New 2YO stakeswinner for Not A Single Doubt

Not A Single Doubt took his season tally of individual stakeswinners to a new career-best figure of 17 when his 2YO daughter Granny Red Shoes won Saturday’s BRC Hampden S. 1200m LR at the Sunshine Coast.

The win was a well-deserved reward for the filly’s  consistent effort in her six previous starts, including a maiden win and three runner-up finishes, two of them in Listed company.

Watch Granny Red Shoes win the BRC Hampden S. LR.

Granny Red Shoes was bred by Bruce Neill’s Cressfield from the Show A Heart mare Shoboard, herself a juvenile stakeswinner from the high class family of Group 1 winner Star Satire.  

The filly is trained by Toby Edmonds for Segenhoe Thoroughbreds which paid $280,000 for her at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale and the rich Magic Millions day next January is an obvious target for her.

There are now 57 stakeswinners on Not A Single Doubt’s lifetime record and Granny Red Shoes is his 20th 2YO stakeswinner, and his fourth this term, after Qafila, Not A Single Cent and Fundamentalist. She is also his third stakeswinner in the past month, following Champagne Cuddles (Gold Coast Guineas G3) and Southern Legend (Kranji Mile LR). 

Not A Single Doubt is ranked 10th on the latest Thoroughbred Racing Commentary Global Sire Rankings (as at 27 May 2018). He has just nudged over $10 million prizemoney in Australia this season, and heads towards his fourth consecutive top 10 finish on the Australian General Sires’ Premiership.

Clearly Innocent ready for The Everest

Not A Single Doubt has the distinction of putting up two contenders for The Everest from the same 2011 crop, Group 1 winner Clearly Innocent and Fell Swoop, a Group 2 winner and five times Group 1-placed.  

Despite their double-figure odds, both these 6YO geldings boast excellent past performances in the best sprint company. In their best form, both are capable of collecting the Everest winner’s $5.8 million prizemoney and putting Not A Single Doubt on top of the General Sires’ premiership. (He’s currently 7th with $1.6 million). 

Slot-holder Damion Flower of Jadeskye Racing was happy to wait until a fortnight before the race to finalise an agreement with owner-breeder Bruce Neill of Cressfield for Clearly Innocent to contest the $10 million race. 

Damion explains how he approached the business of finding the right horse. “I knew I did not personally have a horse for the race in this first year, but I was looking beyond that to the second and third years when I could provide the race with a Jadeskye-owned horse.

“The process of securing a runner I found enjoyable, as I like following all horses, so searching through the form of our top sprinters and their performances within the form races was second nature for me.

“The business side of it was exactly that, business, and from the outset I had it in my mind that I was going to wait till the very end. Even though I had a few horses in my sights, I still felt my best option was to secure the horse that was in form and Clearly Innocent was that horse.”

Damion believes several factors give Clearly Innocent (ex No Penalty by Zabeel) a strong winning chance in one of the best fields of sprinters ever assembled in Sydney.

“Firstly, he has a better than 50% winning percentage, he’s a Group 1 winner and he’s by a stallion whose statistics show that his progeny perform in high-rating races.

“I think his pattern and his race manners will set him up for a high pressure weight-for-age race. Over the years it’s been proven that you need a tough, strong 1300-1400 metre horse for 1200 metres at Randwick, and that’s what he is.

“He also has the advantages of Hugh Bowman to steer him for the race and Kris Lees, an outstanding trainer and horseman – for me that’s a winning combination.”

For Damion, the decision to run Clearly Innocent in Cressfield’s Silver and Black Diamonds, Yellow Sleeves and Cap was easy. 

“I would not have had it any other way, he has always raced in those prestigious Cressfield silks and that’s the horse’s and Bruce Neill’s identity and I would like that to continue.

“The partnership with Bruce was quite easy as we’ve raced a horse together before, and I always look at every yearling draft Cressfield puts together – they have a great broodmare band and Wayne Bedggood at the helm.

“My dealings with Bruce were simple, we spoke numerous times with ease and it was a professional process that ended with happy mutual agreement.

“I’ve also known Kris Lees for a long time, and the look in his eye when we talked about this horse made the decision quite easy for me.” 

 

Damion hadn’t previously considered what he might do if Clearly Innocent wins The Everest.

“I’m superstitious and don’t like to count my eggs before they hatch, but now that you ask, I think it may take a while to set in, especially being the inaugural Everest, but you can bet on one thing. You will see me at the sales buying a horse for Jadeskye Racing that I think can take me to the race in the next couple of years!”

Clearly Innocent’s Group 1 victory came in the BRC Kingsford-Smith Cup G1 on 27 May, and his last start was an eye-catching third behind In Her Time and Everest rival English in the ATC Premier S. G2 on 30 September.

Not A Single Doubt's 4th Group 1 winner this season

Bruce Neill’s well-known boutique farm Cressfield has achieved more than its share of success as a vendor of profitable yearlings and good racehorses.

But it’s a son of Not A Single Doubt he couldn’t sell that has given Bruce his most satisfying success as both breeder and owner. 

It was Cressfield’s determination to give Clearly Innocent his chance as a racehorse that has been rewarded with a nine-win, million-dollar racing career, sealed at Eagle Farm on Saturday with an exhilarating three-length win in the $700,000 BRC Kingsford-Smith Cup 1300m G1.

Watch Clearly Innocent win the BRC Kingsford-Smith Cup G1 (Race 7).

Clearly Innocent is Not A Single Doubt’s seventh Group 1 winner overall, and fourth this season, after Extreme Choice, Scales of Justice and Arrowfield graduate Secret Agenda.

As Bruce says, “Correct sales horses are not the only avenue to owning and to racing competitive racehorses.” Thanks to Cressfield’s perseverance, and the skills of his first trainer Greg Bennett, Clearly Innocent finally made it to the track as a 4YO in August 2015.

His talent was immediately obvious and he won seven of his 9 starts that season, culminating with victories in the $500,000 Country Championship Final at Randwick and the Luskin Star S. LR at Scone.

After Bennett’s move to work with Aquis Farm in Queensland, Kris Lees took over the now 5YO gelding whose progress this Autumn has been even more dramatic, stepping straight from his second Luskin Star success on 13 May to a runaway victory at his first try in Group 1 company.

Clearly Innocent’s dam No Penalty (by Zabeel) hails from one of New Zealand’s best families of the past three decades, descended as she is from Mary Poppins, ancestress of Group 1 winners Veloso, Domino, Linky Dink, Sale Of Century & Hero.

No Penalty was bred by Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan from the mare Court whose sire Prince Echo, dam Tupelo Honey and damsire Vice Regal all played major roles in Chequers Stud’s remarkable success during the 1980s and 1990s.  

Sold for $160,000 as a yearling at the 2002 Inglis Easter Sale, No Penalty won three races in Sydney and was then bought as a broodmare by Cressfield. Clearly Innocent and 4YO mare Champagne Kisses (4 wins) are the best of the four named foals Cressfield bred from her before selling her to Yarradale Stud for $16,000 at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale.

Clearly Innocent’s steep rise to Group 1-winning status has been matched by Not A Single Doubt’s emergence as a major Australian sire. Two years ago the son of Redoute’s Choice had just posted his 23rd stakeswinner, including his second Group 1 winner, and he ended the 2014/15 season inside the top 10 sires with progeny earnings of $7 million. Now, he has 42 career stakeswinners on the board, holds fifth spot on the General Sires’ premiership with $10.3 million and is pressing hard to finish the season even higher.

Clearly superior at Scone

“The only thing he’s guilty of – he loves Scone!” was race-caller Darren Flindell’s flourish as local hero Clearly Innocent romped away to his second consecutive victory in the $150,000 Scone RC Luskin Star S. 1300m LR.

Watch Clearly Innocent win the Scone RC Luskin Star S. LR.

The Cressfield home-bred couldn’t have been more impressive as he set out after Sweet Serendipity at the 400-metre mark and sprinted clear to score by more than two lengths from Snoopy and Gold Symphony.

The win extended Clearly Innocent’s unbeaten record at his former home track to six-from-six and delighted his new trainer Kris Lees who added the 6YO gelding to his stable after Greg Bennett’s retirement from training.

Lees said, “That was a great thrill, He’s got a great affinity with this track and he really let fly.

“He’s a lovely horse and that’s very pleasing to be able to produce him and for him to win like that today.”

The winner of last year’s Country Championship Final at Randwick has now won eight of his 14 starts and more than $600,000, and will now head to Queensland for a pair of Group 1 tests, the $700,000 Kingsford-Smith Cup on 27 May and the $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap on 10 June.

Clearly Innocent is the best performer out of No Penalty, a city-winning daughter of Zabeel from the excellent New Zealand family of Group 1 winners Domino, Hero, Sale Of Century, Linky Dink and, further back, the classy 1980s 3YO Veloso.

Not A Single Doubt has 13 stakeswinners this season, including Group 1 winners Extreme Choice, Scales Of Justice & Secret Agenda, and his Australian prizemoney of more than $9.5 million is enough to keep him in the top five sires.

Clearly Innocent is NSW Country Horse of the Year

While Not A Single Doubt was attacking the new season’s stallion premiership with a stunning Group race double at Moonee Valley, his son Clearly Innocent was being honoured for last season’s achievements in Sydney.

The 5YO gelding picked up the Country Horse of the Year Award at the NSW Country & Provincial Racing Awards dinner held at the Sheraton on the Park on Friday evening.

Bred and raced by Bruce Neill’s Cressfield, Clearly Innocent is out of the Zabeel mare No Penalty, a city-winning member of a family nurtured for many years at New Zealand’s Chequers Stud and responsible for Group 1 winners Veloso, Domino, Sale Of Century, Hero & Linky Dink.

Clearly Innocent emerged from the stable of leading country trainer Greg Bennett to win seven of his 10 starts last season. He capped it all with a brilliant win in the Country Championship Final followed by victory in the Scone RC Luskin Star S. LR. That took his earnings past $500,000 and sealed his bush hero status with country racing fans.

Bennett rates Clearly Innocent the best horse he’s trained and is now Melbourne-bound after the gelding’s pipe-opening sixth in The Shorts G2 two weeks ago. The 1400-metre Moonga Stakes G3 at Caulfield on 15 October will be his next start.

Redoute's Choice & sons on fire at Caulfield

Redoute’s Choice and his sons Snitzel & Beneteau dominated the stakes racing on Saturday’s Caulfield card, thanks to quality performances by Great Esteem, Redzel & Ocean Embers.

The Snowden-trained Redzel, having his first start in Melbourne, opened the dynasty’s attack on the day’s prizes in the $150,000 MRC The Heath 1100 G3. He began brilliantly from gate 12, took control of the race and never let it go, winning by almost a half-length from Under The Louvre, who powered home late, and Santa Ana Lane.

Watch Redzel win the MRC The Heath 1100 G3.

It was the 4YO gelding’s fourth win from 11 starts and his second stakes success following his ATC Fireball S. LR win last March. He completes a sensational start to the 2016/17 season for Snitzel, also represented by Listed winner Thronum and Group 3 winners Russian Revolution, Sooboog and, in Japan, Young Man Power since 1 August.

Bred by Lee Fleming, Redzel is the last foal of the very good juvenile filly Millrich (by Rubiton), winner of the ATC Sweet Embrace S. G2 and third in Flying Spur’s 1995 Golden Slipper, and also dam of the Group 3 winner and sire Danerich (by Danehill).

Redzel was offered at the 2013 Inglis Australian Weanling Sale where he was a $45,000 buy for Marquee Stud, which re-sold him to Triple Crown Syndications for $120,000 at the following year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Triple Crown’s Chris & Michael Ward have achieved notable success with Snitzel’s progeny, as purchasers & syndicators of Group 1 winner Hot Snitzel and Group 2 winner Flying Snitzel, both bought as yearlings from Arrowfield Stud.

Three races later 6YO gelding Great Esteem became the 135th stakeswinner for Redoute’s Choice with another all-the-way win in the $120,000 MRC Heatherlie S. 1700m LR.

Watch Great Esteem win the MRC Heatherlie S. LR.

Great Esteem, raced in partnership by his breeder Cressfield Stud, has been a consistent performer since his juvenile season when he split Twilight Royale and Shamus Award in the VRC Sires’ Produce S. G2.  He’s won eight races and more than $400,000 from the Hayes, Snowden and now the Stuart Webb stables.

Great Esteem’s dam Park Esteem (by Singspiel), a winning three-quarter sister of Dubai World Cup winner Moon Ballad, has also left Group-placed Listed winner High Esteem and promising filly Pepperberry to Redoute’s Choice.

Cranbourne trainer Shea Eden wound up the day with his first stakeswinner Ocean Embers, a 4YO daughter of Beneteau, bred by Arrowfield in partnership with Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd. She drew widest of the 14 runners in the $150,000 MRC Cockram S. 1200m G3 but started favourite and won most impressively, with a big home-straight run that got her to the post a half-length ahead of Thames Court, with Telopea third.

Watch Ocean Embers win the MRC Cockram S. G3.

Ocean Embers, a $23,000 buy from the Cornerstone Stud draft at the 2014 Magic Millions Adelaide Sale, has now won four of her seven starts and more than $200,000. 

She is the 7th stakeswinner from the 136 foals Beneteau left in the two crops born & conceived before his death in January 2013. 4YO Prompt Return’s easy win at Doomben on Saturday and Bacarella’s excellent Silver Shadow S. G2 second on 20 August are further reminders of Beneteau’s quality as a sire.

Ocean Embers is out of Burningwood, a winning daughter of Tabasco Cat and US Grade 2 winner Wood So, whose breeding career has been split between Japan, where she left Group 3 winner Fireflaught, and Australia. She has three fillies to follow Ocean Embers: Darby Racing’s 3YO Flame Of Love (in the Waterhouse & Bott stable), a 2YO by All American and a yearling by Manhattan Rain.

Burningwood’s first Australian foal, the city winner Pyrography (by Danzero) was retained by Arrowfield & Jungle Pocket, and has an unraced daughter by All American, colts by Smart Missile and Animal Kingdom and is due to foal this Spring to Dundeel.

Clearly Innocent gets the verdict

The category for the Most Progressive Horse by Not A Single Doubt this season is rather crowded.

Leading contenders include the Group 1-winning pair Good Project & Single Gaze, and Fell Swoop, so nearly a Group 1 winner in Melbourne & Sydney, before his Group 2 success in Brisbane.

Then there’s the sensational 2YO colt Extreme Choice, who sailed through Listed & Group 3 company before a dominant Blue Diamond S. G1 victory in February.

And surely Don’t Doubt Mamma deserves several votes. She began the season with one juvenile win and barely $30,000 prizemoney, and has banked another $360,000 from four wins since September, two Listed wins and a Group 3 victory.

But if the award recognises a horse whose potential exceeds even his extraordinary rise this season, then Clearly Innocent gets the nod.

His hometown victory for owner-breeder Bruce Neill in Saturday’s $140,000 Scone RC Luskin Star S. 1300m LR was his 7th win from his nine career starts, all of them this season.

It was a stiff test for the 4YO gelding, caught wide in sixth position as Randwick Group 3 winner Music Magnate hauled the field along in front and showed no sign of weakening in the straight. He was challenged first by Cradle Me, but Samantha Clenton pressed the button on Clearly Innocent soon afterwards and the result was quickly settled, with Music Magnate a gallant second and Cradle Me third.

Watch Clearly Innocent win the Scone RC Luskin Star S. LR.

Clearly Innocent’s career began with two winning appearances at Scone last August, a sixth and a second in Sydney during December, followed by five consecutive wins, most notably his 2.5 length romp in the $500,000 ATC Country Championship Final on 2 April. 

That win, despite a stone bruise and the disadvantage of bar plates, crowned a stressful week in Sydney for trainer Greg Bennett. Back at his home track on Saturday, Bennett enjoyed the glow of a very popular local victory, but immediately ruled out a Queensland campaign. Clearly Innocent will now spell and prepare for next season’s Spring & Autumn Carnivals.

Clearly Innocent is the latest star from a family’s that’s full of them. He descends from the fine Chequers Stud broodmare Mary Poppins, whose daughters left multiple Group 1 winners Veloso, (Our) Westminster and dual Oaks winner Domino, dam in her turn of sprinter-miler Hero, whose 15 wins included two at Group 1 level, and Group 2-winning juvenile Super Natural.

Clearly Innocent’s corner of the family has already thrown up Sale of Century (Rosehill Guineas G1), Affleck (Champion Singapore 2YO & 3YO) and Sydney stakeswinner Gimmick. However, he is the first winner out of his city-winning dam No Penalty (by Zabeel), purchased in 2013 by Yarradale Stud in Western Australia.

The combination of Not A Single Doubt with Zabeel mares has a predictably good strike rate: 16 winners from 18 named foals, including Group 2 winner Gypsy Diamond, Listed winner Every Faith and three stakes-placed horses, as well as Clearly Innocent.

Clearly Innocent is the 34th lifetime stakeswinner for Not A Single Doubt whose season earnings in Australia now approach $11 million. The son of Redoute’s Choice is also the year’s leading sire of Australian stakeswinners, with a total of 12, alongside his sire and Street Cry, and is either first or second on the General, 3YO & 2YO Sires’ prizemoney tables.

Not A Single Doubt cracks the century

It’s been a slightly below average week for Not A Single Doubt.

Only five wins, including Don’t Doubt Mamma’s Group 3 at Flemington, Clearly Innocent’s Country Championships Qualifier, a double at Goulburn, plus his 100th Australian winner for the season, the Robbie Griffiths-trained Song One at Sale last Tuesday. And another 2YO stakes placing, thanks to Jackson in Melbourne. 

It’s a tongue-in-cheek quibble, of course, because Not A Single Doubt is enjoying a spectacular 2015/16 season. The first 29 weeks have so far produced 167 wins in six countries – almost six wins a week – and he’s a more-or-less permanent fixture on the weekly Top Sires by Wins & Winners tables.

He heads the Australian General Sires’ table on both counts, with 101 winners and 151 wins, healthily in front of Written Tycoon, Fastnet Rock and Lonhro.

Not A Single Doubt has plenty of quality to match the volume and is giving the earnings list a good shake too. His tribe’s weekend work has nudged his prizemoney over $6 million, less than $240,000 behind table leader Street Cry, and almost $800,000 ahead of Fastnet Rock.

Both those rival stallions have major performers running for them over the coming weeks, but so does Not A Single Doubt. His 2YO son Extreme Choice is favourite for next Saturday’s $1.5 million MRC Blue Diamond S. G1, and second favourite for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper G1 on 19 March.

He has already helped Not A Single Doubt into third spot on the 2YO Sires’ list, where he splits his barnmates and fellow Redoute’s Choice sons Snitzel & the much-missed Beneteau. Together they’ve already notched up 15 juvenile winners this season, four of them stakeswinners.

Also in the mix for major Autumn prizes are Not A Single Doubt’s Group 1 winner Good Project, talented 3YO fillies Don’t Doubt Mamma & Secret Agenda, and Oakleigh Plate contender Fell Swoop. 

And there’s no doubt at all that Cressfield’s home-bred Clearly Innocent will be aiming to add the $400,000 Country Championship Final to the Provincial Final won last year by Not A Single Doubt’s son Sure And Fast.

Small wonder that demand for yearlings from Not A Single Doubt’s 2014 crop is so strong. The next opportunities to buy them come up at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where he has four colts & three fillies catalogued, including Arrowfield’s colt from Time To Move. 

Red letter day for Redoute's Choice

Lankan Rupee’s dominant victory in the $400,000 MRC Oakleigh Plate 1100m G1 at Caulfield gave Arrowfield’s supersire Redoute’s Choice his 24th Group 1 winner, and the second of three Group wins on a memorable day of high-class racing in Melbourne and Sydney.

A little earlier, at Randwick, the David Payne-trained mare Lilliburlero (ex Regimental Gal by General Nediym) won the ATC Triscay S. 1200m G3 for her owner-breeder Bruce Neill of Cressfield. She is the 110th stakeswinner by Redoute’s Choice, who is currently standing his second Northern Hemisphere season at the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in France.

Less than an hour after the Oakleigh Plate, Robert & Deborah Anderson’s home-bred mare Bonaria (ex Decidity by Last Tycoon) added a second Group success to her record by winning the MRC Mannersim S. 1400m G3. The 5YO mare is trained by Pat Hyland and has now won 6 races and almost $490,000 prizemoney.

As it happened, daughters of Arrowfield’s now-retired champion sire Flying Spur completed both quinellas. Recoinage chased home Lilliburlero, while Hazard was the runner-up to Bonaria.

Lankan Rupee and Lilliburlero are both members of Redoute’s Choice’s 2009 crop which has now produced 17 stakeswinners from only 107 named foals – the same number as his benchmark second crop, but from fewer foals.

Lankan Rupee is the third Group 1 winner from that Class of 2009, after Royal Descent (Australian Oaks G1) & Wylie Hall (South African Derby G1), and the second son of Redoute’s Choice to win the Oakleigh Plate, after Snitzel in 2006.

Caulfield in February has been a fortunate venue for Lankan Rupee’s owner-breeder Muzaffar Yaseen, whose famous Teeley Assets colours were carried by Redoute’s Choice himself in his first Group 1 win, the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on 27 February 1999.  The same colours were in the Group 1 winner’s circle again on this Saturday at Caulfield last year, when 2YO filly Miracles of Life (by Redoute’s Choice son Not A Single Doubt) won the Blue Diamond.

Read more: How Miracles happen: the Teeley Assets story.

Lankan Rupee’s dam Estelle Collection (by Stravinsky), a Group 3 winner from the family of champion sire Lonhro, has a 2YO Redoute’s Choice filly named Timeless Choice, a weanling filly by Manhattan Rain and is once again in foal to Redoute’s Choice. Estelle Collection is based at the Arrowfield Broodmare Farm, where her foals have been born and reared.

Lankan Rupee, who won twice at Group level in Melbourne during the Spring, has now won seven of his 14 starts and prizemoney of $676,260.

Arrowfield’s two brilliant sire sons of Redoute’s Choice added gloss to the day when outstanding 3YO filly Sweet Idea (by Snitzel) led home Gypsy Diamond (by Not A Single Doubt) in the ATC Light Fingers S. 1200m G2. Snitzel continues to lead the race for the Australian General Sires’ premiership with season earnings of $6.3 million and nine stakeswinners among his 58 winners.

Redoute’s Choice has 10 yearlings in the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in March, and 36 lots catalogued for the Inglis Australian Easter Sale in April. Arrowfield will present three colts & three fillies from his 2012 crop in Melbourne – view them here; and six colts & three fillies in Sydney.