Shamus & Lil give Snitzel a Guineas double

The names of Snitzel’s best progeny sum up his current status among Australian sires: he’s sizzling, he’s flying and he is most definitely hot.

The temperature rose again today when his magnificent son Shamus Award became the first horse to win both the MVRC W.S. Cox Plate G1 and the VRC Australian Guineas G1. He is Snitzel’s first dual Group 1 winner, and his second Group 1 winner at Flemington in the past fortnight, following Snitzerland’s victory in the VRC Lightning S. G1.

Jockey Craig Williams provided a succinct description of how the Guineas unfolded this afternoon. “We got a nice lead and he settled beautifully for me. When I asked him to accelerate around the home turn he found plenty for me in the straight.”

Runner-up Criterion mounted a staunch challenge and Thunder Fantasy ran on well late for third, but Shamus Award’s hold on the race was never seriously threatened.

The handsome 3YO colt was bred by Bob Hannon from Sunset Express (by Success Express) and purchased for $230,000 out of the Vinery Stud draft at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Sale. Trained by Danny O’Brien for owners Sean Buckley and Viv Oldfield, Shamus Award has raced exclusively in Group & Listed stakes company to compile a record of rare quality: two Group 1 victories, eight placings (two at Group 1 level) and $2.4 million from 12 starts.

Shamus Award is the fifth foal of his city-winning dam, and has a 2YO three-quarter sister named Marple Miss (by Not A Single Doubt) in training with Kris Lees for his breeder. Sunset Express is again in foal to Snitzel.

Likely targets for Shamus Award are next Saturday’s $1 million VRC Australian Cup G1, the $500,000 ATC Rosehill Guineas G1 on 29 March and the $4 million ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1 on 19 April.

Three hours after the Guineas in Melbourne, 3YO filly My Sister Lil became Snitzel’s 20th stakeswinner when she proved too strong in the $100,000 WATC Ascot 1000 Guineas 1800m LR in Perth.

My Sister Lil (ex Deputy Lil by French Deputy) was bred by Arrowfield, John Leaver, Alan Jones, Martin Story, Michael & Lucy Messara and Tim Noonan and sold by Arrowfield for $80,000 at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale to Perth trainers Ross & Clint Price. The filly, a grand-daughter of New Zealand Horse of the Year Tycoon Lil, is owned by Frank Fiore, who also races Snitzel’s brilliant 4YO son Smoko – another Arrowfield yearling sale graduate.

My Sister Lil’s latest success takes her prizemoney to $95,600 from four starts, three of which she has won. Her next race may now be the $250,000 WA Oaks 2400m G3 on 29 March.

Snitzel maintains his lead on the current Australian General Sires’ premiership with earnings of $6.8 million, thanks largely to the efforts of ten stakeswinners. The son of Redoute’s Choice has 9 fillies and 8 colts on offer at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale which starts tomorrow.

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