Shoals supreme in Group 1 Surround Stakes
The Arrowfield brand has been carried by some outstanding fillies over the past three decades, most sold as yearlings to achieve Group 1 success for many happy owners outside the company.
One of them, last season’s Group 1 winner Secret Agenda resumed with an ebullient victory at Flemington yesterday for the Bluebloods Thoroughbreds syndicate that purchased her for $120,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale.
Other recent Group 1-winning female Arrowfield graduates are Sheikh Hamdan’s Champion Filly Majmu, Oaks winner Abbey Marie, and Group 1-winning sprinters Snitzerland & Sweet Idea.
Occasionally, the Stud is either left with an unsold filly, like 2010 Coolmore Classic G1 winner Alverta, or chooses to keep a particularly well-bred filly, such as Champion 2YO & 3YO Filly Miss Finland and her 1000 Guineas-winning daughter Stay With Me. All three are now valuable members of the Arrowfield broodmare band – so valuable that they respectively have a yearling filly, a weanling colt and a positive test to Japan’s supersire Deep Impact.
The briefest glance at the pedigree of 3YO filly Shoals, brilliant winner of Saturday’s $500,000 ATC Surround S. 1400m G1, explains why Arrowfield and co-breeder Jonathan Munz elected to retain her.
By two-time Champion Sire Fastnet Rock from a Hussonet half-sister to three-time Champion Sire Redoute’s Choice, Shoals had sufficient value in utero for her mother The Broken Shore to command a $1.9 million final bid at the 2014 Magic Millions Teeley Dispersal.
Sent to the Melbourne-based Freedman stable now headed by Anthony & his son Sam, Shoals showed early ability, winning her 2YO February debut and stepping up immediately to Group 3 success, then victory in last April’s ATC Percy Sykes S. G2.
She opened her 3YO campaign by winning the MVRC Atlantic Jewel S. G1 in September, then filled the runner-up spots in the Tranquil Star S. G2 and the 1000 Guineas G1 before scoring a heroic, all-the-way victory in the VRC Myer Classic G1 on Derby Day.
The only below-par performance in her nine-start, $1.3 million career came at her Autumn campaign debut last month, when she was unplaced at Caulfield. A complete review of the filly’s physical status turned up nothing and Sam Freedman offered the most likely explanation for that uncharacteristically poor run.
“She had a month off and blew right out, did very well in the paddock and was probably a little flat first-up, it’s all we can put that down to.”
Shoals’ emphatic performance at Randwick backs the stable’s conclusion. She bounced out well from gate 4 and settled comfortably behind the early leader Shumookh, so was in the perfect position for Josh Parr to peel her out and challenge at the top of the straight. Shumookh fought on while the favourite Alizee struggled to make ground from the rear and Torvill (by Not A Single Doubt) & Rimraam began to steam home down the outside.
Shoals had the race under control at the 200-metre mark, but kept fighting to defeat Torvill by a half-length, with Rimraam third and Shumookh fourth.
Watch Shoals win the ATC Surround S. G1.
Major Autumn targets in Sydney now beckon, including the T.J. Smith Stakes, the Doncaster Mile and the Queen of the Turf Stakes – and Shoals is nominated for all of them. A future Royal Ascot and July Cup campaign is also on the table.
In the meantime, Arrowfield is preparing Shoals’ full brother for next month’s Inglis Easter Sale, raises her half-brother by Medaglia D’Oro and eight-year-old The Broken Shore, who hasn’t missed a beat in her breeding career, nurtures the Fastnet Rock foal she is due to deliver next Spring.