Arrowfield’s 12 standout moments of 2019/20
The 2019/20 season will stand out in our memories for reasons that have nothing, and everything to do with Australian thoroughbred horse racing & breeding.
The Covid-19 pandemic has dominated news feeds and conversations around the world since 31 January, when the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak of the disease that first appeared in China to be a “public health emergency of international concern”.
As global cases approach 19 million and deaths pass 700,000, the world is not out of the woods yet, and the economic impact is only beginning to be felt, never mind managed.
However, dedicated work by Government agencies, racing administrators, sale companies & race clubs, staunchly supported by those who work and invest in the Australian thoroughbred industry, has allowed us to continue racing and selling horses, albeit in altered formats & circumstances. We are all immensely grateful for that, and for the irrepressible optimism that drives our sport, as we look forward to the arrival of the 2020 foal crop, the 2021 yearling sales and most of all, the new racing season.
Before we fully immerse in 2020/21, let’s re-cap Arrowfield’s 12 standout moments of 2019/20, in chronological order:
1. “The Little Engine That Could” strikes first, Warwick Farm, 24 August
The most perfectly timed Group 1 win of Arrowfield’s year came early, when Samadoubt scored an exuberant victory in the season’s first Group 1 race, the Winx Stakes (formerly Warwick Stakes). He saluted minutes after his sire Not A Single Doubt had paraded at the Stud’s annual Stallion Open House for almost the final time before his retirement in January. Samadoubt, and Scales Of Justice in the Memsie Stakes a week later, were the first of five Group 1 winners in an exceptional season that saw Not A Single Doubt end 2019/20 among Australia’s top 5 sires for the fourth time.
2. Super Seth’s sensational Guineas, Caulfield, 12 October
Alligator Blood had the Caulfield Guineas G1 in the bag…until Super Seth’s whirlwind finish took it from him in the very last metre. Bought by Dean Hawthorne from Arrowfield’s 2018 Inglis Easter draft for $280,000, and trained by Anthony Freedman for Jonathan Munz, Super Seth (ex Salutations by Redoute’s Choice) became the 4th Group 1 winner from Dundeel’s first two crops.
3. Lys Gracieux & Castelvecchio, Moonee Valley, 26 October
The 2019 Cox Plate G1 could have been anti-climactic in the wake of its four-year domination by the matchless Winx. Instead, it produced an enthralling contest, a superlative victory by Japanese Champion Lys Gracieux (one of four Melbourne Group 1 wins by Japanese horses last season) and a world-rated performance by the Arrowfield-bred runner-up Castelvecchio that felt almost as good as his subsequent Rosehill Guineas G1 success. He ended the season with a Timeform figure of 124, just one point below his sire Dundeel’s 3YO rating in 2012/13.
4. Arrowfield’s $1.9 million colt tops the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, 9 January
It was an emotional moment for the entire team to greet Arrowfield’s 60th $1 million+ yearling in the past 20 years as he returned from the ring after his purchase by Ottavio & Wendy Galletta. The son of Japan’s supersire Deep Impact and Group winner Honesty Prevails (by Redoute’s Choice), herself bred & sold by Arrowfield at Magic Millions, he has been named Profondo (“deep” in Italian) and will be trained by Richard Litt.
5. Away Game lands the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, Gold Coast, 11 January
Indomitable, gorgeous and seriously fast, the Maher & Eustace-trained Away Game gave Snitzel his second consecutive Magic Millions 2YO Classic RL. She then added the Widden S. G3, Percy Sykes S. G2 and a terrific runner-up finish in the Golden Slipper G1 to become Snitzel’s leading earner with $2.7 million. No wonder Timeform rates her, by a clear margin, the best Australian 2YO filly of 2019/20.
ARROWFIELD’S 12 STANDOUT MOMENTS OF 2019/20
Sensational SNITZEL, the 4-time Champion Sire of Australia.
SAMADOUBT opened 2019/20 with a smashing Group 1 win.
Team SUPER SETH celebrated the Caulfield Guineas G1.
Lys Gracieux & CASTELVECCHIO fought out the Cox Plate G1.
AWAY GAME's owners had millions of reasons to smile.
The DEEP IMPACT-HONESTY PREVAILS COLT made $1.9 million.
ALABAMA EXPRESS steamed home in the C.F. Orr S. G1.
THOROUGHBRED INDUSTRY CAREERS award winners.
Arrowfield graduate TAGALOA won the Blue Diamond G1.
Golden Slipper brilliance by FARNAN & AWAY GAME.
Dual Group 1 2YO winner KING'S LEGACY (by Redoute's Choice).
Real Impact's first Japanese Group 1 winner LAUDA SION.
6. Group 1 success for Alabama Express, Caulfield, 8 February
Twenty years after the 3YO Redoute’s Choice won the weight-for-age C.F. Orr S. G1, his Arrowfield graduate son Alabama Express convincingly emulated that performance, despite racing wide without cover. Bred in partnership with GSA Bloodstock and trained by Michael Moroney, Alabama Express joined November’s NZ 1000 Guineas winner Loire to become their legendary sire’s 36th & 37th Group 1 winners.
7. Thoroughbred Industry Careers graduation, Riverside Stables, 8 February
What a joy it was to host the Graduation Ceremony for the inaugural Thoroughbred Industry Careers (TIC) Explorer cadets! Established in 2018 by its dynamic driving force & Chief Executive Lindy Maurice, TIC offers a clear and supportive pathway into long-term thoroughbred industry employment for young people who don’t have the connections that many of us take for granted. Arrowfield is proud & delighted to be one of TIC’s financial supporters. Visit: Thoroughbred Industry Careers
8. Blue Diamond success for Arrowfield-Northern Farm joint venture, Caulfield, 22 February
Arrowfield’s history has regularly featured the Blue Diamond ever since the Stud secured the 1999 winner, Redoute’s Choice. Six Arrowfield-sired winners followed, and this year Tagaloa, a son of leading Japanese sire Lord Kanaloa, obliged with a gritty win that earned Timeform’s recognition as the season’s second top-rated juvenile colt. Tagaloa is the fifth Group 1 winner bred jointly by Arrowfield & Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm, after Weekend Hussler, Reaan (2008 Blue Diamond), Hot Snitzel & Sweet Idea.
9. A Group 1 treble: Castelvecchio, Farnan & I Am Excited, Rosehill, 21 March
A necessarily crowdless racecourse made the day notable before it began, but the racing produced a fabulous treble that Arrowfielders will long remember. Castelvecchio’s Rosehill Guineas and Snitzel’s 14th Group 1 winner I Am Excited bracketed an Arrowfield-sired quinella in the 64th Golden Slipper. Not A Single Doubt’s son Farnan took the race by the throat and found enough under extreme pressure to withstand Away Game’s lethal finishing speed, with Snitzel’s grandson Mamaragan third & Arrowfield graduate Tagaloa fourth.
10. 38th Group 1 winner for Redoute’s Choice, Randwick, 4 & 18 April
It’s more than 16 months since Redoute’s Choice died in March 2019, yet his presence in the Australian thoroughbred industry seems more vibrant and relevant than ever. King’s Legacy, the Champion Sire’s fourth new Group 1 winner since his death, could not be more aptly named. The Snowden-trained colt’s Sires’ Produce & Champagne Stakes victories rank him among Timeform’s top 10 Australian 2YOs of the season, along with Farnan & Doubtland (by Not A Single Doubt), Away Game (by Snitzel) and Mamaragan (by Snitzel’s son Wandjina). It’s clear that Redoute’s Choice’s final racing progeny, his sire sons and the daughters that have secured his second Broodmare Sires’ Premiership with record earnings will enrich his legacy for years to come.
11. Real Impact’s first Group 1 winner, Tokyo, 10 May
Like Arrowfield’s other Shadai shuttle stallions, Real Impact remains at home for now, but the Tokyo NHK Mile G1 victory by his 3YO son Lauda Sion was a timely sign of what Japanese genetics can contribute to Australian breeding. Maurice, Mikki Isle & Real Steel are all poised to join Real Impact and build a persuasive argument for breeders, owners & trainers downunder.
12. Snitzel’s 4th straight General Sires’ title, 31 July 2020
The stud career that began modestly a decade ago with a single first-crop 2YO stakeswinner is now adorned with trophies, records and most of all, outstanding racetrack success. After a season of 18 stakeswinners headed by I Am Excited & Away Game, Snitzel joined an elite group of six great Australian sires with his fourth consecutive General Sires’ Premiership and claimed his third Champion 2YO Sire title for good measure. And his star is still rising.