Redoute’s Choice 3YOs Hardham and Royal Star are in Classic contention after impressive weekend stakes victories in Melbourne and Perth.
First up, at Moonee Valley on Friday evening, the colt Hardham produced a polished performance to win the $200,000 MVRC Alister Clark S. 2040m G2.
Last start Group 2 winner and favourite Farson (by Snitzel) set a solid pace in front and was pressed first by Ruthven round the turn, but it was Hardham & Luke Nolen that finished best, peeling out at the 600-metre to launch a run that proved decisive. He defeated Ruthven by three-quarters of a length, with Farson a neck away third.
Trainer David Brideoake said he will discuss heading back to Sydney for a tilt at the $2 million Australian Derby G1 on 1 April with the full brother of NZ 1000 Guineas G1 winner King’s Rose, now owned by Northern Farm in Japan.
“He’s a quality colt. That was a good performance and he’ll only get better. He ran well first-up and then ran well again last start in the Randwick Guineas but he just couldn’t let down in the heavy ground.”
“We’ll discuss it with the owners but I’d think he’ll head back to Sydney for the Derby. I think he’s earned his place.”
A $300,000 purchase by Peter Moody from the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale, Hardham is raced by a large group of owners including Sarah Moody, Sir Patrick Hogan, Mike & Kate Fleming and the colt’s breeder Dr Gene Tsoi. His dam Nureyev’s Girl (by Nureyev) has an Exceed and Excel filly in the Bhima Stud draft for this year’s Easter Sale and a weanling filly by Snitzel. Sadly, the mare died after foaling last Spring.
The WA Oaks G3 will also be held on 1 April and has a new favourite after Saturday’s $100,000 WATC Natasha S. 2200m LR, won in sparkling style by Bob & Sandra Peters’ home-bred filly Royal Star.
The daughter of 2300-metre stakeswinner Star Encounter (by Jeune) is a half-sister to Perth Cup winner Star Exhibit and showed plenty of her family’s stamina when William Pike unexpectedly sent her forward early in the race. It turned out to be a winning move, as Royal Star kept up a strong gallop throughout and shot clear in the straight to win by two lengths from Vain Stryker and her stablemate Very Tempting (also by Redoute’s Choice).
Royal Star is the third stakes-winning daughter of Redoute’s Choice bred and raced by Peters Investments, after the sisters Broadway Belle & Antique Rose.
The combination of Peters, Pike, Redoute’s Choice & trainers Grant & Alana Williams struck again in the very next race, when 4YO mare Galaxy Star (out of Star Encounter’s full sister Galaxy Queen) recorded her third win from four starts.
Redoute’s Choice already has seven Oaks wins and five Derby victories on his progeny record, but not the WA Oaks or Australian Derby.
Hardham & Royal Star take Redoute’s Choice’s imposing list of stakeswinners to 142, eleven of them successful this season. The three-time champion sire has 34 yearlings on offer at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale, 11 of them in Arrowfield’s consignment.