A Group 1 weekend for Arrowfield graduates

Arrowfield has had many Group 1 weekends in its 32-year history, but few better than 6-7 May 2017 when four sale graduates by three different stallions won elite races in three countries.

Heading the quartet were Mustaaqeem & Rafeef who achieved a rare sibling Group 1 double in the SA Nursery and Computaform Sprint on Turffontein’s Champions Day. The sons of champion sire Redoute’s Choice & South African Horse of the Year National Colour were both purchased from the Inglis Easter Sale by Shadwell Stud’s master buyer Angus Gold and are trained in South Africa by Mike de Kock.

Rafeef and Mustaqeem, bred by Arrowfield in partnership with leading South African farm Klawervlei Stud, are the latest of Shadwell’s four Group 1-winning Inglis Easter graduates by Redoute’s Choice. Champion South African filly Majmu, also trained by de Kock, was a $300,000 buy from Arrowfield in 2013, and the David Hayes-trained Blue Diamond winner Nadeem was bought for $700,000 from Edinglassie’s 2005 draft.

With a new lifetime tally of 32 individual Group 1 winners, Redoute’s Choice has edged past the great US sire Giant’s Causeway (31 G1 winners) on the global Group 1 sires’ list. It’s a figure now bested only by Galileo (64 G1 winners) among active international sires.
 
Arrowfield’s third success on Saturday came in Adelaide when Blueblood Thoroughbreds’ $120,000 Magic Millions purchase Secret Agenda  overcame a wide draw to win the Robert Sangster S. G1. She is Not A Single Doubt’s sixth Group 1 winner and his third this season after Extreme Choice (MVRC A.J. Moir S. G1) and Scales of Justice (WATC Railway S. G1).

Secret Agenda was bred by the long-standing partnership of Arrowfield, John Leaver & Alan Jones, also successful at Group 1 level with Miss Finland and her daughter Stay With Me. Arrowfield has a record that includes all five Group 1 2YO races and six Australian Guineas winners.

Not A Single Doubt is on track to match or better his career-high 2015/16 performance, with 12 winners of 18 Group & Listed Races – just three black type wins short of his total last season.|

Three new Group 1 winners were enough to make the weekend memorable, but Contentment made it spectacular with a dramatic victory in the The Champions Mile G1 at Sha Tin on Sunday evening.

Contentment was described in post-race interviews as “quirky” by his jockey Brett Prebble, but it’s not a word that matches his quality record of 10 wins, six placings and more than $6 million from 29 starts, 21 of them in Hong Kong Group company.

His breeders Paul Favretto, Tony Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn are certainly proud of the 6YO son of Hussonet and their mare Jemison, who has yearling & weanling fillies by Animal Kingdom & Dundeel, and is again in foal to Dundeel.

A $65,000 purchase by John Foote from Arrowfield at the 2012, Contentment is trained by John Size for Benson Lo Tak Wing and, with a new figure of 126, is a top five performer in Hong Kong this season.

Rounding out the weekend’s graduate results were a couple of meritorious Group 1 placings, by Kenedna (Not A Single Doubt-Miss Dodwell), runner-up in the Australasian Oaks G1, and  Heavenly Blue (Snitzel-Simply Carina), third in the South African Derby G1, and a New Zealand Listed stakes win by 2YO Ardrossan (Redoute’s Choice-Miss Argyle).

Not A Single Doubt's 6th Group 1 winner

Not A Single Doubt put up three cracking fillies in two Group 1 races and a Group 2 event on Saturday and the single-figure odds offered on two of them suggested that a Group double was well within his grasp.

Racing is rarely that straightforward. Those two favoured daughters, Single Gaze in the GCTC Hollindale S. G2 and Kenedna in the SAJC Australasian Oaks G1, raced right up to their best form, but went down by the proverbial whisker to It’s Somewhat and Egg Tart respectively.

It was left to 4YO mare Secret Agenda to turn things around in the $1 million SAJC Robert Sangster S. 1200m G1 at Morphettville. However, despite three previous Group wins at sprint distances, she was rated no better than a $15 chance by punters after drawing gate 16.

Trainer Mick Price’s perfect Plan A involved a soft track and taking a sit back off the pace, but when the mare jumped brilliantly on a Good4 track Damien Oliver activated Plan B and sent her across the field to take up the lead.

Lake Como, Super Cash and Beautiful Flyer applied mid-race pressure which Secret Agenda repelled before the turn and, after balancing up, she gave her rivals no opportunity to catch her in the final run home, winning by 1.8 lengths from Viddora and I Am A Star in 1:09.15.

Watch Secret Agenda win the SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1.

Secret Agenda has now returned around ten times the $120,000 that Blueblood Thoroughbreds paid for her at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale where she was offered by Arrowfield, which bred her in partnership with Alan Jones & John Leaver.

Blueblood’s Director Carol Walsh recalls, “She was on our list, I absolutely love Not A Single Doubt, she had the right conformation and a superb pedigree.

“She’s a lovely mare, she does everything right and there’s still plenty ahead of her. The Goodwood is the plan and her owners are happy to race her on next season.” The Goodwood 1200m G1, also worth $1 million this year, will be run at Morphettville on 20 May.

Carol is proud of achieving Blueblood’s first Group 1 win only six years after the company began operation and this season has signed for 14 yearlings, including a pair of colts by Smart Missile.

Secret Agenda opened her career with a 3.5 length debut win at Moonee Valley in December 2014, but an injury suffered in the Blue Diamond Prelude prematurely ended her first campaign. Since then, Secret Agenda has progressed steadily, winning five of her 15 starts at three & four including Group wins in Melbourne and Sydney.

Her dam Negotiate, an unraced daughter of Red Ransom and Group 1 winner Euphoria, has four younger progeny by Smart Missile, including a yearling colt bought for $260,000 by Hong Kong trainer Ricky Yiu from Arrowfield’s Magic Millions consignment. A full sibling to her Group 1-winning daughter is due this coming Spring.

Secret Agenda’s efforts have taken Not A Single Doubt’s domestic prizemoney beyond $9 million for the season, with three Group 1 winners among a dozen stakeswinners equalling his career-best 2015/16 tally.

Not A Single Doubt's fifth stakes double

After a very big week in the sale-ring, Not A Single Doubt returned to making racing news on Saturday with a stakes double, courtesy of his daughters Secret Agenda in Sydney and Kenedna in Adelaide.

Such performances explain Not A Single Doubt’s position at the top of the Inglis Easter sire averages and his stunning run of million-dollar sales over the past 12 days: his $1.25 million yearling colt out of Quiet Maggy, the $1.4 million paid for 2YO gelding Gunnison and Northern Farm’s $1.1 million purchase of Don’t Doubt Mamma.

Like Gunnison and the Quiet Maggy colt, Kenedna and Secret Agenda are Arrowfield graduates, sold respectively for $80,000 at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and $120,000 at the the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Secret Agenda (ex Negotiate by Red Ransom) claimed her fifth and most valuable win on the final day of The Championships at Randwick when she landed the $300,000 ATC Sapphire S. 1200m G2 for trainer Mick Price and a group of owners managed by Blueblood Thoroughbreds.

Watch Secret Agenda win the ATC Sapphire S. G2.

It was a career-best performance by the 4YO mare, already a dual Group 3 winner in Melbourne and second in last year’s Sapphire Stakes.

Her jockey Damien Oliver said, “She’s a sweetheart, she’s a real tank. She loves the soft, I think she might want to move up here. 

“They’ve [Victorians] done well, it’s nice to share it around, the prizemoney is so good up here, it’s nice to be a part of it.”

3YO filly Kenedna (ex Miss Dodwell by Falbrav) left her run late, but showed plenty of tenacity in the straight to drive into the available space and collar With a Bit of Dash to win the $110,000 SAJC Laelia S. 1600m LR  by three-quarters of a length.

Watch Kenedna win the SAJC Laelia S. LR.

It was Kenedna’s fourth career win from the Darren Weir stable and her second stakes victory this campaign, following her VRC Vanity S. G3 success in February. The Auraria S. G3 on 22 April and Australasian Oaks G1 on 6 May are likely targets for her, as she appears to have inherited more of Falbrav’s stamina than her classy three-quarter brother Spill The Beans, a three-time Group winner at sprint distances.

Secret Agenda and Kenedna completed Not A Single Doubt’s fifth lifetime same-day stakes double, and his third this season, following Extreme Choice & Don’t Doubt Mamma at Moonee Valley on 30 September, and Single Bullet & Final Salute at Rosehill and Ascot on 11 March.

These six performers are among Not A Single Doubt’s ten stakeswinners this season, with Group 1 winners Extreme Choice & Scales Of Justice the major contributors to his Australian earnings total of $8.1 million – sufficient to keep him comfortably in the country’s top five sires.

Group 3 quinella for Not A Single Doubt

No surprise to see Blueblood Thoroughbreds’ quality sprinting mare Secret Agenda win the $150,000 MRC How Now S. 1200m G3 – she was the favourite, and her first-up record is very good.

The surprise was Every Faith, who steamed home to nab second, despite a record that did not favour the course, the distance or her first campaign run.  A Listed winner and Group-placed at three, she’s since won three times over 1600 metres in Melbourne and the style of her 6YO debut indicates she’s very capable of extending her record this Spring.

Both mares are daughters of Not A Single Doubt and Secret Agenda is his second stakeswinner this season, following Don’t  Doubt Mamma’s VRC Let’s Elope S. G3 victory last Saturday. 

Trainer Mick Price indicated after the race that Secret Agenda would target Melbourne’s excellent program of mares’ races this Spring, and that there was plenty of improvement in her.

“She’s still got her winter coat and is in between phases at the moment. It’s good that she won and she’ll definitely improve – the give in the ground was the key to her.

“She’s a little bit more relaxed than she used to be, now we’ve worked her out and can ride a race on her.”

Secret Agenda was bred by the highly successful partnership of Arrowfield, John Leaver & Alan Jones, and sent in Arrowfield’s draft to the 2014 Magic Millions Sale, where she was purchased for $120,000 by Blueblood Thoroughbreds.

Her two juvenile starts included a Moonee Valley success, but she came into her own last season, winning the VRC Red Roses S. G3 and placing three times in Group company, including the ATC Sapphire S. G2.  Secret Agenda’s record now reads four wins and $431,000 from a dozen starts.

Secret Agenda is the fourth winner out of Negotiate, an unraced daughter of Red Ransom and Group 1 winner Euphoria, a grand-daughter of Denise’s Joy – who also appears as the fourth dam of Don’t Doubt Mamma.

Negotiate has not missed a beat in her breeding career.  Since foaling Secret Agenda she has visited Smart Missile four times, leaving the now 3YO colt Missile Strike (placed in Sydney at his second start), a filly bought for $200,000 by Phillip Stokes at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale, a yearling colt and a colt foal born on 11 September. 

Every Faith, a half-sister to Group 2 winner Alpine Eagle, has earned $334,000 from 5 wins and six placings for her owners Barry, Barbara & Rebecca Saunders and trainer Robert Smerdon.

Australia’s leading active sire of 2015/16, Not A Single Doubt is the sire of 34 stakeswinners, sixteen of them fillies including Group 1 winners Miracles of Life and Single Gaze.

Not A Single Doubt, Snitzel and their sire Redoute’s Choice have tag-teamed to put up 10 Australian stakeswinners in the first seven weeks of 2016/17 and are already eighth, first and fifth respectively on the General Sires’ table.

Wednesday double for Smart Missile

Smart Missile’s excellent Spring continued on Wednesday when he notched up a trans-Tasman double, courtesy of Cha Siu Bao in New Zealand and Missile Boom in Victoria.

These wins, both over 1400 metres, take Smart Missile’s tally of winners this month to six, and 12 for the first 45 days of the season.

Hermitage Thoroughbreds’ colt Cha Siu Bao was a three-and-a-half length winner at Te Rapa, Hamilton, a good effort against older rivals, including the placegetters, both 4YO mares receiving weight from him.

Watch Cha Siu Bao win at Te Rapa.

Andrew Scott, who prepares Cha Siu Bao with Lance O’Sullivan, indicated that the win was a pleasing first step towards the colt’s participation in November’s NZ 2000 Guineas G1. The colt was placed in both his starts last season and fourth at his 3YO debut last month.

A $425,000 purchase by Anton & Oliver Koolman from Widden’s Inglis Easter draft, Cha Siu Bao is the fourth winner out of the multiple Group winner Ballet Society (by Stravinsky), half-sister to Group 1 winner Cent Home.

Missile Boom’s winning margin at Pakenham was only a half-length, but it was a similarly impressive performance, given he came from the back of the field, picked up ground round the turn and drove home for a soft win.

Watch Missile Boom at Pakenham.

Like Cha Siu Bao, Missile Boom is the fourth winner of his dam Full Bloom (by Snippets), a three-quarter sister to the dam of Snitzel. He is a graduate of Cornerstone Stud’s consignment at the 2015 Inglis Premier Sale, where syndicator Rob Slade secured him for $70,000, and is trained by John McArdle.

With 10 Australian winners since 1 August, Smart Missile is one of three second season sires that have already broken through the $200,000 mark this season, and he comfortably leads the list by winners.