Abidewithme scores at Caulfield

The 2009 crop of Redoute’s Choice is one of his very best, with 21 stakeswinners from 107 named foals – an exceptional strike rate of 19.6%.

They are not short of quality either: 13 of them have won in Group company and three of those, champion sprinter Lankan Rupee, South African star Wylie Hall and Oaks winner Royal Descent, are Group 1 winners.

Nor is their record complete. A week after Royal Descent returned this season to claim the ATC Warwick S. G2 on 22 August, Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan’s homebred mare Abidewithme has won her season debut at Caulfield.

Watch Abidewithme’s win at Caulfield.

Already the winner of eight races in New Zealand, including last season’s Waikato RC Travis S. G2, Abidewithme was making her first raceday appearance since being transferred to the Melbourne stable of Peter Moody. 

The Mares Handicap over 1400 metres also attracted last season’s VRC Oaks G1 winner Set Square who settled just ahead of Abidewithme at the rear, while Danestroem and Kansas Sunflower made the pace up front.

As the field swung round the turn, Patrick Moloney took Abidewithme wide, while Michael Dee directed Set Square towards the rail.  The pair were more-or-less level at the 200-metre mark, but the 3kg Abidewithme received from Set Square began to tell and she forged to a narrow lead she held over the closing stages of the race.

It was a fine effort by both mares and Abidewithme’s winning time of 1:23.02 was faster than the other three 1400-metre races on the Caulfield card, including Boban’s Memsie Stakes G1.

Abidewithme and her stakes-winning half-sister Miss Scarlatti are the best of six winners from the dual Group winner Crimson (by Zabeel), a three-quarter sister to 1987 Victoria Derby winner Omnicorp, from the family of Singpore Group 1 winner Always Certain (by Not A Single Doubt). Crimson is now retired after foaling a 2014 filly to Group 3 winner Burgundy (by Redoute’s Choice).

A troop of Redoute's Choice colts

The gap left on the Arrowfield roster by Beneteau begs to be filled by another son of Redoute’s Choice.

The Stud’s 2015 stallion brochure tags gifted colt Scissor Kick as “Coming Soon”, so his spot is assured, but less than a month into the new season, a couple of other Redoute’s Choice colts raced by Arrowfield have put up their hooves for the same imprimatur.

3YO King’s Troop, a three-quarter brother to Snitzel, made his bid on 15 August with a heady run for second in the ATC San Domenico S. 1100m G3, beaten only a half-length by the very talented gelding Japonisme in near-race record time of 1:02.57.

That performance was a significant step up for King’s Troop who attracted attention with a big trial win before his debut second on a heavy track to Japonisme at Rosehill on 18 July. Eighteen days later he broke his maiden with a 3.8 length win at Warwick Farm, before tackling Group company at his third start.

Trainer Gerald Ryan had already recommended that King’s Troop needs time to grow and strengthen with the aim of preparing for a major Autumn campaign. He went straight to the paddock after the San Domenico while owners Arrowfield and Alan Jones imagine his future.

The following Wednesday 19 August it was the turn of Raphael’s Cat to step up. He showed impressive acceleration at the end of 1200 metres at Canterbury, winning by 2.5 lengths from Tap This and Secret Trail.

He won his 2YO debut back in February for Gai Waterhouse and a group of owners headed by Ricky Surace, Matt Cloros & Arrowfield and spelled after an unplaced run in the ATC Pago Pago S. G2. He will now head to Melbourne for the $200,000 VRC Danehill S. G2 on 12 September.

Waiting in the wings for Arrowfield and Paul Messara are Panzer Division and Scissor Kick, both among last season’s best 3YO colts and set to return later in the Spring, while Rekindled Power (Group 2-placed at three) is not far away from his season debut.

Royal Descent returns triumphant in Warwick Stakes

Two days after winning last season’s NSW Miler of the Year title, Royal Descent opened her 2015/16 campaign with a classy victory in the $250,000 ATC Warwick S. 1400m G2.

The daughter of Redoute’s Choice hadn’t won since her extraordinary ten-length romp in the 2013 Australian Oaks G1, but she has notched up six Group 1 placings, in all the big Randwick miles (the Doncaster, Epsom & George Main Stakes) and a fine third behind Criterion & Red Cadeaux in last Autumn’s weight-for-age grand final, the 2000-metre Queen Elizabeth S. G1

Chris Waller, who trains the now 6YO mare for owner-breeder Gerry Harvey, says, “She has been placed in so many big races and I’ve never been disappointed in her. And she has come back stronger and looks the best she ever has at the start of a preparation.”

I will talk to Gerry Harvey but we’ll aim her at the Epsom Handicap and see where we go from there, up in distance or stick to the mile and go to the Myer. It will work itself out.”

Royal Descent jumped well and settled just behind Zaratone, Pornichet and Messene until jockey Hugh Bowman eased her out on the turn and urged her forward. Pornichet proved the most resolute of her rivals but the mare drove hard to catch him 150 metres from the post and pull away for a 1.5 length victory in 1:21.57 on the Good3 track. 

Sadly, the accomplished Group 2 winner Burbero broke down badly during the running and was unable to be saved. His trainer Bjorn Baker described the winner of 13 races and more than $700,000 as “a little horse with a big heart who loved competing.”

Royal Descent has now earned $2.4 million from five wins & 12 placings in her 26-start career and she must be rated a strong chance of adding further Group 1 success to that record.

Her dam Mulan Princess (by Kaapstad) won six races, including the STC Hill S. G2 and has two sisters to Royal Descent, The Warrior Woman & Chateau Lafaite, now alongside her in the Baramul Stud broodmare band.

Royal Descent is the first stakeswinner of the new season for Redoute’s Choice after runner-up finishes by Great Esteem in the ATC Winter Challenge S. LR on 1 August, and King’s Troop in the ATC San Domenico S. G3 on 15 August.

Olympic Glory stars at Arrowfield parade

European sprinting star Olympic Glory paraded for the first time at Arrowfield’s Stallion Open House last weekend and was warmly received by visiting breeders, agents & trainers.

The four-time Group 1 winner paraded in tremendous order, after serving his first first Northern Hemisphere book of more than 160 mares and less than two weeks after leaving quarantine.

He paraded on Saturday morning between Not A Single Doubt and Snitzel, and his resemblance to those outstanding sons of Redoute’s Choice was impossible to miss.

Trainer James Cummings said, “He’s a beautiful horse, not unlike some of the the other horses we have seen here at Arrowfield, particularly Snitzel. He’s going to fit in well with the type of horses we look for as yearlings.”

Ross Daisley, the breeder of Olympic Glory’s game-changing sire Choisir, said, “He’s got a lot of his father in him. A really lovely horse and the record is on the board – four Group Ones. I need to find a mare for him.”

Clint Donovan from Magic Millions said, “Brilliant horse, very athletic, great muscle definition and a lot of quality. You would think he was Snitzel or Not A Single Doubt by the way he gets around. Very pleasantly surprised by him.”

Well-respected bloodstock agent Steve Brem commented, “He reminded me of the good speed horses we have in this part of the world. He has a fantastic record and is a very neat horse, medium sized and easy to mate. A nicely balanced horse.”

Sacred Star named Champion NZ Sprinter

Flying Spur’s son Sacred Star was named Champion Sprinter at the 2014/15 New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards presented on Thursday evening in Hamilton.

The award was accepted by Dato Yap Kim San, the owner of New Zealand-based Raffles Thoroughbred Racing, who was accompanied by his son Kyan, manager Bruce Sherwin and trainer Tony Pike.

It was a “starry” season for Raffles Racing, which also entered the Group 1 winner’s circle as owner-breeder of First Seal (Flight S. G1), and owner of Sacred Falls (George Main S. G1) & Rock Diva (Auckland Cup G1).

Sacred Star won two Group 1 races in 2014/15, the 1200-metre WRC Telegraph Handicap and the Waikato Sprint at 1400 metres, taking his record to eight wins and more than $600,000 prizemoney.

He was bred by Victorian businessman Mark Ruff from the Group 2-placed O’Reilly mare Irish Nova, whose relatives include another Group 1 winner last season Diademe (NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ S. G1) and the excellent broodmare Professionelle, dam of Group winners Sportsman, Prisoner of Love & Hoystar.

Read: Victorian breeder celebrates first Group 1 Star

Flying Spur, Australian Champion Sire of 2007, retired from stud duties in 2012, but remains a powerful influence on Australian breeding & racing. His 99 worldwide winners last season included seven stakeswinners, headed by Sacred Star, Godolphin’s Group 2-winning mare Hazard, 3YO filly Okahu Bay, winner of the South Australia Fillies Classic G3, and Singapore sprinter Zac Spirit.

Flying Spur’s lifetime record as a sire now stands at 97 stakeswinners, 12 of them successful at Group 1 level, and an impressive Earnings per Runner figure of more than $84,000.

His broodmare daughters had an even better year, putting nine stakeswinners on the board, among them 3YOs Preferment (Victoria Derby G1) & Moonovermanhattan (Moonee Valley Vase G2), 2YO Speak Fondly (Magic Night S. G2). Flying Spur ended 2014/15 holding 4th spot on the Australian Broodmare Sires’ list, behind Danehill, Zabeel & Encosta de Lago.

Magnus did best of his Australian sire sons, finishing 19th on the General Sires’ Premiership with earnings of $5.1 million and three stakeswinners, notably the Perth Group 1 winner Magnifisio.

Spirited new stakeswinner for Snitzel

Snitzel became the first Arrowfield stallion to put a new stakeswinner on the board this season when Snitzel Spirit won the S$150,000 Causeway Classic 1800m Sgp-3 at Kranji on Friday evening.

He is the 32nd individual stakeswinner by the outstanding son of Redoute’s Choice who will parade alongside his nine barnmates at the Arrowfield Stallion Open House later this week.

Snitzel Spirit has been a very consistent performer for the Threekingstwowin Stable and trainer Michael Freedman, earning almost S$350,000 from six wins and six placings in his 13 starts since his June 2014 debut.

Assistant trainer James Peters said, “He’s just so tough this horse. He always tries so hard and keeps improving all the time.

“We thought the race would be a bit tricky as we weren’t really sure about the speed. Corey [Brown] gave him a good tactical ride in the end and he was really genuine to the line.

“After this race, it is pretty obvious he can really stay. There is no real plan for him, we just wanted to see if he can run out the trip tonight and he’s done it.”

Snitzel Spirit was bred by the Middleton family at Redbank North and sold for $45,000 at the Winter edition of the 2013 Inglis Classic Sale. He is out of the fine producer Gifted Spirit (by Thunder Gulch), an unraced half-sister to Group winners Light Up The World & World Peace, and also the dam of Group 2 winner Rain Drum. This is the family of multiple Group 1 winner Bentley Biscuit and champion New Zealand sire Thorn Park.

The Middletons achieved earlier breeding success with another son of Snitzel, the 2YO stakeswinner Le Val. Now five, he has opened a fresh campaign in Brisbane with two wins, most recently at Doomben on 8 August. 

Redoute's Choice colt makes $1.4 million at Arqana

The first European yearlings by Redoute’s Choice made a big impact on the opening two days of the Arqana August Sale, averaging almost $600,000 and including the 66th seven-figure yearling of his stellar sale-ring career.

Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock adviser John Ferguson bought three colts by the champion sire including the son of Group 1 winner Vadawina (by Unfuwain), offered by Haras d’Etreham and knocked down for  €950,000 (~$1.4 million). That makes him the top-priced Redoute’s Choice yearling sold worldwide in 2015.

Ferguson struck early on the first day, bidding €450,000 (~$670,000) for the colt from Copernica presented by Richard Powell’s Haras du Lieu des Champs.

He said after that purchase, “Redoute’s Choice has been a superb stallion in Australia, and there’s no reason why he won’t repeat his success in the Northern Hemisphere.
“This is a Redoute’s Choice out of a Galileo mare going back to a great family, including High Chaparral, and he was a very athletic horse and we’re delighted to have him.”

That sale was a great result for Joe Foley of Ballyhane Stud who bought the colt as a foal for 175,000gns at Tattersalls December last year.

Foley said, “He was an outstanding foal with a stallion’s pedigree and I’m a great believer in Redoute’s Choice, as I stand his son Elzaam, whose first foals head to the sales later this year. Everybody had looked at him and Richard filled me with confidence that he would sell well. Best of luck to Godolphin.”

Haras des Capucines was the vendor of John Ferguson’s third Redoute’s Choice colt, out of Sandy Girl (by Footstepsinthesand), a winning half-sister to six-time Group 1 winner Stacelita. He was secured for €660,000 (~$990,000).

Asked to compare Redoute’s Choice’s European and Australian progeny, Ferguson said,  “I’ve been looking at them in Australia for many years, so I’d say they’re fairly similar to those in Australia. There’s not a huge difference. Some horses with different mares can produce different types, but he’s such a pre-eminent and dominant stallion; Redoute’s Choices look like Redoute’s Choices.”

Ferguson’s past Australian purchases by the great son of Danehill include Group 1 winner Master of Design and Group 1-placed stakeswinners Estee & Time Thief.

Other successful bidders included Jehan Malherbe’s Form Bloodstock, which has already enjoyed success with Group 2-winning Redoute’s Choice filly Honorine in South Africa, and UK trainer Roger Varian.

In all, nine of the first 11 Arqana yearlings by Redoute’s Choice sold for an average of  €386,000 (~$580,000), well above the to-date average of  €245,791 (~$370,000) and placing him fourth on the Sale’s leading sires list.

Georges Rimaud, Manager of the Aga Khan’s French Studs, says, “At the time we brought Redoute’s Choice over from Arrowfield Stud there was concern that there weren’t enough good stallions in France. He was probably way above the standard of what people expected but they supported him and the rewards are coming now.”

Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer says, “We’re delighted with these results and acknowledge the wonderful support Redoute’s Choice has received in Europe from breeders, vendors & buyers. We’re also very grateful to the Aga Khan, Georges Rimaud and the team at Haras de Bonneval for giving Redoute’s Choice the best opportunity to make his mark in Europe.”

Haras des Capucines & La Motteraye Consignment will present the final two Arqana yearlings by Redoute’s Choice at the Sale’s closing session which begins at 9.00 pm on Monday evening (AEST).

Arrowfield is Australia's leading Group 1 breeder of 2014/15

Arrowfield closed out the 2014/15 season as Australia’s leading breeder of Group 1 winners with four horses successful at that level.

As the Stud celebrates thirty years of operation, they bring Arrowfield’s tally of Group 1-winning graduates to 54 – forty of them also Arrowfield-bred.

Sweet Idea, Hot Snitzel & Wandjina (all by Snitzel) won a total of six Australian Group races last season with their Group 1 victories coming in the ATC Galaxy Handicap, the BRC BTC Cup and the VRC Australian Guineas.

Champion South African filly Majmu (Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous by Hussonet) progressed from her unbeaten 2YO season to claim the Kenilworth Cape Fillies Guineas & Turffontein Empress Club Stakes at Group 1 level for Sheikh Hamdan & Mike de Kock. She also made up a Group 1 quinella for Redoute’s Choice in the Turffontein President’s Champions Challenge won by Wylie Hall.

Sweet Idea (ex Flidais by Timber Country) & Hot Snitzel (ex Flames of Paris by Blushing Groom) were bred & sold by Arrowfield & Katsumi Yoshida, a partnership also responsible for 2008 Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler and 2008 Blue Diamond winner Reaan.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Sweet Idea was retired after her Galaxy win which capped a stellar $2.4 million career of eight wins (five in Group company) and eight placings (four of them in Group 1 races) from 19 starts.

Sweet Idea’s indomitable character and consistency in top company gave her owners a tremendous ride and one of them, Nick Vass, paid $1.6 million for her at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. That completed a $4 million return on the $240,000 that Waterhouse & James Harron paid for her at the same venue three years ago.

Harron also bought Wandjina (ex La Bamba by Last Tycoon), but had to pay $1 million for him at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale on behalf of Edmund & Belinda Bateman. The handsome bay colt more than fulfilled the expectations attached to such a price with his powerhouse, all-the-way Guineas win and two Group 1 placings, most notably a valiant second, splitting Dissident & Chautauqua in the weight-for-age ATC All Aged S. G1.   

Sent to Royal Ascot before retiring to Newgate Farm, Wandjina signed off with a fine effort for sixth in Undrafted’s Golden Jubilee Stakes, over a distance short of his preferred 1600 metres.

Hot Snitzel saved his best until the Brisbane Winter Carnival for his Triple Crown-managed band of owners and proved too strong in the 1200-metre BTC Cup at Doomben.

That was the 6YO gelding’s sixth Group success among the 8 wins & eight placings that have returned $1.2 million on the $60,000 that Chris & Michael Ward paid for him at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.  Trained by Gerald Ryan for most of his career, Hot Snitzel was transferred to Peter & Paul Snowden before his Group 1 win and remains in training for 2015/16.

This quartet heads a collection of 16 Arrowfield-bred winners of 26 Group & Listed Races in 2014/15. All were offered for sale at auction and 15 of them sold for prices ranging from the $20,000 paid for the weanling Lady Jivago to the seven-figure bid Wandjina attracted.  Perth stakeswinner Rock Magic was sold out of training after four wins with Paul Messara.

The list doesn’t include champion sprinter Lankan Rupee (by Redoute’s Choice; MVRC Manikato Stakes & VRC Lightning Stakes) & Miracles of Life (by Not A Single Doubt; SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes), both born & raised at Arrowfield for Teeley Assets; nor does it include Listed winners Bouzy Rouge & Modello (both by Snitzel), both offered for sale by Arrowfield on behalf of their private breeders.

The full list of Arrowfield’s stakes-winning graduates last season is:

2014/15 STAKESWINNER
& Co-Breeder

SIRE-DAM

STAKES WINS
Trainer(s)

SALE & PRICE
Prizemoney

HOT SNITZEL
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Flames of Paris

G1
Peter & Paul Snowden

Inglis Melbourne
$60,000
$1.2 million

MAJMU

Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous

G1 x2, G3
Mike de Kock

Inglis Easter
$300,000
2.2m Rand

SWEET IDEA
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel- Flidais

G1, G2 x2
Gai Waterhouse

Magic Millions
$240,000
$2.4 million

WANDJINA

Snitzel-La Bamba

G1, G3
Gai Waterhouse

Inglis Easter
$1 million
$653,000

MOONOVERMANHATTAN
with Planette & Belford

Manhattan Rain-Lunaspur

G2
Mick Price

Inglis Easter
$100,000
$279,000

STEPITUP
with Planette

Hussonet-Ain’t Seen Nothin’

Sgp-2 x2, Sgp-3
Laurie Laxon

Inglis Melbourne
$90,000
$S1.9 million

AMORINO
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Steal My Love

G3, LR x2
Archie Alexand
er

Magic Millions
$70,000
$763,000

BURNSTONE
with Klawervlei Stud

Redoute’s Choice-Merlene de Lago

LR
Robbie Griffiths

Inglis Melbourne
$40,000
$72,000
Died after his debut

HIJACK HUSSY
with Planette & Belford

Hussonet-Joy Ride

LR
Tony Gollan

Magic Millions
$62,000
$218,000

MANAPINE
with Jungle Pocket

Manhattan Rain-Anapine

LR
Nigel Blackiston

Inglis Easter
$200,000
$113,000

ROCK MAGIC
with Planette

Redoute’s Choice-Rockabubble

LR x2
Chris Gangemi

Inglis Easter
Passed
$358,000

SMOKO
with Planette
Snitzel-London Lights LR
Ross Price
 Inglis Melbourne
$75,000
$251,000

WILD RAIN
with Planette

Manhattan Rain-North Flower

LR
Mark Kavanagh

Magic Millions
$150,000
$220,000

YGRITTE
with Planette & Belford, Maldale, Michael & Lucy Messara & Tim Noonan

Snitzel-Deputy Lil

LR
Gerald Ryan

Inglis Classic
$135,000
$314,000

LADY JIVAGO
with International Equities

Beneteau-Hussterics

R-LR
Jeff Englebrecht

Magic Millions Weanling
$20,000
$192,000

ODYSSEY MOON
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Run to the Moon

R-LR
Rod Northam

Inglis Classic
$25,000
$435,000

Olympic Glory arrives at Arrowfield

Al Shaqab Racing’s European sprinting star Olympic Glory arrived on Wednesday morning at Arrowfield Stud where he will serve his first Southern Hemisphere book this Spring, after parading at next week’s Arrowfield Stallion Open House.

The four-time Group 1 winner has already served a full book of mares at Haras de Bouquetot, the French base of Al Shaqab’s European breeding operation.  

Al Shaqab gave Olympic Glory strong support in France with the following mares among his 2015 court:

  • Dual Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mizdirection (by Mizzen Mast), a $US2.7 million purchase
  • Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes winner Eden’s Moon (by Malibu Moon), from the family of US champion Paradise Creek, a $US1.525 million buy
  • Listed winner Seeharn(by Pivotal), a 950,000gns buy
  • Royal Ascot Windsor Forest Stakes G2 winner Strawberrydaiquiri (by Dansili), purchased for $US1.45 million
  • Grade 1-placed Scarlet Strike (by Smart Strike) a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Visionaire, who cost $US1.3 million
  • Prix de Diane G1 third Rjwa(by Muhtathir).

Olympic Glory has been equally well-received in Australia and, like Al Shaqab, Arrowfield has allocated a high-quality group of its own mares for his first season, including Group 1 winners Covertly, Dowry, Miss Kournikova & Rockabubble.

Other Arrowfield mares visiting Olympic Glory this Spring are Class Success (dam of Group 3 winner Squamosa), Hussterics (dam of stakeswinner Lady Jivago) & Sammy’s Girl (by More than Ready from champion filly Samantha Miss).

Smart debut winner for All American

It was a case of revolving doors for All American’s promising sons on Wednesday, with one winning well on debut at Geelong and the the other bound for Hong Kong after a brilliant Caulfield win.

Team Hawkes sent The States to Geelong on Tuesday for his debut over 1200 metres on the synthetic track. The 3YO gelding jumped well from gate 7 and settled back in fifth spot until just before the turn when jockey James Winks began urging him forward. The States steadily wound up to a big finish that was good enough to catch Irish Saturday just short of the post with Etymology third.

Watch The States’ debut win here.

Wayne Hawkes said of All American’s progeny after the race, “We have about half a dozen…like them, I’ve always liked them.”

“They take a bit of time to come right, but we had a really good one called Invisible that won his first start at Canterbury and then was one of the favourites for the Magic Millions and all but broke his leg in the race.”

The States is the third foal of the city-winning Redoute’s Choice mare Lodore Falls, a daughter of brilliant New Zealand juvenile Lodore Magic, also dam or grand-dam of Group 2 winners Sonic Quest, Chase The Rainbow & Ms Funovits. Lodore Falls has a 2YO colt named The Nine Mile (by Starcraft) & a yearling filly by All American.

The States was a $135,000 PFG Racing purchase from Arrowfield’s 2014 Magic Millions consignment.

On the same day the Morgan & Widdison stable announced with regret that 3YO Green Card, super-impressive winner of his two starts at Bendigo & Caulfield this winter, has been sold to Hong Kong.

Peter Morgan said, “We were aiming him at some of the better races in the spring and will miss him for sure.”

Craig Widdison added, “We believed that he would have been able to stretch out over a bit further too, so who knows where he could have ended up had he stayed here. He’s such a good-natured horse and he has a really good turn of foot; he should do really well over there.”

There is some consolation for the stable, though: they will also train Green Card’s 2YO brother Green Light, and owner-breeders Bruce & Jill Mathieson also have an All American yearling colt from the trio’s dam Cristallo (by Testa Rossa).

All American already has a promising runner in Hong Kong, 4YO gelding Tianhuang (ex Miss Victoria by Viscount) who won his second start for champion trainer John Moore at Sha Tin last month.