Arrowfield’s night at Racehorse of the Year Awards

Winx justly filled the headlines when she won her third Australian Racehorse of the Year award, but it was also a very big night for Arrowfield which celebrated Champion Sire Snitzel and four other awards…

World champion Winx was naturally the centre of attention at the 2018 Australian Racehorse of the Year Awards, held at the Forum, Melbourne on 4 October.

No gift for prophecy was required to predict that she would be crowned Racehorse of the Year for the third consecutive season, joining the elite company of Sunline (2000, 2001, 2002) and Black Caviar (2001, 2012, 2013) as a three-time winner of the ultimate accolade.

Winx, unbeaten in her eight starts in 2017/18, six at Group 1 level, also won the awards for Champion Middle Distance Performer and Victorian Horse of the Year.

Outside Winx, though, it was Arrowfield’s night as the Stud celebrated its connections with five of the other seven national awards.

Snitzel claimed the Champion Sire Award for the second consecutive year, with all-time record prizemoney of $29.2 million and a record-equalling tally of 26 individual stakeswinners. It is the sixth time in the past 13 years that an Arrowfield stallion has won the coveted title, after Snitzel’s sire Redoute’s Choice (2006, 2010 & 2014) and Flying Spur (2007).

Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer accepted the award on behalf of the Stud and the Snitzel Syndicate, acknowledging the quality of Snitzel’s competition, “possibly the strongest stallion roster ever assembled in Australia” and thanking all who had supported his stud career.
 
However, Freyer noted that it hadn’t all been plain sailing. “In Snitzel’s fourth year at stud we were cajoling, coercing and downright pleading with breeders to send their mares  to him and fickle as this business can be, he garnered little outside support.

“In fact, a great number of his relatively modest 63 foals in 2010 were bred by Arrowfield – but the crop included the Cox Plate winner Shamus Award and the wonderful mare Sweet Idea, now a resident of Her Majesty the Queen’s broodmare band.

“That crop was conceived on a fee of $20,000 and today’s it’s $200,000. What a ride it’s been and how much we look forward to what’s yet to come with Snitzel.”

Snitzel’s dominance of last season was demonstrated when his progeny collected three of the category awards, which are decided by the votes of racing administrators and media.

It is the first time, in the 14 seasons since 2004/05 when the 3YO Filly & Colt awards were introduced, that progeny of the reigning Champion Sire 

Emirates Park’s filly Estijaab (Snitzel-Response by Charge Forward) was named Champion 2YO after winning three of her four starts last season, including the ATC Golden Slipper G1 and Reisling S. G2 and $2.3 million prizemoney.

The third foal of her dual Group 1-winning dam, Estijaab was bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm and purchased by Emirates Park & Bryan Carlson for $1.7 million from Arrowfield’s draft at the Inglis Easter Sale. She is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes and is spelling after a setback cut short her 3YO Spring preparation. She is expected to return in the Autumn.

Also an Inglis Easter graduate, though not finding a buyer there, is the Champion 3YO colt Trapeze Artist (Snitzel-Treppes by Domesday). He won four of his 9 starts and $2.7 million in 2017/18, a record headed by three tremendous Group 1 victories, in the ATC T.J. Smith S. & All Aged S. against older horses and the Golden Rose  in his own age-group.

He is the second Snitzel son to be named Champion 3YO Colt, following Cox Plate & Australian Guineas winner Shamus Award in 2013/14.

Trapeze Artist is trained by Gerald Ryan for his owner-breeder Bert Vieira and success in The Everest, for which the colt is joint favourite, would be a timely boost for the Vieira family. Bert’s wife Gai is recovering in hospital from serious injuries suffered in a car crash on 5 September.  

The inaugural Everest winner Redzel (Snitzel-Millrich by Rubiton) won the Champion Sprinter title after a spectacular, five-win, $7.5 million season that also featured the VRC Darley Classic G1 and three other Group race wins. 

Redzel was bred by Lee Fleming and initially sold as a weanling, then offered by Marquee Stud at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale where he was bought for $120,000 by Triple Crown Syndications’ Chris & Michael Ward. He is trained by Peter & Paul Snowden for a large group of Triple Crown owners and is at single-figure odds for this year’s $13 million second running of The Everest on 13 October.

Snitzel, his sire Redoute’s Choice (with Lankan Rupee in 2013/14) and  grand-sire Danehill (with Exceed and Excel in 2003/04 & Fastnet Rock in 2004/05) are the only three stallions in the past 20 years to claim the Champion Sprinter in at least one of their own championship seasons. 

And it is the first time, in the 14 years since 2004/05 when the 3YO title was split by gender, that progeny of the reigning Champion Sire have won the 2YO, 3YO Colt or Filly & Sprinter awards in the same season.

Arrowfield’s trophy haul was completed by Shoals (Fastnet Rock-The Broken Shore by Hussonet), bred and raced in partnership with Jonathan Munz and trained by Anthony Freedman. She was voted Champion 3YO Filly after a stunning season against older mares, winning the Myer Classic G1 at Flemington, Surround Stakes G1 at Randwick and the Sangster Stakes G1 at Morphettville.

She is the second Arrowfield home-bred filly to win the title after Miss Finland in 2006/07.  

In all, Shoals won four of her 7 starts and $1.4 million last season while her full brother – cleverly named Groundswell – was the top-priced Australian yearling of 2018, knocked down for $2.3 million at Inglis Easter. 

Groundswell and another full sibling, 3YO filly Tides join their big sister in the Freedman stable, and The Broken Shore is due to foal again to Fastnet Rock this month. 

The Star secures Shoals for The Everest

Outstanding filly Shoals will run for The Star Entertainment Group, Arrowfield & Jonathan Munz in the $13 million The Everest on 13 October…

The Star Entertainment Group is delighted to announce the best three-year-old filly in Australia will be the company’s entry for the world’s richest turf race – The Everest – at Royal Randwick on 13 October.

Shoals (Fastnet Rock-The Broken Shore), with Group 1 victories in three states and prizemoney earnings of more than $2 million, will contest the 1200m weight-for-age sprint that is now the jewel of Sydney Spring Racing.

Launched last year as a ground-breaking $10 million race, The Everest in 2018 will have an even more staggering prizemoney pool of $13 million, well above the $7.3 million on offer for the Melbourne Cup.

Shoals will be The Star’s runner in The Everest’s elite 12-horse field following discussions between the ASX Top 100 listed company and Arrowfield Stud chairman John Messara.

“Like The Everest, The Star offers a premium entertainment experience for visitors to Sydney, and with three Group 1 victories on her record, Shoals has the kind of star power that can light up Royal Randwick,” said Messara.

Trained by Anthony Freedman for owner-breeders Messara and Jonathan Munz, Shoals has had a stellar three-year-old season, winning the Myer Classic in Melbourne , the Surround Stakes in Sydney and completing a Group One hat-trick with the Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide.

Unbeaten in three starts as a two-year-old, Shoals has now become one of only five horses to win three or more Australian Group One races in the current 2017-18 season.

Winx has won six. Shoals, Happy Clapper, Santa Ana Lane and Trapeze Artist have secured three apiece.

Shoals is already a Group 1 winner at Royal Randwick, in the ATC Surround Stakes on 3 March. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

“Jonathan and I are delighted to conclude an arrangement with The Star for Shoals to run in The Everest,” Messara said.

“We think she is a great chance to win the race and we’re all looking forward to her return in the Spring.”

The Star was an original slot owner for The Everest and continues to support the unique concept behind the race, won in its inaugural year by Redzel, a son of the Arrowfield-based Champion Sire Snitzel.

“We’re excited to be fielding a runner this year in partnership with Arrowfield’s John Messara,” said Michael Hodgson, GM Business Development and Partnerships at The Star Entertainment Group.

“He’s one of the most knowledgeable and esteemed racing men in the world, and in Shoals we believe we have an outstanding filly capable of claiming the event.”

Hodgson said The Star Entertainment Group was committed to delivering thrilling experiences to its domestic and international guests.“The Everest is certainly aligned to that promise,” he added.

“It also provides an opportunity to bring VIP guests from around the world to Australia to participate in an event unlike any other.

“There is no doubt The Everest, after successfully launching last year, is the new summit of thoroughbred racing and the star attraction for the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.

“We were excited to be involved in year one and delighted to be back for the second iteration.”

Watch Shoals’ three Group 1 victories in 2017/18:
VRC Myer Classic G1, Flemington, 4 November 2017
ATC Surround S. G1, Randwick, 3 March 2018
SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1, Morphettville, 5 May 2018

Magnificent Shoals leads home Arrowfield Group 1 quinella

Sensational at Flemington in the Spring, dominant at Randwick in March and now magnificent at Morphettville in May.

That’s the story of Shoals’ season for her owner-breeders Arrowfield & Jonathan Munz after meeting and beating three Group 1 fields of quality fillies and mares. 

The daughter of Fastnet Rock and The Broken Shore has firmly established herself as Australia’s best 3YO filly and one of the most valuable distaff performers of any age in the country.

Saturday’s  victory in the $1 million SAJC Robert Sangster S. 1200m G1 was made even sweeter for Arrowfield by Secret Agenda’s gallant second placing, sealing a graduate Group 1 quinella for the farm. 

Secret Agenda (Not A Single Doubt-Negotiate) was a $120,000 buy from Arrowfield’s 2014 Magic Millions draft by Blueblood Thoroughbreds. Her sterling 4-season, 7-win, $1.5 million career includes the 2017 Robert Sangster Classic G1.

Watch Shoals win the SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1.

Three Group 1 wins in her first 10 starts stamp Shoals as something special and trainer Anthony Freedman and his team can be proud of preparing her for peak performances at 1600, 1400 and 1200 metres in two campaigns this season.

“What next for Shoals?” is the question that Jonathan Munz and John Messara are now considering.  The Freedman stable reported on Monday evening that Royal Ascot, at least for this year, is off the table, in favour of The Everest at Randwick in October, subject to accessing a slot.

In the meantime, Shoals’ excellent recovery after Saturday keeps open the possibility of a start in the $1 million Goodwood G1, also over 1200m at Morphettville on 19 May.

It has been a remarkable few weeks for The Broken Shore (by Hussonet), whose third foal is last month’s  $2.3 million Inglis Easter sale-topper, a full brother to Shoals. 

The eight year-old mare’s work-in-progress also includes 2YO filly Tides, retained by Arrowfield and Pineciff Racing, a weanling colt by Medaglia d’Oro and a fourth Fastnet Rock foal due this coming Spring.

Hussonet mares are compiling an impressive record with Danehill sons. Shoals and another Arrowfield graduate, dual Group 1 winner Majmu (by Redoute’s Choice), head the nine stakeswinners from 87 runners bred that way.

Shoals supreme in Group 1 Surround Stakes

The Arrowfield brand has been carried by some outstanding fillies over the past three decades, most sold as yearlings to achieve Group 1 success for many happy owners outside the company.

One of them, last season’s Group 1 winner Secret Agenda resumed with an ebullient victory at Flemington yesterday for the Bluebloods Thoroughbreds syndicate that purchased her for $120,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale.

Other recent Group 1-winning female Arrowfield graduates are Sheikh Hamdan’s Champion Filly Majmu, Oaks winner Abbey Marie, and Group 1-winning sprinters Snitzerland & Sweet Idea.

Occasionally, the Stud is either left with an unsold filly, like 2010 Coolmore Classic G1 winner Alverta, or chooses to keep a particularly well-bred filly, such as Champion 2YO & 3YO Filly Miss Finland and her 1000 Guineas-winning daughter Stay With Me. All three are now valuable members of the Arrowfield broodmare band – so valuable that they respectively have a yearling filly, a weanling colt and a positive test to Japan’s supersire Deep Impact.

The briefest glance at the pedigree of 3YO filly Shoals, brilliant winner of Saturday’s $500,000 ATC Surround S. 1400m G1, explains why Arrowfield and co-breeder Jonathan Munz elected to retain her.

By two-time Champion Sire Fastnet Rock from a Hussonet half-sister to three-time Champion Sire Redoute’s Choice, Shoals had sufficient value in utero for her mother The Broken Shore to command a $1.9 million final bid at the 2014 Magic Millions Teeley Dispersal.

Sent to the Melbourne-based Freedman stable now headed by Anthony & his son Sam, Shoals showed early ability, winning her 2YO February debut and stepping up immediately to Group 3 success, then victory in last April’s ATC Percy Sykes S. G2.

She opened her 3YO campaign by winning the MVRC Atlantic Jewel S. G1 in September, then filled the runner-up spots in the Tranquil Star S. G2 and the 1000 Guineas G1 before scoring a heroic, all-the-way victory in the VRC Myer Classic G1 on Derby Day.

The only below-par performance in her nine-start, $1.3 million career came at her Autumn campaign debut last month, when she was unplaced at Caulfield. A complete review of the filly’s physical status turned up nothing and Sam Freedman offered the most likely explanation for that uncharacteristically poor run.

“She had a month off and blew right out, did very well in the paddock and was probably a little flat first-up, it’s all we can put that down to.”

Shoals’ emphatic performance at Randwick backs the stable’s conclusion. She bounced out well from gate 4 and settled comfortably behind the early leader Shumookh, so was in the perfect position for Josh Parr to peel her out and challenge at the top of the straight. Shumookh fought on while the favourite Alizee struggled to make ground from the rear and Torvill (by Not A Single Doubt) & Rimraam began to steam home down the outside. 

Shoals had the race under control at the 200-metre mark, but kept fighting to defeat Torvill by a half-length, with Rimraam third and Shumookh fourth.

Watch Shoals win the ATC Surround S. G1.

Major Autumn targets in Sydney now beckon, including the T.J. Smith Stakes, the Doncaster Mile and the Queen of the Turf Stakes – and Shoals is nominated for all of them. A future Royal Ascot and July Cup campaign is also on the table. 

In the meantime, Arrowfield is preparing Shoals’ full brother for next month’s Inglis Easter Sale, raises her half-brother by Medaglia D’Oro and eight-year-old The Broken Shore, who hasn’t missed a beat in her breeding career, nurtures the Fastnet Rock foal she is due to deliver next Spring.

Shoals too strong in Atlantic Jewel Stakes

The ten mares bought for $1 million or more from the spectacular Teeley Dispersal at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale are a fascinating group to follow. 

Nine of the ten are from the immediate family of Redoute’s Choice and the tenth mare, Estelle Collection was in foal to the champion sire. 

Four of them have had subsequent yearlings go through the ring in Australia for a total of $3.95 million. Two mares, Drifting Cube and Taste of Heaven are in the United States, while Unspoken Choice is in Japan where she has a yearling colt by Deep Impact. 

Several of these mares have unraced progeny in Australia, for example, 3YOs Notting Hill (Pierro-Monsoon Wedding), Lankan Rupee’s full brother Regal Stage (Redoute’s Choice-Estelle Collection), Mujaadil (Not A Single Doubt-Unspoken Choice) & Exrated (Pierro-Rex Is A Star).

The just-turned 2YOs include Munich (Snitzel-Quench The Thirst), Set Goals (Snitzel-Your Life Style) and a Dundeel filly from Rex Is A Star. 

However, the early prize for the best result from the Teeley Dispersal must go to The Broken Shore, one of two Hussonet fillies that Shantha’s Choice left at the end of her extraordinary career as a matron. 

Bought for $1.9 million by Dean Hawthorne for the partnership of Arrowfield and Jonthan Munz’s Pinecliff Racing, The Broken Shore produced a Fastnet Rock filly in 2014. Named Shoals, she was retained by her breeders and is unbeaten in four starts after adding Saturday’s $120,000 MVRC Atlantic Jewel S. 1200m LR to her two juvenile Group victories and debut win last February.

Watch Shoals win the MVRC Atlantic Jewel S. LR.

That record and her solid gold pedigree make Shoals one of Australia’s most valuable fillies in training, and not surprisingly her trainer Anthony Freedman has a Group 1 target in sight for her.  

He said after her no-nonsense Moonee Valley success, “We need to find out now is she can stretch out in distance. If she can get a mile then a race like the Thousand Guineas is the obvious race for her.

“She’s got the temperament to do it, it’s more a question of whether she can stay. She’s high quality and I’d like to think there’s more improvement in her – she hadn’t done that much coming here.”

The Atlantic Jewel Stakes was also won two years ago by Arrowfield’s filly Stay With Me on her way to success in the Thousand Guineas G1.  

Still a young mare, only eight years-old, The Broken Shore has already joined her half-sisters Monsoon Wedding and Sliding Cube to expand the distaff side of the Shantha’s Choice dynasty. And there’s more to come: Shoals has a 2YO full sister and yearling full brother and The Broken Shore is foaling this Spring to Medaglia d’Oro.