Woodbine steps into Epsom frame

“Sensational looker, sensational pedigree & sensational run today.”

That was the tweeted verdict of trainer Gai Waterhouse after Woodbine’s fourth career victory over 1350 metres at Rosehill last Saturday.

The son of champion sire Hussonet and champion filly Miss Finland jumped well from barrier 14 and settled midfield with cover for Tommy Berry before peeling out on the turn, driving hard to the lead and galloping home strongly to hold out Amovatio by a short neck, with Murder of Crows a neck away in third place.

It was a performance that convinced his champion trainer to line him up in this Saturday’s $500,000 ATC Epsom H. G1 – a race she has already won seven times.

Waterhouse comments in her tip sheet on Woodbine’s chances in the great Randwick mile. “He is a very talented entire and he is only getting better and better. This is of course his biggest test to date, but he is not without a hope especially considering it is not every day you get a four-year-old in a Group One with just 52kg.”

Woodbine was sold for $750,000 to Gai Waterhouse and Blue Sky Thoroughbreds at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale and is raced by Blue Sky in partnership with Jeremy Tan, David Paradice and his breeders Arrowfield, John Leaver & Alan Jones.

Miss Finland (Redoute’s Choice-Forest Pearl by Woodman) has a 2YO filly by Street Cry, a yearling colt by More Than Ready and, around 17 hours before Woodbine’s latest win, a chestnut filly by Animal Kingdom. 

Redoute's Choice colt heads Timeform 3YO ratings

The latest Australian Timeform 3YO ratings published this week by Racing and Sports have the Arrowfield colt Panzer Division on top with a figure of 120.

The Paul Messara-trained son of Redoute’s Choice has progressed rapidly from debut winner in mid-July to Group 3 success in September, and last Saturday put up an excellent effort to finish fifth in the ATC George Main S. G1, won by Sacred Falls.

It was a performance that Racing and Sports noted in its review of the race:

The three year old old Panzer Division raced outside the leader to the turn and fought on in the straight for a most creditable (2.6 lengths) fifth at only his fourth race start against hardened weight-for-age performers.

 Gooree Stud’s Golden Rose G1 winner Hallowed Crown is rated 119, just ahead of Scissor Kick, also by Redoute’s Choice, raced by Arrowfield & trained by Paul Messara, and the Coolmore colt Valentia, both on 118.

View Racing and Sports’ 3YO Timeform Ratings  here.

Scissor Kick cleared maiden company four days after Panzer Division and won the Rosebud H. LR and Up and Coming S. G3 in August before his outstanding run for second in the Golden Rose.

Scissor Kick is the early favourite for this Saturday’s ATC Stan Fox S. 1500m G2, which has also attracted All American’s Group 3-winning son Bachman and Snitzel’s Group 1-placed son Scratch Me Lucky.

Both Panzer Division and Scissor Kick are nominated for the Caulfield Guineas, with Panzer Division holding additional nominations for the Spring Champion Stakes and Victoria Derby.

The current crop of Redoute’s Choice 3YOs also includes debut winners Betsy (also stakes-placed), Mihany and Peeping, successful on Thursday at Hawkesbury for the Kelly family of Newhaven Park and trainer Ron Quinton.

Other Arrowfield-owned, Paul Messara-trained members of that crop yet to appear this season are stakes-placed juvenile winner Limehills (out of Group 1 winner Velocitea), and recent trial winners Lady Moura (sister to Beneteau) and Rekindled Power (three-quarter brother to Rekindled Interest & Rekindled Alliance).

Redoute’s Choice, who won his third Australian General Sires’ premiership last season, is second on the current table with $1.3 million prizemoney.


Bright forecast for Manhattan Rain winners

Major Spring 3YO races are possibilities for both of Manhattan Rain’s latest winners, the filly Talisa and the colt Light Up Manhattan.

Talisa (ex Lustre Lady by Flying Spur) lined up over 1400 metres on Sunday at Hawkesbury where she jumped well from barrier 11 and settled in fourth position behind the early leader Our Catch.

Jockey Winona Costin began to urge the filly forward round the turn. She picked up ground steadily, then dashed home over the final 100 metres to score by a length from her stablemate and Arrowfield graduate Our Catch (by Flying Spur) who fought on gamely for second.

Talisa was a $115,000 Star Thoroughbreds purchase from the Torryburn Stud draft at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Her win certainly pleased trainer Gai Waterhouse, who considers her a likely staying filly. She noted, “The win was so dominant that talk immediately turned to some potential big spring targets.”

Light Up Manhattan (ex Luminata by Zabeel) showed ability as a 2YO with two Listed stakes placings from three starts, including a half-length second to recent 3YO stakeswinner Merion.

Sent on Sunday to Wangaratta by his trainer Ciaron Maher for a 1590-metre maiden, Light Up Manhattan scored by a long neck  from Ocean Frontier with Berserk 5 lengths away third.

Maher said, “He’s a work in progress, he’s still green and learning his craft, but he was ridden quietly off a slow pace.

“I said to Mark (Zahra) to get him to a nice bit of galloping room and thought his ability would get him over the line. I think he’s got a bright future. He was bought as a Derby prospect and we’re still going that way.”

Light Up Manhattan was a $36,000 purchase from the Supreme Thoroughbreds draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Manhattan Rain now leads the Second Season Sires’ list by winners with a tally of six – five of them successful in the past 12 days.

Arrowfield graduates star at 2YO trials

The top-priced colt and the top-priced filly from Arrowfield’s 2014 yearling drafts were among the stars at the Official 2YO Trials held over 840 metres on the Kensington track at Randwick on Monday morning.

The fastest time and the biggest winning margin of the morning were posted by Sooboog (Snitzel-Monte Rosa by Fraar), trained by Hawkes Racing for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, who paid $1.5 million for the Arrowfield-bred colt at the Inglis Easter Sale.

The powerfully built brother to Group 1 winner Snitzerland won Heat 3 by 5.2 lengths from Multitude & Rhode Assassin in a time of 49.15 seconds. He received Racenet’s tick as the best colt of the morning.

Gai Waterhouse produced the filly Prevail (Redoute’s Choice-Luna Bella by Stravinsky) for Edmund & Belinda Bateman to win Heat 2 by 1.3 lengths in 49.77 seconds.  Chasing her home were Helford River (by Fastnet Rock from Charge Forward’s Group 1-winning daughter Headway) and Elle Snitz (Snitzel-Makemeasupermodel).

Prevail’s performance earned her selection as Racenet’s best filly of the morning, “with plenty of scope for improvement.”

Prevail was a $500,000 purchase for the Batemans by James Harron Bloodstock from Arrowfield’s Magic Millions Gold Coast consignment. Her dam, an unraced sister to Group 2 winner Hips Don’t Lie, has a yearling colt by Beneteau, and foals this Spring to Animal Kingdom.

The Batemans also enjoyed success as breeders of Not A Single Doubt’s daughter Themis (ex Thebe by Galileo) who defeated Rose Quadrille & Igraine in a bunched finish to Heat 4. 

Themis, from the family of Group 1 winner Regal Cheer, was a $160,000 Gai Waterhouse purchase from the Newgate Farm draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

A winning week for Manhattan Rain

It’s been a very good week for second season sire Manhattan Rain, with three winners in eight days, most recently Manna Trust at Mornington on Wednesday.

Trained by David Weir for a syndicate managed by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, Manna Trust went into the $25,000 1200-metre maiden with placings at Donald and Swan Hill. Jockey Ben Melham settled him midfield, peeled out round the turn and sent him forward in the straight where he knuckled down to fight it out with the favourite Vienna Prince (by Snitzel) for a game, half-head win.

Manna Trust was a $90,000 purchase from Musk Creek Farm at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, and Musk Creek’s David Kobritz & Teresa Poon are among his large group of owners. 

Manna Trust’s dam Entrust (by Danehill) is a city-winning half-sister to Singapore champion Big Maverick.

Manhattan Rain’s owner-breeder Muzaffar Yaseen enjoyed his first success with the Group 1 winner’s progeny when the filly Democrat Queen scored over 1600 metres at Echuca on Saturday. Trained by Mick Price, she is the first runner and winner for her dam Zodiac Queen (by King’s Best), a six-time winner in Adelaide and also dam of a Manhattan Rain yearling colt.

Zodiac Queen, again in foal to Manhattan Rain, was purchased by Blandford Bloodstock at the Teeley Dispersal in May this year.

The Mick Price stable also produced the gelding Manhattan Avenue (ex Tizzy May by Danzero) for a comfortable win at Bendigo on 10 September, and Moonovermanhattan (ex Lunapur by Flying Spur) who put up a staunch effort for fourth in last Saturday’s VRC Living Legends S. LR.

Manhattan Avenue, accepted for this Saturday’s Inglis Ready2Race Sale Bonus race at Caulfield, and Moonovermanhattan, a Group 3 winner last season, are both among the nominations for the Caulfield Guineas G1 on 11 October.

Manhattan Rain’s daughter Crafty, also a stakeswinner last season, makes her 3YO debut over 1400 metres at this Saturday’s Caulfield meeting, and is nominated for the Thousand Guineas G1.

Next starts confirmed for Scissor Kick & Panzer Division

Paul Messara has confirmed immediate plans for Arrowfield’s classy Redoute’s Choice colts Scissor Kick and Panzer Division.

Scissor Kick, a courageous second in Saturday’s Golden Rose S. G1, will appear next in the $200,000 ATC Stan Fox S. 1500m G2 at Rosehill on 27 September. He has progressed rapidly from his maiden win at Canterbury in late July through Listed & Group 3 success to Group 1-performed status, and career earnings of $369,275.

Messara says of Scissor Kick, “He has come through the Golden Rose with flying colours.”

Panzer Division, last-start winner of the Ming Dynasty Quality G3, will line up in next Saturday’s $350,000 ATC George Main S. 1600m G1. It’s a race only occasionally contested by 3YOs with Dissident (6th, 2013),  All Too Hard (4th, 2012) and Onemorenomore (3rd, 2009) the most recent starters. The last 3YO winner of the George Main Stakes was Viscount in 2001.

Read Racing & Sports’ interesting analysis of the record of 3YOs in the key Spring weight-for-age races, including the George Main Stakes.

Panzer Division has won three of his four starts, including his July debut, and prizemoney of almost $120,000. His current Timeform rating is 116p, while Scissor Kick has achieved a rating of 118.

Both colts are nominated for the $1 million MRC Caulfield Guineas G1 on 11 October, and Panzer Division is also nominated for the $400,000 ATC Spring Champion S. G1 on the same day.

The two Arrowfield colts have given their champion sire a tremendous start to the 2014/15 season. Redoute’s Choice has averaged almost $200,000 per week in Australian prizemoney  since 1 August and is currently second on the General Sires’ list, less than $40,000 behind Fastnet Rock who is represented by an extra 51 runners.

Charge Forward's debut winners worth following

Debut winners always turn heads just a little more sharply than horses that win at subsequent starts.

That suggests three recent 3YO winners by Charge Forward (himself a stakeswinner at both his 2YO and 3YO debuts) deserve more than usual attention when they step out in metropolitan company.

First Light Racing and trainers Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra are looking forward to that next step after Face Forward (ex Endearment by Danehill) posted a 1.8 length debut victory at Echuca on Saturday.

“Smart filly – better races ahead for her” was First Light’s tweet after the win by their $105,000 purchase, with Ellerton, Zahra & bloodstock agent Paul Willetts, from the Torryburn Stud draft at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. The same stable also prepared Charge Forward’s outstanding dual Group 1-winning daughter Response.

Zahra says, “She has a very exciting future. You give yourself every chance to win plenty of races when you’re a tractable filly like she is. She jumps, travels on speed and has a good turn of foot – that’s a great recipe for success.”

Charge Forward’s breeder the late Philip Esplin was always among his staunchest supporters and his family also enjoyed first-up success on Saturday with their homebred filly Slightly Sweet. She stormed home from the back of the field to win by 1.3 lengths on debut at Kembla Grange for Michele, Hamish, Patrick & Elise Esplin, and trainer Jason Coyle.

Slightly Sweet, passed in at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, is out of the Dubai Destination mare Semitone, a half-sister to stakeswinner Stay Tuned, from the family of Tom Rolfe, Chieftain & Alzao. Semitone also has a 2YO filly by Charge Forward bought by Bryce Heys for $130,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale.

Jockey Peter Wells was certainly impressed with Slightly Sweet’s effort. “I think she could take the next step. I know it is hard to say after her first start, but she did do a good job drawing wide and getting out of her ground, then was really strong late.

“She beat the winner by a length and a quarter and they beat the rest by four and a bit. For her to be able to do that on debut from where she was on a shifty sort of track, I think she could be a serious animal.”

However, Hamish Esplin says the filly won’t be rushed. “At the moment we are considering just where to place her next, but likely in town. The temptation is to push her into stakes company, but we are patient people as you have to be, and Jason has always felt she will be better in the Autumn.”

The Gai Waterhouse stable has an exciting 3YO by Charge Forward, the gelding Confederate (ex Expect To Win by Encosta de Lago) who won his first start at Hawkesbury on a heavy track a fortnight ago after two good trial wins.

Gai’s Blog made these comments about that win: “He handled the track and won on pure class whilst giving the impression that he might be better on top of the ground. Since the first day he came in, this boy has shown plenty of tenacity; he has won all his trials, all his jumpouts, most of his track gallops and now his first start. He certainly has a huge will to win and this is a very important trait in any horse.”

Charge Forward’s record already includes seven 3YO stakeswinners, six of them Group winners. It’s a tally set to increase, and soon.

All American filly scores for Hayes & Newhaven Park

All American’s 3YO daughter Tender scored a well-deserved win at Geelong on Friday for her owner-breeder Newhaven Park Stud and trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig.

Unlucky not win at least one of her four starts at two, Tender earned black type when third in April’s SAJC Dequetteville S. LR and was sent out favorite in today’s 1100-metre maiden. She duly delivered, finishing strongly to hold out Lelawala by a half-length, with a further 1.8 lengths back to Miss Delima in third.  

David Hayes prepared All American during his three-season career which culminated in a record-breaking victory in the 2009 VRC Emirates S. G1.

Tender is from the Danehill mare Memoir, a full sister to the stakeswinner Princesa (dam of Group-winning fillies Solicit and Star of Giselle), and three-quarter sister to Group 3 winner Kaphero (by Danzero).

Tender is the first stakes performer and one of her dam’s four winners from five foals to race, but unfortunately Memoir died in January 2012.

All American now has eight winners on the board, among them a pair of talented colts, Bachman (Sydney Group 3 winner at two) and Zebulon (stakes-placed at Flemington).

Scissor Kick brave runner-up in G1 Golden Rose

In 1929, when Dorothy Parker interviewed Ernest Hemingway, she asked, “Exactly what do you mean by ‘guts’?”

Hemingway replied: “I mean, grace under pressure.” 

That is what Rosehill racegoers saw on Saturday when two magnificent colts fought out the finish of the $1 million ATC Golden Rose S. 1400m G1.

Scissor Kick, Arrowfield’s colt by Redoute’s Choice, drew 12 and ended up the widest runner with no cover, yet found enough to drive forward to the lead and withstand all challenges except the last one. That came from Gooree Park’s unbeaten colt Hallowed Crown, who drew 14, settled behind Scissor Kick then attacked in the straight to claim a long-neck winning margin at the post. Shooting To Win ran third, 1.3 lengths away.

Scissor Kick’s jockey Tye Angland said, “Run of the race, run of the day. Barrier cost us early I couldn’t get in, had to let him slide so we didn’t get pushed out further on the corner and held him together at the top of the straight. When the winner came at him he really dug deep, raised another effort but the run told the last 50 metres, he was out on his feet. He’s a real fighter, best horse in the race.”

Racenet’s Punters’ Report on Scissor Kick, who started at double-figure odds, was blunt: “What can you say? This bloke was never closer than four wide and started his run from the 750 metre mark. You can’t take anything away from the winner but this’ll go down as one of the unluckiest seconds in a Group I we’ll see.”

Scissor Kick has progressed rapidly from his maiden win at Canterbury on 23 July, to victories in The Rosebud H. LR and Up and Coming S. G3 at Randwick last month.  With three wins from five starts, his earnings stand at $369,275, and a trip to Melbourne now seems likely.

A son of Back Pass (by Quest for Fame), Scissor Kick was a $200,000 purchase by his trainer Paul Messara from the Broadwater Thoroughbreds consignment at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. He is raced by his breeder Jonathan Munz’s Pinecliff Racing in partnership with John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud.

Scissor Kick brings an internationally renowned pedigree to his burgeoning prospects as a stallion.  He is the grandson of a half-sister to the great broodmare Hasili (dam of four Group 1 winners and champion sire Dansili, all by Danehill), Arrive (dam of Danehill’s champion daughter Promising Lead) and Dissemble (dam of Animal Kingdom’s sire Leroidesanimaux).

Back Pass died earlier this year but has a 2YO daughter by Redoute’s Choice and a yearling colt by High Chaparral.

Three-time Champion Australian Sire Redoute’s Choice already has more than $1.1 million prizemoney and three stakeswinners (Scissor Kick, Panzer Division & Rock Magic) on the board this season.


Smart winner for Manhattan Rain

Manhattan Rain’s 3YO son Manhattan Avenue made the step up to 1500 metres look easy at Bendigo today, winning by 1.8 lengths at his fourth career outing.

Manhattan Avenue jumped smartly for Craig Newitt and faced the breeze until Malibu took the lead, leaving Manhattan Avenue to settle nicely in second place on the fence.

Newitt waited until the top of the straight to drive the gelding forward and he kicked strongly to hold out the fast-finishing Justaway and Firehouse Rock.

Manhattan Avenue (ex Tizzy May by Danzero) was sold by his breeder Northern Lodge Stud for $80,000 to trainer Mick Price at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Tizzy May is a three-quarter sister to Queensland Oaks G1 winner Miss Danehill, and half-sister to Group 2 winner & multiple Group 1 performer Pentastic.

Manhattan Rain’s first-crop winners also include last season’s juvenile stakeswinners Moonovermanhattan (SAJC National S. G3) and Crafty (VRC Taj Rossi Series Final LR).