Zappy Choice wins at Turffontein

Almost a year after one grey daughter of Redoute’s Choice was named South Africa’s Champion 2YO Filly, a second grey 2YO filly by the champion sire has scored a dominant maiden win at Turffontein.

The now 3YO Majmu has progressed to win twice at Group 1 level in South Africa this season and is a leading contender for the Vodacom Durban July G1 next Saturday 4 July.

Zappy Choice was having only her third start in the San Michele Maiden Juvenile Plate at Turffontein, but tellingly it was her first attempt at 1600 metres and she clearly relished it.

She jumped well for jockey Gavin Lerena, settled comfortably in the lead and quickly gapped the field when asked to extend around 500 metres from home. Rock of Laudium and the favourite Youcanrockme reduced Zappy Choice’s advantage slightly over the closing stages but she kept up a strong gallop to win by two lengths.

Watch Zappy Choice’s win here – courtesy of the Racing Association

Like Majmu, Zappy Choice is an Arrowfield sale graduate, bought for $85,000 from the 2014 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale by trainer Mike Azzie for his principal owners Adriaan & Rika van Vuuren.

If Zappy Choice can take even a few of the steps Majmu has taken in her career, she has more than enough pedigree appeal to make her a very valuable mare indeed. She was bred by Arrowfield’s joint venture with HH The Aga Khan from the unraced grey mare Zarakiysha (by Kendor), a half-sister to French Group 3 winner Zarshana and the great European Champion Zarkava, unbeaten in seven starts including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and four other Group 1 races.

Zappy Choice is Zarakiysha’s third foal and third winner, after the Hussonet fillies Zarzing (who won her third race for Tony Noonan at Pakenham on Friday), and the promising staying 3YO Zarzali, prepared by Bart & James Cummings to run fourth in last month’s Queensland Oaks G1.

Zarakiysha delivered her fourth filly, a sister to Zappy Choice, last Spring and is due to foal to Animal Kingdom in October.

Zappy Choice is also closely related to one of the most spectacularly bred foals in Redoute’s Choice’s first French-conceived crop: the Aga Khan’s colt out of Zarkava.

All American's new All-American stakeswinner

Second season sire All American added a new stakeswinner to his record on Sunday when America Mon Amie, from his single US-bred crop, won the 26th running of the $US75,000 Northbound Pride Oaks LR at Canterbury Park.

Watch America Mon Amie’s Northbound Pride Oaks LR win hererace video replay courtesy of TDN.

The 3YO filly, who looks very much in the mould of her sire, had won her debut on turf at Kentucky Downs last September and returned in April for a fifth over a mile at Gulfstream. She then scored a convincing win at the same distance at Arlington on 15 May.

In Sunday’s race, held on US Father’s Day, and also a turf mile contest, America Mon Amie settled on the rail behind the leaders, challenged around the turn and drove home strongly to win in the final strides by three-quarters of a length. The favourite and previous stakeswinner Mizz Money was second, just ahead of My Blue Sky. America Mon Amie’s winning time was 1:36.58.

Her jockey, Rosemary Homeister Jr said afterwards, “She’s got speed, tactical speed. She worked and trained great for this race. Once I was able to move out around them by the quarter pole, I knew it was over.”

America Mon Amie is raced by her breeder Captain Jack Racing Stable, in partnership with David Menard and her trainer Anthony J. Granitz.

The filly’s dam Si Si Mon Amie, by Mr Greeley’s Grade 1-winning son El Corredor, won six times, including a Listed stakes race. This is the family of Champion US 2YO Colt Silent Screen, and European Group 1 winners Mujahid, Saffron Walden and Dolphin Street – all descended from the 1949 Spinaway Stakes winner Sunday Evening.

All American stood the 2011 season at John Phillips’ Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky and America Mon Amie is is among the first 14 runners from the resulting crop.

In Australia, the record-breaking Group 1 miler has two crops of racing age, including Group 3 juvenile winner Bachman, Group-placed Flemington winner Zebulon, stakes-placed filly Tender, recent city winners Eisenhower & Avonaco and 2YOs Ramla Bay & Green Card.

Not A Single Doubt gets a Moonee Valley double

He’s well-established as a consistent source of smart juveniles and short-course sprinters, but Not A Single Doubt is versatile too, and more than a few of his progeny train on and get over 1600 metres or more.

Two of them were successful at Moonee Valley on Saturday, the mare Every Faith and the gelding Word Of Mouth, both foaled in 2010 and both sold at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Every Faith produced a strong finish to land the $80,000 Benchmark 90 opening event on the card, her fourth win in a $247,000 career that includes a Listed stakes win.

Second-up from a spell, Every Faith was was patiently ridden by Dwayne Dunn and improved steadily from the rear to make the lead 100 metres out and hold on to win by a neck from First Bloom and Coronation Shallan.

Bred by Dr Gene Tsoi, Every Faith is the first foal of the winning Zabeel mare Zephyria, also the dam of Group 2 winner Alpine Eagle (by High Chaparral), a 2YO colt by Starcraft and a yearling filly by Snitzel.

Another Zabeel mare who visited Not A Single Doubt in 2009 is Gypsy Tucker. whose resulting filly turned out to be Gypsy Diamond, a dual Group winner & Group 1-placed at 1600 metres, and winner of this season’s 2000-metre ATC Japan Racing Association Plate G3.

Every Faith was bought for $130,000 by Barbara, Barry & Rebecca Saunders from Three Bridges Thoroughbreds at the 2012 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and is trained for them by Robert Smerdon.

After winning her maiden race at Seymour as a Spring 3YO, she was fifth in Kirramosa’s VRC Oaks and returned in the Autumn to win the SAJC Laelia S. LR and finish 7th in the Queensland Oaks G1.  Every Faith’s liking for 1600 metres has become more obvious this season with two wins and a second at that distance, all in Melbourne.

Word Of Mouth’s career has followed a similar pattern, except that his four wins have all been achieved around 2000 metres and he has not yet tackled black type company.

That may change after his 4.8 length romp over 2040 metres at Monee Valley on Saturday for trainers Leon & Troy Corstens and a large group of owners managed by Brad Spicer.

Spicer Thoroughbreds bought Word Of Mouth as a yearling for $150,000 from the draft of Swettenham Stud which offered him on behalf of breeder Peter Arvanitis of Hillside Thoroughbreds. From the unraced Hennessy mare Exo, Word Of Mouth is a half-brother to stakeswinner Diamond To Pegasus, from the family of Group 3 winner Permaiscuous (by Danzero).

Word Of Mouth came to notice this time last year when he progressed quickly from maiden company at Tatura to a Flemington win and three placings at Caulfield. His earnings now exceed $300,000 with bonuses, among them a juicy $20,000 VOBIS Gold Owners’ bonus attached to Saturday’s race.

Not A Single Doubt’s winners at 1600 metres and beyond also include Singapore Group 1 winner Always Certain, Group 3 winner My Ex Mate, whose nine wins all fell in that distance range, and the good Queensland mare Bang On (10 wins up to 2100 metres.

However, the son of Redoute’s Choice hasn’t lost any of his ability to sire early-running 2YOs. Not A Single Doubt has been among Australia’s top 10 sires of juveniles every year since 2011 and he’s there again this season with $1.1 million prizemoney and 14 winners in fifth spot on the current table.

Third win by Thewizardofoz in Hong Kong

Thewizardofoz continues to make magic in Hong Kong and maintained his unbeaten record with a third impressive win at Sha Tin on Sunday evening.

The 3YO son of Redoute’s Choice carried his 60.5 kg topweight with ease to score by 3.5 lengths from Healthy Joyful and Excel Oneself in 1:10.04 on the dead-rated track.

His jockey Joao Moreira missed the ride on Brazen Beau at Royal Ascot to ride at Sha Tin on Sunday, but the decision was justified by his three wins for John Size, John Moore & David Hall in races worth a total of $A2.6 million, more than twice the Diamond Jubilee Stakes prizemoney.

Thewizardofoz’s success took Size’s season tally of wins to 57, behind Moore (60 wins) and just ahead of Caspar Fownes (56 wins), in a tight contest for the 2014/15 Hong Kong Trainer’s Premiership.

Size, already a 7-time champion trainer in Hong Kong, says of Thewizardofoz, “He is a good horse, and he will be one of my better horses next season. He keeps on improving and at the time being, I will stick to 1200m for him.”

Thewizardofoz was bred by Tony Bott and the Siu family at Evergreen Stud, and is raced by Martin Siu Kim-sum who paid $3 million in 2009 for his dam, the top-class racemare Princess Coup (by Encosta de Lago), winner of four New Zealand Group 1 races from 1600 to 2400 metres.  The Redoute’s Choice/Encosta de Lago cross is so far responsible for five stakeswinners (Musir, Beneteau, Burnstone, Peeping & Essington) among 24 runners.

Princess Coup, also dam of Sydney winner Vanilla Princess, has a 2YO filly by Redoute’s Choice, a yearling colt and a weanling filly by Fastnet Rock and is in foal to Snitzel.

Wandjina a gallant sixth at Royal Ascot

Almost exactly 12 years after Choisir began the antipodean invasion of Royal Ascot, 3YO colts Brazen Beau & Wandjina carried the Australian flag with distinction in Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes, held over six furlongs on the Straight Course.

Brazen Beau, trained by Chris Waller and ridden by Craig Williams for 38 owners managed by Grant Morgan’s Ontrack Thoroughbreds, raced alone on the near side for much of the race and found plenty to withstand every challenge except that of Undrafted who caught him only in the final strides.

Wandjina, trained by Gai Waterhouse and ridden by Damien Oliver for Edmund & Belinda Bateman, sat just behind the leaders and when the pressure came on up up the rise, he responded generously to finish sixth.

Wandjina (Snitzel-La Bamba by Last Tycoon) was a $1 million purchase from Arrowfield for the Batemans by bloodstock agent James Harron at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale.

Sent to champion trainer Gai Waterhouse, the bay colt named for spirits of the Aboriginal Dreamtime won the second of his four juvenile starts in Sydney. He has raced only in stakes company ever since, but did not earn black type until last Spring when he was an eye-catching third in the MRC Caulfield Guineas 1600m G1, only 1.3 lengths from Shooting to Win.

Wandjina returned in February to dominate the pace and defy all his rivals in both the VRC CS Hayes S. G3 and the VRC Australian Guineas G1. He signed off on his Australian career with a fighting second in Dissident’s ATC All Aged S. G1 on 18 April, and will stand at Newgate Farm this Spring.

Snitzel joined his sire on the Arrowfield roster in 2006 and is now the sire of 31 stakeswinners, six of them successful at Group 1 level: Shamus Award (Cox Plate & Australian Guineas), Snitzerland (Lightning Stakes), Sweet Idea (The Galaxy), Hot Snitzel (BTC Cup), Sizzling (TJ Smith Stakes) and Wandjina.

In 2013/14 Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel completed an historic 1-2 finish on the Australian General Sires’ Premiership – the first time that has been achieved by a father-son combination.

This year in April Snitzel topped the Inglis Easter Sale for the first time, with not one, but two colts, sold for $2.2 million and $1.8 million.

Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel and his second Arrowfield-based son Not A Single Doubt are all among Australia’s top 10 sires this season, with combined totals of 26 stakeswinners and more than $21 million prizemoney.

 

Right as Rain at Gold Coast & Moonee Valley

A new stakes performer and an easy city winner gave progressive young sire Manhattan Rain a mid-winter boost on Saturday.

At Moonee Valley in Melbourne 3YO filly Wild Rain scored an easy win over 1000 metres after settling in the trail behind the early leaders. Taken wide around the turn by jockey Glen Boss, she sped home to score by 2.5 lengths from Pilly’s Wish and It’s Poets Day.

It was the chestnut filly’s third city success and fourth win from 10 starts for trainer Mark Kavanagh who said she would be aimed at the popular series of 955-metre sprints held at Moonee Valley during the summer. “She’s a great little horse and we’ll just keep her going.”

Bred by the partnership of Arrowfield & Planette Thoroughbred, Wild Rain is from North Flower (by Rory’s Jester), herself a 2YO winner at Morphettville and a half-sister to Group winners North Boy and Northern Song, and to the dam of 2003 Horse of the Year Northerly.

North Flower has also left the stakes-placed city winner Flowerchild to Redoute’s Choice, and has an unraced 2YO filly by Starcraft named Tahlia Star and a weanling filly by Animal Kingdom.

Wild Rain was a $150,000 Kavanagh buy from Arrowfield at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale and is raced by Isobel & Levi Kavanagh, Brett Griffith & Tim Storey of Collins St Partners, Wade McKibben, Stan & Anna Hunt and Gary & Rhonda Ma.

A little earlier in the day Manhattan Rain’s 3YO son Right or Wrong continued his progress in good company with a hard-fought second in the $125,000 Qld Tatt’s RC Daybreak Lover S. 1800m LR.

It was the gelding’s first try beyond the 1600 metres of his second win at Ipswich last month, and only New Zealand filly No Tricks denied him a stakes victory, by a long neck. 

Bred by Steve Tregea’s Windemere Stud in Queensland, Right or Wrong is the third winner out of the Flying Spur mare Impulsive Lass, herself a city-winning half-sister to Blue Diamond G1 winner Reward For Effort, multiple stakeswinner Consular and Bahia, the dam of Overreach (Golden Slipper G1). 

Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan (also from a Flying Spur mare) heads Manhattan Rain’s record of four stakeswinners and four other stakes performers among 33 worldwide first-crop winners.

Third by winners on the Australian 2nd Season Sires’ list, the half-brother to Redoute’s Choice has amassed 2014/15 earnings of more than $1.7 million. He has also achieved career-high yearling prices of $700,000 for the La Bamba colt and $360,000 for the Gibraltar Campion filly, both purchased from April’s Inglis Easter Sale.

Wandjina's breeder in expansion mode

As Wandjina prepares for the Royal Ascot Diamond Jubilee Stakes, the Hunter Valley farm that bred him is getting ready to expand its business off the back of a spectacular season.

Arrowfield Stud has completed the construction of an additional 40 yearling runs at its Sales Centre to create one of the best yearling preparation units in the southern hemisphere.  Further work is being undertaken to improve internal roads and paddock layouts, and enable the Stud to stand up to 16 stallions. Arrowfield currently stands ten stallions, headed by Redoute’s Choice and his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt.

Paul Messara, who took up the Stud Manager’s role a year ago, says, “We achieved record fertility on the farm last Spring and we’ve had a wonderful run with the stallions on the track and in the ring this season. Stallion-making is our core business and we plan to keep investing in it.”

Arrowfield, selling in its own right and on behalf of clients, was the leading yearling vendor in Australasia this season, grossing more than $18 million at the major sessions of the Magic Millions Gold Coast, Inglis Melbourne Premier & Inglis Easter Sales. Yearlings by stallions on the Stud’s current roster have returned almost $70 million to their vendors in 2015.

Wandjina was purchased from Arrowfield by James Harron for Edmund & Belinda Bateman at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale for $1 million, making him Snitzel’s first seven-figure yearling.  Paul says, “He was an outstanding colt, as good as you’d ever see at a sale.”

The Australian Guineas winner is one of four Arrowfield-bred and -sold Group 1 stars this season, alongside Hot Snitzel & Sweet Idea (also by Snitzel), and brilliant South African filly Majmu (by Redoute’s Choice). Arrowfield’s thirty-year record of Group 1-winning graduates now stands at 54 – forty of them bred by the Stud.

La Bamba, dam of Wandjina, Inspiration (Hong Kong Sprint G1) and stakeswinners Lucky Unicorn and Provence, is the fourth Arrowfield mare to leave two Group 1 winners, after Eloquent Edition (dam of Daney Boy & Magic Of Sydney), Lady Giselle (Baryshnikov & Zabeel) and Urge To Merge (Suntagonal & Master Of Design). Now rising 21, La Bamba has a lovely weanling filly by Snitzel that will be retained by Arrowfield.

Messara is very familiar with what’s required to compete in major UK races, as the trainer of Ortensia (2012 York Nunthorpe S. G1 & Goodwood King George S. G2) and Alverta (3rd, 2010 July Cup G1).

He says, “It’s important for Australian horses to keep competing in England, but it’s a very tough task to win any of their big sprints.

“The main challenges are the tracks and their style of racing, because the pressure comes on very early and doesn’t let up, and the undulating tracks make it difficult for horses to maintain their balance. Wandjina’s ability to lead and win over 1600 metres is a plus for him and Gai has kept him fresh, so he’s set to produce his best effort.”

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes will be shown on Sky Racing 1 & Sky Thoroughbred Central at 1.20 am AEST on Sunday morning.

Hazard's ripper season

At the start of this season Flying Spur’s 5YO daughter Hazard looked like a candidate for that unlucky band of talented mares who build good records, but retire to stud without the stakes-winning status they really deserve.

Thankfully, Godolphin kept her in training and Hazard is now a dual Group winner after her success in last Saturday’s $200,000 BRC Dane Ripper S. 1350m G2.

That performance, defeating multiple Group winner & Group 1 placegetter Catkins, confirmed Hazard’s coming of age after more than three years of steady development by Anthony Freedman, now training in partnership with brother Lee.

A debut win can be a sign of stakes-winning potential and Hazard delivered it as a 2YO when she narrowly defeated subsequent Group 2 winner & Group 1 performer Angelic Light at Geelong in April 2012.

Eight months later she began a sequence of four consecutive 3YO successes, three of them in Melbourne at 1200m, 1400m & 1600m, and a black type win seemed imminent.

However, her career stalled after a runner-up finish in the SAJC Laelia S. LR at three and her 4YO season was a little disappointing, despite a valuable win at Bendigo, a Group 3 second and a Listed third.

It took five starts this term for Hazard to find the winner’s circle again, over 1000 metres at Caulfield in April. Unplaced in the MRC Bel Esprit S. LR later that month, she then hit her most rewarding patch of form, winning three races in three states from 2 May to 6 June, including the SAJC Proud Miss S. G3 and now the Dane Ripper.

That brings her record to a thoroughly admirable 10 wins, five placings and $551,615 from 25 starts, and elevated status as the best of four Group winners left by her outstanding dam Dawn Attack (by Fantastic Light) to four different stallions before her premature death in 2013. 

Dawn Attack’s other three performers are the fillies Crucial (by Nadeem) and Antelucan (by Domesday), and the gelding Java (by Medaglia d’Oro).

Darley’s Managing Director Henry Plumptre says, “Interestingly, Hazard has been the most backward of the four mentally, with Antelucan a two-year-old stakeswinner and both Java and Crucial  showing plenty as two- and three-year-olds.  

“As a type, she is a big strong girl now. Plenty of strength and scope, with a preference for good tracks.

“Dawn Attack was a great mare for our operation and it is good fortune that we have three stakes-winning daughters.”

Hazard, dual New Zealand Group 1 winner Sacred Star and Singapore speedster Zac Spirit head Flying Spur’s seven stakeswinners among 90 winners worldwide this season.

The now-retired champion sire now has a career tally of 97 stakeswinners and a century is in sight with the 173 foals from his last two crops about to turn three and four. 

Flying Spur still appears in the top 30 stallions on the Australian General Sires’ list, but his best performance is now on the Broodmare Sires’ table where he’s become a regular fixture behind Danehill and Zabeel, and alongside his relative Encosta de Lago and, more recently, Redoute’s Choice.

In 2014/15 Flying Spur’s best second-generation runner has been Victoria Derby G1 winner Preferment, one of three Group winners from only 8 named foals bred on the Zabeel/Flying Spur cross.

The Strawberry season continues

He’s performed well from 1300m to 2400m but Strawberry Boy’s pet distance is undoubtedly the metric mile over which he scored his second black type win this season, at Doomben on Saturday.

While this victory wasn’t as dominant as his Lord Mayor’s Cup G3 win a fortnight earlier,  it was an equally admirable effort.

Once again the 6YO son of Redoute’s Choice quickly strode to the front, with Any Day Will Do and Kurtley attempting to lower his comfort level. Strawberry Boy sturdily maintained his lead into the straight and, despite showing signs of fatigue in the final 100 metres, his strength and high cruise speed were enough to hold out his imported stablemate Flamingo Star by a half-neck with Epic third, a half-length further back.  

Strawberry Boy (ex Strawberry Girl by Strawberry Road) has now won nine of his 24 starts, including three black type races this season, and $621,950 for owner-breeder John Singleton and trainer Chris Waller. 

Strawberry Girl, also the dam of Group 2 winner Danroad and Listed winners Newtown Jet and Tippitaka, died last Spring after foaling a colt by Not A Single Doubt. Her daughter Bondi Blonde (by Red Ransom) is in foal to Snitzel.

Redoute’s Choice is enjoying a spectacular season with 15 winners of 24 Group & Listed Races worldwide, among them five Group 1 winners: Lankan Rupee, Majmu, Bonaria, Hampton Court and Wylie Hall. 

As Redoute’s Choice continues to build his own record, his sons and daughters at stud are making sure his legacy will endure. His sons Snitzel, Not A Single Doubt & Stratum sit alongside him among Australia’s top 15 sires, and he is the nation’s leading active broodmare sire, with nine stakeswinners in 2014/15, including Group 1 winners Sacred Falls and Pasadena Girl.

Star Thoroughbreds gets it right with All American

Denise Martin, owner of leading syndicator Star Thoroughbreds, has one piece of advice about All American’s progeny.

She says, “Just allow them a little time to mature and you will be rewarded.”

Denise knows what she’s talking about. She has bought four colts by the Group 1-winning miler, and three of them, Eisenhower, Avonaco and Sentinel, have won eight of their combined 19 starts and more than $400,000 as 3YOs this season.

Her success with All American’s progeny was highlighted at Randwick on Saturday when Eisenhower and Avonaco claimed most of the $100,000 standard & $20,000 BOBS bonus prizemoney in the Decorative Events Handicap.

Eisenhower bounced out from the gates for Josh Parr and quickly settled in front, while Avonaco eventually slipped through to track him in third position, with Disgraceful between them.

Parr and Eisenhower rounded the turn in full flight and did not miss a beat in the home straight, cutting out their last 600 metres in 34.89. Halfway down the straight Avonaco seemed likely to miss a place, but Jason Collett balanced him up and he picked up gamely to snatch second from Disgraceful,  a length from the winner.

Denise Martin says of Eisenhower, “He’s a good quality, big boned horse who ran second last in his first trial as a January two-year-old. We gelded him, gave him time to develop and he returned to win his first two races as a late Spring three-year-old.”

Eisenhower has now won four of his 7 starts from the Gai Waterhouse stable and, including bonus prizemoney, has earned more than three times the $75,000 Star Thoroughbreds paid for him at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. The last and most successful of four foals left by Princess Chutima (by Regal Classic), he was offered by Musk Creek Farm on behalf of breeder David Hunter.

Eisenhower is likely to be seen again this Saturday 13 June at Rosehill, where he’s nominated for a 1500-metre event.

Arrowfield Magic Millions graduate Avonaco (ex Freestyle by Snippets) has won at Canterbury & Scone, and placed three times for his Star Thoroughbreds syndicate and trainer Chris Waller.

An hour after the Randwick quinella, Bachman, another Arrowfield-bred, Magic Millions-sold 3YO son of All American, added a Group 2 placing to his record when he finished second to Jabali in the $400,000 Queensland Guineas. Trained by Gerald Ryan for Damion Flower & partners, he won the ATC Schweppervescence H. G3 at two and was third in last month’s Hawkesbury Guineas G3.

Bachman’s next target is the $125,000 GCTC Daybreak Lover Plate LR over 1800m on 20 June.