19th Group double for Redoute's Choice

Arrowfield graduate Rock Magic in Perth and the Raffles Dancers-bred Table Bay in South Africa gave champion sire Redoute’s Choice his 19th same-day Group race double on Saturday.

Jockey Anton Marcus said, “He is a smashing horse to ride and Joey wanted me to rev him up a bit today and give him a good hard race. As it turned out, it would have not been the end of the world if we had led.

Trainer Joey Ramsden Table Bay was a ‘lovely laid back horse’ to train.

“My thanks to Drakenstein for the sponsorship and also to Markus (Jooste) for putting up the investment and to Derek (Brugman) for always waking me up. It is lovely to be able to go out and buy these smashing horses,” he said modestly.

Global triumph for Snitzel

It proved to be a remarkable weekend for Snitzel, who was represented by three stakes winners in a little over 24 hours, taking his black type tally to 45.

But while Snitzel’s bona fides were well and truly established before Azazel ran away with the $250,000 Inglis Banner (R) LR at Moonee Valley on Saturday, before Young Man Power’s Group 3 victory in Japan, and before First Course’s first in Sunday’s Sale Cup LR, his three-peat perfectly illustrates the level of global and domestic investment in the Australian thoroughbred industry.

For instance, Azazel is the result of a long-standing joint venture between Arrowfield and one of the world’s most famous breeders in His Highness The Aga Khan.

Boasting a pedigree that includes European Champions such as Sakhee, Pressing and Mastercraftsman, Azazel was purchased by Tony McEvoy for $310,000 at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and commenced his career with a clean slate by winning the Banner comfortably.

“That win (by Azazel) was a dream result in any language and really satisfying for both us and the Aga Khan studs,” Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager, Jon Freyer, enthused. “We’ve enjoyed a strong association with the Aga Khan over many years and apart from Azazel selling well, the colt looks to have a very bright future too.

“Naturally enough, all of us have been keeping a close eye on the two crops sired by Redoute’s Choice at the Aga Khan’s French stud, Haras de Bonneval, and we’re getting a lot of good feedback from over there.”

Similarly, Haras de Bonneval’s manager, Georges Rimaud, was excited by the win of Azazel and said: “We always felt that Aga Khan families would do well in Australia and this result should boost confidence in purchasing our stock as more representatives of those families become available on the Australian market. Redoute’s Choice’s first European crop is looking very promising – we’ll now have to work on a stallion to follow in his footsteps!”

Freyer was also buoyed by the win of Young Man Power who proved too strong in the Tokyo Fuji S. 1600m G3, a third career Group victory for the 4YO entire, which takes his earnings to around A$1.8 million.

“Young Man Power is the result of another important relationship, with the Yoshida family and the Shadai Stallion Station, which shuttled Snitzel to Japan in 2007 and 2011,” Freyer explains.

“Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm bred Young Man Power, and in Australia has worked with Arrowfield to breed Group One winners Hot Snitzel, Reaan, Sweet Idea and Weekend Hussler, among many other winners.

“These kind of long-term relationships have been instrumental in the success of Arrowfield over the past three decades and now Australian racing and bloodstock auctions are attracting a whole new wave of investors from around the world.

“Another great example is five-time Group One winner, Miss Finland, who was bred by Arrowfield with the late Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum and is the dam of last year’s Thousand Guineas winner, Stay With Me.

“VRC Oaks winner, Brazilian Pulse, is yet another. She’s a granddaughter of an Aga Khan mare from Shergar’s family and she foaled a Redoute’s Choice filly last Friday for Arrowfield and Mr Yoshida.

“It’s terrific for Arrowfield of course, but more importantly, I think it underpins the faith that breeders from all over the world have in the Australian industry.”

The final leg of Snitzel’s trifecta, First Course, was bred Tasmanian thoroughbred royalty, Armidale Stud and close friends Ken & Jenny Breese.

Jon Freyer adds, “The domestic strength of our industry is equally important and that’s what First Course represents.

“The Whishaw family and the Breeses have earned great respect as breeders and vendors over several decades, and we’re very pleased to see an Arrowfield-sired horse join their list of stakeswinners.

“First Course is from Snitzel’s second crop, while Azazel is from his brand new crop of two-year-olds. A lot of success and a lot of good stories in between … and hopefully quite a few more to come. For everyone.”

Many thanks to Aushorse for this story.

Snitzel's international stakes double

Around five hours after 2YO colt Azazel won on debut at Moonee Valley, Young Man Power completed an international stakes double for Snitzel when he took out the ~$980,000 Tokyo Fuji S. 1600m G3.

He jumped well and briefly took up the lead before easing back into third on the rail. After the turn, as the leaders edged out and headed for home, Young Man Power drove through on the inside to take the lead. He galloped home strongly in a time of 1:34 to score by three-quarters of a length from Isla Bonita and Danon Platina and record his third consecutive victory from six starts this year.

Watch Young Man Power win the Tokyo Fuji S. G3.

The 4YO colt from Snitzel’s second Japanese crop has now won the equivalent of approximately $1.8 million from four wins – three at Group 3 level – and five placings in a 14-run career.

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm from the Sunday Silence mare Snapshot, Young Man Power was sold to Yusuke Hoshino for ~$165,000 at the 2013 JRHA Select Yearling Sale. He is prepared by Takahisa Tezuka for Juichi Hoshino, a combination that enjoyed Group 1 success with the 2013 Japanese One Thousand Guineas winner Ayusan.

Young Man Power is one of his sire’s eight stakeswinners this season and, with Azazel, has completed Snitzel’s eighth same-day stakes double. 

Azazel rewards Aga Khan joint venture

Tony McEvoy paid $310,000 to secure the standout Snitzel-Allariza colt offered by Arrowfield at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

The colt, now named Azazel, has wasted no time at all franking his trainer’s judgment, winning Saturday’s $250,000 MVRC Inglis Banner 2YO S. 1000m (R) LR at his very first start.

It was achieved in some style too, after jockey Luke Currie settled the strapping, dark grey colt well off the pace, while the favourite Luiza led the field through the turn. Currie chose to go wide and Azazel powered up quickly to take command of the race 150 metres out and win by almost two lengths from Can’t Remember and Ephesian.

Watch Azazel win the MVRC Inglis Banner (R) LR.

Tony McEvoy said, “I’ve got a really good batch of babies and we’ve bought really well at the sales. He’s been at the pointy end all the way through and just continued to impress me and step up to the plate.

“I thought he’d be beautifully placed in this race restricted to (Inglis) sale horses. He’s a big, strong horse and he’s sound. He wants to be here and wants to be two.

“I think we can go to the Maribyrnong Plate then sweeten him for the Autumn.”

The $150,000 Maribyrnong Plate G3 will be held over 1000 metres at Flemington on 5 November.

Azazel, raced by a group including well-known Melbourne owner Bruce Mathieson, is a notable success for the joint venture between Arrowfield and the Aga Khan Studs. His dam Allariza, an unraced daughter of champion French sire Linamix, was sent to Australia as a maiden mare in 2009.

Allariza has also left Alligator (by Charge Forward), placed at his only start to date, and a yearling colt by Not A Single Doubt. She has been served this Spring by Olympic Glory.

Allariza and her dam Alharir are among the mares HH The Aga Khan acquired in 2005 from the estate of leading French businessman and breeder Jean-Luc Lagardere. Alharir, a half-sister to 2001 Arc winner & top-class international performer Sakhee, is also the dam of Listed winners Albahri & Alnamara, and grand-dam of Group 3 winner Alnadana.

Azazel is the 44th lifetime stakeswinner for Snitzel, his 19th juvenile stakeswinner and his 8th stakeswinner this season. After Saturday’s racing, the son of Redoute’s Choice has taken over as Australia’s leading active sire with $2.3 million prizemoney, bettered only by the deceased Street Cry, sire of Cox Plate heroine Winx.

Azazel is the second Arrowfield graduate to win the Inglis Banner, the first of the nine-race series for 2YO Inglis sale graduates this season. The Arrowfield-bred Crack A Roadie (by Charge Forward) won the race in 2012, defeating Snitzel’s son, the subsequent Cox Plate & Australian Guineas winner Shamus Award.

First French stakes performer for Redoute's Choice

Redoute’s Choice posted his first stakes performer in France on Thursday when the Wertheimers’ home-bred filly Gold Luck was second in the Prix Isonomy LR at Deauville.

A debut winner at Maisons-Laffitte last month, Gold Luck’s effort to pick up from the rear of a strong field and finish within two lengths of the promising colt Al Wukair was full of merit. Sheikh Hamdan’s filly Hebah, the eight-length winner of her previous start, was three-quarters of a length away in third place.  

The result was a distant echo of the 2011 Prix de la Foret where Al Wukair’s sire Dream Ahead beat Gold Luck’s champion half-sister Goldikova.

It has been a good week in Europe for Redoute’s Choice, also represented by the colt Pivoine, a winner at Kempton on Wednesday at his second start. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute for owner-breeder Ballymacoll Stud, Pivoine is the first foal of Fleur de Cactus (by Montjeu) from a wonderful family the Stud has nurtured for almost 80 years. Pivoine’s fourth dam is the outstanding broodmare Hellenic, dam of Group 1 winners Islington, Mountain High & Greek Dance and grand-dam of Champion Australian Stayer Fiorente.

In the Ballymacoll tradition, Pivoine has been thoughtfully named in honour of the famous French botanical artist Pierre-Joesph Redoute: “pivoine” is the French word for “peony”.

Pivoine is the 7th European winner in the past month for Redoute’s Choice, following Celestial Spheres (Goodwood, 21 September), Gold Luck (Maisons-Laffitte, 26 September), Wajnah & Spotify (Bordeaux-Le Bouscat, 27 September), Astronomy’s Choice (Newmarket, 7 October) & Normandie (Maisons-Laffitte, 14 October). In all he has now compiled eleven 2YO winners from the first of his two European crops.

Earlier in the week, a filly from the champion sire’s second French crop sold for €150,000 at the Arqana October Yearling Sale. A daughter of Border Bloom (by Selkirk), she was consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux and bought by Blandford Bloodstock and new Chinese investor Zhiqiang An whose horses race under the name Golden East Horse.

Black type beckons for French filly

Stakes company beckons for 2YO Redoute’s Choice filly Normandie, an easy winner of the Prix Banshee on Friday’s card at Maisons-Laffitte.

She took out the 1600-metre contest by 2.5 lengths from another filly from the champion sire’s first French-conceived crop, Pink Paint (ex Peinture Rose by Storm Cat).

Normandie was bred in Germany by Gestut Wittekindshof and sold to agent Ghislain Bozo’s Meridian International from the Haras d’Etreham draft for €130,000 at the 2015 Argana August Sale. The filly is trained by Pia Brandt for leading French businessman Laurent Dassault.

Normandie is the first foal of Ninas Rainbow (by Rainbow Quest), a winning daughter of Group 1 winner Next Gina, and relative of German Derby winner Next Desert. Stemming from a half-sister to Nearco’s dam Nogara, this family has been active in Germany for almost a century.

Arrowfield’s new sire son of Redoute’s Choice – and 2017 shuttler to Haras d’Etreham – Scissor Kick is bred on a similar cross, being out of Back Pass, by Rainbow Quest’s Derby-winning son Quest For Fame.

Redoute’s Choice, making an encore appearance on 2016 First Season Sires’ lists in Europe, has now had five winners in France, while his exciting Irish-based son Elzaam has made an impact on the British table with 12 winners.

Big day everywhere for Smart Missile

Smart Missile is back on top of the Australian Second Season Sires’ list after quality Saturday wins at Ascot & Bendigo and a valuable Group 3 placing at Caulfield.

However, the day began across the Tasman with Cha Siu Bao, who followed up his impressive maiden success at Te Rapa last month with a three-length win at Ashburton for Hermitage Thoroughbreds and the stable of Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott.

Watch Cha Siu Bao win in New Zealand.

The fixed odds for next month’s NZ Two Thousand Guineas G1 were immediately adjusted and the colt now sits on the third line of betting at $8.00.

A $425,000 purchase by Anton & Oliver Koolman from Widden’s Inglis Easter draft, Cha Siu Bao is the fourth winner out of the Frost family’s multiple Group winner and Group 1 placegetter Ballet Society (by Stravinsky), a half-sister to Group 1 winner Cent Home.

Next up was Redgum Racing’s 2YO colt Strela. He defied his double-figure starting price to make an excellent debut at Bendigo, settling quickly in front and extending his lead in the straight to out-gun Tarima & Margot. The time of 50.88 was a new race and track record for 900 metres.

Strela (ex Humma Mumma by Bel Esprit) was a $120,000 buy from Flinders Park Stud at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and is prepared by John Sadler.

Watch Strela win on debut.

Rocketeer continued his excellent Spring form when second to Good Standing in the $500,000 MRC Caulfield Classic 2000m G3, and was a touch unlucky it wasn’t the other way round. Shuffled back on the turn while all-the-way leader Good Standing shot clear, he did well to cut the winner’s margin to three-quarters of a length.

The quinella was a notable result for Smart Missile’s owner & breeder Gooree Park Stud whose red & black colours are carried by Good Standing.

Watch Rocketeer’s 2nd, MRC Caulfield Classic G3.

Rocketeer is the third winner out of Some Girls Do (by More Than Ready), a winning half-sister to Sydney stakeswinner Winter King. He was a $150,000 purchase for Moody Racing from the Edinburgh Park draft at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

The Mick Price-trained gelding’s four seconds – two in black type company – since his maiden win in August keep  him on track for the $1.5 million Victoria Derby G1 on 29 October. 

Smart Missile’s fruitful day ended at Ascot in Perth where 3YO filly Royal Missile got her second win this season, and it was a super effort.

Drawn widest of the ten runners in the 1400-metre 3YO event, Royal Missile ended up at the rear of the field, but made ground swiftly round the turn and sprinted home for a stylish victory, three-quarters of a length ahead of Samovare. 

Watch Royal Missile win at Ascot.

Royal Missile is a half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Turffontein, from Spirit of Grace (by Dr Grace), and was offered by Blue Gum Farm at Inglis Melbourne where she was knocked down for $240,000 to Aquanita Racing. She’s trained by Simon Miller in Perth for a partnership including loyal Aquanita clients Ray, Ben & Ryan Meadowcroft.

Rocketeer, Strela and Royal Missile added almost $150,000 to Smart Missile’s earnings – enough to take him past Foxwedge with a new total of $669,618. He comfortably heads the list by winners with 15, and has just cracked his first million dollars as a sire, thanks largely to his eight stakes performers.

The marketplace is missing none of this: Baystone Farm’s Smart Missile colt out of Asshewaqua topped the recent Inglis Ready2Race Sale, selling for $310,000.

Redoute's Choice filly scores at Newmarket

The John Gosden-trained filly Astronomy’s Choice became the ninth winner from the first European crop of Redoute’s Choice with a strong debut performance on Newmarket’s Future Champions Day last Friday.

She lined up in the £25,000 Maiden Fillies Stakes over seven furlongs and, after a slow start, raced off the pace until asked by Frankie Dettori to quicken up before the two-furlong mark. The filly took up the lead insid the final furlong and despite runnng greenly had enough in hand to be eased down close to home.

Her performance was noted by Timeform’s Simon Rowlands in his assessment of the day’s racing.

“…two of the most eye-catching efforts were undoubtedly posted in victory by John Gosden-trained two-year-olds. Astronomy’s Choice quickened nicely on her debut on the Friday and promises to be at least useful, but Coronet was even more impressive in landing the listed Zetland Stakes on the Saturday.”

Bred & raced by London-based businessman Robin Geffen and raised at Ecurie des Monceaux, Astronomy’s Choice is the first foal of Astronomy Domine (by Galileo), whose dam Platonic has been a signifcant foundation mare for the partnership of Monceaux and Skymarc Farm.
 
Platonic is the dam of the stakes-winning fillies Pacifique, and Prudenzia, responsible for Irish Oaks winner Chicquita, and the family has responded to its first-class opportunities with five seven-figure Arqana yearlings since 2012.

Astronomy Domine was bought for Mr Geffen by Badger’s Bloodstock for €280,000 at the 2010 Arqana August Yearling Sale, but had only one unplaced start. With her first runner now a promising winner and €300,000 paid for her Oasis Dream colt at Arqana this year, she is already contributing to the family’s excellent record.

Monceaux Manager Henri Bozo noted on Twitter that John Gosden is already considering next year’s Listed Pretty Polly Stakes for Astronomy’s Choice. That race is held at Newmarket’s Guineas Festival meeting in early May and Gosden has trained the last two winners, subsequent Oaks winner Taghrooda and Jazzi Top.

Charge Forward 3YO wins again at Kranji

Only three members of Charge Forward’s 2013 crop are racing in Singapore but all of them have won, most recently the promising Mark Walker-trained pair Hatta (on 16 September), and Awatere, successful for the second time on Sunday evening.

Awatere (ex Catbird Kitty by Catbird) scored an impressive two-length win over 1200 metres, taking his earnings from six starts to $94,000 for New Zealand owners Craig & Pip Forsyth. Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis purchased the gelding for $50,000 from Lyndhurst Farm which presented him on behalf of breeder Dan Myers.

Watch Awatere win at Kranji on 9 October.

Awatere is from the same family as the good Hong Kong performer Best Eleven, also by Charge Forward, and descends from the dam of English Two Thousand Guineas winner Mystiko.

Hatta (ex Jujitzel by Snitzel) finished fifth behind Awatere on Sunday after his stylish maiden victory for the Al-Arabiya Stable on the polytrack last month. His breeder Carl Holt has been a strong supporter of both Charge Forward and Snitzel, and this year sold a filly bred on the same cross, out of his stakes-winning mare Zelsnitz, for $85,000 to Moody Racing at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

The third Singapore runner and winner from Charge Forward’s 2013 crop is Macarthur (ex Mozambique by Redoute’s Choice), who impressed as a 2YO last season with two wins before finishing just behind the placegetters in the Golden Horseshore Sgp-2 and Juvenile Championship Sgp-3.

Macarthur was bred by Ron & Deb Gilbert of Highgrove Stud and is trained by Steven Burridge for Adam & Brittany Levinson and Steve & Christine Levar under the Stars & Stripes Stable banner.

It won’t escape pedigree analysts that all three horses are all out of Danehill-line mares, as is Charge Forward’s leading Singapore earner this year, the nine-time winner Good News (ex Rezyana by Redoute’s Choice). 

In all, the fifteen Singapore runners by the son of Red Ransom have earned an average of almost $114,000.

335,000 guineas for Redoute's Choice colt

The Redoute’s Choice colt offered by Tinnakill House in Thursday’s final session of Book 1 at the Tattersalls October Sale had a very familiar look for everyone at Arrowfield.

Bearing a strong resemblance to the Stud’s much-missed young sire Beneteau, the good-looking, dark brown colt was knocked down to a buyer also well-known in Australia.

Enterprising South African agent Jehan Malherbe of Form Bloodstock went to 335,000 guineas to secure the half-brother to US Grade 3 winner Chattahoochee War, out of the Grade 3-winning, Group 1-placed mare Buffalo Berry (by Sri Pekan), a descendant of dual US Grade 1 winner Prayers’n Promises.

View the Sirecam video of the Redoute’s Choice-Buffalo Berry colt.

As an aside, this is a family that arrived in the United States over a century ago with celebrity status, stemming from one of England’s best 19th century broodmares, Lily Agnes. She left the unbeaten ‘Horse of the Century’ Ormonde, and his full sister Ornament who became dam of the magnificent filly Sceptre, winner of the 1902 One Thousand & Two Thousand Guineas, Oaks and St Leger.

Malherbe regularly attends sales with champion trainer Mike de Kock in Australia where his purchases from Arrowfield have included Group 2 winner Honorine (by Redoute’s Choice), promising 2YO winner Heavenly Blue (by Snitzel) and Malmaison, dam of Group 2 winner Rosier. 

The Buffalo Berry colt was bred by Cathal Beale with Jack Cantillon, whose family owns and operates Tinnakill House in Ireland’s County Laois.

Redoute’s Choice has left eight 2YO winners from the first of his two crops conceived at HH The Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in France, among them Celestial Spheres at Goodwood and Gold Luck at Maisons-Laffitte.