Redoute's Choice sons end 2016 with a flourish

Arrowfield’s sire sons of Redoute’s Choice have been among the big stories of 2016 and they ended the year on Saturday with a final flourish of success, tempered by the death of Beneteau’s brilliant son Weatherly in Sydney.

Not A Single Doubt opened the batting with the debut at Canterbury of his 2YO daughter From Within (ex Zimaretto by Anabaa) from the Chris Waller yard for owners Mark Sowerby and Raffles Racing.

From Within duly delivered, with a trio of Snitzels, the colts Invader & Chauffeur and the filly Exceeds, chasing her home. The filly’s official winning margin of 1.25 lengths could have been considerably more, because Glyn Schofield eased her down in the closing stages, and she still ran the final 600 metres in 34.80.

Watch From Within’s debut victory at Canterbury.

Bookmakers immediately made her favourite for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (R) LR on 14 January, and her trainer Chris Waller indicated that, much like Not A Single Doubt’s 2011 Magic Millions winner Karuta Queen, she has everything it takes to win the race. 

“She’s a ready-made two-year-old, very professional. Has speed, manners, knows that to do, relaxes and switches off.”

Snitzel quickly set about filling his side of the ledger, winning the next race at Canterbury with Spending To Win and the card’s feature race, the $150,000 Canterbury Classic 1200m LR with his 47th stakeswinner, Le Cordon Bleu.

Spending To Win, a grey son of the Invincible Spirit mare Madame Trop Vite, secured a strong maiden success on his return from tie-back surgery. The 3YO colt had shown good ability in three juvenile placings and jockey Blake Shinn was enthusiastic about his performance over 1100m in class record time of 1:03.86.

“The horse did a great job. Had to do a bit of work early to get across and travelled really nicely. First-up today off a relatively quick tempo was a fantastic effort.”

Sadly, it was after this race that Weatherly, the son of Beneteau and Luna Bella trained by Paul Messara for Sumaya Stables, was euthanased after fracturing his near-fore sesamoid about 600 metres after the start. The stunning colt made a very favourable impression when he won last season’s VRC Talindert S. LR and he seemed likely to be one of Sydney racing’s Autumn 2017 stars. His death compounds the loss of Beneteau who died almost three years ago and has now compiled 20 stakes performers from 91 runners.

6YO gelding Le Cordon Bleu (ex Ultimate Fever by Gold Fever) rewarded the patience of his breeder Luskin Park Stud, Wilf & Rosemary Mula and their fellow owners when he drove home from well of the pace to win the Canterbury Classic by almost a length from Wouldn’t It Be Nice and Grunderzeit.

Watch Le Cordon Bleu win the ATC Canterbury Classic LR.

Trained by Hawkes Racing, Le Cordon Bleu has now won five of his 16 starts for prizemoney of almost $350,000.

Between those two city victories, Corumbene Stud’s promising 3YO Treviso gave Snitzel a win at Gosford, where he won on debut last June before finishing third behind Russian Revolution and Morton’s Fork at Randwick.

Not A Single Doubt and Snitzel have made a big impact on 2016 racing with 27 winners of 44 Group & Listed Races between them, and sit third and fourth on the current Australian Sires’ list with collective prizemoney of almost $10 million. Vendors of their 79 yearlings on offer at the Magic Millions  Sale can look forward to being very busy indeed when parading starts at the Gold Coast later this week.

Redoute's Choice the surest bet

As 2016 winds down and the world looks back at a turbulent 12 months, a few certainties for 2017 would be welcome, but they seem in short supply and in racing that shortage is more-or-less a permanent condition.

Occasionally, though, something emerges that can be relied upon over several years, perhaps a decade or more if we’re lucky. In Australian racing and breeding one pillar of consistently top-class performance has been, and still is, Redoute’s Choice.

An all-up bet that Redoute’s Choice would leave double-figure stakeswinners, including at least one Group 1 winner, in each of the past dozen years would have made a December 2004 punter rather rich, and his or her bookmaker increasingly unwell. And there’s no sign of the pace slackening either – in fact, over the past two years he’s averaged a stakes win every 17 days.

In 2016 the three-time Champion Sire has put up 15 individual winners of 19 Group and Listed Races, among them Group 1 winners Peeping (ATC Coolmore Classic G1), Howard Be Thy Name (South Australian Derby G1) & Abbey Marie (Australasian Oaks G1). His 30 lifetime Group 1 winners place him firmly among the world’s elite stallions.

2016 Group winners Honesty Prevails & Thyme For Roses and Listed winner Zamzam in Australia, and Table Bay in South Africa boosted Redoute’s Choice’s tally of 2YO stakeswinners to thirty-three. And don’t worry about the durability of his progeny – Rock Magic and Abidewithme from his 2009 crop both won in Group company this year.

Redoute’s Choice is already shaping future generations through 17 stakes-siring sire sons headed by Snitzel (47 SW), Not A Single Doubt (35 SW) & the deceased Stratum (31 SW).

Irish-based Elzaam and New Zealand-based Burgundy seem likely to join that group soon, after making very favourable impressions with their first runners in 2016. Scissor Kick’s arrival at Haras d’Etreham strengthens the dynasty’s foothold in Europe, as Redoute’s Choice’s own second crop of French-conceived 2YOs prepares to race in 2017.

Daughters of Redoute’s Choice are similarly proving their worth as transmitters of his class with 50 stakeswinners (14 of them in 2016 and number 50, Hong Kong Group winner Blizzard, scoring on 1 January), including Group 1 winners Sacred Falls, Zoustar, Pasadena Girl and Stay With Me.

Thirteen Redoute’s Choice yearlings will be offered at the upcoming Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, among them three colts and two fillies in the Arrowfield consignment.

DISCOVER ARROWFIELD – Q&A with JENNY SASSIER

Jenny Sassier has worked with thoroughbred horses since the age of 14, beginning with eight seasons of yearling preparation at Haras des Capucines in her native France.  She then studied horse management, stud accounting and equine reproduction, and completed a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology & Physiopathology before working at vet clinics and leading studs around the world, including Coolmore America and Darley Japan. Jenny joined us in July 2013, is now Arrowfield’s Foaling Manager, and helping to prepare our 2017 yearlings.

What is it about any particular foal, weanling or yearling that makes you pay special attention to them?
I really like it when foals are curious, and come up to look at what you’re doing. My favourite foals this year are just like that: the Alverta filly & the Star Fashion colt, both by Deep Impact, and the Animal Kingdom-Flowerchild colt.

Photo: Deep Impact x Star Fashion colt

What are your favourite all-time (so far) Arrowfield-sold filly and colt, and why?
My top filly is Group 3 2YO winner Honesty Prevails (by Redoute’s Choice) – I love her dam Flavoured, and the filly was always a standout, very curious and friendly as a foal.
My favourite colt so far is the Redoute’s Choice-Anadan colt we sold at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. He had a great attitude, always playful, but never mean. I really liked him.  [Named Misty Lad, this colt won his first trial in September and finished mid-field on debut in the ATC Breeders’ Plate LR].

Photo: Misty Lad pictured as a yearling and racehorse

Q3 – What’s the best part of yearling preparation?
When we go to the sales and the work on the farm is finished, the horses are healthy and look good, and we’ve done all we can. Then it’s up to the buyers!

Q4 – What’s the toughest part of yearling preparation?
The first week after the yearlings come in for their prep, separated from their friends and with a new team of people and a new set of expectations. Everything is new in those first 10 days, pulling manes, washing, it’s all a bit crazy, then it settles down.

Q6 – What’s been your favourite Arrowfield-connected success in 2016? 
Watching our Inglis Melbourne graduate Azazel win a Listed Race on debut. He was bred in partnership with the Aga Khan Studs and everyone was thrilled with that win.

Photo: Azazel winning on debut

And your favourite non-Arrowfield racehorse or racing moment in 2016?
My holiday this year included a visit to Dubai for the World Cup – fabulous horses and a fabulous experience.

Q7 – What are your picks from Dundeel’s first crop of yearlings?
The Sport Chic colt at Inglis Classic, and the colts out of Moorea and Sylvaner in our Inglis Easter draft – they’re all very attractive types.

Q8 – Name your personal favourite current Arrowfield yearling.
The Not A Single Doubt-Daralara filly for the Inglis Classic Sale – she’s compact with a very strong hind-quarter, Not A Single Doubt has suited the mare very well.

 Q9 – And your overall favourite other horse on the farm?
My favourite is Hollow Bullet, she’s a very sweet mare, very good-looking too, and when she fostered a foal a couple of seasons ago, she did it very easily. [Hollow Bullet, winner of the 2004 VRC Oaks G1 & 2005 Storm Queen Stakes G1, foaled a Snitzel colt in 2016 and is in foal to Not A Single Doubt.]

Q10 – Finally, where is your favourite place on the farm, and why?
I like running up the hill to the Guesthouse, I can see the whole Stud from there, it’s a great view of a very good farm!

Dundeel's dozen Magic Millions yearlings: Lot 37

Mark Alati’s Marquee Stud, based on 800 acres near Willow Tree on the fertile Liverpool Plains north of Scone, and managed by Garry & Denise Isaac, has already achieved success with the Group-winning sprinter Redzel, sold from the Stud’s first Magic Millions consignment in 2014. The son of Snitzel took only 13 starts to return more than three times the $120,000 that Triple Crown Syndications paid for him. Mark says, “Redzel was always an outstanding yearling and Garry, Denise and I are very happy for the owners.”

Mark is equally happy with Lot 37, the Dundeel filly out of Funzero, a winning daughter of Danzero from the family of Golden Slipper winner Mossfun. He says, “She’s a beautifully balanced athletic youngster that has thrived since entering her sales prep.”

Bred with the celebrated Sadler’s Wells/Danehill combination anchoring her pedigree, the filly matches expectations of the mating. “Dundeel has a fantastic pedigree and he was a wonderful physical match for the mare.”

Marquee Stud’s nine lots for Magic Millions also include Lot 237, a filly by Not A Single Doubt from Miss Opulence (by Benicio), and Lot 770, a colt by Unencumbered out of Denarii (by Dehere), from the prolific “Tennessee” family of Group 1 winners Aloha, Malaguerra & Snitzerland.

Mark says, “The Not A Single Doubt filly is outstanding, the perfect Magic Millions type, strong, forward, correct and just a jump and run filly.

“The Unencumbered colt is not only beautifully related but also a sensational type. He stands over a lot of ground and has all the attributes to make it on the racetrack.”

Redzel’s Group 3 and Listed wins in Melbourne this season are obvious highlights of the year for Marquee Stud, but Mark also notes the overall progress of the business.

“We’ve been embraced by the buyers and trainers alike, and have developed a reputation as a fantastic walk-in farm. The credit definitely goes to Garry and Denise who manage Marquee and treat it like their own.”

Mark now looks forward to what the New Year will bring for owners of Marquee’s recent graduates. “We sold some lovely young horses in 2016 and by all reports there may be a few fantastic talents among them.”

Discovering Arrowfield, Part 2 by Hannah Marks

Hannah Marks is an Irish trainee in her second year on the Godolphin Flying Start programme, where she is completing her four week work placement with the Head Office at Arrowfield Stud. Godolphin Flying Start is an international two year management and leadership training programme that combines a dynamic range of lectures, visits, hands-on experience in Ireland, England, USA, Australia, and Dubai. Hannah describes her experience of discovering Arrowfield.

 

Photo: Hannah with Arrowfield photographer Bronwen Healy 

Following my work rotation on the farm at Arrowfield, I knew I wanted to work in their head office in Sydney to better understand their stallion marketing techniques and the sales promotion process. After the Godolphin Flying Start I hope to be able to have a career involved in nominations, sales and marketing and I feel with Arrowfield being one of the biggest farms in Australia, and having a leading stallion roster, I had the best chance of learning as much as I could. I worked under Flying Start graduate, Vicky Leonard, who introduced me to a number of the different projects that were currently underway. I got to know the whole team in the office including John Freyer, Andy Williams and sat down with John Messara himself.

The work at the office was never dull and the routine was always dynamic. I had regular trips to the farm, seeing horses with clients, stallion shows, and stallion promotional work. The three hour drive into the Hunter Valley doesn’t seem so bad now, but when I think of it in terms of back home, it would be half way across the country.

Photo: Inspections of Arrowfield yearlings with the management team

I also had the great opportunity to spend a few days with Bronwen Healy when she came to photograph the stallions, even though most of it was spent running around paddocks in 30 degree heat after horses to get the right picture. I can now add professional horse positioner and horse distractor to my resume. My only advice, invest in a horse noise app for your phone; it does a lot of the work for you! I learnt to always appreciate those golden hours of dawn and dusk and how to get just the right shot of horses.

Photo: Attempting to position horses for photographing

I had the chance to shadow Andy and John when they went to look at the farm’s racing stock at trainers and at the trials. This is an important part of the business when you are regularly talking with clients. The trials are a great way to to school nervous horses and something that the Australian industry has really capitalised on. Another aspect I liked about Australian racing was the fact the majority of horses race competitively every two weeks. This means that you get to see your favourite horses more and develop a stronger relationship when cheering them to the finish line.

Working as part of the Arrowfield team I got the chance to be involved in some of the marketing projects, from research and project proposal, to sitting in on a number of meetings to see how projects develop. I learnt a lot of new marketing tactics and different marketing strategies for stallions and ad campaigns. One of the main campaigns I helped with was Dundeel’s Magic Millions adverts. It was great to see various processes in action and be part of the projects as they progressed.

  

Photo: Dundeel advertising campaign for Magic Millions

I worked closely with the team developing content and various proposals for management, setting forward drafts with the outline, benefit and challenges that are associated with the projects. Many of the plans weren’t only for the sole benefit of Arrowfield either. I was involved in a few proposals that were steered toward the industry overall and just showed how involved an organisation can be within an industry. Overall I learnt a lot more about the Australian thoroughbred industry, from a current standing to a historical overview. I looked at the influence of Australia in other markets, and the impact the international thoroughbred markets have had on Australia itself.

My time in Australia has gone too fast. I got to see races at the country tracks and the biggest metropolitan meet in the country, to the sales and tours of the many farms in the Hunter Valley and Victoria. It is too hard to be able to pick out a single highlight of the phase but there are many great memories I will take home with me.Working with Arrowfield will be one of these, as my time on the farm and in the office has given me some great experiences.

I have loved Australia. From the enthralled public during Melbourne Cup week and seeing some amazing racing, including the great Winx, to the wonderful stud farms and the people in the industry, I will certainly take back a lot of experiences. I have seen enough kangaroos to last me a lifetime, swam in the Great Barrier Reef, and watched colonies of fruit bats fly home to roost. Because why have crows when you can have bats. However, I am ready to go home, a winter Christmas is waiting!

Dundeel's dozen Magic Millions yearlings: Lot 355

Burnewang North Pastoral is based on an historic and diverse 2400-acre property in northern Victoria that has been owned & managed by Cathy Hains for the past decade. Around 50 quality broodmares anchor the thoroughbred breeding part of the business, operated in tandem with livestock and cropping. The first yearlings carrying the farm’s four-leaf clover brand were sold in 2009 and recent graduates include stakeswinners Ayers Rock & Averau, stakes performers Niccolance, Reigning & Draw Forward and 2YO filly Te Amo, second on debut in Sydney on 14 December.

The Burnewang North team led by Emma and Aaron Todd are very enthusiastic about Lot 355 at the Magic Millions Sale, the Dundeel colt from US stakeswinner Rap Tale (by Tale Of The Cat).

Aaron says, “This colt has a special presence about him that really catches your eye. He moves easily and with purpose and is a precocious, forward type.

“He has a strong, handsome head and an athletic, well-balanced frame. He ticks all the boxes – good size, bone, feet and strength.

“He’s also an honest horse with a good attitude and has been a pleasure to prepare.”

The Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale has already achieved Burnewang North’s top yearling prices, paid in 2016 for the Snitzel-Seaside Home colt (named Mallorca and trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott) and a Sebring-Metonymy filly (Seaglass, with Peter & Paul Snowden).

The Snowdens are also training the farm’s 2015 Magic Millions graduate Niccolance, stakes-placed at two and a two-time winner in Sydney this Spring. His earnings are already double his $125,000 purchase price and he’s gearing up for the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (R) LR on 14 January.

It’s no surprise that Burnewang North’s 2017 yearlings include another Snitzel colt, as Cathy Hains explains. “We’ve been committed friends and clients of Arrowfield since the inception of Burnewang North in 2006 which coincided with Snitzel’s introduction to their roster.

This year’s Snitzel-Seaside Home colt is catalogued for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. “He’s a very attractive, balanced type with a strong dose of his grand-sire Storm Cat in his striking appearance.“

Dundeel's dozen Magic Millions yearlings: Lot 210

Raheen Stud represents the heartland strength of Queensland thoroughbred breeding and has been owned & operated by three generations of the Nolan family for almost 60 years.  Set on 820 hectares of rich alluvial flats in the famous Darling Downs region, 130 kilometres from Brisbane, Raheen has sold at every Magic Millions Gold Coast since the inaugural 1986 auction, and recent graduates include Group winners Snippets Land & Kiss A Rose, and Listed winners Throssell & Too Good To Refuse. Raheen is currently run by Basil & Diane Nolan, their son Basil Jnr and his wife Natalie.

Basil Jnr couldn’t be happier with Lot 210 at Magic Millions, Raheen’s colt by Dundeel from city-winning mare Matilda’s Dance (by Danehill Dancer).

“He’s a really lovely colt who’s developed as we hoped he would. He’s a strong, tough horse and a fluent mover with plenty of quality who eats everything put in front of him.”

The mating had plenty of appeal for the Nolans. “The High Chaparral/Danehill cross is very successful and we like to go to outstanding racehorses who coped with all the pressures of racing.

“Dundeel had an amazing turn of foot and we thought his fee was pretty good value. Matilda’s Dance is a young mare with a good page and we got what we hoped for.”

Basil highlights a couple of other yearlings from Raheen’s 13-strong consignment, Lots 19 and 764. He says, “The Sebring-Fleet Riane filly is full of quality, and we have an outstanding Sizzling colt, the first foal of Dayita, who was a good winner in Melbourne.”

2016 began well in the ring for Raheen with yearlings sold up to $300,000, and on-track winter excitement was supplied by graduates I’m Belucci (3rd, Queensland Derby G1) and 2YO Singapore stakeswinner Mystic Master. The Nolans’ year finished strongly when Too Good To Refuse, passed in at the Magic Millions Sale two years ago, won November’s BRC Keith Noud H. LR, and Le Capitaine, sold as a 2YO, won his second Hong Kong start in December.

Dundeel's dozen Magic Millions yearlings: Lot 125

Mike & Kate Fleming brought an outstanding record of success from Broadwater Thoroughbreds to their new base at the famous Bhima property near Scone, which they purchased from the White family in mid-2015. More than 200 Broadwater graduates, including Group 1 winners First Seal & I Am A Star and champion Singapore 2YO Super One, have already earned close to $30 million, and Bhima was once home to champion sire Biscay. But Mike is most excited by what the farm’s current 20 Magic Millions yearlings, among them the Dundeel-Johan’s Toy colt, can add to that history.

The Dundeel-Johan’s Toy colt, a $110,000 Magic Millions weanling buy, has plenty of pluses on the pedigree page. He’s a half-brother to Bob & Jan Bergstrom’s multiple Group winner Toydini out of the dual Listed winner & Group 1-placed mare Johan’s Toy (by Johann Cruyff), herself a half-sister to Group winners Extra Zero and Operetta Lass.

However, Mike Fleming says he paid more attention to the individual standing in front of him. “The thing that attracted me most was the way he moved and carried himself, he was a lovely, well-balanced, good moving horse.

“I’m very happy with the way he’s developed, he’s furnished into a nice yearling, not a precocious two-year-old type, but he looks like he’ll make a lovely three-year-old.”

Star 3YOs are as much a part of the Magic Millions Gold Coast story as brilliant juveniles, a point proven by the likes of Global Glamour (ATC Flight S. G1), Lasqueti Spirit & Dear Demi (VRC Oaks G1), Shooting To Win (MRC Caulfield Guineas G1), Single Gaze (ATC Storm Queen S. G1), Dissident (ATC Randwick Guineas G1) & Zoustar (ATC Golden Rose S. G1 & VRC Coolmore Stud S. G1).

It’s a space in the market that Mike believes Dundeel is well-qualified to fill. “I think he’s a stallion that will fit well into the Australian market by supplying some of those Classic three-year-old horses that are generally sourced out of New Zealand.”

Mike says that picking out any other yearlings from Bhima’s Magic Millions draft of 11 fillies and nine colts is “almost impossible”, but he can expect to be busy parading, for example, First Seal’s half-brother by Exceed and Excel, the Snitzel-Miss Iguacu filly from the Shantha’s Choice family, the More Than Ready colt out of Group 1 winner Quintessential and a pair of Redoute’s Choice fillies.

Asked for this year’s highlights from previous drafts, Mike says “Being the vendor of Myer Classic winner I Am A Star for a very good client of ours, Wentwood Grange in New Zealand. And given we’re a small farm, we’re proud to see three graduate colts head to stud this year:  Super One to Newgate Farm, Ready For Victory to Sun Stud and, of course, Scissor Kick to Arrowfield.“

Dundeel's dozen Magic Millions yearlings: Lot 709

Success as an owner doesn’t always translate to success as a breeder and vendor, but David Kobritz, who raced Danzero and Subzero, has done it at Musk Creek Farm. The boutique operation on Victoria’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula has quickly notched up more than 20 black type graduates, including champion Pierro and Listed winners Dead Or Alive and Pinch River from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Their 13-lot 2017 consignment includes Dundeel’s top-priced weanling, Lot 709, the $240,000 colt out of Cerberus Gal, a city-winning, Group-placed daughter of General Nediym. Farm Manager Darren Mackereth explains why they bought him: 

“First of all, the pedigree must match our criteria enough to make our shortlist, but I liked the cross over a speed dam-line, and as my boss David won a Golden Slipper with Danzero,  it didn’t hurt to look down the page and see his name!

“For me personally, I want any weanling or horse to come out of the stable and have an “X factor” or a presence, I like to see them relaxed and comfortable with standing still.  Temperament is key, then once they do move they need to have drive and overstep, a looseness when they move and be soft over the ground. If they have that as a weanling, they rarely lose it and this colt has all these things in spades.”   

The six months leading into the sale preparation is a crucial stage of development and Darren monitors all the Musk Creek yearlings very closely during that period.

He says, “The Cerberus Gal colt has developed well – our winters can be long and a bit tough, and combined with the farm’s undulating country, it’s testing, but it makes horses out of them and keeps their growth and weight in check.

“He’s thrived during sales prep so far and is really growing and developing now, though he’s a while away from peaking yet with mid-January in mind, and is still changing his coat and losing hair. He enjoys his work, handles it well so far and always eats up, something I like to see in a young horse.”

Darren admits that Dundeel wasn’t initially on his radar as a pinhook sire. “But in saying that, we seek out good types, that are athletic and a racehorse, and he was all three, and then some. We saw quite a few by Dundeel at the sales this year, but the Cerberus Gal colt was the standout for us and the one we wanted to take home, so we went about securing him.” 

The rest of the Musk Creek Magic Millions yearlings are also coming along nicely, among them a colt (Lot 684) and a filly (Lot 40) by barnmates of Dundeel.

Darren reports, “We’re all very impressed with a home-bred Snitzel colt out of a nice young mare Brandish. He was a cracking foal and is developing into a powerful jump-and-run type with plenty of quality about him.

“The other is a precocious Not A Single Doubt filly, also a home-bred, who is a half-sister to the Tony McEvoy-trained colt Nistaan, a fast-finishing second in the Magic Millions Clockwise two-year-old race at Ballarat. He’s now heading to Sydney for a run and then maybe up to the Gold Coast if all goes well. The filly is a relaxed customer, nothing fazes her, and like most by Not A Single Doubt, she does well on very little feed!”

The sale-ring provided a major highlight for Musk Creek this year when the Stratum half-sister to Sunday evening’s valiant Hong Kong Sprint G1 runner-up Lucky Bubbles, out of resident mare Bubble Below, was knocked down for $400,000 to Debbie Kepitis’ Woppitt Bloodstock & Guy Mulcaster at the Inglis Easter Sale.

Darren explains, “She was my favourite filly and it was only our second year selling a draft at Easter. She’ll get every chance with Chris Waller and his team.”

Other successful Musk Creek graduates include Group 2 winner Nicoscene, Moonee Valley speedster Beach Front and Group 1 winner Rock Kingdom who is now enjoying a new life in Darren’s care. “He’s here at Musk Creek but not retired, as he’s now my show-jumper and he loves it.”

 View the Musk Creek draft for Magic Millions.

Maurice to join Arrowfield's roster in 2017

Arrowfield Stud is delighted to confirm that Sunday evening’s brilliant LONGINES Hong Kong Cup 2000m G1 winner Maurice will shuttle to Arrowfield from the 2017 southern hemisphere breeding season.

The five-year-old sealed his magnificent career with a dominant, three-length victory in 2:00.95, defeating Secret Weapon and Japanese-breds Staphanos & Lovely Day.

Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara said after the race, “Everything that Maurice will bring to Australian breeding was on display tonight, an arresting physique and formidable speed, a great competitive spirit and so much class.

“We congratulate Kazumi and Katsumi Yoshida on another major international victory for Japan and look forward to adding new successes to our long-standing relationship with the Yoshida family.”

Hong Kong racecaller Brett Davis described Maurice after the race, “An absolute champion, Maurice has taken Sha Tin by storm, three starts, three wins, he’s too big, too strong, too good, what an outstanding horse.”  Maurice’s six Group 1 wins also include the 2015 Hong Kong Mile G1 and the Hong Kong Champions Mile G1 earlier this year.

Winning rider Ryan Moore, recently crowned LONGINES World’s Best Jockey for the second time, said, “There was a good pace to the race, and going down the backstretch I thought things were going well, it was just a question of finding a way through.

“When I asked him, he picked up, and really he got to the front almost too soon. He was a special horse at a mile, and at ten furlongs he’s even better. He has improved every time I have ridden him.

“Fortunately there was good pace in the race and halfway down the back I thought it was sitting up nicely for him and it was just a matter of finding the room. As soon as he got room and I put him into gear he just let down exceptionally well.”

Maurice (Screen Hero-Mejiro Frances by Carnegie) will stand at Arrowfield alongside champion sire Redoute’s Choice, his sons Snitzel & Not A Single Doubt, and another Shadai stallion, dual Group 1 winner Real Impact, bred and raced by Katsumi Yoshida.

Maurice retires after 18 starts with a record of 11 wins, six at Group 1 level  over 1600 and 2000 metres, and more than $12 million prizemoney. He currently sits inside the top 10 on the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings with a figure of 124.

Maurice was named Japan’s 2015 Horse of the Year, Champion Sprinter & Champion Miler and is surely in line for further honours after three Group 1 successes in 2016, two at Sha Tin and last month’s Tokyo Tenno Sho.

Japanese-owned horses have now won 12 Hong Kong International Races, with their versatility more evident as home-breds have begun to dominate their representation. The winners of the last two Cups (Maurice & A Shin Hikari), this year’s Vase (Satono Crown), last year’s Mile (Maurice) and the 2012 & 2013 Sprints (Lord Kanaloa) were all bred in Japan.