Menari magnificent in Run to the Rose

A quality field in Saturday’s $200,000 ATC Run to the Rose 1200m G2 unveiled a genuine star as Corumbene Stud’s magnificent colt Menari led home a Snitzel-Redoute’s Choice-Snitzel trifecta.

The pace was hot from the start as Perast took up the lead from Menari with Pariah settling in third. Perast kept going gamely into the straight, but Menari took control in the final 250 metres to win by 1.5 lengths in 1:08.59 from the gritty Pariah, with Perast the same margin away in third.

Watch Menari win the ATC Run to the Rose G2.

Menari’s jockey Josh Parr said, “Look at the size of the horse. It is just phenomenal to ride an animal like this. His turn of foot is second to none.”

Trainer Gerald Ryan’s suggestion a month ago that Menari was an Everest prospect now looks prescient, but the $1 million Golden Rose G1 on 23 September is the obvious interim target.

After today’s race Ryan said, “I was lucky enough to have a horse like Snitzel who I thought was a very good horse, then I had Snitzerland, then along came Rubick, who you never saw the best of, but this horse, what he showed us in the Autumn before he raced I thought this is a fair dinkum genuine horse.

“The way he worked last Friday morning, I reckon there’s only been two other horses I’ve clocked sectionals as quick as him and that’s been Chautauqua and All Too Hard when they were flying. He burnt the track last Friday.”

Pariah’s jockey Blake Shinn welcomes a Golden Rose re-match with Menari, saying, “He ran really well, had a lovely run behind the winner. Travelled beautifully, just maybe the weight swing, Menari had 1kg difference, in saying that full credit to the winner he was too good on the day, but level weights at 1400 metres in the Golden Rose, it’s going to be an exciting race.”

Menari is raced by George Altomonte’s Corumbene Stud which bred him from Isurava (by General Nediym), a stakes-winning juvenile and sister to Group 2 winner Ichihara, from the family of champion stayer Tie The Knot. 

Mr Altomonte has also placed Menari’s 2YO full sister Sweet Ava with Gerald Ryan, and Isurava is due to produce a Not A Single Doubt foal this Spring.

After today’s Group 2 successes by Russian Revolution and Menari, Snitzel’s stakes record in the first 40 days of this season stands at 8 winners of nine Group and Listed Races.

$850,000 graduate wins Group 2 Todman

James Harron bought four colts – none of them cheap – from Arrowfield in 2016 and after Gunnison’s resolute win in Saturday’s $300,000 ATC Todman S. 1200m G2, he can take plenty of satisfaction from his work.

So far the results read: unbeaten Group 2 winner (the now-gelded Gunnison), Group 3 winner & Group 1 runner-up (Pariah), debut city winner (Dracarys) and Severence, fourth in both his starts.

All four are trained by Peter & Paul Snowden, as is the Todman runner-up Invader (Snitzel-Flame of Sydney) a $475,000 buy from Arrowfield’s Magic Millions draft by the China Horse Club.

Gunnison’s jockey Blake Shinn said after the Todman, “He travelled really nicely and handled the conditions well, which is really important here today.

“Invader challenged me at the 200 metres and it was a thrilling battle, especially going toe to toe with Joao [Moreira). My horse really dug deep and it was a great finish.”

Gunnison, the 37th stakeswinner for Not A Single Doubt and his all-time top-priced yearling at $850,000, was offered at Inglis Easter on behalf of breeder David Paradice, who raced Gunnison’s Group 2-winning dam Colorado Claire (by Hussonet).

Colorado Claire has a Snitzel filly in Arrowfield’s 48-lot consignment for this year’s edition of the Inglis Easter Sale.

Invader, a Snitzel half-brother to the fine Hong Kong sprinter Not Listenin’tome, was bred by Michael Pitt from Listed winner Flame of Sydney (by Encosta de Lago).

In all, Arrowfield’s Class of 2016 has already thrown up seven stakes performers: Gunnison, Pariah and Inglis Premier (R) LR winner Azazel; Group-placed Invader & Showtime (also 4th in the Todman); promising Queensland colt Snitzkraft (a stakes-placed city winner) and stakes-placed Bowerman.

Gunnison was followed at a rain-soaked Royal Randwick by a pair of new stakeswinners by Snitzel, 3YO filly Samantha and 5YO mare Elle Lou. In fact, almost a third of the black type spots on the card were filled by the progeny of Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt.

Snitzel remains on top of the Australian General, 3YO and 2YO Sires’ Premierships and the father-and-sons trio has collectively posted 34 stakeswinners worldwide this season.

Hair Trigger fires at Wyong

First season sire Smart Missile added a new winner to his record when the Arrowfield-owned Hair Trigger scored comfortably over 1200 metres at Wyong on Thursday.

The 2YO gelding jumped well from gate 10, but Blake Shinn opted to ease him back then send him forward round the turn before asking him to quicken up. Hair Trigger took the lead and, without further urging, stretched out to win by almost a length from Uthred with Spending To Win a length away in third place. 

Watch Hair Trigger win at Wyong.

It was the 2YO gelding’s second start after he flashed home for a debut fifth at Kembla Grange in April wearing the colours of his breeder, and Smart Missile’s owner-breeder, Eduardo Cojuangco’s Gooree Park Stud.  Mr Cojuangco prefers to race fillies and colts, so Hair Trigger was sold to Arrowfield.

Smart Missile’s sixth winner, Hair Trigger is the first foal out of the winning Don Eduardo mare Touch of Greatness who is due to foal again this Spring to the brilliant son of Fastnet Rock.

Shinn tweeted after the race, “Hair Trigger showed great race sense for a young gelding and displayed brilliant acceleration to win today.”

Trainer James Cummings has a Saturday start at Canterbury on 23 July in mind for Hair Trigger and, all going well, will aim him at the early Spring 3YO stakes races.

Smart Missile’s popularity with breeders since his launch in 2012 has been matched by the enthusiasm of buyers who have paid an average of around six times his service fee for his first two crops of yearlings.

Sixth Group 1 winner for Snitzel

In May 2011 Arrowfield graduate Hot Snitzel won the Ken Russell Memorial Classic, becoming the fourth stakeswinner for Snitzel.

Almost exactly four years later Hot Snitzel is Snitzel’s sixth Group 1 winner, joining Sweet Idea, Wandjina, Snitzerland, Shamus Award and Sizzling, after taking out out the $500,000 BRC BTC Cup 1200m G1.

Chris and Michael Ward manage the gelding’s ownership group under the Triple Crown banner and are understandably delighted with his success.

Michael says, “Hot Snitzel is every owner’s dream come true! Purchased for only $60,000, he has gone on to win over $1.2 million so far. He has won a Group race each season at 2, 3, 4 and 5 and has now added a Group 1 race to his achievements as a six-year-old. What a fairy tale he has been for all involved!”

Hot Snitzel’s proven competitiveness at Group level and his juvenile successes in Brisbane were overlooked by punters who let him start at $26 at Doomben.

They also forgot how effective he is when fresh, as he was on Saturday, six weeks after his good third in the ATC Star Kingdom S. G3 at Rosehill. The last essential ingredient was a perfect ride by Blake Shinn, one of his five wins on the card.

Hot Snitzel settled behind the early leader and favourite Our Boy Malachi, then challenged within the final 200 metres and won by three-quarters of a length from a fast-finishing Knoydart with a neck back to Our Boy Malachi, third.

Peter Snowden, whose stable picked up Hot Snitzel only in the past month, acknowledged the work of his previous trainer Gerald Ryan in preparing the gelding for this campaign, now likely to culminate in the $2 million Stradbroke H. G1 on 6 June.

Hot Snitzel is the ninth and last foal out of the Blushing Groom mare Flames of Paris, an unraced half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Park Appeal, the dam of champion miler and leading sire Cape Cross.

Bred by the Arrowfield-Jungle Pocket partnership that has also produced Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler, and Group 1 winners Reaan and Sweet Idea, Hot Snitzel was bought from Arrowfield at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Triple Crown clients have previously occupied the Group winner’s circle with Snitzel’s daughter Flying Snitzel – also bred by Arrowfield & Jungle Pocket.

The Sweetest of Group 1 victories

The path to the Group 1 winner’s circle is is more circuitous for some horses than for others, and their crowning success, when it comes, is especially satisfying.

Snitzel’s daughter Sweet Idea, brilliant winner of Saturday’s $400,000 The Galaxy 1100m G1, is that kind of long-burning star.

She has earned immense respect from punters, racegoers and industry professionals alike, from her debut win at Randwick as a Spring juvenile, through four Group 2 wins, and the same number of Group 1 placings at two, three & four.

Sweet Idea’s record of eight wins (five of them at Group 1 or 2 level), seven seconds, a third and $2.4 million prizemoney from 19 starts, all but three of them in black type races, describes a performer of the most genuine class, always competing to win and never giving less than her very best effort.

She is well-matched with her champion trainer Gai Waterhouse who joined James Harron to buy her for $240,000 from Arrowfield’s 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast draft.

Despite her almost impeccable first-up record, Sweet Idea was allowed to start in The Galaxy at $18, a response to her wide draw and the quality of her opposition, notably the favourite Deep Field. Usually found taking up a position on the speed, Sweet Idea this time settled further back in the field, a tactic explained by Waterhouse after the race.

“Blake [Shinn] and I had a quiet talk in the jockey’s room beforehand and he said what do you think? I said to just give her a little bit of breathing space, you don’t want to use her up too soon and he did exactly that. It was a magical ride by Blake.

“She was too good the way she stormed home. I am so thrilled for the owners. We’ve been wanting the Group 1 and she’s got it in her first start back. What a mare.”

Or “You little ripper”, as part-owner David Henderson described her on Twitter. He races Sweet Idea with his brother Luke and Nick Vass, Wayne Cook, Danny Maher, Grant Scott, Mrs T.L. Vogel, Beric Lynton, Campbell Brown and Matt Allen.

Sweet Idea is the 5th Group 1 winner for Snitzel, and the second in a fortnight, after her Arrowfield-bred stablemate Wandjina’s success in the VRC Australian Guineas G1 on 7 March. Wandjina, from Snitzel’s 2011 crop, was also purchased from Arrowfield by James Harron, for $1 million from the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. 

Storming home for third in The Galaxy was Not A Single Doubt’s daughter Miracles of Life, bred by Teeley Assets, foaled and raised at Arrowfield and now raced by Stonestreet Stables.

Sweet Idea was bred by the highly successful partnership of Arrowfield & Katsumi Yoshida’s Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd, also responsible for Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler, Blue Diamond G1 winner Reaan, Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel & Hot Snitzel, recent Flemington Group winner Amorino & 2YO stakeswinner Odyssey Moon.

Sweet Idea was part of a notable day’s racing in Sydney for Mr Yoshida, also the breeder of Japanese visitor Real Impact, winner of the George Ryder S. G1. In a nice piece of synchronicity, Sweet Idea’s Group 1 success came on the same card as the Ranvet Stakes G1, one of two Group 1 races won by her Gai Waterhouse-trained grand-dam Electronic.

Arrowfield will offer Sweet Idea’s full sister as Lot 410 at next month’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale – view the draft here. The siblings’ dam Flidais (by Timber Country) has a weanling colt by Snitzel and is once again in foal to the outstanding son of Redoute’s Choice.