Smart Missile 2YO pleases Triple Crown

Chris & Michael Ward’s Triple Crown Syndications have a knack for spotting stallion talent early.

They did it with Snitzel, buying Hot Snitzel in 2010, Flying Snitzel a year later & Redzel in 2014. The rewards for their owners have been spectacular: almost $9.5 million prizemoney and 22 wins, 13 of them at Group level, including three Group 1 victories and, with Redzel still racing, surely more to come.

They have taken a similar approach to Smart Missile, backing up their first-crop purchase of 2YO stakes-placed city winner Jericho with city winner Smartedge and stakes-placed winner Island Missile, all still in training with Peter & Paul Snowden. 

In 2017, they bought a $40,000 Inglis Classic filly from Davali Thoroughbreds that may turn out to be their best Smart Missile buy. Named Ballistica, she has made a big impression with two trial wins, at Warwick Farm on 22 January and today at Gosford, where she defeated another Smart Missile filly, Elenara. Both fillies are trained by Bjorn Baker.

Watch Ballistica’s trial win at Gosford.

Soon after the trial quinella, Baker tweeted enthusiastically about the Smart Missile-Whatevs filly he and Hughes Bloodstock purchased for $NZ80,000 from the Koru Thoroughbreds draft at Karaka. The top-priced Smart Missile yearling at the Sale, a colt out of Petrushka, was sold by the same vendor for $NZ170,000 to Tartan Meadow Bloodstock & Edmond Wong.

Smart Missile, who leads the current Third Season Sires’ list, has a strong line-up of 35 yearlings in the Inglis Classic Sale including five colts & a filly in Arrowfield’s draft.

And if you’re interested in the next Arrowfield stallion Triple Crown has ear-marked for success….Chris & Michael bought Arrowfield’s Olympic Glory-Hussterics filly for $85,000 at the Magic Millions Sale.   

Redzel dominates Darley Classic

Snitzel’s son Redzel confirmed his status as Australia’s No. 1 sprinter with a dominant display of championship speed in Saturday’s $1 million, 1200-metre VRC Darley Classic, his second Group 1 victory.

And he made it look easy, jumping well, taking up the lead on the outside rail of the famous straight six course and staying there to score in 1:08.74 by 0.75 length from Terravista and Impending, ahead of Chautauqua, Clearly Innocent and Rock Magic. 

Watch Redzel win the VRC Darley Classic G1.

Unbeaten in his four starts this season, and brilliant winner of The Everest last month, Redzel has won 11 of his 21 starts and $7.7 million for the large group of owners managed by Chris & Michael Ward of Triple Crown Syndications.

Peter Snowden, who prepares the 5YO gelding with his son Paul, gave a succinct description of Redzel’s win and the key to his success. 

“Just jumped, led, sustained speed and just finished it right off. I don’t think he was ever headed. It was a dominant win again.

“This horse is easy to train. He does everything that we ask. What we found out now is to just space out his runs, and give him an easy time between runs and he comes back to life again. He is such an easy horse to train.”

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy agrees about Redzel’s professionalism. “He’s so reliable, you know he’s going to turn up and have a show. He’s just keeps achieving with what’s put in front him.

“He’s the best older sprinter I’ve ridden.”

Redzel’s major 2018 target will again be The Everest, with the race’s increased prizemoney of $13 million enough to keep him in Australia and forego a trip to Royal Ascot.

Snitzel is the only stallion represented by top 10 performers in every age category of the current Australian Timeform rankings compiled by Racing & Sports. 

Redzel (with a figure of 125) holds the highest rating among Snitzel’s tribe, 3YO colts Menari (122p) & Trapeze Artist (122), 4YO Russian Revolution (120), 3YO Summer Passage (116) and 2YO Bondi (112).

Redzel’s work this Spring has lifted Snitzel’s prizemoney to $12,379,198, almost exactly $4 million ahead of High Chaparral who has a similar margin on Street Cry and Fastnet Rock, with Not A Single Doubt fifth on $4.7 million.

Across the Tasman, a lower-profile meeting at Te Rapa supplied a significant milestone for Snitzel when his 5YO daughter Untamed Diamond  took out the $50,000 Waikato Sprint 1200m LR. She is Snitzel’s 75th stakeswinner and completed the 15th same-day stakes double on his record.

Watch Untamed Diamond win the Waikato Sprint LR.

Untamed Diamond, out of dual stakeswinner Made Of Diamonds (by Made Of Gold), was bred and sold by Arrowfield for $30,000 to trainer Richard Collett at the 2014 Inglis Classic Sale. She is the third stakes-winning Arrowfield graduate from that particular sale, after Group winners Spill The Beans and Odyssey Moon, both also by Snitzel.

Redzel wins Hall Mark Stakes

Chris & Michael Ward of Triple Crown Syndications were among the early fans of Snitzel’s progeny and their Arrowfield purchases Hot Snitzel (in 2010) and Flying Snitzel (in 2011) for a total of $85,000 proved very shrewd indeed.

Around $2 million prizemoney and sale proceeds, a Group 1 victory and multiple Group 2 successes later, the brothers could be well-satisified with their work, but their connection with Snitzel wasn’t finished, despite the increasing demand for yearlings by the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice.

Among their 2014 purchases were Group winners Charlie Boy, Dothraki, Gold Symphony and the $120,000 Snitzel-Millrich colt from Marquee Stud at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Named Redzel, the now 4YO gelding has put his large group of Triple Crown owners in the stakeswinner’s circle four times in little more than 12 months, most recently after last Saturday’s $150,000 ATC Hall Mark S. 1200m G3 – also won by Hot Snitzel in 2014.

Redzel was narrowly beaten by top-class sprinters English in the Challenge S. G2, and Russian Revolution (also by Snitzel) in The Galaxy G1 at his previous two starts, and bounced out of the gates this time to lead in his trademark take-no-prisoners style. Counterattack and Hellbent stayed in close attendance throughout, but Redzel had the edge coming round the turn and quickly put paid to their challenges with a final burst of speed which took him clear.  Counterattack boxed on gamely for second, with Hellbent holding third.

Watch Redzel win the ATC Hall Mark S. G3.

Redzel has paid a dividend in eleven of his 16 starts and returned more than six times his purchase price, making him the kind of utterly genuine, admirable and classy performer every owner would love to race.

Co-trainer Peter Snowden said, “He’s really toughened up now for recent racing, just taking him quietly and giving him plenty of time between runs really suits him. He did a good job today in very testing conditions.

“He’s about 60-70kg heavier than he used to be as a three-year-old, he’s really developed now. Because he races so hard he’s so taxing on himself, I give him plenty of time to get over it and it works really well.”

A Brisbane campaign and possibly an even bigger target now beckon for Redzel as Triple Crown’s Chris Ward notes.

“He deserved to be favourite for the Hall Mark, especially after his two runs this time in. The only query was the extra distance, but he handled it well.

“Redzel has shown he can compete with the best sprinters around and has plenty of options going forward,” Ward adds. “There is a possibility he could head to Brisbane for a race like the Doomben 10,000 and we might even consider The Everest in October.”

Redzel is one of Snitzel’s 24 worldwide stakeswinners so far in 2016/17 and it would be no surprise to see him join 2YOs Invader & Summer Passage, and 3YOs Heavenly Blue and Russian Revolution to make a quintet of Group 1 winners for the season.

Snitzel equals 40-year-old record

On 28 July 1976, Lindsay Park’s great sire Without Fear set an Australian and world record of 30 2YO winners in a season when the filly Point Blank scored at Gawler in South Australia.

The world record endured until 1998 when End Sweep, who subsequently stood at Arrowfield, posted 33 individual winners from his first US-bred crop.

The Australian record has been much harder to crack but, almost exactly 40 years later, Snitzel has equalled it.

The critical victory was finally achieved on Saturday 23 July by the filly Bukzel, who scored on debut at Newcastle for trainers Peter & Paul Snowden and apprentice jockey Nick Heywood.

It’s fitting that Bukzel delivered the milestone win because her breeder and owners spotted Snitzel early in his career, before seven Group 1 winners and nine million-dollar yearlings made him Australia’s hottest young sire. 

Bukzel is out of the unraced Jeune mare Bukhoor from the celebrated Easy Date family and was bred by Stuart Ramsey’s Turangga Farm which has used Snitzel regularly since his second season at stud. Sent to the 2015 Magic Millions Sale, Bukzel was bought for $135,000 by Chris & Michael Ward of Triple Crown Syndications.

Said Chris after Bukzel’s win, “We’re thrilled to provide Snitzel’s milestone two-year-old winner today with Bukzel. She’s a promising filly we have plenty of time for.

“She was sent to the races today to get race experience before going to the paddock and we thought she would be tough to beat. This will stand her in good stead for next prep when she returns late in the Spring. There is plenty of upside with her.”

Chris added, “Snitzel has been so good to us. He’s a stallion we identified early and he’s repaid us many times over. Not only does he produce fast and precocious horses, but tough horses too.

“Hot Snitzel typified everything that he’s about: winning as a pre-Christmas two-year-old before winning stakes races every season right through to his Group 1 win as a six-year-old. They don’t come much better.”

Triple Crown bought Hot Snitzel for $60,000 from Arrowfield’s draft at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. The ebullient chestnut colt matured into the classy, professional sprinter who ended his career with the 2015 BTC Cup G1 and earnings of $1.3 million.

Chris & Michael returned to Arrowfield’s draft at the 2011 Melbourne Sale to pick up Flying Snitzel for just $25,000. Three years, two Group wins and $340,000 prizemoney later, she was sold to Widden Stud as a broodmare for $410,000.

Triple Crown syndicates have enjoyed success with other Snitzel progeny, including El Sasso (six wins, most recently at Rosehill on 2 July) and Listed winner Redzel who also won on Saturday, over 1100 metres at Canterbury.

Snitzel’s 30 winners of forty races from his 2013 crop include his 17th & 18th juvenile stakeswinners, El Divino and Modern Wonder, and another 13 city winners. Queensland filly Spot The Diff gets the award for Most Wins with five, ahead of six two-time winners: El Divino, Russian Revolution & Thronum (Sydney), The Seductress (Melbourne), High Conviction (Perth) and the South African-owned colt Simply Blue (Turffontein).

With eight days left of the 2015/16 season, Snitzel has time to claim exclusive ownership of the 2YO winners record.  Three first starters at Hawkesbury on Sunday are his next chances of getting winner No. 31: America & Samantha (both trained by Gerald Ryan) and another Snowden runner, Calanda.

The making of juvenile sire history is only part of Snitzel’s story this season. He’s about to complete his fifth consecutive top 10 finish on the Australian General Sires’ premiership, and his lifetime record of stakeswinners has increased to thirty-eight. New stars for him this season include Hong Kong Champion Miler Sun Jewellery, Group-winning 3YOs Spill The Beans (now at stud) & Perignon and his 17th & 18th juvenile stakeswinners El Divino and Modern Wonder.

The good news continued in the sale-ring too. A trio of Snitzel colts topped each of the three major Australian yearling sales (Magic Millions Gold Coast, Inglis Easter & Inglis Melbourne), and his Easter 1 average was $438,000.

In all, five colts by Snitzel made $1 million or more this year, among them Australia’s top-priced yearling of 2016, the brother to El Divino & half-brother to Winx offered by Segenhoe Stud for breeder Fairway Thoroughbreds. He was knocked down for $2.3 million to Gai Waterhouse & Julian Blaxland at Inglis Easter.

Racetrack results and sale-ring demand have firmly established Snitzel’s quality as a sire, and he has the numbers to maintain the momentum. Breeders have sent him an average of 225 mares for each of the past four seasons, and he is once again fully booked in 2016.