice mares to him this season including the mother of recent Brisbane Group 2 winner Sacred Star, as well as some of the stakes-winning American and European mares we’ve been collecting in recent years.”

Guineas prospect for All American

“I think he might be a Caulfield Guineas horse so we will probably head that way” – that’s how co-trainer Peter Morgan assessed All American’s 2YO son Zebulon after his two-length win at Flemington on Saturday.

Zebulon is the fourth winner from four juvenile starters this season for Peter and his training partner Craig Widdison.

Jockey Linda Meech said, “He’s a very nice horse and still has a fair bit to learn. He just wanted to run in a bit when he got to the front and we did it the hard way today.”

After jumping from gate 14, Zebulon sat three wide during the early part of the race, and then peeled out to be the widest runner as the field entered the home straight. He picked up at the 300-metre mark to sprint home strongly from the favourite Profit Share and Allergic.

Zebulon was bred in New Zealand by Kathryn Picton-Warlow from Saint’s Review, an Irish-bred daughter of Saint Ballado and US stakeswinner Smashing Review.

Offered as a yearling by Lyndhurst Farm at the New Zealand Select Sale, Zebulon was bought for $60,000 by Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock and is raced by Bruce & Jillian Mathieson and Richard Smith. Messrs Mathieson & Smith have recently enjoyed notable racing success as part-owners of dual Group 1 winner Foreteller.

All American was also represented on Saturday by The Big Rig (ex Catalina Winemixer by Stratum) who fought on well for second over 1000 metres at Kembla Grange.

All American has notched up five 2YO winners from his first crop, including Group 3 winner Bachman, stakes-placed filly Tender and smart Sydney winner Invisible. Tellingly, his major sale average for his first two crops has exceeded 7 times his service fee and his top price was set this year, when Shadwell paid $360,000 for the Emanday filly offered by Broadwater Thoroughbreds at the Inglis Easter Sale.


Fresh talent steps up for Redoute's Choice

The 2013/14 season is winding down, but fresh talent keeps stepping up for Redoute’s Choice, and on Wednesday it was the turn of 3YO Prix D’Or in Australia and 2YO Tabreek in South Africa.

Trainer Robbie Griffiths has kept Prix D’Or to the synthetic track at Geelong for his three starts in the past month because the gelding needs dry ground.  He’s made the most of those opportunities, winning all three starts including his strong two-length victory over 1300 metres today.

Jockey Katelyn Mallyon said of Prix D’Or, “He’s got an unbelievable turn of foot and I think the horse is going places.”

Bred and sold by Limerick Lane Thoroughbreds from Chausson Dore (by Hawk Wing), Prix D’Or was a $200,000 purchase by his trainer from the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

A stakes-placed winner at two in France, Chausson Dore is a daughter of top-flight German sprinter Don’t Worry Me, winner of the Royal Ascot King’s Stand S. G2 and eight other races.  Limerick Lane has a 2013 colt by Snitzel from Chausson Dore.

Later in the day, Australian time, champion South African trainer Mike de Kock produced Sheikh Hamdan’s 2YO colt Tabreek to win on debut at Scottsville.

Tabreek is the first foal of Group 2-winning filly Zarzuela, by Zabeel, whose daughters have left eight stakeswinners to Redoute’s Choice. Zarzuela is out of  New Zealand Group 1-winning sprinter Star Satire, also the dam of Satin Shoes (by Flying Spur), winner of six races in Australia, including the ATC Silver Slipper S. G2.  

Tabreek was bought by Shadwell Australia for $720,000 from the Willow Park draft at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. Shadwell’s purchases from that Sale also include Tabreek’s stablemate, the brilliant Arrowfield-bred filly Majmu (Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous by Hussonet), already a Group 2 winner and unbeaten in her three starts this season.

Redoute’s Choice heads the Australian General Sires’ list with prizemoney of $9.9 million, around $500,000 in front of his son & Arrowfield barnmate Snitzel.

Olympic Anthem sings for Heathcote

Olympic Anthem’s success in the final race at the Ipswich Cup meeting on Saturday has helped Robert Heathcote keep his nose in front of Tony Gollan in a tight battle for the Queensland Trainer Premiership.

2YO Pinch River drew first blood for the Heathcote stable, but Tony replied with a stakes race double by Alma’s Fury & Brave Ali, taking his record to 67 wins for the season.

After Olympic Anthem held out the favourite Architect in the last race, Robert’s tally was 69.5 wins.

The 3YO son of Starcraft heads to the spelling paddock for six weeks with three wins and two placings from his 11 starts this season.

Says his trainer,  “He deserved that win, he was very game and brave in the Queensland Guineas where I thought he was second and he ended up fourth.

“He’s very neat, not big, but with great propertions and very athletic. I’ve thought he was stakes class from day one.

“His best distance will be a mile, like his sire. I think he can be a cracking miler.”

Olympic Anthem was bred by Paul Webb from the Group 2-winning mare Fire Song (by Senor Pete), a grand-daughter of the fine producer Echostatic whose nine winning progeny include New Zealand Group winners Coup Ray, Singalong & Penny Arcade.

DGR Thoroughbred Services bought Olympic Anthem for $150,000 as a yearling from the draft of Trelawney Stud at the 2012 New Zealand Premier Sale.

Starcraft, sire of dual Group 1 winners Star Witness & We Can Say It Now, has also been represented this season by Group 3-winning 3YO Havana, stakes performers Stella Lante & Starkiato, promising juveniles Statton and Dual Star, and city winners Choose, Goodfun Girl & Simply Brilliant.

Strong Word of Mouth for Not A Single Doubt

It’s a good time of year to spot a few likely prospects for next season and one of them appeared on Saturday at Flemington.

His name is Word Of Mouth and he prevailed in a hard-fought battle with Leventi for the $80,000 Rod Johnson Handicap over 2000 metres.

However, no sooner had the 3YO son of Not A Single Doubt returned to scale than trainer Leon Corstens said that “he is a good horse in the making” and would not return to racing until next Autumn.

Surprisingly, Corstens believes Word Of Mouth will be suited by longer races.  

He said, “I almost wish it had been a bit longer half way down the straight. I didn’t think he was going to get there, I thought ‘the leader was going to hang on.’

“I think down the track we will take the blinkers off him. I think he will settle better and he’ll get over a bit more ground.”

The only real clues to Word Of Mouth’s liking for distances beyond 1600 metres can be found in his own record which features a couple of recent wins in country company over 1980 & 2015 metres.

His immediate pedigree is not an obvious source of his stamina, though it does include a few winners beyond sprint distances. Word Of Mouth’s dam Exo (by Hennessy) is also the dam of juvenile stakeswinner Diamond Pegasus and three other winners, including two colts by Galileo that won over ground. Further back the family has produced Adventurous, a winner in black type company up to 2000 metres, and Permaiscuous (by Danzero), successful in the 1600-metre VRC Carbine Club S. G3.

Not A Single Doubt was himself a notably precocious 2YO, eight of his 22 stakeswinners have earned black type at that age; and he is Australia’s current leading sire of juvenile winners.  That said, his record does include seven stakeswinners at 1600 metres and beyond: Always Certain, Doubtful Jack, Castlethorpe, Every Faith, Gypsy Diamond, Mystic Power and My Ex Mate, winner of the 2600-metre SAJC Lord Reims S. G3.

Word Of Mouth is a fine prospect to join that group in the second half of next season, but he’s already extended a good story for Melbourne businessman Peter Arvanitis who bought him as a weanling, and sold him through the Swettenham Stud draft at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. The successful buyer at $150,000 – the second-highest price paid for a Not A Single Doubt yearling at the Sale – was syndicator Brad Spicer.

Word Of Mouth was one half of a Saturday city double for Spicer Thoroughbreds whose clients also cheered home Amovatio at Rosehill.

Not A Single Doubt has now been represented by 29 winners of 32 Australian and offshore races  since 1 May, and seven winners in the past 7 days.

Sacred Star is Flying Spur's 93rd stakeswinner

Sacred Star became the 93rd stakeswinner for Flying Spur when he claimed Saturday’s $175,000 QTC Cup 1300m G2 from Masthead and Bennetta.

Bred by Mark Ruff from Irish Nova, the 4YO gelding was a $200,000 Inglis Easter purchase from the Attunga Stud draft by Guy Mulcaster Bloodstock. Sacred Star is trained by Tony Pike for Raffles Thoroughbred Racing in New Zealand where he has been twice Group 1-placed at 1400 & 1600 metres.  His career record now reads five wins and more than $300,000 prizemoney from 17 starts.

Irish Nova (by O’Reilly) was Group-placed at two in New Zealand and is a half-sister to stakeswinner Plaudits and Bling, dam of the dual Group winner Diademe. This is also the family of Group winner Strike The Stars, 2YO stakeswinner Marseille Roulette and the highly successful producer Professionelle, dam of Group winners Sportsman, Prisoner Of Love & Hoystar and stakeswinner King Of Prussia.

Sacred Star is one of 13 stakes performers for Flying Spur this season, and he joins Spurtonic & Gold Force (Australia), Zac Spirit (Singapore) & Mushreq (Dubai) as the champion sire’s latest stakeswinners. Although a milestone century of stakeswinners may be out of reach, there are more than 200 horses in Flying Spur’s final three crops that can improve his already excellent lifetime statistics over the next few seasons.

Sacred Star’s full brother was among  Flying Spur’s 36 final-crop yearlings sold this year. He was knocked down for $140,000 to Michael Wallace Bloodstock at the Inglis Easter Sale. 

The highest prices for Flying Spur’s last yearlings were $320,000 and $200,000 paid by the Hong Kong Jockey for a pair of colts from Vivacious Spirit & Serenada at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

There is also a lively market for Flying Spur’s sought-after broodmare daughters. Twenty-three of them have sold this year up to the $240,000 paid for the stakeswinner Espurante at the Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale.

Flying Spur is already the damsire of 50 stakeswinners, most recently 3YO filly Atmospherical (by Northern Meteor), winner of the Scone RC Denise’s Joy S. LR on 17 May.

22 wins in 30 days for Not A Single Doubt

It’s been a milestone season for Not A Single Doubt in the sale-ring with his best-ever major sale average and a new record top price of $380,000. That was paid by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for Arrowfield’s colt from Spontaneous.

Out on the racetrack, it’s been brisk business as usual for the power-packed, speedball son of Redoute’s Choice. That means a fast-flowing stream of winners, city winners & stakes performers.

It means more Australian 2YO winners than any other sire (16), and 7 stakeswinners headed by a trio of 3YO fillies, Gypsy Diamond, Miracles Of Life & Villa Verde, all Group 2 winners this season.

And it means that in the last thirty days alone, from 13 May to 11 June, another 22 wins in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong & Singapore have been added to Not A Single Doubt’s record.

A pair of 3YOs supplied his most recent successes on Wednesday, in the process completing Not A Single Doubt’s fifth interstate double* since 12 May.  Talented filly Widow’s Walk (ex Countess Dehere by Dehere) was successful at Doomben in Brisbane and is now 2-from-3 for the Meagher stable. At Canterbury in Sydney the Peter Moody-trained gelding Handsome Tycoon (ex Charlotte de Belle by Secret Savings) followed up his good trackwork with a tough win at his first start since October.

*Actually, one of those doubles was part of a four-win spree on 28 May when Arrowette and Meticulously won in Sydney, Widow’s Walk won in Brisbane, and Victorius won in Hong Kong. 

Another promising 3YO son of Not A Single Doubt is Harbour Punk (ex Marblue by Marscay – the same cross as dual Group 3 winner Doubtful Jack) who seriously impressed his trainer Derek Cruz with an all-the-way win at Happy Valley on 5 June.

Said Cruz, “He tries his heart out. He is very talented and has great gate speed – but he is only going to get better. He is still learning, still very green, so to be able to run away and do that was very impressive.” Watch Harbour Punk’s win here.

Not A Single Doubt’s other Hong Kong winners in the past month are Seasons Star (ex Annie’s River by Canny Lad) & Victorius (ex Our Greta by Rory’s Jester). In Singapore the exciting Maple Stars Stable-owned 3YO Raise No Doubt (ex Extremely by Hussonet) notched up his third consecutive win on 16 May.

Star Thoroughbreds’ Denise Martin is a long-time fan of Not A Single Doubt and enjoyed notable success with his brilliant first-crop son Squamosa, a Group 3 winner and second in the Golden Rose G1.

At the 2011 Tasmanian Yearling Sale Denise paid $60,000 for a Not A Single Doubt filly from Marina Miss (by Grand Lodge) and placed her with leading Tasmanian trainer Barry Campbell, who is married to Denise’s sister Anne. The filly was named Arenzano and last Sunday she won her eighth race from 15 starts.

Small wonder that Star Thoroughbreds returned to the sales this year to buy three Not A Single Doubt yearlings, along with other syndicators such as Round Table Racing, Blueblood Thoroughbreds, Darby Racing, First Light Racing, Prime Thoroughbreds & Topline Thoroughbreds.

Agents including Belmont Bloodstock, John Warren, Boomer Bloodstock, John Foote, Astute Bloodstock, Paul Moroney, Doncaster Bloodstock & Paul Willetts also signed for lots by Not A Single Doubt.

And finally, trainers like Gai Waterhouse, Mick Price, Gerald Ryan, Peter & Paul SNowden, David Hayes, Clarry Conners, Tony McEvoy, Robbie Laing, Ron Quinton, Neville Parnham & Anthony Cummings had to make sure they had at least one Not A Single Doubt joining their stables in 2014/15.

Impressive new winner for Manhattan Rain

The exuberant claret and gold silks of Qatar Bloodstock entered the Australian city winner’s circle for the second time in eight days when Manhattan Rain’s 2YO daughter Crafty won by 3 lengths in Melbourne on Wednesday.

The Arrowfield-bred filly powered home by 3 lengths over 1200 metres on the Slow6 track at Sandown-Lakeside, sprinting her final 600 metres in 33.53 seconds, the best time of the day. Race favourite Puzzle was second and another Arrowfield graduate, Electric Charge (Charge Forward-Miss Bussell) was third for the Robbie Griffiths stable.

Like last week’s Sandown winner Cautious, Crafty was purchased at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale by David Redvers for the bloodstock investment company established in 2010 by Sheikh Fahad al Thani and his brothers.

Crafty, from the Sadler’s Wells mare Spirited Dancer, was bought from Arrowfield for $150,000 and was making her first appearance since a pair of third placings in February and March.

Her trainer Robert Smerdon said, “I must say I conceded the top two runners (Puzzle and Fairy Star) might be too good for her but she stepped up and she has always shown ability.

“I wasn’t quite sure she had made the improvement but she was terrific. We are thinking that she will be better at middle distance and beyond, so it is a case of seeing how far we can get her out, possibly over a mile this preparation.

“I think spring may be too close so we will keep her going and look at the autumn with her.”

Crafty is the third winner for first season sire Manhattan Rain, also represented by the Mick Price-trained Moonovermanhattan (SAJC National S. G3 on debut), winning filly Downtown Manhattan and stakes-placed colts Chengdu (in Perth) and Light Up Manhattan (in Melbourne & Adelaide).

Manhattan Rain, All American, I Am Invincible and Denman are the only first season sires that have left Australian stakeswinners this season.

Crafty is a half-sister to Flemington Group 3 winner Lunar Rise (by Starcraft) whose full brother was purchased at this year’s Inglis Easter Sale by Badger’s Bloodstock. Spirited Dancer,  from the immediate family of champion Peintre Celebre, has a weanling filly by Gio Ponti and is in foal to Animal Kingdom.

Starcraft's buyer celebrates new stakeswinner

A stakes result anywhere in the world is always good news for a breeder and so it was this week when well-known New Zealand bloodstock agent Robert Dawe learned he’d bred the runaway winner of last Saturday’s Macau Sand Mile LR.

The horse is the quirkily named The Drunk Bird, bred in Australia by Robert in partnership with John Murdoch. The Drunk Bird is a 5YO son of Starcraft and the well-bred American mare Shop Girl, by Summer Squall from  Geraldines Store, winner of 13 races including the Saratoga Diana H. G2, which has been run at Grade 1 level since 2003.

Geraldines Store was a half-sister to the champion filly Al Bahathri, dam of champion 3YO Haafd, Group 2 winner Munir and stakeswinner Hasbah. The family has kicked on strongly in recent years, producing champion international stayer Red Cadeaux, Hong Kong Horse of the Year Military Attack and Group 1 winners Hearts of Fire, Gladiatorus, Spanish Fern, Lord Shanakill & Heatseeker, all descended from The Drunk Bird’s third dam Chain Store.

Robert, who bought Starcraft as a yearling in 2002 for his owner Paul Makin, explains, “I purchased Shop Girl via the Keeneland sale ring and then on-sold 50% to John Murdoch. He’s a beaut partner and deserves some success as he has spent “a quid” or three in breeding ventures in the past few years.

“Shop Girl was in foal to the unfashionable Jambalaya Jazz when I bought her.  I foaled her down in Kentucky, gave the foal to ex-pat Kiwi Tony Holmes’ wife’s mother who reared and raced her under the name of A Wee Gift. So I became a winning US breeder and collected the very worthwhile breeder’s bonus.

Robert continues, “I chose Starcraft as a suitor on type, not to mention some bias along the way!  John Murdoch and I, plus partners Greg Jones & Bryan Black have Shop Girl’s 2YO Thewayyouare colt in training with Stephen Marsh, and the mare is now in foal to Reliable Man under a lease arrangement.”

Shop Girl’s 2008 colt by Starcraft was purchased for $140,000 from the Westbury Stud draft at the 2010 New Zealand Premier Sale and was raced in Australia as Cesar’s Pride by Surace Bloodstock. He won and was placed twice from the Danny O’Brien stable before his 2012 sale to Macau where he has now won six races and the equivalent of more than $200,000. 

Starcraft’s 2014 yearlings averaged more than $100,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast & Inglis Easter Sales, with a new record price of $650,000 paid by David Redvers for Mill Park’s filly from Dane Belltar.

The Drunk Bird is the 16th stakeswinner for Starcraft, also represented this season in Australia by talented 3YO Havana (BRC Fred Best Classic G3), stakeswinner Mr Vadim and the stakes performers Stella Lante, Starkiato & promising juvenile Dual Star.

Starcraft’s fee for the 2014 season is $11,000 inc. GST.

Rush is Charge Forward's 14th stakeswinner

Arrowfield graduate Rush became Charge Forward’s 14th stakeswinner when he took out the Penang Anniversary Cup 1200m LR on Sunday.

It’s a rather special race to win. The Penang Turf Club has revived the Anniversary Cup this year to celebrate its 150th anniversary this year. It will be run again for the next two years.

Ridden by champion jockey Jai Shankar, Rush was last in the early running but quickly moved up to the leaders as the field made the turn. Good Baby hit the front 250 metres from the post, but Rush ran him down in the final 100 metres to win by a length.

Rush began his career in Singapore in the care of trainer Michael Freedman with three wins from his first five starts and a second in the 2011 Magic Millions Juvenile Championship Sgp-3. Since his transfer to Malaysia in early 2013 he has won five races, the last three in succession. In all, the 5YO has been successful in nine of his 35 starts.

Bred by Arrowfield and Planette Thoroughbred, Rush is the third winner from Flidais (by Timber Country), best known in Australia as the dam of star filly Sweet Idea (by Snitzel).

Rush has a 2YO sister named Surf Poet, in training with Luke Oliver at Caulfield, and Sweet Idea has a yearling sister, purchased from Arrowfield for $200,000 by Gai Waterhouse & James Harron at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Flidais, a daughter of Group 1 winner Electronic, is once again in foal to Snitzel.

Charge Forward, also sire this season of juvenile Group 3 winner London Lolly and stakeswinner Road Trippin’, stands at a fee of $22,000 inc. GST.