Burnstone fires in stakes-winning debut
On Australia Day in 2010 a dynamic new talent emerged for Redoute’s Choice when a handsome colt named Beneteau won easily on debut at Randwick.
Roll on five years and a similarly good-looking son of Redoute’s Choice lined up at the Sandown Australia Day meeting in Melbourne, this time in the $120,000 MRC Blue Diamond Preview LR.
Named Burnstone, he settled towards the back of the field but was kept close to the fence by jockey Damien Lane before joining the leaders at the top of the straight and bounding away to win by 3.5 lengths from Top Me Up and Kirabo in a time of 58.34.
Like Beneteau, Burnstone was bred and sold by Arrowfield in partnership, this time with South Africa’s Klawervlei Stud and, again like Beneteau, he is out of an Encosta de Lago mare from a superb female family. His dam Merlene de Lago, herself a juvenile Group winner, is a daughter of champion 2YO Merlene and a half-sister to the dam of the top-class mare Dear Demi (VRC Oaks G1 and seven Group 1 placings).
Trainer Robbie Griffiths & Peter Ford Thoroughbreds bought the colt from Arrowfield for $40,000 at last year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale after losing his $220,000 year-older full brother in an accident.
Though not surprised by Burnstone’s win, Griffiths made it clear the colt had not been wound up for the race. “We’ve only given him one easy half-mile (800m) trial, Ivan Culliver’s done all his work and we think that the horse has plenty of improvement still to come.”
He will see how Burnstone pulls up before deciding whether to start him in the Blue Diamond Prelude G3 (won by Beneteau in 2010) on 14 February, or go straight to the $1 million Blue Diamond S. G1 a fortnight later.
There are 16 Arrowfield-sired horses in contention for the Blue Diamond after yesterday’s third declarations, among them Group 3 Flemington winner Prompt Return (by Beneteau) and Arrowfield graduate Secret Agenda (Not A Single Doubt), an impressive first-up winner at Moonee Valley for the Mick Price stable in December.
Burnstone is the 29th 2YO stakeswinner by Redoute’s Choice and takes his champion sire’s lifetime tally of stakeswinners to 121. Ten of them have been successful this season including Group 1 winners Lankan Rupee (MVRC Manikato Stakes), Majmu (Kenilworth Cape Fillies Guineas), Bonaria (VRC Myer Classic) and Hampton Court (ATC Spring Champion S.).
Already the winner of two Australian 2YO Sires’ premierships, in 2005 & 2006, Redoute’s Choice now has a good opportunity to join his three sire sons, Not A Single Doubt, Snitzel & Beneteau in the top ten on the current table.
Arrowfield’s 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft includes Merlene de Lago’s colt by Starcraft. The mare also has a weanling filly by Animal Kingdom and is in foal to All American.