Dundeel filly impresses on Ballarat’s big day

Ballarat’s standalone Cup Day marks the official end of the Victorian Spring Carnival and aptly enough, Dundeel’s daughter The Closer was one of the most eye-catching winners on the card…

Ballarat’s standalone Cup Day marks the official end of the Victorian Spring Carnival and aptly enough, The Closer was one of the most eye-catching winners on the card.

The daughter of Dundeel won her debut at Geelong as a late 2YO before an unplaced attempt over an unsuitable 1100 metres in Group company on Oaks Day. 

The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable rated her an each way chance at Ballarat in a strong field for the $150,000 VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade, but she raced away for a 2.75 length victory, with Winning Partner & Bricktop (by Snitzel) filling the placings. 

Watch The Closer win at Ballarat.

The Closer is out of Miss Evasive (by Elusive Quality), herself a city-winning daughter of dual Classic winner Magical Miss. The filly was a $70,000 purchase for Ciaron Maher and Wes & Sally Ballantine from the draft of her breeder Gilgai Farm at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. 

Miss Evasive has since delivered two colts by Dundeel’s barn-mate Olympic Glory, the first of which was bought by trainer Paul Perry from this year’s Inglis Premier Sale for $140,000 – he is now named Krayzelburg. The second Olympic Glory colt will be offered at next year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Gilgai sent the mare back to Dundeel this Spring and she is safely in foal to the six-time Group 1 winner. 

The Closer is Dundeel’s fifth 3YO winner in 24 days, after Nordicus (in Sydney), Malfoy, Total Power and Shake On It, and one of his 18 first-crop winners to date. The champion son of High Chaparral has also been represented by two Group performers this Spring, Irukandji and Dealmaker.

The Closer’s co-trainer David Eustace told RSN on Sunday, “I’d say we’d probably pop her away now with a view to the Autumn and Queensland [Winter Carnival]. We always felt that she’d get a trip. There’s a nice race in her for sure.

“We’ve had a lot of success with them [the Dundeels]. We’ve won three races and the other one has been placed and we think he’s going to be a very good sire for us.

“His stats are very good, and they will continue to improve as his progeny head to stakes class.”

Magic Millions has catalogued 14 Dundeel yearlings for its 2019 Gold Coast Sale, eight of them in Arrowfield’s consignment, including four out of mares by Redoute’s Choice.

Not A Single Doubt strikes at Randwick & Flemington

Saturday’s new Group winners Not A Single Cent at Flemington and Sugar Bella at Randwick gave Not A Single Doubt his eighth same-day stakes double and consolidated his position among Australia’s top half-dozen sires this season.

2YO colt Not A Single Cent showed the benefit of his debut fifth at Caulfield last month with a determined victory in the $200,000 VRC Sires’ Produce S. G2. 

Watch Not A Single Cent win the VRC Sires’ Produce S. G2.

That was the start of an amazing day for Canberra-based Michael Thomas, as owner-breeder of Not A Single Cent and his older half-brother Happy Clapper, who won the Canterbury Stakes G1 about 90 minutes later.

Not A Single Cent was sold to Ciaron Maher Racing for $280,000 from the Willow Park Stud draft at the Magic Millions Sale, with Thomas retaining a share of him, and Aaron Purcell training the colt while Maher completes his six-month suspension.

Sadly, the dam of both horses, Busking (by Encosta de Lago) died in January 2017, leaving a now-yearling full brother to Not A Single Cent. 

At Randwick the Kris Lees-trained Sugar Bella maintained her near-perfect record when she snatched a last-stride victory in the $150,000 Wenona Girl Quality 1200m G3. 

Watch Sugar Bella win the Wenona Girl Quality G3.

The 4YO mare has now won six of her 7 starts and returned almost twice the $135,000 Fesen Pty Ltd paid for her at Magic Millions, where she was offered by breeder Corumbene Stud. Like Not A Single Cent, Sugar Bella may step up to Group 1 company at The Championships. 

Sugar Bella is the last foal of dual Group winner Hula Wonder (by Hula Chief), and is related to Group 2 winner Fell Swoop, also by Not A Single Doubt.

Not A Single Doubt has added almost $400,000 to his Australian earnings in the past week and, with $7.9 million is comfortably ahead of sixth-placed Street Cry –  at least until Winx lines up in the George Ryder S. G1 on 24 March!

The son of Redoute’s Choice has taken his lifetime record to 53 stakeswinners, 18 of them juveniles. He has 19 lots catalogued in next month’s Inglis Easter Sale, including two colts in the Arrowfield draft

Snitzel's stakes treble at Randwick

Before Saturday, Snitzel had notched up three same-day stakes trebles, all within the past 12 months, on 1 April, 19 August and 21 October 2017.

What was missing was a black type treble achieved on the same day and the same track. That gap in Snitzel’s dazzling CV is now filled after Arrowfield Inglis Easter graduate Estijaab, 3YO filly I Am Excited and scintillating 5YO sprinter Redzel won on Randwick Guineas day at Royal Randwick. 

2YO filly Estijaab started favourite in the $300,000 ATC Reisling S. 1200m G2 after her excellent Silver Slipper second to Sunlight a fortnight earlier. 

The Snitzel-Response filly was a star of Arrowfield’s 2017 Inglis Easter draft and on Saturday she put in a performance worthy of the $1.7 million that Emirates Park and Bryan Carlson paid for her, setting a new race record of 1:09.10 in the process.

Watch Estijaab win the ATC Reisling S. G2.

Dual Group 1 winner Response (by Charge Forward) found her best form at four and, although the Golden Slipper appears to be firmly on her agenda, her daughter looks capable of similar progression beyond her juvenile year.

Jockey Brenton Avdulla said, “She relaxed well and travelled comfortably. I would have been happy for something to come with me – she just wandered around a bit in the straight.

“She had a runner to her inside and her outside from the furlong on and that spurred her on again. I never felt like I was going to be run down, she was just waiting for them.”

Trained by the Hawkes team, Estijaab is a new success for the great Japanese breeder Katsumi Yoshida and his partnership with Arrowfield. Response has a yearling filly by Snitzel bought for $350,000 by Moody Racing at the Magic Millions Sale, a weanling full sister and is again in foal to the Champion Sire.  

3YO filly I Am Excited put herself on the watch-list with a strong win at her campaign debut on 24 February, and was a convincing winner of the $125,000 ATC Fireball S. 1100m LR.

Watch I Am Excited win the ATC Fireball S. LR.

Trained by David Pfieffer for her breeders, the Ferguson family of Bell River Thoroughbreds, I Am Excited is a half-sister to multiple stakeswinner Flippant, out of Lady Beckworth (by General Nediym).

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy said, “She’s a nice filly. She’s a bit more seasoned this time in and sprinting is her go. David has handled her well and she there is more to come. She’s got a great turn of foot, she’s a big strong girl.”

I Am Excited is nominated for the $600,000 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint G2 on 14 April, the second day of The Championships.

A fast Randwick track certainly helped, but the major ingredient in the new track and race record of 55:73 set for the $500,000 ATC Challenge S. 1000m G2 was the powerhouse pace of the season’s dominant sprinter Redzel.

Watch Redzel win the ATC Challenge S. G2 in track record time.

It was the 7th Group victory for the 5YO son of Snitzel and Millrich (by Rubiton) who has now earned $8.2 million – more than any other Australian sprinter – for his Triple Crown-managed owners and trainers Peter & Paul Snowden. Redzel’s next target is the $2.5 million T.J. Smith S. G1 on 7 April.

Paul Snowden said of Redzel, “I’d love to have about 10 of him. Actually, I won’t be greedy, five would do. He’s so quiet, so relaxed, so tough, so fast, he handles it wet, he handles it dry. He ticks every box.

“He’s now the finished product and it’s been great to be a part of him evolving into the perfect racehorse. When you talk bombproof horses, Sepoy’s the only horse I think I could compare with him.”

Snitzel ended the day with Australian season totals of $18.7 million prizemoney – already a new record – and 23 individual stakeswinners, only four away from an all-time record.

Snitzel’s 64 yearlings catalogued for Inglis Easter include two colts and 8 fillies offered by Arrowfield

Animal Kingdom's first Australian Group 1 performer

A decade after Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler scored the fourth of his 7 Group 1 victories, his half-brother by Animal Kingdom came very close to securing his own Group 1 success at the same track for owner and breeder Katsumi Yoshida.

Peaceful State’s sustained effort at the end of Saturday’s $1 million VRC Australian Guineas 1600m G1 put him in the frame, only a half-length from the winner Grunt, and two lengths ahead of third-placed Bring Me Roses.

Watch Peaceful State run 2nd in the VRC Australian Guineas G1
.

Jockey Brad Rawiller said of Peaceful State’s run, “Geez, he was good. I couldn’t have asked for a better run following the winner. We got that run but he (Grunt) was better on the day, but my bloke still isn’t fully seasoned yet. Down the track, there will be a Group I for him.”

All going well Peaceful State will get his next Group 1 opportunity within the next few weeks, and trainer Darren Weir is confident the longer distances of the Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby will suit him.

It’s been a good week for Animal Kingdom, now fifth on the Second Season Sires’ table after Peaceful State’s contribution and two new winners, Table Mountain and Scarlet Image.

Peaceful State is Animal Kingdom’s second Group 1 performer after US colt & Kentucky Derby contender Untamed Domain, also a Grade 2 winner and a likely starter in next Saturday’s Tampa Bay Derby G2.

Animal Kingdom’s third crop yearlings have already sold up to the $240,000 paid by Heinrich Bloodstock for the colt ex Butters at Magic Millions. Other 2018 buyers include Australian Bloodstock, Paul Perry, Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott and Paul Willetts.

Animal Kingdom has a filly out of city winner Merge (by Commands) in the Bucklee Farm draft going through the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale-ring this week.

His seven lots catalogued for Inglis Easter include a half-brother to Group 2 winner Scarlet Rain in the Arrowfield draft and Tartan Fields’ colt out of Group 1 winner Plucky Belle.

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.

Snitzel's busy 24 hours raises the bar – again

Four winners on Friday evening, then valuable Saturday victories by a 2YO filly at Flemington and a 4YO mare at Wyong have taken Snitzel past yet another milestone.

That’s the $18 million season prizemoney mark – never seen before in Australia and achieved only a week after Snitzel punched through $17 million.

3YO colt Leningrad at Canterbury in Sydney, Arrowfield Magic Millions graduate Bowerman & 4YO mare Sprightly Lass at Moonee Valley in Melbourne, and Shinnecock at the Sunshine Coast got the Snitzel train rolling on Friday evening.

On Saturday, Shadwell Stud’s smart 2YO filly Nomothaj gave Snitzel his 29th Australian stakes win of 2017/18 when she claimed the $120,000 VRC Festival of Racing S. 1000m LR from a determined Irukandji (by Dundeel) and Nomothaj’s Lindsay Park stablemates, Virtual Insanity and Absaroka (by Redoute’s Choice).

Watch Nomothaj win the VRC Festival of Racing S. LR.

Nomothaj defeated the Magic Millions winner and current Golden Slipper favourite Sunlight in last October’s Maribyrnong Trial S. LR, but a Slipper re-match is by no means certain for the Love Racing-bred, Shadwell-owned daughter of Real Stolle (by Elusive Quality).

Head trainer David Hayes said, “We’ll have a bit of a think about it. She’s very good up the straight (at Flemington). I wish the Slipper was up the straight.

“I put Nomothaj in the race mad fresh so she’ll be really improved and I thought the two stablemates who finished behind her are coming winners as well.”

The $175,000 Magic Night S. G3 on 17 March and the $600,000 Percy Sykes S. G2 on 14 April are also possible targets for Nomothaj.

Snitzel’s final push to a new Australian season earnings total of $18,033,494 was completed by Just Dreaming whose class prevailed in the $150,000 Wyong Provincial Championship Qualifier. The 4YO mare, trained by Kris Lees for breeder Judy Wanless, is now the favourite for the $500,000 Final at Randwick on 14 April.

Snitzel has eight colts on offer at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale which begins tomorrow, while April’s Inglis Easter catalogue features 64 yearlings by Snitzel, including 8 fillies and two colts in Arrowfield’s draft.

First stakes performer for Dundeel

There were several Arrowfield stories out of Saturday’s $130,000 VRC Festival of Racing S. 1000m LR at Flemington, but the most significant result was the gritty effort by Dundeel’s son Irukandji for second.

The 2YO Hawkes-trained colt has been a star of Dundeel’s stud career since his $240,000 sale as a Magic Millions weanling by Riversdale, on behalf of breeders Roger Langley & Alison Hodges.

Purchaser David Kobritz’s Musk Creek Farm then returned to Magic Millions to sell Irukandji as a yearling for $500,000 to Spendthrift Farm whose Orange & Purple silks the colt carried to become Dundeel’s first stakes performer.

In fact, Arrowfield stallions dominated the finish of the race, won by Snitzel’s daughter Nomothaj with debutante Absaroka (by Redoute’s Choice) finishing strongly for fourth.

Watch Nomothaj & Irukandji quinella the VRC Festival of Racing S. LR.

Irukandji, New Zealand debut winner Cutadeel and twice-placed Sunreel have all emerged from Dundeel’s first seven runners and buyers of his second-crop yearlings have clearly been paying attention. 

The 20 Dundeel yearlings sold at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast & Inglis Classic Sales averaged better than four times their sire’s $25,000 fee, with a top price of $280,000 paid for Arrowfield’s colt out of Opportunity by Duncan Ramage & Chris Anderson.

Dundeel’s likely affinity with Australian bloodlines is already evident in his first three performers. Cutadeel and Sunreel are both out of mares by Danehill sons Dylan Thomas & Danzero, while Irukandji’s Group-placed dam Cerberus Gal is by General Nediym from Danzero’s family.

Cerberus Gal has a yearling colt by Zoffany and a weanling full sister to Irukandji.

Dundeel has six colts on offer at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, which begins on Sunday, and they can be found in the Bombora Downs, Glentree, Henley Park, Phoenix & Three Bridges consignments. 

The Inglis Easter Sale catalogue includes 12 Dundeel yearlings, among them five fillies & five colts in the Arrowfield draft – eight of them featuring Danehill sons as damsires or grand-damsires.

Not A Single Doubt filly wins Angus Armanasco Stakes

There’s not much of Summer Sham but she gave her rivals in Saturday’s $200,000 MRC Angus Armanasco S. 1400m G2 little chance to weigh in against her as she became Not A Single Doubt’s 51st stakeswinner. 

The 3YO filly’s brilliant gate speed, which gave her an immediate two-length lead, was only part of the race’s story. She also showed plenty of heart at the finish and defied Palazzo Vecchio and Miss Wahoo to score by 0.4 lengths in 1:23.37.

Watch Summer Sham win the MRC Angus Armanasco S. G2.

Trainer Danny O’Brien said, “It was a nice race for her today. She drew a good barrier, she was brilliant from the gate and gave nothing else a chance from there.

“She’s a sharp filly and it was pleasing to see her get a really strong 1400 metres today in these (windy) conditions.”

Now unbeaten in three starts, Summer Sham is likely to be seen next in the VRC A.V. Kewney S. G2 on 10 March, with a Sydney Autumn campaign under consideration.

Bred and raced in partnership by Uluru Stud, Summer Sham is the first foal out of Hot Summer Night (by Fusaichi Pegasus) and boasts 3×3 in-breeding to celebrated broodmare Shantha’s Choice. That gives her a pedigree page full of stars including Redoute’s Choice, as well as the Group 1-winning filly Shoals, her dam The Broken Shore and Lucky Raquie, all owned by Arrowfield and GSA Bloodstock.

While barnmate Snitzel keeps setting records at the top of the General Sires’ Premiership, Not A Single Doubt is steadily compiling another terrific season record. He’s 4th by stakeswinners (9) & stakes wins (10), and 5th by earnings with $7.1 million. 

Although his lifetime tally of stakeswinners is evenly split between colts (25) and fillies (26), Not A Single Doubt’s 2017/18 performance has been dominated by fillies and mares. Caulfield Guineas G1 winner Mighty Boss is the exception, with Summer Sham and Group 3 winners Cool Passion, Faraway Town and Payroll heading the girls’ team.

Not A Single Doubt has six colts and two fillies catalogued for next week’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, and 19 lots in the Inglis Easter Sale, including a pair of colts in Arrowfield’s consignment.

Oakleigh Plate quinella for Snitzel

Twelve years ago Snitzel defeated Virage de Fortune and Takeover Target with a bravura display of classic Australian speed in the MRC Oakleigh Plate 1100m G1. 

On Saturday his son Russian Revolution and daughter Snitty Kitty, from the same 2013 crop, turned in an equally impressive performance to quinella the 2018 running of the great Caulfield sprint, first held in 1884, and now worth $500,000. Hellbent, Booker & Bons Away rounded out a heart-stopping finish, with a length covering the quintet.

Watch Russian Revolution & Snitty Kitty win the MRC Oakleigh Plate G1.

It’s the Champion Sire’s second Group 1 quinella, after Russian Revolution beat Redzel home in last year’s ATC The Galaxy G1. (Two weeks later his then-2YO sons Invader, Summer Passage & Trapeze Artist filled the Inglis Sires’ G1 trifecta.)

Russian Revolution was bred by John Stuart Investments and bought for $320,000 by China Horse Club & Michael Wallace from the Vinery Stud draft at the Inglis Easter Sale. His dam Ballet D’Amour (by Stravinsky), now owned by Belinda Bateman, has a 2YO filly Galina (by Smart Missile), a yearling colt by Wandjina and is in foal to Redoute’s Choice, while her Group-winning daughter Turbo Miss is in foal to Not A Single Doubt.

The Oakleigh Plate 1-2, plus quality placings by Arrowfield graduates Showtime (3rd, MRC Futurity S. G1) and Estijaab (2nd, ATC Silver Slipper S. G2) takes Snitzel well past $17 million prizemoney for the season – a mark never seen before in Australia.

Russian Revolution is Snitzel’s third Group 1 winner in 2017/18 after Trapeze Artist (ATC Golden Rose S. G1) and Redzel (VRC Darley Classic G1). Like Redzel, Invader and BTC Cup G1 winner Hot Snitzel, he is prepared by Peter & Paul Snowden.

Snitzel has eight colts on offer at next week’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, while April’s Inglis Easter catalogue features 64 yearlings by Snitzel, including 8 fillies and two colts in Arrowfield’s draft.

From Racetrack to Retirement

A grandson of Japan’s great Champion Sire Sunday Silence out of metropolitan-winning mare Classic Belle, Mantle Talk was raised and sold by Arrowfield Stud at the 2001 Magic Millions Yearling Sale for $45,000 to Mark Pilkington.

So far, so good. He raced with modest success for four seasons in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania before a tendon injury ended his racing career. As that door closed, a new one opened, giving Mantle Talk a place in the heart and home of Lisa Grills.

Lisa explains, “I purchased Mantle Talk through his trainer at the time, Niall Phillips. Christine Phillips told me they had a big, quiet horse in the stable looking for a home, so I grabbed him!

“When I went to see him for the first time he walked up to me in the paddock, put his head into my chest and just left it there – I was sold instantly!”

Now affectionately known as ‘Manni the Mammoth’ because of  his imposing physique, Mantle Talk settled quickly into retirement, enjoying the easy life and making the most of every opportunity to have his ears scratched!

Lisa says, “He is the quietest, most gentle horse you will ever come across. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, both under saddle and on the ground. He is extremely laid-back and loves going to the beach and out to competitions.”

Lisa is very familiar with thoroughbreds, after working in a racing stable and owning another retired racehorse. She strongly believes that off-the-track racehorses have a lot to offer.“I think they’re fantastic – they are so well-exposed to everything and can adapt to life after racing very easily.”

That adaptability is also a credit to Mantle Talk’s character and the early handling and education he received at Arrowfield and as a young racehorse. Lisa gives an example of how quickly he picked up the essentials of his life beyond racing.

“The second time I rode Manni after he retired from the track I took him down to the beach and rode him bareback with a rope head collar! I think this shows how quiet and honest he is – I truly treasure every day with him.”