First stakeswinner for Olympic Glory

Olympic Glory’s first stakeswinner may well be prophetically named – Watch Me – if the champion sprinter-miler builds on the good start he’s made with his first-crop European juveniles in 2018…

Olympic Glory’s first stakeswinner may well be prophetically named – Watch Me – if the champion sprinter-miler builds on the good start he’s made with his first-crop European juveniles in 2018.

Watch Me (ex Watchful by Galileo) put up a strong performance at her second start to win Saturday’s Criterium du Languedoc-Prix Bernard de Marmiesse 1600m LR at Toulouse in France. 

Trained by Francis-Henri Graffard for owners Alexander Tamagni-Bodmer & Mme Regula Vannod, the filly coped admirably with the big jump in class from her debut third at Saint-Cloud  to score by 1.25 lengths from Go To Hollywood, with Good Complicity a length away in third place. 

It was the Graffard stable’s third win in the race after the colt Cornwallville in 2014 & subsequently Group 1-placed filly Heuristique in 2016.

Watch Me and the Simon Brogi-trained colt Karaktair (ex Feelin Foxy by Foxhound) completed a double for Olympic Glory at Toulouse, and took his tally of 2YO winners from his first European crop to 18. 

Olympic Glory’s first 62 Australian yearlings offered at the 2018 sales averaged more than $85,000, with a top price of $600,000 for the colt out of Dowtown Manhattan. Named Sandre, he will be raced in Japan by Northern Farm.

Olympic Glory’s Australian-based 2YOs will race from the stables of several leading trainers including Peter & Paul Snowden, Darren Weir, Mick Price, Paul Perry, John O’Shea, Gerald Ryan, Ron Quinton, Tony Gollan, Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra and Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young.

New European stakeswinner for Redoute’s Choice

Eight days after posting his 33rd lifetime Group 1 winner, The Autumn Sun in Australia, the mighty Redoute’s Choice has added a new stakeswinner from the first of his two European-conceived crops. 

That’s Al Shaqab Racing’s 4YO mare Wajnah who landed her third and most valuable win in Sunday’s Prix Urban Sea 2000m LR at Le Lion-d’Angers in Western France.

Trained by her co-breeder Francois Rohaut, Wajnah had shown enough ability earlier in her career to be sent to the French 1000 Guineas G1, where she finished a decent fourth before unplaced finishes over longer distances in Group 3 company.

Wajnah resumed in April with a second and then a fourth over 1600 metres, and in this contest settled near back of the field before being asked to pick up round the turn. She wound up steadily to sweep past Baltic Duchess in the final 50 metres,  with Illaunmore third. 

Wajnah was bred by Rohaut and Haras de Saint Pair which offered her at the 2015 Arqana October Sale where she was sold for €260,000 to Mandore International acting for Al Shaqab. 

She is the third stakeswinner out of three-time winner Benzolina (by Second Empire), from the family of Group 1 winners Balbonella and her brilliant son Anabaa. Benzolina has a 2YO filly by Siyouni and a yearling filly by Olympic Glory.

Wajnah is the latest of 10 stakeswinners by Redoute’s Choice out of mares by Fairy King sons, a combination well-known in Australia where Encosta de Lago mares have left Group 1 winners Musir & Peeping and leading sire Beneteau to the three-time Champion Sire. 

Haras de Saint Pair also played a part in the history of Redoute’s Choice’s 3YO daughter Lady Athena, who put up a fine effort for sixth in Sunday’s €1 million Chantilly Prix de Diane (French Oaks) 2100m G1. 

Lady Athena settled near the rear of the field and struggled for a clear run at the top of the straight, but stayed on well in the final 200 metres to finish just ahead of the favourite Shahnaza. 

Haras de Saint Pair sold Lady Athena’s dam, Listed winner Monblue (by Monsun), for €400,000 at the 2013 Arqana December Sale. The buyer was Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock acting for Australian owner & breeder John Hutchins and his family, who  sent Monblue to Redoute’s Choice at HH Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in 2014.

Lady Athena has won two of her four starts including an impressive win over the Prix de Diane course last month. She looks capable of joining the 7 stakeswinners that have so far emerged from Redoute’s Choice’s two French-conceived crops: Group 3 winners Gold Luck (also Group 1-placed), Ibiza & Sevenna Star, and Listed winners Spotify, Time’s Arrow, Lilac Fairy & Wajnah. 

Worldwide during the 2017/18 Southern Hemisphere season, Redoute’s Choice has been represented by 14 stakeswinners of 15 Group & Listed Races. His career tally now stands at 159 stakeswinners, or just over 12 per cent of all his runners.