Messara looks back and forward with Snitzel

Bred by Francois Naude from the stakes-winning Snippets mare Snippets’ Lass, Snitzel was purchased for $260,000 by Gerald Ryan for owners Damion & Camilla Flower at the 2004 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Snitzel won his first three starts as a Spring 2YO, including the ATC Breeders’ Plate LR, and progressed to win the ATC Skyline S. G3 in February 2005. He then returned at three to win two Group races in Sydney, and defeat Virage de Fortune and Takeover Target in the 2006 MRC Oakleigh Plate G1. He retired to stud at Arrowfield with 7 wins, four placings and just over $1 million prizemoney from 15 starts.

As he celebrates Arrowfield’s fifth Australian General Sires’ Premiership in a dozen years, John Messara remembers when Snitzel first crossed his radar, back in the 2004/05 season.

“I could see he was a precocious two-year-old and a talented sprinter with a pedigree to match and of course, sired by Redoute’s Choice. While he was not very big, he had great balance and was exactly the type of horse that makes a successful stallion in Australia.

“I believed at the time that he was a Group 1 winner-in-waiting, and I had faith in his trainer Gerald Ryan who has proved himself a whiz not only with Snitzel, but also with his progeny.”

The son of Snippets’ Lass wasn’t built in the same mould as his imposing sire, but that was only a fleeting concern for Messara, who bought into the colt before his Autumn 2YO campaign.

“I liked him, and I liked his natural speed. I was slightly concerned about his height, but I looked at him as an individual and, while he didn’t have the imposing size of Redoute’s Choice, he was a most athletic type. He has since developed into a lovely, beautifully balanced stallion.

“Having Snippets, who had stood at Arrowfield, as his damsire was another bonus for me, and you can see that influence in him too.”

Messara’s selection from the records Snitzel has set or equalled in 2016/17 won’t surprise anyone who knows he’s the man who found the breed-shaping multiple Champion Sire Danehill and launched him in Australia.

“While he broke a number of records this season, I think matching Danehill’s record of 26 individual Australian stakeswinners in a season was a magnificent achievement.”

Although Snitzel has now set the bar very high on prizemoney, stakeswinners, 2YO winners and multiple premierships, Messara is confident he will continue to be a major force in Australian breeding and racing for some years to come.  

“He’s actually built up to this level of performance over several years. Bill Oppenheim’s APEX ratings first identified him in 2012, so the past year isn’t a flash in the pan.

“Snitzel’s achievements this season were so dominant and so widespread that I believe his success will spill over into subsequent years.

“Many of his current best sons and daughters remain in training, and he has great work in progress in terms of the quality and numbers of foals in utero, yearlings and two-year-olds.

“I can’t wait to see what he does next!” 

Champion Sire Snitzel dominates every category

Such was Snitzel’s history-making 2016/17 Championship season in Australia, that it’s easier to list what he didn’t do.

He’s not the Champion Broodmare Sire, but otherwise, Snitzel dominated every category he contested.

Arrowfield’s new superstar headed the key columns of the General Premiership table, with $16.1 million prizemoney (breaking Street Cry’s 2015/16 record by almost $3.2 million), 159 winners (one short of Lohnro’s record, set in 2013/14) and equalling Danehill’s 2001/02 record of 26 stakeswinners. 

Snitzel’s first Premiership completes an unprecedented three-generation sequence of Champion Australian Sires, following Danehill’s nine titles (won between 1995 and 2005) and Redoute’s Choice’s three titles (2006, 2010, 2014).

He is the fifth Arrowfield resident to become Australia’s Champion Sire, following Redoute’s Choice, Flying Spur (2007), Danehill (1995) & Last Tycoon (1994). 

Across-the-board prizemoney increases, especially in New South Wales, have certainly made it easier for Snitzel and a record six other stallions, including his barnmate Not A Single Doubt, to crack $10 million. However, Snitzel is the only one among the top five whose major earner, Redzel with $962,000, didn’t win $1 million or more, and his 26 stakeswinners contributed only 43% of his total earnings – a good indication of the deep quality that characterises Snitzel’s stud record.

Nine fillies and mares joined the list of Snitzel’s stakeswinners in 2016/17, headed by Group winners French Emotion, Elle Lou, Sweet Redemption, Teaspoon & Diddums. Like most of his Championship season’s best male performers, they all remain in training.

Invader was his top-earning juvenile, contributing $960,125 to the $4.9 million that won Snitzel the 2YO Sires’ Premiership by a comfortable margin from his former Arrowfield barnmate Manhattan Rain, sire of the Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign.

Remarkably, Snitzel’s list of 31 Australian stakes wins during the season includes only one of Australia’s million-dollar races, the ATC Inglis Sires’ Produce S. G1. He made the most of it though, siring the first three horses home, Invader, Summer Passage & Trapeze Artist to complete the country’s first single-stallion Group 1 2YO trifecta since 1982.

Invader headed Snitzel’s eight list-topping Australian 2YO stakeswinners this season, a quarter of his national record-setting tally of 32 juvenile winners of 46 races. (Three New Zealand winners from his 2014 crop gave him a final tally of 35.)

It was the same story on the 3YO Sires’ Premiership, where Snitzel ended the season on top by earnings (just over $6 million, more than $1.3 million in front of Sebring), winners (68), wins (120), stakeswinners (9) and stakes wins (11).

His principal 3YO earner was Russian Revolution, winner of the ATC The Galaxy G1 in March, and two other Group races last Spring. He was one of ten Snitzel stakeswinners who emerged in the first five months of the season and, along with Redzel, he progressed to elite success in the Autumn.

Snitzel’s Australian stakeswinners were prepared by 13 stables with Peter & Paul Snowden enjoying most success, thanks to Group 1 winners Invader, Redzel & Russian Revolution, Snitzel’s last stakeswinner of the season, Calanda, and Detective, who will do his future racing in Hong Kong.

Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott sent out five Snitzel stakeswinners, including Group winners Farson & Sweet Redemption, while Diddums, Trapeze Artist & Samantha took Gerald Ryan’s career tally of stakeswinners by his former stable star to twelve.

Snitzel did his bit to promote the Australian thoroughbred offshore, with the help of Group 1 winners Heavenly Blue (South Africa) & Summer Passage (New Zealand) and dual Group 3 winner Young Man Power (Japan). They boosted his 2016/17 worldwide statistics to 29 stakeswinners (5 at Group 1 level and nine of them juveniles) of 36 Group & Listed Races, for total prizemoney of $20.4 million.

Snitzel’s dominance of the 2016/17 season extended to Australia’s major yearling sales. He was the Leading Sire by aggregate at the Magic Millions & Inglis Easter Sales, and ended the auction season with total sales of $41.7 million and 111 lots sold for an average price of $375,732.

His five million-dollar yearlings were headed by the Top Cuban colt and the Response filly, both sold for $1.7 million by Arrowfield at Inglis Easter.

Snitzel’s achievements are magnified by the class of the stallions behind him in the top 15, among them six other Champion Sires (Street Cry, Fastnet Rock, Lonhro, Redoute’s Choice, Exceed and Excel and Encosta de Lago), his fellow Redoute’s Choice sons, Not A Single Doubt & Stratum, and an impressive group of emerging younger sires.

Snitzel has set the bar exceptionally high for all of them, as well as himself, but with three large, superb quality crops in the pipeline, and a dazzling book of mares visiting him at his 2017 fee of $176,000 inc. GST, his passage to greatness may have only just begun.

Redoute's Choice receives Champion Sire award

Redoute’s Choice won the 2013/14 Australian Champion Sire award at the combined National & NSW Breeding Awards Dinner held at Scone Racecourse last Saturday evening.

Australian-bred stallions have now won the award for nine consecutive years, a sequence initiated by Redoute’s Choice in 2005/06. He claimed the title again in 2009/10.

The 2014 award was made special by his son Snitzel filling the runner-up position – the first father-and-son quinella in the 130-year history of the Australian Sires’ Championship.

Basil Nolan, President of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, presented the trophy to Arrowfield Stud Chairman John Messara.

Mr Messara gave special thanks to vet Dr Wendy Perriam and groom Jarryd Stennett who accompanied Redoute’s Choice this year to France, where he served his second book of mares at HH The Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval.

Mr Messara also expressed pleasure at seeing the fulfilment of his vision of sending the best Australian-bred stallions to stand in Europe – a reversal of the traditional flow of stallion traffic. 

Five other breeding awards were presented during the evening, including the Australian Broodmare of the Year award, won by Estelle Collection, dam of this year’s world champion sprinter Lankan Rupee (by Redoute’s Choice).  Estelle Collection was owned by Muzaffar Yaseen’s Teeley Assets and based at Arrowfield until her sale to Coolmore in May.