Redoute's Choice filly wins French Classic trial

One of the most valuable mares to visit Redoute’s Choice at HH The Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in 2013 was the Wertheimers’ marvellous matron 22-year-old Born Gold (by Blushing Groom).

Born Gold achieved international fame as the dam of the 2010 European Horse of the Year Goldikova (by Anabaa) whose 17 wins included fourteen at Group 1 level.

But Goldikova is only the brightest of Born Gold’s stars. As at 2013 her dozen winning progeny also included Group 1-winning filly Galikova (by Galileo) and Group 3 winners Gold Round (also a very successful broodmare), Gold Sound and Goldikova’s full brother Anodin – a stunning record for any mare.

On Sunday the result of Born Gold’s mating with Redoute’s Choice, 3YO filly Gold Luck joined that wonderful list when she prevailed in a highly competitive battle for the  Prix Vanteaux 1800m G3 at Chantilly. The Freddy Head-trained filly worked hard for her short head victory, but found enough under pressure to defeat last-start winner Monroe Bay and Hebah.

Watch Gold Luck win the Chantilly Prix Vanteaux G3.

The form-line is strong: Gold Luck split the Al Shaqab colt Al Wukair and Hebah in last October’s Deauville Prix Isonomy LR, and Al Wukair, who is 2000 Guineas-bound, extended his unbeaten record on Sunday in the Mainsons -Laffitte Prix Djebel G3.

Gold Luck’s win was more than usually special, as the Wertheimer brothers’ racing manager Pierre-Yves Bureau explained.

“As breeders it is an immense joy for us because Born Gold was 22 years old when covered by Redoute’s Choice. It was a difficult gestation so to have the mare still with us, and enjoying a happy retirement on the farm, is already a win. And now for this filly to have already won at Group level, it is a dream.

“She fought hard there today to come out on top of what looked a decent group of fillies. The Prix Saint-Alary is a logical next step and in theory the extra distance should be no problem to her.”

Gold Luck is the first Group or Listed winner among 14 winners from the first European crop of Redoute’s Choice. Another exciting 3YO prospect is Gold Luck’s stablemate and close relation, the Roth family’s filly Golden Attitude (ex Gold Round by Caerleon) who won at Chantilly in February and was third over 2100 metres at Saint-Cloud on 2 April.

Gold Luck’s milestone win concluded an outstanding week for the great son of Danehill who dominated the Inglis Easter sale-ring along with his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt.

The father-and-sons dynasty claimed all of the Sale’s major stallion honours: Top Price ($2.5 million Redoute’s Choice-Secluded colt), Highest Aggregate (Snitzel, 38 lots sold for a total $20,425,000) and Highest Average (Not A Single Doubt, 3 lots sold for an average price of $750,000).

The trio sired eight of the Sale’s 17 $1 million-plus yearlings, including four of the top five lots, an achievement both explained and supported by their collective 47 winners of 57 Group & Listed Races in five countries since 1 August 2016.

First French stakes performer for Redoute's Choice

Redoute’s Choice posted his first stakes performer in France on Thursday when the Wertheimers’ home-bred filly Gold Luck was second in the Prix Isonomy LR at Deauville.

A debut winner at Maisons-Laffitte last month, Gold Luck’s effort to pick up from the rear of a strong field and finish within two lengths of the promising colt Al Wukair was full of merit. Sheikh Hamdan’s filly Hebah, the eight-length winner of her previous start, was three-quarters of a length away in third place.  

The result was a distant echo of the 2011 Prix de la Foret where Al Wukair’s sire Dream Ahead beat Gold Luck’s champion half-sister Goldikova.

It has been a good week in Europe for Redoute’s Choice, also represented by the colt Pivoine, a winner at Kempton on Wednesday at his second start. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute for owner-breeder Ballymacoll Stud, Pivoine is the first foal of Fleur de Cactus (by Montjeu) from a wonderful family the Stud has nurtured for almost 80 years. Pivoine’s fourth dam is the outstanding broodmare Hellenic, dam of Group 1 winners Islington, Mountain High & Greek Dance and grand-dam of Champion Australian Stayer Fiorente.

In the Ballymacoll tradition, Pivoine has been thoughtfully named in honour of the famous French botanical artist Pierre-Joesph Redoute: “pivoine” is the French word for “peony”.

Pivoine is the 7th European winner in the past month for Redoute’s Choice, following Celestial Spheres (Goodwood, 21 September), Gold Luck (Maisons-Laffitte, 26 September), Wajnah & Spotify (Bordeaux-Le Bouscat, 27 September), Astronomy’s Choice (Newmarket, 7 October) & Normandie (Maisons-Laffitte, 14 October). In all he has now compiled eleven 2YO winners from the first of his two European crops.

Earlier in the week, a filly from the champion sire’s second French crop sold for €150,000 at the Arqana October Yearling Sale. A daughter of Border Bloom (by Selkirk), she was consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux and bought by Blandford Bloodstock and new Chinese investor Zhiqiang An whose horses race under the name Golden East Horse.

Gold Luck wins on debut in France

When a great champion’s half-sister by a multiple champion sire makes her debut, expectations are naturally high.

2YO filly Gold Luck proved up to the task of meeting them when she won the Prix Tenebreuse over 1600 metres at Maisons-Laffitte in France on Monday.

Watch Gold Luck win at Maisons-Laffitte (courtesy of Thoroughbred Daily News).

It was a tidy performance by Gold Luck who is trained by Freddy Head for her breeders, Alain & Gerard Wertheimer.

Maxime Guyon settled the filly in third position, where she raced comfortably until asked to to extend in the final stages. She respnded generously to catch Ifiandra in the final 50 metres and score by a head, with Orerry 2.5 lengths back in third.

Head said, “I’m very happy with her. She wasn’t fully tuned-up today and I think she can make plenty of progress from this.

“Next year will be for her and we’ll leave her through the winter now in the hope she turns into a good filly. She handled herself very well and it looked a nice race. The runner-up pushed her hard at the end and overall they looked a nice bunch.”

Gold Luck is the 13th winner out of the remarkable broodmare Born Gold (by Blushing Groom), celebrated as the dam of five Group winners, chief among them Goldikova whose 17 wins included 14 at Group 1 level, notably three Breeders’ Cup Mile victories.

Redoute’s Choice has now notched up six winners from the first of two crops conceived during his stint at HH the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval. His other successful 2YOs in Europe this season are the colts Celestial Spheres and Colibri, and the fillies Deep Inside, Greshnitsia & Kazaroza.

Meanwhile, as the new season gains pace in Australia, the champion sire and his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt have already compiled 11 stakeswinners and almost $4 million prizemoney. Snitzel heads the current General Sires’ list with Redoute’s Choice 7th and Not A Single Doubt eighth.