A kaleidoscope of season highlights for Arrowfield
Arrowfield’s focus shifts quickly into 2021/22 with new foals on the ground and the first stakes races of the new season already decided.
Before the old year is completely packed away, and the new season demands our full attention, Arrowfield’s highlights of 2020/21 warrant a final look:
Not A Single Doubt’s post-retirement tilt at Champion Sire honours received an early boost when Classique Legend won The Everest, shooting the much-admired son of Redoute’s Choice to the head of the stallion rankings. He stayed there until early May and was eventually third – his 7th top 10 finish in seven years.
There was some consolation: Not A Single Doubt was the leading Australian-based sire by global earnings with $21.5 million, largely accumulated by Classique Legend, Group 1 winners Instant Celebrity & Shout The Bar, Hong Kong warrior Southern Legend, Arrowfield’s 2YO Group winner Mallory and four other stakeswinners.
Not A Single Doubt’s final two crops, bred on his career-high fees, comprise 44 2YOs and 36 yearlings, enough to be sure of plenty more success before his record is complete. Whatever the future holds, the rise of The Little Engine That Could from a $12,500 fee to the ranks of Australia’s very best stallions won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Snitzel notched up his 15th Group 1 winner when Sword of State set New Zealand’s juvenile category alight with four wins from 5 starts including the Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. G1. Brilliant Sydney 2YO filly Four Moves Ahead, quality 3YO sprinters Wild Ruler and Away Game and the ever-classy Exhilarates headed Snitzel’s 13 Australian stakeswinners.
The 4-time Champion Sire enjoyed his best-ever season in the sale-ring, with 90 yearlings averaging $460,000, six of them making more than $1 million, including the $2.5 million Rising Romance colt. The emergence of Shamus Award among Australia’s leading sires in 2020/21 boosts Snitzel’s status as a source of potential stallions.
With most of his 600+ foals so far conceived on six-figure fees yet to race, Snitzel has the firepower to keep playing at the high-altitude end of Australia’s stallion roster for several years to come.
View this slideshow of Arrowfield’s 2020/21 highlights:
Not A Single Doubt mare SHOUT THE BAR won the VRC Empire Rose S. G1.
SWORD OF STATE dominated New Zealand 2YO racing in 2020/21.
Truly Great gave DUNDEEL his 5th Group 1 winner from his first two crops.
The $2.5 million SNITZEL-RISING ROMANCE COLT with Adam Shankley.
MALLORY carried Arrowfield's silks to victory in the ATC Widden S. G3.
2021 inductee JOHN MESSARA and fellow Hall of Famer John Hawkes.
Arrowfield's last 4 Easter colts by Redoute's Choice marked the end of an era.
Shalaa's first-crop son SHAQUERO was a star 2YO of 2020/21.
Maurice's son MAZU won in Sydney and was Group-placed at two.
Truly Great became Dundeel’s fifth Group 1 winner from his first two crops with a spectacular run of summer success in Perth, including the Kingston Town S. G1. Victoria Quay (Wakeful S. G2), South African Group winner Atyaab, dual stakeswinner Ain’tnodeeldun, Listed winners Entente & Purrfect Deal and nine other stakes performers rounded out a strong season for Dundeel. The sale of 65 fifth-crop yearlings for up to $850,000 to the likes of Dean Hawthorne, Guy Mulcaster, John O’Shea, Peter Moody & John Foote and tremendous breeder support over the past couple of seasons will keep propelling the champion son of High Chaparral onwards and upwards.
Arrowfield was once again Australia’s leading vendor in the sale-ring, heading the sellers’ lists at Inglis Easter & Classic and Magic Millions Gold Coast & June, and presenting the year’s top-priced yearling, the $2.5 million Snitzel-Rising Romance colt bought by Hawkes Racing at Inglis Easter. More importantly, the Stud also achieved the #1 vendor spot on the track with 12 graduate winners of 15 Australian Group & Listed Races headed by Anders, Doubtland, Mallory, Missile Mantra, Tagaloa, Reloaded & Wild Planet. In 2021 Anders, Doubtland & Tagaloa join 13 other Arrowfield graduate colts already at stud in Australia and New Zealand; and Arrowfield graduate fillies sold this year as broodmares for $500,000 or more include Elzeeza, Members Joy, Miss Ballantine, Nasaayim, Secret Doubt, Sweet Sister & Turaathy.
In May, Arrowfield’s Chairman and owner John Messara was inducted as an Associate to the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest honour for the man who has played such a constructive, dynamic role in the transformation of Australian thoroughbred breeding & racing over the past 35 years.
Yet, as always, John’s focus remains on the future. “There’s so much more to be done. At this stage, I’m humbled to receive the recognition, but I’m also interested in doing better.” The next chance to do exactly that wasn’t long in coming. A fortnight after he became a Hall of Famer, John was appointed the first independent Chairman of Racing Australia at a critical time in its history.
Industry recognition was also bestowed on Arrowfielders Amanda Pettman, Jess Hood & Adam Shankley whose collective employment in various roles at the Stud exceeds a half-century. Amanda won the HTBA Employee of the Year (Administration) Award, and Adam & Jess were finalists in the Horsemanship & Administration categories of the Australian Stud & Stable Staff Awards. We’re proud of them, and every member of our team, who rose magnificently to every challenge & opportunity in an extraordinary year.
The passage through sale-rings of 19 last-crop sons and daughters of Australian legend Redoute’s Choice was especially poignant for John Messara and his family; Arrowfield’s staff past & present, who lived & worked so closely with him throughout his 19-season stud career; and everyone who bred, owned, bought, sold, trained or rode one of his 1173 winners, 178 stakeswinners or 39 Group 1 winners. At least that’s his record for now. He compiled 7 stakeswinners (including Group 1 winner Celebrity Queen) in 2020/21, led the Broodmare Sires’ Premiership by Stakeswinners (19) and Stakes Wins (29) and his brilliant stakes-siring sons and grandsons now include Extreme Choice & Shamus Award. It’s the surest of bets that Redoute’s Choice’s name will be seen in high-profile pedigrees, major race results and stallion premierships for many seasons yet.
Arrowfield’s new-generation sires Maurice & Shalaa both made their presence felt in a quality cohort of first season sires last season. Shalaa is the sire of Magic Millions and dual Group winner Shaquero among seven 2YO winners and 4 stakes performers; while Maurice posted eight winners and 6 stakes performers, and added his first Australian 3YO winners, Ausbred Flirt & Beaux Rumble on Saturday. Those results were reflected in both stallions’ 2021 yearling sale results, with top prices and averages above their 2020 marks. They both have the numbers, the quality and the stable representation to play major roles in the 2020/21 racing season.
And what of the future? The launch of Castelvecchio’s stud career, the first foals of The Autumn Sun & Showtime, the well-received first yearlings by Pariah and 2021 newcomer Admire Mars offer the brightest of new possibilities for the breeders, owners, sale companies and buyers who do business with Arrowfield. As John Messara keeps telling his team, “the best is yet to come!”