First American winner for Animal Kingdom

The name of Animal Kingdom’s first US starter and winner, 2YO filly Sunny Skies, may well turn out to be an accurate forecast of the young sire’s prospects as he begins to build momentum with his first crop runners in both hemispheres. 

Smart showings at a series of local breezes ensured strong betting support for Sunny Skies when she lined up over 4.5 furlongs (900 metres) at Keeneland on Thursday and she duly delivered, taking an early lead and opening up in the home straight to score an unpressured nine-length victory.

Watch Sunny Skies win on debut at Keeneland. (Race replay courtesy of TDN)

A daughter of the unraced mare Skyscape (by Marquetry), Sunny Skies is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Sky Cape and is trained by Kenny McPeek for owner-breeder Nancy Polk’s Normandy Farm. 

It’s been a good week for Animal Kingdom who posted his third Australian winner, after Earth Angel & Platinum, when the Paul Messara-trained Arrowfield 2YO gelding Lord Cecil (ex Lady Zabelia by Zabeel) won his debut at Muswellbrook on 21 April.

He also added a couple of new placegetters when Table Mountain (ex Aliyana Tilde by Snitzel) and Barbary (ex Amatista by Scenic) filled the placings in a juvenile handicap at Wyong on 27 April.

Real Impact's three-quarter brother stars in Hong Kong

Real Impact’s three-quarter brother Neorealism claimed another major international trophy for Japan with a stunning victory in Sunday evening’s ~$3.4 million HKJC Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2000m G1 at Sha Tin.

The race didn’t begin promisingly for Neorealism who had been expected to lead, but he adapted quickly to his champion jockey Joao Moreira’s alterantive strategy.

Moreira said, “The pace slowed so much on the back straight so I had to pop out and get going. He got going but he wasn’t at his top speed, so I was always confident that once we turned for home he was going to finish off strongly, which he did.”

Moreira’s initiative sent Neorealism to the lead after 1100 metres and the 6YO entire unleashed a 44.8 final 800 metres to hold out Pakistan Star and last season’s QEII Cup winner & Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther.

Watch Neorealism win the HKJC Queen Elizabeth II Cup G1.

The QEII Cup is Neorealism’s first Group 1 victory, but he has won twice at Group 2 level in Japan and was third in last year’s Kyoto Mile Championship G1, won by Mikki Isle who joins Real Impact and Maurice to make a trio of Japanese stars on Arrowfield’s 2017 stallion roster.

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Racing, Neorealism (by Neo Universe) and dual Group 1 winner Real Impact (by Deep Impact) are both by sons of Sunday Silence out of Tokio Reality, whose record also includes multiple stakeswinner I’ll Love Again (by El Condor Pasa).

Neorealism, the second Japanese-bred winner of the QEII Cup after Rulership in 2012, has now earned almost $5 million for owner U. Carrot Farm and trainer Noriyuki Hori.

Real Impact, winner of the ATC George Ryder S. G1 and Tokyo Yasuda Kinen G1, covered 134 mares at Arrowfield in 2016 and is again available to Australasian breeders this year at a fee of $19,250 inc. GST.

Redzel wins Hall Mark Stakes

Chris & Michael Ward of Triple Crown Syndications were among the early fans of Snitzel’s progeny and their Arrowfield purchases Hot Snitzel (in 2010) and Flying Snitzel (in 2011) for a total of $85,000 proved very shrewd indeed.

Around $2 million prizemoney and sale proceeds, a Group 1 victory and multiple Group 2 successes later, the brothers could be well-satisified with their work, but their connection with Snitzel wasn’t finished, despite the increasing demand for yearlings by the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice.

Among their 2014 purchases were Group winners Charlie Boy, Dothraki, Gold Symphony and the $120,000 Snitzel-Millrich colt from Marquee Stud at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Named Redzel, the now 4YO gelding has put his large group of Triple Crown owners in the stakeswinner’s circle four times in little more than 12 months, most recently after last Saturday’s $150,000 ATC Hall Mark S. 1200m G3 – also won by Hot Snitzel in 2014.

Redzel was narrowly beaten by top-class sprinters English in the Challenge S. G2, and Russian Revolution (also by Snitzel) in The Galaxy G1 at his previous two starts, and bounced out of the gates this time to lead in his trademark take-no-prisoners style. Counterattack and Hellbent stayed in close attendance throughout, but Redzel had the edge coming round the turn and quickly put paid to their challenges with a final burst of speed which took him clear.  Counterattack boxed on gamely for second, with Hellbent holding third.

Watch Redzel win the ATC Hall Mark S. G3.

Redzel has paid a dividend in eleven of his 16 starts and returned more than six times his purchase price, making him the kind of utterly genuine, admirable and classy performer every owner would love to race.

Co-trainer Peter Snowden said, “He’s really toughened up now for recent racing, just taking him quietly and giving him plenty of time between runs really suits him. He did a good job today in very testing conditions.

“He’s about 60-70kg heavier than he used to be as a three-year-old, he’s really developed now. Because he races so hard he’s so taxing on himself, I give him plenty of time to get over it and it works really well.”

A Brisbane campaign and possibly an even bigger target now beckon for Redzel as Triple Crown’s Chris Ward notes.

“He deserved to be favourite for the Hall Mark, especially after his two runs this time in. The only query was the extra distance, but he handled it well.

“Redzel has shown he can compete with the best sprinters around and has plenty of options going forward,” Ward adds. “There is a possibility he could head to Brisbane for a race like the Doomben 10,000 and we might even consider The Everest in October.”

Redzel is one of Snitzel’s 24 worldwide stakeswinners so far in 2016/17 and it would be no surprise to see him join 2YOs Invader & Summer Passage, and 3YOs Heavenly Blue and Russian Revolution to make a quintet of Group 1 winners for the season.

Smart Missile 2YO impresses with Group win

Leading Perth trainer Fred Kersley has no hesitation in planning a big Spring 3YO campaign for Smart Missile’s 2YO son Debellatio, after the  colt’s super-impressive WA Sires’ Produce S. G3 victory at Ascot in Perth on Good Friday.

Watch Debellatio win the WA Sires’ Produce S. G3
.

Kersley says, “He’s an enormous raw talent, the most precocious colt that I’ve ever trained, with a great attitude to racing, very athletic and a pleasure to train. He’s put on weight through this campaign which is a good sign for a two-year-old, and shows he’s a tough horse.”

Plans are for Debellatio, which is Latin for a military victory achieved by the complete destruction of a hostile state, to take on Australia’s best 3YOs early next season.

“He will likely have a six week spell now, then should he measure up, we will head East to target the Group 1 colt races in the Spring. He has an excellent economy of stride and although he is sharp, I think stepping up over ground he’ll only get better.”

It’s an assessment borne out by Debellatio’s domination of the $200,000 Sires’ Produce over 1400 metres. Landing widest of the 11 runners when the field settled at a pedestrian pace, the colt was sent forward by jockey Daniel Staeck at the 800-metre mark, rolled along easily in the lead and accelerated strongly in the straight to score by 2.5 lengths from the Karrakatta Plate G2 winner Lucy Mae, with Money Maher third.

The win is Debellatio’s second from his five starts and takes his season earnings to $189,000 – a healthy return on the $30,000 paid for him by Chevaux Bloodstock at the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale, where he was offered by Yarraman Park Stud on behalf of his breeder Harry Mitchell.

Debellatio is the seventh foal and second stakeswinner out of Flying Spur’s talented daughter Velasco, winner at two of the Matamata Breeders’ S. G2 and third in the Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. G1 for her breeders Julian Sullivan & Julie Andrews who are among Debellatio’s owners.

Velasco’s daughters, Listed winner Devoirs (by Dehere) and Reve de Victoire (by Anabaa) have also visited Smart Missile, with 3YO filly Strike For Victory (ex Reve de Victoire) successful this term for Joe O’Neill’s Prime Thoroughbreds.

Debellatio is the second stakeswinner, after New Zealand-based filly Sassy ‘N’ Smart, for 2015/16 Champion First Season Sire Smart Missile, himself a supernaturally gifted 2YO and conqueror of Sepoy & Foxwedge in the 2011 ATC Todman S. G2.

His 56 winners include eight stakes performers, among them 3YO filly Smart Amelia, who posted her third Group placing in Saturday’s ATC James H.B. Carr S. G3. Interestingly, like Debellatio and Smart Missile’s multiple city winner Ahndras, she is in-bred 3 x 3 to Danehill, being out of the Redoute’s Choice mare My Amelia.

Smart Missile has been exceptionally well-supported by breeders and buyers during the first stage of his stud career and his 41 yearlings sold at the 2017 Magic Millions and Inglis Easter Sales averaged more than five times his $20,000 fee.

Smart Missile is currently third on the Australian Second Season Sires’ premiership with close to $2 million prizemoney, and leads the table by winners, with a total of 42.

Not A Single Doubt's million-dollar week

It was seven figures all the way for Not A Single Doubt last week as he posted new record or record-equalling prices in three sale categories at the Inglis Chairman’s and Easter Sales.

The run of million-dollar prices began on Thursday 30 March at the opening session of the inaugural Chairman’s Sale for Racing Prospects, when Queensland agent Chris McAnulty paid $1.4 million for star juvenile Gunnison.

The gelded son of Colorado Claire (by Hussonet) had already set a yearling record price for Not A Single Doubt when purchased for $850,000 by James Harron from Arrowfield’s 2016 Inglis Easter draft. The $550,000 difference is easily explained: Gunnison won on debut in February and then scored a gritty victory in last month’s ATC Todman S. G2, beating fellow Arrowfield graduate Invader.

Invader put a perfectly timed stamp on that form, when he led home the Snitzel-sired trifecta in the ATC Inglis Sires’ Produce S. G1 two days after Gunnison’s sale.

Then, on Wednesday 5 April, the second day of Inglis Easter, Arrowfield sent one of the Sale’s three Not A Single Doubt yearlings, the strapping colt out of US-bred mare Quiet Maggy, to the ring. A few minutes later, Domeland had secured him for a new record yearling price of $1.25 million.

Not A Single Doubt topped the Sale’s sires’ list with 3 lots sold for an average of $750,000, joining Redoute’s Choice (sire of the top-priced $2.5 million colt ex Secluded) & Snitzel (leading sire by aggregate sales of $21,065,000 for 39 lots) to dominate the key metrics of the final Inglis Easter auction at Newmarket Stables. 

Two days later, Arrowfield was working outside the ring to secure Not A Single Doubt’s splendid Group 2-winning daughter Don’t Doubt Mamma on behalf of Northern Farm’s Katsumi Yoshida who will send her to Japanese champion Maurice at Arrowfield this Spring. The price was $1.1 million, equalling the figure paid for Villa Verde, another classy daughter of Not A Single Doubt, at the 2015 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

It’s a long way from 2008 when Not A Single Doubt’s first 91 yearlings averaged little more than $50,000, still a respectable return off the $12,500 fee he attracted for the first six – yes, six – seasons of his stud career. It’s been one of Australian breeding’s most dramatic pathways to commercial stallion success, and Not A Single Doubt has done it because of what ultimately matters most: racetrack performance.

Redoute's Choice filly wins French Classic trial

One of the most valuable mares to visit Redoute’s Choice at HH The Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in 2013 was the Wertheimers’ marvellous matron 22-year-old Born Gold (by Blushing Groom).

Born Gold achieved international fame as the dam of the 2010 European Horse of the Year Goldikova (by Anabaa) whose 17 wins included fourteen at Group 1 level.

But Goldikova is only the brightest of Born Gold’s stars. As at 2013 her dozen winning progeny also included Group 1-winning filly Galikova (by Galileo) and Group 3 winners Gold Round (also a very successful broodmare), Gold Sound and Goldikova’s full brother Anodin – a stunning record for any mare.

On Sunday the result of Born Gold’s mating with Redoute’s Choice, 3YO filly Gold Luck joined that wonderful list when she prevailed in a highly competitive battle for the  Prix Vanteaux 1800m G3 at Chantilly. The Freddy Head-trained filly worked hard for her short head victory, but found enough under pressure to defeat last-start winner Monroe Bay and Hebah.

Watch Gold Luck win the Chantilly Prix Vanteaux G3.

The form-line is strong: Gold Luck split the Al Shaqab colt Al Wukair and Hebah in last October’s Deauville Prix Isonomy LR, and Al Wukair, who is 2000 Guineas-bound, extended his unbeaten record on Sunday in the Mainsons -Laffitte Prix Djebel G3.

Gold Luck’s win was more than usually special, as the Wertheimer brothers’ racing manager Pierre-Yves Bureau explained.

“As breeders it is an immense joy for us because Born Gold was 22 years old when covered by Redoute’s Choice. It was a difficult gestation so to have the mare still with us, and enjoying a happy retirement on the farm, is already a win. And now for this filly to have already won at Group level, it is a dream.

“She fought hard there today to come out on top of what looked a decent group of fillies. The Prix Saint-Alary is a logical next step and in theory the extra distance should be no problem to her.”

Gold Luck is the first Group or Listed winner among 14 winners from the first European crop of Redoute’s Choice. Another exciting 3YO prospect is Gold Luck’s stablemate and close relation, the Roth family’s filly Golden Attitude (ex Gold Round by Caerleon) who won at Chantilly in February and was third over 2100 metres at Saint-Cloud on 2 April.

Gold Luck’s milestone win concluded an outstanding week for the great son of Danehill who dominated the Inglis Easter sale-ring along with his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt.

The father-and-sons dynasty claimed all of the Sale’s major stallion honours: Top Price ($2.5 million Redoute’s Choice-Secluded colt), Highest Aggregate (Snitzel, 38 lots sold for a total $20,425,000) and Highest Average (Not A Single Doubt, 3 lots sold for an average price of $750,000).

The trio sired eight of the Sale’s 17 $1 million-plus yearlings, including four of the top five lots, an achievement both explained and supported by their collective 47 winners of 57 Group & Listed Races in five countries since 1 August 2016.

Arrowfield announces 2017 service fees

Arrowfield has announced the service fees for the 13 stallions on its 2017 roster, headed by Australia’s leading active sire Snitzel whose fee has been set at $176,000 inc. GST.

Three-time Champion Sire Redoute’s Choice will stand at $137,500 inc. GST, and Not A Single Doubt is offered at $88,000 inc. GST.

This extraordinary father-and-sons dynasty is collectively responsible for 47 worldwide stakeswinners and ten million-dollar yearlings in 2016/17 and dominated the metrics of last week’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. Redoute’s Choice provided the Sale’s top-priced lot, the $2.5 million colt ex Secluded, Not A Single Doubt headed one category of the sires’ list with three lots sold for an average of $750,000 and Snitzel led the second category, by aggregate, with 39 yearlings sold for $21,065,000.

Three new stallions join the Arrowfield line-up in 2017: Japan’s Horse of the Year Maurice ($33,000 inc. GST) and Champion Sprinter-Miler Mikki Isle ($13,750 inc. GST), and European 2YO sprinting star Shalaa ($33,000 inc. GST).

Dubai World Cup champion Animal Kingdom and six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel, whose first yearlings averaged $272,500 at Magic Millions, are both available this year at $27,500 (inc. GST).

The 2015/16 Champion First Season Sire Smart Missile’s fee is unchanged at $22,000 inc. GST, and dual Group 1 winner Real Impact (like Mikki Isle a son of champion Japanese sire Deep Impact) stands at $19,250 inc. GST.

Olympic Glory, the four-time Group One-winning European sprinter-miler, and Scissor Kick, the very fast Group-winning son of Redoute’s Choice, both stand at $16,500 inc. GST.
Group-winning colt Panzer Division, bred on the electric Redoute’s Choice-Hussonet cross, is offered at $9,900 inc. GST.

The full 2017 Arrowfield Stallion Roster is:

SNITZEL*
Redoute’s Choice-Snippets’ Lass

$176,000

REDOUTE’S CHOICE*
Danehill- Shantha’s Choice

$137,500

NOT A SINGLE DOUBT*
Redoute’s Choice-Singles Bar

$88,000

MAURICE (JPN) New
Screen Hero-Mejiro Frances

$33,000

SHALAA (IRE) – New
Invincible Spirit-Ghurra

$33,000

ANIMAL KINGDOM (USA)
Leroidesanimaux-Dalicia

$27,500

DUNDEEL (NZ)
High Chaparral-Stareel

$27,500

SMART MISSILE
Fastnet Rock-Comical Smile

$22,000

REAL IMPACT (JPN)
Deep Impact-Tokio Reality

$19,250

OLYMPIC GLORY (IRE)
Choisir-Acidanthera

$16,500

SCISSOR KICK
Redoute’s Choice-Back Pass

$16,500

MIKKI ISLE (JPN)New
Deep Impact-Star Isle

$13,750

PANZER DIVISION
Redoute’s Choice-Desert Fight

$9,900

All Fees inc. GST.
* = Live Foal Terms

Not A Single Doubt's fifth stakes double

After a very big week in the sale-ring, Not A Single Doubt returned to making racing news on Saturday with a stakes double, courtesy of his daughters Secret Agenda in Sydney and Kenedna in Adelaide.

Such performances explain Not A Single Doubt’s position at the top of the Inglis Easter sire averages and his stunning run of million-dollar sales over the past 12 days: his $1.25 million yearling colt out of Quiet Maggy, the $1.4 million paid for 2YO gelding Gunnison and Northern Farm’s $1.1 million purchase of Don’t Doubt Mamma.

Like Gunnison and the Quiet Maggy colt, Kenedna and Secret Agenda are Arrowfield graduates, sold respectively for $80,000 at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and $120,000 at the the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Secret Agenda (ex Negotiate by Red Ransom) claimed her fifth and most valuable win on the final day of The Championships at Randwick when she landed the $300,000 ATC Sapphire S. 1200m G2 for trainer Mick Price and a group of owners managed by Blueblood Thoroughbreds.

Watch Secret Agenda win the ATC Sapphire S. G2.

It was a career-best performance by the 4YO mare, already a dual Group 3 winner in Melbourne and second in last year’s Sapphire Stakes.

Her jockey Damien Oliver said, “She’s a sweetheart, she’s a real tank. She loves the soft, I think she might want to move up here. 

“They’ve [Victorians] done well, it’s nice to share it around, the prizemoney is so good up here, it’s nice to be a part of it.”

3YO filly Kenedna (ex Miss Dodwell by Falbrav) left her run late, but showed plenty of tenacity in the straight to drive into the available space and collar With a Bit of Dash to win the $110,000 SAJC Laelia S. 1600m LR  by three-quarters of a length.

Watch Kenedna win the SAJC Laelia S. LR.

It was Kenedna’s fourth career win from the Darren Weir stable and her second stakes victory this campaign, following her VRC Vanity S. G3 success in February. The Auraria S. G3 on 22 April and Australasian Oaks G1 on 6 May are likely targets for her, as she appears to have inherited more of Falbrav’s stamina than her classy three-quarter brother Spill The Beans, a three-time Group winner at sprint distances.

Secret Agenda and Kenedna completed Not A Single Doubt’s fifth lifetime same-day stakes double, and his third this season, following Extreme Choice & Don’t Doubt Mamma at Moonee Valley on 30 September, and Single Bullet & Final Salute at Rosehill and Ascot on 11 March.

These six performers are among Not A Single Doubt’s ten stakeswinners this season, with Group 1 winners Extreme Choice & Scales Of Justice the major contributors to his Australian earnings total of $8.1 million – sufficient to keep him comfortably in the country’s top five sires.

Arrowfield launches Maurice in Japanese style

Arrowfield launched international champion Maurice on the Stud’s 2017 roster with a Japanese-themed cocktail evening at the Stud’s Inglis Easter marquee on Wednesday evening.

Maurice’s owner Mrs Kazumi Yoshida and her husband, celebrated owner and breeder Katsumi Yoshida, were special guests at the event to mark the addition of Japan’s 2015 Horse of the Year to the Arrowfield line-up.

Maurice is one of three Japanese stars shuttling to the Hunter Valley farm this coming season. Japanese and Australian Group 1 winner Real Impact (by multiple champion sire Deep Impact) returns to Arrowfield for his second Southern Hemisphere season, after serving 134 mares here in 2016.

Like Maurice, Champion Sprinter-Miler Mikki Isle (also by Deep Impact) will make the trip to Australia for the first time this year.

Arrowfield Chairman John Messara welcomed guests and introduced Maurice and the two sons of Deep Impact with video clips and a presentation describing the extrardinary rise of Japanese breeding and racing over the past four decades.

Katsumi Yoshida is sending Maurice the cream of his wonderful broodmare band, including two-time Horse of the Year & 7-time Group 1 winner Gentildonna; Horse of the Year Buena Vista; Champion Filly Harp Star; Champion Filly Sinhalite; and dual Group 1 winner Verxina. Arrowfield has committed close to 40 of its best stakes-winning and stakes-producing mares for Maurice’s Australian book.

Maurice will stand his first season at Arrowfield at a fee of $33,000 inc. GST.

John Messara also announced the news that Arrowfield has secured a 50% interest in the Group-winning 2YO colt Pariah (Redoute’s Choice-Secluded by Hussonet), along with the standing rights for his future stud career. Pariah will now race for a partnership of Arrowfield with James Harron Bloodstock Colts and all his current owners, and will continue to be trained by Peter & Paul Snowden.

Pariah was purchased by James Harron Bloodstock for $700,000 from Arrowfield Stud’s 2016 Inglis Easter draft. Arrowfield has already had great success with home-bred and graduate colts, among them Champion Sire Flying Spur and leading sires Beneteau and Not A Single Doubt.

Arrowfield is the leading vendor by aggregate after Day 2 of the Inglis Easter Sale and ended the day on a high note, when the Snitzel filly from dual Group 1 winner Response (by Charge Forward) was knocked down to Emirates Park for $1.7 million. The filly was bred by Katsumi Yoshida and the mare is part of his long-standing joint venture with Arrowfield.

With the final selling session to be conducted on Thursday, the sale’s average is $354,044, median $270,00 and gross $79,660,000 with a healthy clearance rate of 81 per cent.

Arrowfield buys interest in star 2YO colt

Arrowfield Stud has acquired a 50% interest in Australia’s top-rated 2YO colt Pariah (Redoute’s Choice-Secluded by Hussonet) along with the standing rights for his future stud career. He will now race for a partnership of Arrowfield with James Harron Bloodstock Colts and all his current owners, and will continue to be trained by Peter & Paul Snowden. 

An outstanding physical type, Pariah was purchased by James Harron Bloodstock for $700,000 from Arrowfield Stud’s 2016 Inglis Easter draft.

His class was evident at first asking in January when he won the ATC Canonbury S. G3 on debut in a race record time, followed two weeks later by an unlucky second in the MRC Blue Diamond Prelude G3.

Those performances earned Pariah favouritism for the MRC Blue Diamond S. G1 and he put up a tremendous performance to justify it. Despite a wide draw, he quickened at the top of the straight to put daylight on his rivals, and was caught only in the shadow of the post.

Pariah is Timeform’s second top-rated Australian 2YO colt with a figure of 118, ahead of Summer Passage (117), Chauffeur and Trapeze Artist (both rated 115).

James Harron says, “I’m delighted to finalise arrangements for Pariah to join the Redoute’s Choice stallion dynasty at Arrowfield. He’s the complete package of physique, precocity, pedigree and performance, and I’m certain that what he has shown us as a two-year-old is only the beginning.”

Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara says, “We are very pleased to secure Pariah as a high-class son of the sire of sires Redoute’s Choice, and look forward to launching him on our roster alongside Australia’s leading sire Snitzel and last season’s leading active sire Not A Single Doubt, when his racing career is concluded.

“Arrowfield has achieved notable success with stallions we’ve bred and either sold and bought back, or raced before their stud careers. Golden Slipper winner and champion sire Flying Spur and brilliant Redoute’s Choice sons Beneteau and Not A Single Doubt are all in that category.

“Like those horses, Pariah is among Australia’s very best two-year-olds of his generation. He’s also a sensational type, a three-quarter brother to Group 1 winner Melito and is bred on the Redoute’s Choice/Hussonet cross which has left five Group winners from only ten foals.”