Rekindling rosy Cox Plate dreams

The 1999 MVRC W.S. Cox Plate was the only time that Redoute’s Choice finished further back than fourth in his stellar ten-start racing career.

He ran a game fifth, with four outstanding horses in front of him: his fine racing rival Testa Rossa (4th), multiple Group 1 winner Sky Heights (3rd), champion stayer Tie The Knot (2nd) and the champion Sunline.

Pictured: Rekindled Interest and Dwayne Dunn winning the MVRC Dato’ Tan Chin Nam S. G2 at Moonee Valley on 10 September. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Since then, Redoute’s Choice has built a superlative record as a two-time champion sire of Australia, responsible for 79 stakeswinners, including 20 at Group 1 level, a sale-ring powerhouse and leading sire of sires.

His progeny have won many of Australia’s greatest races, including the Golden Slipper, Blue Diamond, Caulfield Guineas, VRC & AJC Oaks, but the Cox Plate has remained elusive. That’s despite the valiant attempts of his splendid daughters Lotteria (2nd), Samantha Miss (3rd) & Miss Finland (4th & 6th), and his son God’s Own (8th).

It’s a gap that Redoute’s Choice may be about to fill with two runners, Rekindled Interest & King’s Rose (NZ), who are particularly well-suited to the unique test presented by 2040 metres at Moonee Valley.

The Bellerive Stud-reared 4YO gelding Rekindled Interest, bred and raced by Jonathan Munz, has had three starts at Moonee Valley for impressive wins in last year’s Moonee Valley Vase G2 over the Cox Plate distance, and last month’s 1600-metre Dato’ Tan Chin Nam S. G2

Bellerive Stud manager Brian Gorman is justifiably proud of Rekindled Interest and pays tribute to the skills of Jo Monehan and farrier Jeremy Metcalf who cared for his dam Rekindled Affair through three pregnancies.

Brian explains, “Rekindled Affair had serious foot problems and required a high level of constant care during her time at Bellerive. Jo and Jeremy did a magnificent job with her and the mare herself was very brave, especially during her final pregnancy.”

Rekindled Affair’s matings with Redoute’s Choice produced Rekindled Interest, this season’s Group-placed winner Rekindled Alliance (owned by the partnership of Jonanthan Munz, Arrowfield & Blue Sky Thoroughbreds), and a now-2YO filly named Rekindled Glory. She was retained by her breeder after Rekindled Affair was euthanased in late 2009, and is now in training with David Payne.

Perhaps it’s a happy genetic co-incidence, or perhaps it’s the deliberate 5 x 4 double-up of Stolen Hour, which also appears in the pedigree of another Cox Plate runner, Sincero. Whatever it is, the combination is working.

Brian recalls Rekindled Interest as “a seriously lovely yearling, a European type, while Rekindled Alliance is bigger and more robust.” Jonathan Munz also owns Rekindled Applause (Royal Applause-Rekindled Affair) who recently foaled what Brian describes as “a very, very nice Redoute’s Choice colt.”

King’s Rose came to Australia as the 2011 New Zealand Filly of the Year and winner of four Group races, including the CJC NZ 1000 Guineas G1, from eight starts at three when trained by Jason Bridgman.

Now trained by Peter Moody, the 4YO mare has rapidly enhanced that record with a pair of Moonee Valley Group 2 wins at 1400m and 1600m and a fighting second in the MRC Toorak H. 1600m G1.

From the same crop as Rekindled Interest, King’s Rose is also raced by her breeder, Hong Kong-based Dr Gene Tsoi, well-known for his success with the outstanding mare Elegant Fashion. She and King’s Rose’s dam Nureyev’s Girl (by Nureyev) are among a dozen mares Dr Tsoi’s dozen broodmares – six based at Brooklyn Lodge in Australia, and six at New Zealand’s Cambridge Stud.

Purchased privately as a weanling for $500,000, Nureyev’s Girl was trained by David Hayes to achieve the status of stakes-placed city winner. It’s a family firing up in Australasia: Nureyev’s Girl’s full sister Great Notice has left last season’s Champion New Zealand 2YO Anabandana, and dual Sydney stakeswinner Gybe.

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