Top 10 Highlights of Arrowfield’s 2019

The Autumn Sun’s dramatic victory in the Randwick Guineas G1 was a major highlight of Australian racing in 2019. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Looking back at 2019, Arrowfield Stud has much to be thankful for in a year marked equally by major successes and serious challenges for the Australian thoroughbred industry. We acknowledge especially the vital support and enthusiasm of our breeder & buyer clients, and our breeding partners & stallion shareholders, and the hard work & unflinching dedication of all our staff, constantly supported by their families.

Here are Arrowfield’s 10 highlights in roughly chronological order, and one lowlight, that shaped an unforgettable 12 months:

1. DUNDEEL’s emergence as a brilliant young sire this year was a joy to watch, as 7 stakeswinners emerged from his first two crops in little more than four months, including Group 1 winners ATYAAB in South Africa and 2YOs CASTELVECCHIO in Australia & YOURDEEL in New Zealand. His 2019 book filled rapidly at his new fee of $66,000 and sensational Spring 3YO performances by CASTELVECCHIO & SUPER SETH signalled that the best is yet to come for Dundeel.

2. THE AUTUMN SUN’s Randwick Guineas G1 victory was one for the ages, as he unleashed a scarcely believable performance to catch Not A Single Doubt’s indomitable daughter FUNDAMENTALIST just before the post. Watching the replay still doesn’t make it any easier to understand how on earth he got there!

3. Our cardiac status had only just returned to normal when THE AUTUMN SUN did it again, but in a very different style, when he answered the call to fight on unsuitably heavy ground and hold off a determined Arrogant to win the Rosehill Guineas G1. He signed off his racing career by equalling his sire’s Timeform rating of 126 and winning the 2019 Australian Champion 3YO Colt title, before serving his first superb book of mares at Arrowfield in the Spring. 

4. The yearling sale-ring brought plenty of big moments for Arrowfield and vendors selling Arrowfield-sired horses, notably Corumbene Stud, vendor of the $2.8 million Snitzel-Ichihara colt. The undoubted highlight of Arrowfield’s sales season was topping the Inglis Easter vendors’ list for the 5th straight year, with an all-time record aggregate for the farm & our clients of $21.4 million.

5. It was very special for every Arrowfielder to celebrate April’s presentation of the prestigious Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit to Arrowfield’s owner & Chairman John Messara. John is the first Australian to receive the Award which recognises his extraordinary contribution to the progress and elevation of Australian racing & breeding over the past four decades.
A month later our Assistant Operations Manager Nigel Bentley won the HTBA Employee of the Year (Horsemanship) Award, a thoroughly well-deserved recognition of Nigel’s equine skills, management ability and valuable mentoring work with young people.

Arrowfield’s 2019 Highlights

THE AUTUMN SUN retired as Australia's Champion 3YO Colt...

...and was a star of Arrowfield's 2019 Stallion Open House

JOHN MESSARA was honoured by his international peers

Arrowfield's top-priced $1.7 million Deep Impact-Grito colt

Dual G1 winner KENEDNA was outstanding in the Autumn

Dundeel's Group 1-winning 2YO son CASTELVECCHIO...

...returned to run 2nd in LYS GRACIEUX's Cox Plate G1

SNITZEL became a 3-time Champion Sire of Australia

Not A Single Doubt's 11th Group 1 winner SAMADOUBT

SUPER SETH was super in the Caulfield Guineas G1

A January Magic Millions buy for Team Busuttin...

...became November's 2YO city winner TAGALOA

We farewelled a great Champion & Friend in 2019...

...but REDOUTE'S CHOICE leaves a rich & enduring legacy.

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6. Snitzel secured his third straight Australian Sires’ Premiership in 2018/19, a feat that puts him in the company of his grand-sire Danehill, Sir Tristram, Bletchingly and Star Kingdom – the only other stallions to win three consecutive titles in the past 60 years.  The history-making son of Redoute’s Choice compiled serious numbers with his Australian runners between 1 August 2016 to 31 December 2019, for example: 54 individual stakeswinners of 96 Group & Listed Races, 10 of them at Group 1 level; 73 2YO winners; and $75 million prizemoney.

7. Dubbed “the little engine that could” at Arrowfield’s 2019 Stallion Open House, Not A Single Doubt spent the whole year proving, yet again, that there’s no challenge his classy and versatile sons & daughters aren’t capable of meeting. The proof lies in his worldwide 2019 tally of $17.6 million prizemoney and 15 stakeswinners in almost every category, including Group 1 winners KENEDNA, QAFILA, SAMADOUBT and SCALES OF JUSTICE. With at least four live chances (EUPHORIC SUMMER, FARNAN, GOTTA KISS & STELLAR PAULINE) in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic RL, and the current favourite NOT AN OPTION for New Zealand’s $1 million Karaka Million RL, Not A Single Doubt is all set to begin 2020 with a big bang.

8. The first post-Winx Cox Plate G1 produced a thrilling contest and an outstanding result for Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm and Arrowfield as LYS GRACIEUX lit up the Japanese story we’ve been telling for 20 years, and CASTELVECCHIO earned an international rating of 120 – he’s the only Australian 3YO on the current Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. Lys Gracieux franked the form with a superlative 5-length victory in the Nakayama Arima Kinen G1, earning a provisional rating of 130 – the highest figure ever awarded by the JRA handicapper. 

9. Five Arrowfield-bred and -sold Group 1 winners, THE AUTUMN SUN, KENEDNA, ATYAAB, CASTELVECCHIO & SUPER SETH headed the Stud’s list of 17 graduate stakeswinners in 2019. All were offered for sale as yearlings and purchased for prices ranging from $30,000 (MISSILE MANTRA) to $1.05 million (AKARI & STRONGER).

10. Two significant 2019 purchases add immense interest to Arrowfield’s racing team for 2020. Now owned by an Arrowfield-managed partnership, CASTELVECCHIO will return in the Autumn with the aim of emulating The Autumn Sun’s 2019 campaign, and the unbeaten European 3YO colt SKYWARD (Camelot-Shakeyourbody by Giant’s Causeway) will embark on something completely new for Arrowfield: a tilt at the Melbourne Cup!

The lowlight of Arrowfield’s year was also a last opportunity to celebrate our greatest champion, our biggest hero and our best friend. The death of REDOUTE’S CHOICE on 26 March, three days after The Autumn Sun’s final triumph, was one of the toughest days in Arrowfield’s history, leavened by the heart-warming public response, which expressed the profound impact Redoute’s Choice has had on so many people’s lives. And his story is far from finished: his progeny have compiled 16 stakes wins (two Group 1) since his death and he won his first Australian Broodmare Sires’ Premiership in 2019 with record earnings of $23.2 million.

We warmly invite clients, guests & visitors to celebrate the turning of the year at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Our yearlings, located in Barns S, T & U, will be available for inspection from Thursday afternoon, 2 January. Arrowfield’s hospitality marquee adjacent to Barn T will be in full swing, serving coffee, lunch & refreshments from Saturday 4 January.

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