Exceptional Easter returns by Arrowfield stallions

Eight times service fee – that’s what Arrowfield stallions achieved for Session 1 vendors at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale.

Eighty yearlings by Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel, Manhattan Rain, Smart Missile, Not A Single Doubt and Charge Forward sold for a total of $25,420,000. That’s an average price of $317,750 – 9% above the Session 1 average, and an exceptional return on the $41,667 average service fee commanded by the six stallions in 2012.

After a spectacular 12 months on the track, Snitzel topped the Sale for the first time with two outstanding colts among his 32 lots sold. Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum paid $2.2. million for Milburn Creek’s Admirelle colt, while the final bid of $1.8 million on Arrowfield’s colt from Alinghi was made by David Raphael & Gerald Ryan.

A further 18 yearlings by Snitzel, who stood at a fee of $30,000 in 2012, sold for $200,000 or more, and his overall Session 1 average was $370,938. He signed off with a flourish by topping Session 2 with Newhaven Park’s colt from the Danzero mare Appear, purchased by Shadwell Australia for $500,000.

Key aspects of Snitzel’s progeny performance are his high percentage of Group winners (19 or 63% of his 30 stakeswinners), and his strong record as a sire of juveniles, with 15 stakeswinners in that category.  However, with four of his five Group 1 winners reaching that level at three or four, and three of them (Sizzling as a 2YO, Shamus Award & Wandjina as 3YOs) successful at 1600m or beyond, Snitzel has also demonstrated the versatility needed to claim stallion premierships.

The 25 Session 1 lots by Redoute’s Choice averaged $366,400 and included his 65th seven-figure yearling, the $1.1 million Weekend Beauty filly purchased from Arrowfield by Takaya Shimakawa’s Japan Health Summit. A further 12 Redoute’s Choice yearlings made $300,000 or more, to the bids of Shadwell Australia (3 fillies), Spendthrift Farm, John Foote, John Warren & the China Horse Club with Dean Hawthorne & Michael Wallace, Belmont Bloodstock, Cloros Bloodstock, Vinery Stud, Peter Moody & Paul Perry.

Although shaded by Snitzel on sale average, Redoute’s Choice continues to set the standard for lifetime performance among active Australian stallions. In fact, over the past 12 months he has improved his industry-leading figures in all key categories, including SW/Named Foals (9.4%), SW/Runners (12.0%) and Average Earnings/Runner ($112,850).

Buyers’ recognition of Manhattan Rain’s excellent progress in 2014/15 was reflected in his career-best sale average of $316,000 and a record top price of $700,000 paid by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for Arrowfield’s half-brother to Wandjina. Other Manhattan Rain yearling buyers included Gai Waterhouse & Julian Blaxland, James Harron & Rod Northam, Spicer Thoroughbreds & Lindsay Park and John Foote.

Even without that top price, Manhattan Rain’s Session 1 average of $220,000 represented a very healthy return of more than 7 times his 2012 fee. With four first-crop stakeswinners at 1600 metres and beyond, including the exciting South Australian Derby prospect Manapine, Manhattan Rain is beginning to plough the lucrative and prestigious field of Australian Classic, weight-for-age and Cup racing.

Snitzel, Redoute’s Choice & Manhattan Rain all finished within the top 10 sires by average in Session 1, echoing the positions they hold on the current Australian General Sires’ table (Redoute’s Choice & Snitzel) and the Second Season Sires’ list (Manhattan Rain).

The market’s enthusiasm for a quality group of first-crop sires has been a feature of the 2015 Australian sales season and Smart Missile has been in the thick of the action, posting his top price of $700,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Fourteen of Smart Missile’s 17 Easter Sale yearlings sold for an average of $174,286, more than 8 times the fee asked for him in 2012 and every season since. His top lot was the Ballet Society colt sold for $425,000 by Widden Stud to Anton Koolman & Hermitage Thoroughbreds; another nine yearlings made six figures.

Charge Forward and Not A Single Doubt have ended the major part of the 2015 yearling sales season with averages of around $80,000 and $90,000 respectively, and top prices achieved at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

The Ferguson family’s Bell River Thoroughbreds sold three of Not Single Doubt’s five $200,000+ yearlings this season at Magic Millions and Inglis Melbourne Premier, while Arrowfield sold his top-priced lot, the $280,000 sister to Squamosa purchased by Gai Waterhouse at Magic Millions. Other Not A Single Doubt buyers this year are Robbie Griffiths (who has already trained five winners by him), the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Lindsay Park Bloodstock, Corumbene Stud, James Harron, Mick Price, Tony McEvoy, Ciaron Maher, Clinton McDonald, Darren Weir, Cloud 9 Thoroughbreds, Dynamic Syndications &  First Light Racing.

Charge Forward has had seven yearlings fetch $100,000 or more this year, with Tony Gollan & John Foote combining to buy his most expensive lot, the $180,000 Laissez Faire colt from Arrowfield’s Magic Millions draft. Other purchasers of Charge Forward yearlings include the Ellerton/Zahra team that prepared his Group 1-winning daughter Response, Mt Hallowell Stud, syndicators First Light Racing, Darby Racing & Te Akau Racing.

Both Not A Single Doubt and Charge Forward have enhanced their records since the Easter Sale. Charge Forward’s 3YO daughter Slightly Sweet scored her second Group 3 win for the Esplin family & trainer Jason Coyle in last Saturday’s  James H.B. Carr S. at Randwick.

Trainer Robbie Laing produced Not A Single Doubt’s daughter The Grey Flash to take out the SAJC Sires’ Produce S. G3 on 11 April. Raced by the Laings with Santo Guagliardo, Lennie Ross and Michael White, the grey filly is Not A Single Doubt’s 23rd stakeswinner and ninth juvenile stakeswinner. The Grey Flash is also, like Not A Single Doubt’s Group 1-winning daughter Miracles of Life, out of a More Than Ready mare.

Also on 11 April, Not A Single Doubt’s 3YO son Sure and Fast won the $300,000 ATC Provincial Championship Final and a week later his classy 4YO daughter Gypsy Diamond added the ATC Japan Racing Association Plate G3 to her  excellent record.

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