Championships double puts Snitzel back on top
The 11th same-day, same-track Group race double of Snitzel’s exceptional stud career has put him back on top of the current Australian General Sires’ Premiership, and delivered a milestone achieved by very few stallions.
And there is surely no more appropriate race to mark the Champion Sire’s 100th individual stakeswinner than the $500,000 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint 1200m G2 on Day 2 of The Championships at Randwick.
Snitzel had only one runner in the race, but it was enough. Geoff & Mary Grimish’s home-bred Splintex, whose four previous wins were all at shorter distances, ended up in front a touch too soon, but Robbie Dolan’s coolness and the colt’s resolve were up to the task.
The Godolphin filly Flit attacked valiantly, but Splintex’s nose hit the line first, with Anaheed 1.4 lengths away third.
— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) April 11, 2020
Trainer Mark Newnham, celebrating his 8th Group success this season, said, “He’s just a really good genuine horse and I think he has been a bit underestimated.”
Dolan added, “I have ridden him since he was a very young horse and I have always believed in him along the way.
“It’s just unbelievable to ride him in a big race like this today, and then to win it is a fairytale…I’m over the moon – delighted.”
Splintex is the best of three stakes performers left by the good New Zealand-bred racemare Acquired (by O’Reilly), a Group-placed 7-time winner in Queensland for Robert Heathcote. Sold for $450,000 at last year’s Inglis Chairman’s Sale, she is now in foal to The Autumn Sun for new owner Highgrove Stud.
Geoff & Mary Grimish have also raced Splintex’s half-brother Invictus Salute with success, and retain his unraced 2YO full brother Sixgun in the Newnham yard.
Outstanding 2YO filly Away Game won the first leg of Snitzel’s double, the $500,000 Percy Sykes S. 1200m G2, which honours the legendary vet and great friend of Arrowfield, who died in 2014.
Away Game has raced every month since November and in this, her fourth stakes victory from 7 starts, she confirmed her status as Australia’s best juvenile filly of the season.
Her jockey Glen Boss is prepared to go even further. “My vote she is two-year-old of the year. She has just done an incredible job.
“It’s just her enthusiasm. I reckon if she goes out to the paddock she might sulk because she won’t be in her normal routine. She just loves being in work. I said to Ciaron when I rode her on Tuesday that you just love being on her back…she has so much enthusiasm and life.”
She’s a class above : the Golden Slipper runner-up #AwayGame (#Snitzel) takes the G2 Percy Sykes Stakes for Glen Boss & @cmaherracing / @eustacedj. The @mmsnippets @millparkstud graduate has been a 2YO sensation over a long campaign! R : 7 Racing pic.twitter.com/Nm3v9s7XAI
— ANZ Bloodstock (@anz_news) April 11, 2020
Away Game is the latest star from the Watson family’s celebrated South Australian nursery, Mill Park Stud, which bred and sold her for $425,000 at Magic Millions, to agent Kerri Radcliffe acting for US-based owner Hannah Mathiesen, her family & friends. She is the second stakeswinner, after Modern Wonder, left to Snitzel by stakes-placed 2YO Elusive Wonder (by Elusive Quality).
And with more than $2.7 million in the bank, Away Game is Snitzel’s 14th millionaire.
Splintex & Away Game are the major contributors to Snitzel’s $800,000-plus earnings for the day. That takes him back to the top of the 2019/20 Australian General Sires’ Premiership, with $13.7 million & 14 stakeswinners, and the 2YO Sires’ Premiership, with $3.9 million.