Arrowfield added another Horse of the Year to its graduate roll on Thursday evening when Stepitup won the Singapore Turf Club’s most prestigious award for 2015. He was also voted last season’s Champion Older Horse.
The ultra-competitive 6YO gelding has been among Singapore’s stars since the beginning of his career in 2013, when he was named Champion 3YO after winning eight of his 11 starts that year, including the Singapore Guineas Sgp-1 and three other domestic Group races.
By his standards Stepitup had a quieter season in 2014, winning only one of his 11 runs, and placing in the Singapore Derby, Patrons’ Bowl & Raffles Cup, all carrying Sgp-1 status.
Transferred to the care of champion trainer Laurie Laxon at the end of 2014, he returned in defiant form last year to win six of his 12 starts from March to November. That campaign concluded with possibly his best ever performances, in the first two legs of the Singapore Triple Crown series, the Kranji Mile Sgp-1 and his second Raffles Cup.
His career tally of 15 wins from 1000m-2000m, eight placings and $S2.4 million from 34 starts accurately measures the class and versatility he has consistently displayed for his owner, the Tivic Stable.
The source of those qualities is easy to find. Bred by Arrowfield in partnership with John Leaver’s Planette Thoroughbred, Stepitup is by champion sire Hussonet out of the grand racemare Ain’t Seen Nothin’ (Nothin’ Leica Dane-Icecapade by Genghiz). She was a $20,000 Inglis Classic yearling buy for trainer Barbara Joseph who managed her 8-win, $614,000 three-season career including three Listed Race successes, and a third in Mummify’s 2003 MRC Underwood S. G1.
A $460,000 purchase by Badger’s Bloodstock from the 2005 Inglis Broodmare Sale, Ain’t Seen Nothin’ has given the Arrowfield roster outstanding support, leaving six winners to four stallions, including dual stakeswinner Ain’tnofallenstar (by Starcraft) and Group 3 & Listed winner Bachman (by All American), as well as Stepitup.
Ain’t Seen Nothin’s 3YO son Zolotoi (by Starcraft) has been placed this season from the Adelaide stable of Mark Minervini. She also has a yearling filly by All American and a 2015 filly by Dundeel.
Stepitup is the fourth national Horse of the Year raised at Arrowfield, after Lankan Rupee (Australian Horse of the Year, 2014; bred & raced by Teeley Assets); Weekend Hussler (Australian Horse of the Year, 2008; bred & sold by Arrowfield in partnership with Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd); and Makybe Diva (Australian Horse of the Year, 2005 & 2006; reared for Tony Santic).
Stepitup, bought by Cliff Brown for $90,000, is one of six stakeswinners from Arrowfield’s spectacular 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier consignment which also produced Group 1 winner Snitzerland (bought for $125,000), Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel ($25,000) & Honorine ($80,000) and Listed winners Smoko ($75,000) & Road Trippin’ ($22,500).
This year in Melbourne Arrowfield will offer 21 yearlings including three fillies & three colts from the first crop of international champion racehorse Animal Kingdom.