History-maker Hitotsu joins the Arrowfield stallion roster

Hitotsu, ridden by John Allen, won the 2021 Victoria Derby G1 by 1.75 lengths. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Triple Group 1 winner Hitotsu (Maurice-Love is Fickle by Redoute’s Choice) will join the Arrowfield Stud roster this Spring, standing at a fee of $22,000 inc. GST.

The first horse since champion Mahogany in 1994 to complete the difficult Victoria Derby/Australian Guineas/Australian Derby treble, Hitotsu retired earlier this year as one of Australian racing’s biggest stars, described by his champion co-trainer Ciaron Maher as “one of the most talented horses I’ve ever trained.”

Arrowfield’s John Messara says, “Each of Hitotsu’s three Group 1 victories is an exceptional performance, but together they put him in the very sparsely populated category of history-making champion.

“We’re proud to stand him as an Arrowfield-bred star returning home, like Castelvecchio, Showtime & The Autumn Sun – horses whose attributes and pedigrees we know thoroughly and can back enthusiastically with large numbers of our own mares. Along with the committed support of Hitotsu’s high-profile owners, that provides a solid platform for early-crop commercial success breeders can rely on.”

Even more remarkably, Hitotsu won all three Group 1 Classics in succession, and became the only horse ever to win the 1600-metre Australian Guineas fresh, four months after his Flemington triumph. Past Australian Guineas winners include multiple Champion Sire Zabeel, Champion Sire Flying Spur and current Group 1 sire Shamus Award.

Trainers David Eustace & Ciaron Maher & the VRC Derby trophy

Hitotsu wins the Australian Guineas G1 first-up in March 2022

Original co-owner Kevin Payne celebrates Hitotsu's VRC Derby

Hitotsu wins a titanic battle for the 2022 Australian Derby G1

Hitotsu returns to scale after winning the Australian Derby G1

Hitotsu's owners celebrate after the 2022 Australian Guineas G1

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A month after the Guineas, Hitotsu stepped back up to 2400 metres at Randwick where he raced right-handed for the first time on Heavy ground not to his liking, and swept wide into a fierce battle for the Australian Derby. He won it with class and tenacity, and in doing so became the first 3YO since his new barnmate Dundeel to win three consecutive Australian Group 1 races.

As Ciaron Maher said after Hitotsu’s Australian Derby win, “You’ve got to have the engine, you’ve got to have the lungs…He’s done a phenomenal job.” That echoes similar assessments made in Japan of his sire’s extraordinary physical capacity.

The 2022 Cox Plate G1 was announced as Hitotsu’s major Spring target but a subsequent paddock injury eventually forced his retirement with a record of four wins and $3.1 million prizemoney from 8 starts.

Hitotsu (Japanese for one) is from the first Australian crop of Japanese superstar and now leading sire Maurice, a six-time Group 1 winner at 1600 and 2000 metres and already fully booked for the coming season. His most recent stakeswinners, 2YOs Azula & Namesake, are both bred on the same cross as Hitotsu.
 
Hitotsu’s dam Love Is Fickle is by multiple Champion Sire & Broodmare Sire Redoute’s Choice whose daughters have left 26 Group 1 winners, including leading sire Zoustar and young stallions Anamoe, Artorius, Profondo & Super Seth. Love Is Fickle is out of Group 1 winner She’s A Meanie, also dam of multiple Group winner Love Conquers All & 2YO stakeswinner She’s Meaner, and grand-dam of Group-winning 2YO & 3YO Lean Mean Machine.

Offered by Arrowfield at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, Hitotsu was purchased for $100,000 by Kevin Kelly for Kevin & Vikki Payne who subsequently sold him privately, before he had won a race, to clients of the Maher & Eustace stable. The Paynes retained an interest in the colt, joining a group led by prominent owners Ozzie Kheir & John O’Neill, all of whom enjoyed what Kevin Payne later described as “three once-in-a-lifetime experiences in six months.”

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