The Age of Snitzel: four titles and counting

Snitzel is a multiple Champion Sire on the track and in the sale-ring. (PHOTO: Damian Bennett)

Snitzel’s star began to rise when he ended the 2011/12 season among Australia’s top 10 sires by earnings with only 3 crops of racing age. His six stakeswinners that year included Group 1 2YO winner Sizzling and future Group 1 winners Snitzerland & Hot Snitzel.

It was leading bloodstock analyst & commentator Bill Oppenheim who supplied the most important clue to Snitzel’s imminent success when his 2012 Southern Hemisphere APEX ratings showed Snitzel on top of the A Runner list with an exceptional figure of 4.69. After three seasons at a lower fee, Snitzel served a full book in 2012 at the price set for him in his first three seasons: $33,000 inc. GST. The foals conceived that year would average $223,000 at the 2015 sales. 

A second top 10 finish followed, and then, in 2013/14, the season of Shamus Award’s Cox Plate-Australian Guineas double and Snitzerland’s Lightning Stakes, Snitzel joined Redoute’s Choice to achieve the first father-and-son quinella on the  Australian General Sires’ Premiership.

Three years later he defeated Champion Sires Street Cry & Fastnet Rock to take the No. 1 spot and launch the Age of Snitzel:

2016/17: Matching Danehill & Making History 
Snitzel made sure no-one would forget the year he completed an unprecedented 3-generation sequence of Australian Champion Sires by claiming his first title with a new earnings mark of $16.2 million.

Snitzel colts Invader, Summer Passage & Trapeze Artist filled the 2017 Sires’ Produce G1 trifecta. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

He topped almost every column of the General, 2YO & 3YO Sires’ Premiership tables,  equalled Danehill’s national record of 26 stakeswinners for the season and broke Without Fear’s 40 year-old record with 32 juvenile winners – a quarter of them stakeswinners. His 2YO sons Invader, Summer Passage & Trapeze Artist ran 1-2-3 in the ATC Sires’ Produce S. G1 – Australia’s first single-stallion Group 1 2YO trifecta since 1982. Remarkably, Snitzel was only warming up.

2017/18: Smashing Records across the Board
Snitzel hit the accelerator from day one (he had five stakes wins in the first month, 20 by the end of October and recorded 8 same-day stakes doubles and 3 stakes trebles) and kept it there, closing out the season with a new all-time prizemoney record of $29.2 million, and record totals of winners (173), wins (307), stakeswinners (26) and stakes wins (43). He also headed the 2YO & 3YO Sires’ Premierships for the second time.

Russian Revolution & Snitty Kitty produced a thrilling 1-2 finish in the 2018 Oakleigh Plate G1. (PHOTO: Darren Tindale)

It was a year of breath-taking performances at the highest level: Trapeze Artist’s record-setting T.J. Smith, with Redzel 2nd, and his blistering Golden Rose win, with Menari 3rd; the Russian Revolution-Snitty Kitty quinella in the Oakleigh Plate; Estijaab’s exuberant display of pure speed in the Golden Slipper; Trapeze Artist’s 1400m track record in the All Aged, with Showtime 3rd; and, of course, the power and joy of Redzel’s triumph in the inaugural running of The Everest,  followed  a month later by his equally brilliant Darley Classic victory.

Such was Snitzel’s dominance that he didn’t need the prizemoney earned by his four Group 1 winners (including Redzel’s Everest earnings) to secure his second General Sires’ crown. Add ten $1 million+ yearlings at Magic Millions & Inglis Easter and an overall sale average of $456,000 for an unforgettable year.

2018/19: $20 Million+ for the Second Time
Redzel’s second Everest victory for Triple Crown Syndications, Exhilarates’ Magic Millions 2YO Classic win for Godolphin, Trapeze Artist’s fourth Group 1 victory in track record-setting time, Group 2 wins by I Am Excited &

Redzel won his second Everest the way Snitzel wins stallion premierships: from the front and no prisoners taken. (PHOTO: Darren Tindale)

Showtime, and 7  other stakeswinners gave Snitzel an unassailable lead on the Premiership. He won his third General title with $24.2 million – almost $6 million ahead of runner-up I Am Invincible –  and was 2nd on both the 2YO & 3YO Sires’ lists.

In the ring, leading agent James Harron bought Corumbene Stud’s Ichihara colt for an Inglis Easter Sale-topping $2.8 million – the highest price so far paid for a Snitzel yearling.

2019/20: Joining an Exclusive Club of Multiple Champion Sires
Snitzel’s fourth consecutive Premiership makes him only the sixth Australian sire since 1884 to win four or more straight titles, and the first since the reign of his incomparable grandsire Danehill (nine titles, six consecutively, 2000-2005). He also becomes the only three-time Champion Sire of 2YOs in the past 20 years.

Away Game was just too fast & too classy in the 2020 Magic Million 2YO Classic RL. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

The season produced highlights a-plenty: 18 winners of 25 Group & Listed Races distributed across all but the final month;  Snitzel’s 14th Group 1 winner I Am Excited (The Galaxy G1); his milestone 100th stakeswinner (appropriately achieved by Splintex in the Arrowfield 3YO Sprint G2); Group-winning fillies & mares Sylvia’s Mother, Exhilarates, Irithea & Sure Knee; 28 2YO winners including four stakeswinners headed by the magnificent filly Away Game & Group 2 winner Letzbeglam; his fourth Inglis Easter sale-topper, the $1.8 million colt out of First Seal; and the third Concorde S. G3 win by the indomitable Champion Sprinter Redzel, who retired on a Timeform rating of 126 after contributing  11 stakes victories, two Everests & $16.4 million to Snitzel’s record in a spectacular six-season racing career.

Deeper analyses of Snitzel’s lifetime performance support his status as the dominant Australian sire of his era: 9.8% Stakeswinners/Runners, 75% Winners/Runners, $142,000 Earnings/Runner, 2.48 Career AEI and a 3.53 APEX Rating (A Runners).

Yet with so much already achieved and so much to celebrate, Arrowfield’s John Messara is most excited about what lies ahead of Snitzel.

He says, “I truly believe that the best is yet to come for him, with all that we have learned about him, his extraordinary vigour and the mares that have visited him in the past four seasons. Redoute’s Choice proved what was possible by leaving The Autumn Sun, Alabama Express & King’s Legacy in his 15th, 16th & 17th crops. That’s well within Snitzel’s capability too.”

It’s a big call to suggest that Snitzel’s star has not yet reached its zenith, but Arrowfield is not alone in that view. Here’s respected analyst John Boyce writing about Snitzel earlier this year:

His percentage of stakes winners to runners has risen every year he’s had runners and we also know that he’s even more effective with elite mares (i.e. those in the top 15% of the population). He’s currently siring 13% stakes winners from elite mares, so he’s been given every chance to match or indeed to surpass his sire’s excellent career score of 12% stakes winners to runners.
– John Boyce, TDN Australia & New Zealand, 20 February 2020

2016/17 to 2019/20
EARNINGS $87.6 million
Champions Estijaab, Invader, Trapeze Artist & Redzel; Russian Revolution & I Am Excited

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