Messara looks back and forward with Snitzel
Bred by Francois Naude from the stakes-winning Snippets mare Snippets’ Lass, Snitzel was purchased for $260,000 by Gerald Ryan for owners Damion & Camilla Flower at the 2004 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.
Snitzel won his first three starts as a Spring 2YO, including the ATC Breeders’ Plate LR, and progressed to win the ATC Skyline S. G3 in February 2005. He then returned at three to win two Group races in Sydney, and defeat Virage de Fortune and Takeover Target in the 2006 MRC Oakleigh Plate G1. He retired to stud at Arrowfield with 7 wins, four placings and just over $1 million prizemoney from 15 starts.
As he celebrates Arrowfield’s fifth Australian General Sires’ Premiership in a dozen years, John Messara remembers when Snitzel first crossed his radar, back in the 2004/05 season.
“I could see he was a precocious two-year-old and a talented sprinter with a pedigree to match and of course, sired by Redoute’s Choice. While he was not very big, he had great balance and was exactly the type of horse that makes a successful stallion in Australia.
“I believed at the time that he was a Group 1 winner-in-waiting, and I had faith in his trainer Gerald Ryan who has proved himself a whiz not only with Snitzel, but also with his progeny.”
The son of Snippets’ Lass wasn’t built in the same mould as his imposing sire, but that was only a fleeting concern for Messara, who bought into the colt before his Autumn 2YO campaign.
“I liked him, and I liked his natural speed. I was slightly concerned about his height, but I looked at him as an individual and, while he didn’t have the imposing size of Redoute’s Choice, he was a most athletic type. He has since developed into a lovely, beautifully balanced stallion.
“Having Snippets, who had stood at Arrowfield, as his damsire was another bonus for me, and you can see that influence in him too.”
Messara’s selection from the records Snitzel has set or equalled in 2016/17 won’t surprise anyone who knows he’s the man who found the breed-shaping multiple Champion Sire Danehill and launched him in Australia.
“While he broke a number of records this season, I think matching Danehill’s record of 26 individual Australian stakeswinners in a season was a magnificent achievement.”
Although Snitzel has now set the bar very high on prizemoney, stakeswinners, 2YO winners and multiple premierships, Messara is confident he will continue to be a major force in Australian breeding and racing for some years to come.
“He’s actually built up to this level of performance over several years. Bill Oppenheim’s APEX ratings first identified him in 2012, so the past year isn’t a flash in the pan.
“Snitzel’s achievements this season were so dominant and so widespread that I believe his success will spill over into subsequent years.
“Many of his current best sons and daughters remain in training, and he has great work in progress in terms of the quality and numbers of foals in utero, yearlings and two-year-olds.
“I can’t wait to see what he does next!”