Arrowfield sires dominate Timeform 2YO ranking

The 2016/17 season featured a bumper crop of juveniles by Arrowfield stallions, and two of them head the 2YO rankings on either side of the Tasman.

On Australia’s Timeform rankings, compiled by Gary Crispe of Racing & Sports, six of the top dozen 2YOs are by Snitzel (Invader, Summer Passage, Chauffeur & Trapeze Artist), Redoute’s Choice (Pariah) and Not A Single Doubt (Gunnison).

ATC Inglis Sires’ G1 winner Invader is rated alongside Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign on 119, with Pariah (118) and Summer Passage (117) in close attendance. Chauffeur, Gunnison and Trapeze Artist have all been given a figure of 115.

Invader, Pariah and Gunnison are all Arrowfield sale graduates, while She Will Reign and Property (awarded 116) are by former residents Manhattan Rain and Starcraft. She Will Reign is out of a mare by yet another former Arrowfield sire, Charge Forward, The Mission (116) is from a Redoute’s Choice mare and both Pariah & Gunnison claim Hussonet as their damsire. 

Invader, Pariah and Chauffeur will line up in the next enthralling battle of Sydney’s Spring 3YOs, Saturday’s ATC The Run to the Rose G2 at Rosehill. Their eight rivals also include Tangled, Menari & Perast (all by Snitzel) and Not A Single Doubt’s son Qiji Phoenix.

Summer Passage, trained in New Zealand by Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott for Hong Kong owner Eugene Chuang, is rated on top of the NZ 2YO Free Handicap, released this week by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association. 

The colt was awarded 59.5kg after winning the ARC Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. G1 and Matamata Slipper S. LR, with the leading filly, Melody Belle allotted 57.5kg, and the second top-weighted colt Star Treasure, given 56 kg. 

Summer Passage’s trainers report that he will travel to Melbourne on Sunday and run in the VRC Danehill S. G2 on 16 September, with the VRC Coolmore Stud S. G1 on 4 November his principal target.

Redoute's Choice dominates Golden Slipper pedigrees

Redoute’s Choice, already the sire of two Golden Slipper winners, appears in the immediate pedigrees of no fewer than 11 of the 19 juveniles in the field for this year’s $3.5 million event, sponsored for the second time by Longines.

Pariah is his 17th Slipper runner, bidding to join the 2006 winner Miss Finland, and Stratum, who defeated Fashions Afield in 2005 to give their champion sire a memorable quinella. 

This year Redoute’s Choice also appears as the damsire of Trekking, Frolic and 3rd emergency The Mission, and as the paternal grandsire of Single Bullet (by Not A Single Doubt), and Trapeze Artist, Invader, Menari, Teaspoon and emergency runners Chauffeur & Showtime (all by Snitzel).

Given that Snitzel heads the 2YO Sires’ premiership by earnings, winners and stakeswinners, it’s not surprising this is his best-ever contingent in the Slipper. He’s already the damsire of a Slipper winner (Mossfun in 2014) and two placegetters, Snitzerland, the gallant runner-up to Pierro in 2012, and Showtime’s sister Sweet Idea, third to Overreach in 2013. 

A fourth Arrowfield stallion, Charge Forward, figures as the damsire of Single Bullet’s stablemate She Will Reign, a daughter of former Arrowfield resident (and half-brother of Redoute’s Choice) Manhattan Rain. Charge Forward, himself a close second to Dance Hero in the record-breaking 2004 Slipper, is also the sire of 2009 runner-up Headway.

Arrowfield is attempting to add a third Golden Slipper to the trophies won by Miss Finland and Flying Spur (in 1995) as the owner-breeder of Teaspoon, the last foal of venerable matron Patronella, now in happy retirement as a nanny mare at the Stud. Trained by Michael Freedman, Teaspoon has won two of her three starts including the ATC Widden S. G3 (pictured, right; PHOTO: Sportpix) and will be ridden by Zac Purton.

Arrowfield bred and sold Inglis Easter graduate Pariah (in partnership with John Leaver, David Paradice & Paul Favretto), and Magic Millions colt Showtime (in partnership with Katsumi Yoshida), and sold Invader on behalf of his breeeder Michael Pitt. Two other breeders have multiple runners: Darley (Veranillo & Trekking) and Corumbene Stud (Single Bullet & Menari).

An interesting aspect of the 16-strong 2017 Golden Slipper field is its exactly even distribution between the sexes, eight colts and eight fillies, though the three emergencies are all colts. History favours colts and geldings with 35 wins, compared with 25 by fillies, but the split by runners (165 male, 146 female), top five finishes (51 male, 49 female) and winners (11 male, 9 female) is a little more evenly balanced over the past two decades, 1997-2016.

Apart from being a thrilling contest that can determine both the season’s best 2YO and the champion sire of juveniles, the Golden Slipper frequently previews other top performers. Subsequent Group 1 winners that ran in, but didn’t win the race include: English, Single Gaze & Speak Fondly (2015), Sweet Idea, Guelph & Criterion (2013), Snitzerland & Epaulette (2012), Mosheen, Foxwedge & Hot Snitzel (2011), Melito, Wanted & More Joyous (2009), Empires Choice, Gold Edition & Casino Prince (2006),  Snitzel (2005), Charge Forward, Alinghi & Fastnet Rock (2004), Shamekha & Exceed and Excel (2003) and Choisir & Yell (2002). 

The Longines Golden Slipper S. 1200m G1, offering winner’s prizemoney of $2 million, will be held for the 61st time at Rosehill this Saturday 18 March at 4.10 pm AEDT.