Vettel motors home on debut

The 2008 crop of Redoute’s Choice produced its 26th 3YO winner when Vettel scored nicely over 1212 metres at Geelong today for the partnership of Arrowfield and the Blue Sky Thoroughbreds Stallion Fund No. 3 Syndicate.

Pictured: Vettel as a yearling. (PHOTO: Kulani Park/Inglis)

The Danny O’Brien-trained colt settled fourth on the fence, slipped through to the lead soon after the turn and responded kindly when clicked up to score by the best part of a length.

Vettel is the first Australian-born foal of the imported mare Dancing (by Spectrum), a Group 2 winner in the United States whose family has already proved successful here, thanks to her half-sister Miss Vita, dam of the dual Group 1-winning stayer Zavite. This is also the family of champion European colt Suave Dancer whose three Group 1 wins included the 1991 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

There is some poignancy in Vettel’s win, because Dancing was owned by Phillip Esplin, who died last month. Mr Esplin was a founding director of the Arrowfield Group and the highly respected breeder of many outstanding horses including Charge Forward, Reset and Merlene.

Vettel was bred by Twin Palms Stud and sold as weanling for $300,000, then re-offered by Kulani Park at the 2010 Inglis Australian Yearling Sale, where Blue Sky Thoroughbreds purchased him for $550,000.

Redoute’s Choice heads the Australian 3YO sires’ list by winners with a tally of 24, including Group 3 winner Galah (who did his reputation no harm with a fighting third in yesterday’s MRC Sandown Guineas G2), and Group-placed trio Rekindled Alliance, Cross of Gold & Florentina. Across the Tasman, the stakeswinner Burgundy has fully recovered from the ‘thumps’ episode he suffered during last weekend’s NZ 2000 Guineas G1 and is now spelling.

Vettel’s win today helped to push his sire’s season earnings in Australia past the $4 million mark, ahead of Nicobar (sire of Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden) and Fastnet Rock.

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