Salsa spices it up for owner-breeders

All Salsa’s super win at Canterbury last week was noteworthy for more than obvious reasons.

It was certainly notable for jockey Sam Clipperton who out-rode his apprentice claim in the race, always a special achievement for a young rider. That he did it on a horse trained by his master, former champion jockey and now successful Randwick trainer Ron Quinton was icing on the cake.

The cherry on top was provided by All Salsa’s owner-breeders, the family of the late Phillip Esplin who bred the 3YO filly’s sire Charge Forward.

All Salsa is very much a legacy of Phillip’s enthusiasm for breeding and racing, as his son Hamish explains. “Dad loved the Tattersall’s Broodmare Sale, he always picked a few out of the catalogue and in 2007 he picked out Ashmal, a Shadwell filly off the track.

“She was by Machiavellian from a daughter of Salsabil, and Dad bought her for 28,000 guineas. Noel Mayfield-Smith trained her to win a race in Australia and she then had two Charge Forward fillies and a Duporth colt, but she died from complications after foaling in 2011.”

All Salsa is the mare’s second Charge Forward filly and Hamish sees a strong resemblance to her sire. “She’s very neat, very athletic, well put together and very like Charge Forward when he was racing.”

Last week’s win was All Salsa’s second success in two starts this campaign, after two placings and two fourths from the John O’Shea stable in the early summer before John’s move to Darley.

Hamish says, “We’ll take her to Saturday grade, then see whether she’s up to the next step. She should cope with 1400 metres and we’re hopeful she’ll get a mile.

“We’re very happy with what Ron has done with All Salsa, he’s a very uncomplicated trainer. He doesn’t have set ideas, he looks at a horse and treats it the way the horse wants to be treated.”

All Salsa is one of two horses that Hamish, his mother Michele, his brother Patrick and sister Elise have placed in the Quinton stable. The other is Loulinda, a winning 3YO War Pass half-sister to Group 3 winner Fast ‘N’ Famous.

Among the other dozen or so Esplin horses in training are last Spring’s Flemington Group winner Plucky Belle, and recent Melbourne stakeswinner Office Bearer, both with Peter Moody; 2YO filly Something Secret (Charge Forward-Secret Land) with Gai Waterhouse; and 2YO colt Aglet (Redoute’s Choice-Astinella), also joining the Moody stable.

The Esplins are busy developing a a 210-acre farm near Kulnura, little more than an hour north of Sydney, which will be home to their 30 or so broodmares and young stock.

Among those mares are Sydney’s Quest, a half-sister to Charge Forward (in foal to Smart Missile); Office Bearer’s dam Street ‘Em Sheila (in foal to Not A Single Doubt); and Pay My Bail, dam of stakeswinner White Sage (in foal to Animal Kingdom).

Hamish explains, “We all love to breed and race horses, and it was always Dad’s goal to produce the best progeny by the stallions we’ve bred. We haven’t done it yet with Charge Forward but maybe All Salsa can do it for us!”

Charge Forward, whose three new stakeswinners this season are headed by his 5th Group-winning 2YO London Lolly, will be available for inspection at the Arrowfield Stallion Open House, 21-24 August – click here for more information.

Redoute's Choice & Snitzel make Premiership history

Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel are now only days away from completing an unprecedented quinella in the 2014 Australian General Sires’ Premiership.

It is the first time since the inaugural publication of the Australian General Sires’ table for the 1883/84 season that a father and son have finished first and second. Their residence at the same farm, Arrowfield Stud, adds an extra level of difficulty for stallions seeking to emulate them in the future. 

It is the third Australian General Sires’ title for Redoute’s Choice following his successes in 2005/06 and 2009/10.

The great son of Danehill will end the season with Australian earnings of more than $10.2 million and at least 96 winners headed by 10 stakeswinners, five of them from his superlative 2009 crop. That group includes three-time Group 1 winner Lankan Rupee, Australia’s top-rated horse of the season and the world’s best sprinter in 2014 with a figure of 123 on the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

Lankan Rupee’s Timeform rating of 132 is also the best figure awarded to an Australian performer this season and ranks him above past champions Lonhro, Makybe Diva, Northerly, Strawberry Road, Sunline & Weekend Hussler.

Snitzel has secured the runner-up position on the General Sires’ Premierhsip with more than $9.8 million prizemoney, largely earned by his 82 winners from five crops of racing age. He jointly leads the Premiership table by stakeswinners with a total of 13, including Group 1 winners Shamus Award (Cox Plate & Australian Guineas) and Arrowfield graduate Snitzerland (Lightning Stakes).

Arrowfield’s success with sons of Redoute’s Choice does not stop there. Not A Single Doubt approaches the end of the 2013/14 season as Australia’s leading sire of 2YOs by winners with 24, a tally unmatched in the past dozen years. Snitzel, Stratum and Not A Single Doubt make a powerful trio of Redoute’s Choice sire sons in the top 20 on the General list.

Redoute’s Choice is the only active Australian sire to win more than two Premierships and he is the only son of Danehill to head the table more than once, surpassing the single title victories of Flying Spur (2007), Fastnet Rock (2012) and Exceed and Excel (2013).

The three Premierships won by Redoute’s Choice in nine years measure a rare period of dominance exceeded in the past century only by Better Boy (four titles between 1966 and 1977) and Danehill (nine titles between 1995 and 2005).

Redoute’s Choice is also having a major impact as a broodmare sire. He will finish the Australian season with $9.8 million prizemoney, 12 stakeswinners (most notably Sacred Falls & Zoustar), and third position on that table, behind Zabeel and Danehill. That surpasses the achievement of Danehill’s final Australian stallion premiership season in 2004/05, when he finished fifth on the Broodmare Sires’ list.

The 2013/14 Sires’ Premiership is the sixth won in the past 21 years by a stallion based at Arrowfield in the season of his success. Those titles have been won by Last Tycoon (1994), Danehill (1995), Flying Spur (2007) & Redoute’s Choice (2006, 2010, 2014).

Arrowfield’s 1-2 finish is also historically significant. That was last achieved by Kia Ora Stud 61 years ago when Delville Wood and Midstream claimed the first two positions on the 1953 Premiership list.

Arrowfield Chairman John Messara says, “The toughest contests are always the most exciting to win, so this Premiership quinella, achieved in our industry’s most competitive era, means a great deal to me, my family and my team.

“We are especially proud to share this success with every breeder, owner, trainer, jockey and buyer associated with the progeny of Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel. Only our collective investment, skills, work and ambition can make history like this.

“Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel represent the exceptional stallion performance that Arrowfield aims for with every horse we choose to stand. I believe our current roster is the best group of stallions we have ever presented to breeders, so our heads are turned with confidence to the future.  

“It’s wonderful to stand briefly at the top of the mountain, but the battle for next season’s prizes begins on Friday!”

New Manager at Arrowfield Stud

Arrowfield is pleased to announce that Paul Messara will take up the position of Manager at Arrowfield Stud from Friday 1 August.

Paul, who lives at the Stud with his wife Alice and their young sons Frank and John, will significantly reduce the number of racehorses under his care.

Paul says, “I’m looking forward to returning to the Stud business and am very grateful for the support of outstanding stable staff and wonderful owners over the past eight years.”

Arrowfield Chairman John Messara says, “It is exciting for my wife Kris and me to have our sons involved in the business at a time of great competition and opportunity within the global thoroughbred industry. Paul’s commitment to the Stud and Michael’s role on the board secures Arrowfield’s future as a family-owned business into the next generation.” 

Paul’s extensive experience in the thoroughbred business includes the Irish National Stud Course and a season at Shadai Stallion Station before he began training horses in 2006.  In his short career as a trainer, Paul has achieved considerable success with more than 300 wins, including 57 Stakes performances, 21 of them victories, most notably four Group 1 wins with Ortensia (in England, Australia & Dubai) and Alverta (2010 STC Coolmore Classic).

As part of a restructure of operations at Arrowfield, the adjoining Bellerive Stud, which is the base for clients’ broodmares and young stock, has been fully integrated into Arrowfield Stud and is now known as the Arrowfield Broodmare Farm.  All of the Stud’s yearlings will now be sold under the Arrowfield banner.

In addition, the Arrowfield Training Centre, also adjoining the Stud, will be converted into the Arrowfield Sales Centre. 

Scissor Kick scores at Canterbury

Two-year-old Redoute’s Choice colt Scissor Kick gave notice of his bright Spring prospects when he scored in style at Canterbury on Wednesday afternoon.

He is trainer Paul Messara’s fifth winner from ten starters this month and joins Limehills and Panzer Division to make a stable trio of colts by Redoute’s Choice that are worth following in the new season’s early 3YO races.

Having his first start since his unplaced debut in March, Scissor Kick jumped smartly to settle outside the early leader Busting Through, took command inside the 300-metre mark and raced away to a 2.8 length victory. Crooked Blaze was second and another Redoute’s Choice colt, Electrifyin’ was third.

Assistant trainer Barry Wintle says of Scissor Kick, “He has got a good stallion’s pedigree and we’ve always had a lot of time for this horse. He is nominated for the Golden Rose and that performance today suggests we could work towards something like that if he continues to prove he is good enough.”

Scissor Kick was a $200,000 purchase from Broadwater Thoroughbreds at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale and is raced by Arrowfield in partnership with breeder Jonathan Munz’ GSA Bloodstock.

His dam Back Pass (by Quest for Fame) has already left the stakeswinner Sharkbite, and followed Scissor Kick with a 2012 filly by Redoute’s Choice and a 2013 colt by High Chaparral before her death in February this year.

Redoute’s Choice is heading towards his third Australian General Sires’ premiership with season earnings of $10.2 million and ten stakeswinners headed by champion sprinter Lankan Rupee.

Not A Single Doubt: leading sire of 2YO winners

Not A Single Doubt will end the 2013/14 season as Australia’s leading sire of 2YOs by winners, with 24 notched up by the end of racing on 27 July.  

That tops the 23 2YO winners by Redoute’s Choice in 2004/05 and Exceed and Excel in 2010/11 and sets a mark unmatched in the past 14 years.

The latest additions to Not A Single Doubt’s total came last Thursday when Balloons and Final Agreement scored maiden victories at Gosford. 

Both fillies are Arrowfield graduates. Balloons (ex Festive Joy by Encosta de Lago) was purchased for $50,000 by trainer Kim Waugh from the Inglis Classic Sale, and Final Agreement (ex Negotiate by Red Ransom) was secured by owner Matthew Sandblom for $60,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Success continued for Not A Single Doubt’s 2011 crop on Saturday. Affirmation (ex Apocrypha by Octagonal) was most impressive when winning by three lengths at Caulfield, his second success in three starts from the Tony McEvoy stable.

Just over an hour later, the filly Positive Quest (ex Quest For Success by Quest For Fame) posted her second consecutive win at Newcastle for trainer Rod Craig.  That gave Not A Single Doubt ten 2YO wins in July alone.

Such performance is hardly news for Not A Single Doubt, because he’s had double-figure juvenile winners every season since 13 members of his first crop saluted the judge in 2008/09. His 22 lifetime stakeswinners include eight that earned black type at two, among them Miracles Of Life (MRC Blue Diamond S. G1), Karuta Queen (GCTC Magic Millions Classic (R) LR) & dual Melbourne stakeswinner Villa Verde.

However,  Not A Single Doubt’s progeny are no one-season wonders, nor are they limited to sprint distances. Karuta Queen progressed to Group success at three, as did Miracles Of Life and Villa Verde this year.

In fact, five of Not A Single Doubt’s 7 stakeswinners this season are 3YOs and three of them, Every Faith & Gypsy Diamond in Australia, and Mystic Power in Malaysia, were successful at 1600 metres. Gypsy Diamond & Every Faith, both out of Zabeel mares, also finished 4th and 5th in the VRC Oaks G1 over 2500 metres at Flemington.

Not A Single Doubt’s emerging talent includes another 3YO, Word Of Mouth (ex Exo by Hennessy) whose three 2000-metre wins this season featured a strong performance at Flemington last month. He finished off with a good third over in Saturday’s $150,000 VOBIS Gold Heath 3YO Plate over 1800 metres at Caulfield. 

Performances like these have pushed Not A Single Doubt into the top ten earners on both the 3YO Sires’ and 2YO Sires’ lists in 2013/14. They also explain the strong demand for his yearlings which averaged more than $140,000 at the major sales this year,  with his lifetime record top price of $380,000 paid for the Spontaneous colt at Magic Millions.

Clients, guests and visitors are warmly invited inspect Not A Single Doubt and the rest of Arrowfield’s roster at the Stud’s 2014 Stallion Open House, 21-24 August. Click here for more information.

Black type weekend for Arrowfield graduates

Qatar Bloodstock’s filly Crafty became the 21st stakes-winning Arrowfield graduate this season when she stormed to victory in Saturday’s $120,000 VRC Taj Rossi Series Final LR.

The daughter of Manhattan Rain and Spirited Dancer (by Sadler’s Wells) is among the eight 2YO stakeswinners this season that were purchased from Arrowfield at last year’s Australian sales.  The others are Group 2 winners Majmu (Redoute’s Choice) & Time For War (Snitzel), Group 3 winners Bachman (All American), Moonovermanhattan (Manhattan Rain) & Oakleigh Girl (Snitzel) and Listed winners Gold Force (Flying Spur) & Moonlight Hussler (Hussonet).

Three members of Arrowfield’s notable 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft were also active over the weekend and all three embellished their records.

Honorine (Redoute’s Choice-Zaldivar) saluted for the second time this season when she took out the Clairwood Pinnacle Stakes in South Africa for trainer Mike de Kock and owner Mary Slack of Wilgerbosdrift Stud. Honorine achieved black type status when she won the Turffontein Camellia S. G2 in April.

At Kranji on Sunday evening, Stepitup (Hussonet-Ain’t Seen Nothin’) raced gallantly from gate 16 to finish second to Spalato in the 2000-metre $S1.15 million Singapore Derby Sgp-1. Stepitup was last year’s Champion 3YO in Singapore and has won five domestic Group races there, including the Singapore Guineas Sgp-1.

At Belmont in Perth, Frank & Josie Fiore’s gelding Smoko (Snitzel-London Lights) started favourite on the strength of his 5-from-5 record, despite not racing for eight months, and ran a terrific race for second, beaten a length by Pininci in the $100,000 WATC Beaufine S. LR over 1000 metres.

Back on Arrowfield’s home turf in Sydney, Rifleman (Hussonet-Opportunity) capped a satisfying weekend with his fourth win, over 1000 metres at Randwick. He was bred by the triumvirate of Arrowfield, Alan Jones & John Leaver but sold by Little Avondale Stud at the 2010 New Zealand Premier Sale where he was bought by Mark Pilkington for $220,000. The 5YO gelding is trained by Tony McEvoy for Arrowfield, Rupert & Cheryl Legh, Wayne Mitchell & David Hayes.

The dams of three of these performers remain part of the Arrowfield broodmare band. Spirited Dancer & Opportunity are both in foal to Animal Kingdom, and Ain’t Seen Nothin’ (also the dam of Bachman) is due to foal to All American.

Not A Single Doubt's train keeps rolling

The Not A Single Doubt train kept rolling on Saturday, thanks to four wins by a pair of 3YO geldings in Queensland and Western Australia and two juvenile fillies at Newcastle.

One of the fillies, Marple Miss, is already valuable thanks to her three-quarter brother, dual Group 1 winner Shamus Award (by Snitzel), but she looks capable of making her own way in the racing game after she ran home solidly over 1400 metres for a three-quarter length victory against older horses.

That win was the first leg of a treble for trainer Kris Lees, now level with Paul Perry on the Newcastle Trainers’ Premiership, and a satisfying result for the filly’s owner-breeders Bob & Sue Hannon. She is the fifth winner from five runners for Sunset Express (by Success Express), who is due to foal again to Snitzel this Spring.

Bob reports that Marple Miss may now head to Randwick for a 2YO race over 1550 metres on 26 July, but her first 3YO campaign will most likely be in the Autumn.

Not A Single Doubt’s second winner at Newcastle, Positive Quest, also maintains a perfect record for her dam, stakes-placed city winner Quest for Success (by Quest For Fame). Her six named foals have all won, four of them in Sydney.  Positive Quest is trained by Rod Craig for her breeder Reg Young and partners.

Not A Single Doubt’s 21 Australian 2YO winners this season have him well in front on that particular table, and another $20,000 or so before 31 July will see him through the $1 million mark on juvenile earnings.

At the Gold Coast the John Hutchins-bred Dousaichi added a second win to his record when he came from midfield to score by a length over 1200 metres. From Fusaichi Queen (by Fusaichi Pegasus), a half-sister to Group 1 winner Miss Kournikova, Dousaichi  was a $58,000 purchase by co-owner Paul Hope from the 2012 Magic Millions QTIS Sale.

In Perth, Crown Lawyer made it three wins from four starts this campaign for owner Santo Guagliardo and trainer Neville Parnham. It was a fine effort too, as Crown Lawyer pushed forward from barrier 9 to the lead, skipped away at the top of the straight and increased his lead to a margin of 1.8 lengths at the post.

Crown Lawyer was bred by Katherine Nivision’s Etak Thoroughbreds and sold initially for $45,000 as a Magic Millions weanling, then re-sold to his trainer for $80,000 by Phoenix Broodmare Farm at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.  From the family of Handsome Ransom (Canberra RC Black Opal S. G3) and Flemington stakeswinner Danajaya, Crown Lawyer is out of Sirenese, a 7-win daughter of Belong to Me.

This quartet’s good work has boosted Not A Single Doubt’s total Australian prizemoney this season beyond $5.5 million, a career-best total for the in-demand son of Redoute’s Choice.  He will parade with the rest of the Arrowfield roster, including newcomer Dundeel, at the Stud’s Stallion Open House, 21-24 August – click  here  for more information.

Second stakeswinner for Manhattan Rain

Qatar Bloodstock celebrated its first stakes success in Australia when Manhattan Rain’s 2YO daughter Crafty swept to victory in the $120,000 Taj Rossi Series Final LR at Flemington on Saturday.

The Robert Smerdon-trained filly drove home strongly from the middle of the field to outfinish Triple Gold by a nose, with 1.8 lengths back to All American’s son Zebulon in third place. Zebulon won at Flemington two weeks ago and his run was full of merit, given he drew 13 and was four wide coming into the straight.

Jockey Mark Zahra said of Crafty, “She did a good job today, I let her be where she wanted today and she hit the line strongly. I think she will get further, she’s a filly with a lovely temperament, so I think she will improve.”

Crafty is the second stakeswinner by first season sire Manhattan Rain following Moonovermanhattan’s Group 3 win at Morphettville in May. The Group 1-winning half-brother to Redoute’s Choice has also been represented by the stakes-placed colts Chengdu and Light Up Manhattan.

Manhattan Rain and All American are among the four first season sires that have left Australian stakeswinners this season.

Crafty (ex Spirited Dancer by Sadler’s Wells) has now won two of her five starts and returned much of the $150,000 David Redvers bid for her on behalf of Qatar Bloodstock at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale where she was offered by her breeder Arrowfield Stud. 

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.

Dundeel rated world's best NZ-bred performer

Six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel has been confirmed as the world’s best New Zealand-bred performer this season with an international rating of 122.

The latest LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings were released on Thursday by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities – click here for the list.

The 4YO son of High Chaparral and Stareel lowered the colours of previously unbeaten champion mare Atlantic Jewel in September’s MRC Underwood S. G1 over 1800 metres, and returned in the Autumn to defeat Sacred Falls, Carlton House and Silent Achiever in the ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1.

The latter performance, in which Dundeel kicked clear off a punishing pace, ranks him second only to northern hemisphere 4YO Magician among the world’s best entires over 2000 metres on turf. Magician split two outstanding mares, The Fugue and Treve in last month’s Royal Ascot Prince of Wales’s S. G1 to earn a figure of 123.

In Australia and New Zealand, only the world’s top-rated sprinter Lankan Rupee (123), bred and raced in Australia by Teeley Assets, ranks above Dundeel, who joins Lankan Rupee’s champion sire Redoute’s Choice on the Arrowfield Stud roster this Spring. Dundeel retires with 10 wins, five placings and $5.3 million prizemoney from 19 starts at 2, 3 and four.

Sacred Falls is the only other Australasian performer to make the leading group of horses on the published world rankings with a figure of 120. He won the 1600-metre ATC Doncaster H. G1 for the second time this season, but has been rated on his Queen Elizabeth second behind Dundeel, in the Intermediate category (1900m-2100m).

Dundeel was bred in New Zealand by Hawke’s Bay couple Murray & Jo Andersen who raced him with Arrowfield, Tracy Andersen, Gavin Chaplow, Sharyn & Mike Craig, Tony & Wendy Craig, David & Jenny Morison, Tony Muollo & Dino Focas. He was prepared for that partnership by leading New Zealand trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman, and ridden in all but one of his 19 career starts by the brilliant young Kiwi jockey James McDonald.

Victorian owners delighted with The Big Rig

First season sire All American posted his seventh winner on Tuesday when Victorian-owned and Sydney-trained 2YO The Big Rig strode home over 1400 metres to win by two lengths at Kembla Grange.  It was the gelding’s third start at the course, following a debut fourth in May, and a second placing late last month.

He was the third new winner by All American in 11 days, following Zebulon’s success at Flemington on 28 June and Datable’s NSW country win two days later. All American’s first season record also includes Sydney Group 3 winner Bachman and stakes-placed filly Tender.

Trainer David Payne says of The Big Rig, “He’s not a big horse, but he’s quite scopey, he’s done nothing wrong and improved with every start. He’ll have one more run this time in, in about three weeks.”  

He is out of the Stratum mare Catalina Winemixer, a three-quarter sister to New Zealand Derby G1 winner Redoute’s Dancer. She has a yearling colt by Manhattan Rain, a weanling colt by Starcraft and is in foal again to All American.

The Big Rig was sold by Arrowfield at the 2012 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale to Graham Daley of Hazelwood Stud who purchased this season’s stakes-winning filly Alpha Miss at the same auction, for the same money – just $6,000.

About a year ago Mr Daley onsold the All American colt to Victorian-based Adam Hubbard who works in the mining industry. Adam retained the majority of the horse, and brought his parents David & Linda, girlfriend Milly Saul and cousin Paul Aberline into the ownership. 

After Tuesday’s win, David says, “We’re totally over the moon and I’m rapt. We’re not big punters and we don’t care about winning lots of money, we’re just enjoying the ride.”

That said, the horse has already provided a measurable return to his owners. David, who lives at Allansford near Warrnambool and works with the bridge crew for the Moyne Shire Council, says, “My share of The Big Rig’s winning prizemoney has doubled my fortnight’s pay!”

It was David who suggested that Sydney-based David Payne should train The Big Rig, after following the 3YO career of Australian Derby & Rosehill Guineas winner Criterion. “You need a good trainer to get the most out of a horse and I thought, just maybe our horse has the breeding to run over ground as well.”

The ease of The Big Rig’s win at 1400 metres supports that assessment and David Payne agrees. “He does look like he’ll get more ground, he’s all heart and has a lovely action.”