Snitzel heads NZ Premier Sale sire averages

Once upon a time, it was unthinkable that Australian-based stallions would dominate the list of leading sires at New Zealand’s flagship yearling sale.

Yet that has been one of the key trends at the New Zealand Premier Sale over the past five years, especially as Zabeel’s stellar career wound down.  The supersire’s last appearance on top of the stallion averages was in 2011 when he headed off Red Ransom.

A year later Zabeel was the only New Zealand-based sire in the top ten, and Fastnet Rock claimed the No. 1 spot. He held it for the next three years ahead of seven other Australian-based stallions in 2013, and four in 2014 & 2015.

But when this year’s Premier Sale concluded on Tuesday evening there was a new name at the head of the sire averages: Snitzel.

He had four lots sell for an average price of $NZ280,000, ahead of Fastnet Rock, New Zealand’s champion sire Savabeel and the sale’s leading first season sire All Too Hard. As in 2014 & 2015, five of the top ten sires are based in Australia.

Snitzel’s top-priced lot was the $NZ500,000 colt from Malibu Road (by Malibu Moon), a US-bred mare descended from Best In Show, also the ancestress of Snitzel’s champion sire Redoute’s Choice. Offered by Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore Stud, he was bought by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis and is Snitzel’s all-time top-priced yearling sold in New Zealand.

The other three yearlings by Snitzel also sold for healthy multiples of the $45,000 fee on which this crop of yearlings was conceived. China Horse Club signed for Pencarrow Stud’s Dance My Dance colt at $180,000, and David Ellis added Hallmark Stud’s $200,000 colt from My My Maree to his purchases.

Sydney agent James Harron, who bought two Snitzel colts for $1.525 million at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale earlier this month, paid $240,000 for Highview’s colt out of My Amazing Dream. This is the family of European champion filly Midway Lady and her Oaks-winning daughter Eswarah.

Snitzel, the sire of six Group 1 winners, continues to supply excellent reasons for his commercial popularity, notching up his 33rd stakeswinner, Sun Jewellery, in Hong Kong on Sunday evening.

Snitzel averaged almost $225,000 for 126 yearlings across all Australasian sales in 2015, but with two major sales completed this year, he has already broken through the $300,000 mark for 55 lots sold on the Gold Coast and at Karaka.

The next opportunities to buy his yearlings will be offered by Inglis over the next three months, at their Classic, Melbourne Premier & Easter Sales, including five lots consigned by Arrowfield.

Quality Redoute's Choice trio at NZ Premier

Three quality yearlings by Redoute’s Choice are on offer at next week’s New Zealand Premier Sale, from three outstanding vendors, Curraghmore Stud, Hallmark Stud and boutique North Canterbury farm Beltana.

Redoute’s Choice remains at the peak of his powers in Australia where he is the reigning champion sire, as well as a leading sire of sires and broodmares. Four new Group 1 winners are among his 16 worldwide stakeswinners in the past 12 months: 3YO colt Hampton Court, 3YO filly Majmu, the mare Bonaria and Australian Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee.

Previous buyers of Redoute’s Choice yearlings at NZ Premier have done very well, selecting Group 1 winners Empires Choice (2005) & Allez Wonder (2007) and Group 3 winner Burgundy (2010), as well as the exciting filly Vavasour, bought in 2013 and recently second in Saavoya’s ARC Royal S. G2.

Curraghmore will offer the only Redoute’s Choice filly in the sale, the first foal of Listed stakeswinner Mygoodgrace (by Royal Academy) and grand-daughter of champion 2YO filly Good Faith.

The filly’s breeders Mark & Karen Treloar have played a key role in the family’s success over the past 20 years. They bought Good Faith as a yearling for $17,000 in 1994, raced her in partnership and bred from her until her death in December 2012.  Seven of Good Faith’s foals have won, most notably Group 3 winner Tully Dane (by Danehill), and Mygoodgrace.

Two of Good Faith’s other daughters are already proving successful at stud. Bloomsbury Stud’s The Cat’s Whiskers (by Tale of the Cat) is the dam of current Group 2-placed, stakes-winning filly Tavy, and Stuart Ramsey’s Private (by Encosta de Lago) has left Believe Yourself (ATC Sweet Embrace S. G3, Golden Slipper 4th and a winner last week in Singapore).

The Treloars have retained four of Good Faith’s daughters: Mygoodgrace, Bay Star (by Rock of Gibraltar), Big Voices (by Duke of Marmalade) and My Parlay (by Flying Spur) whose colt by Jimmy Choux is also in the Curraghmore draft for the NZ Premier Sale.

Mark says his priority is giving each mare the best opportunities to produce good racehorses, by selecting first-class stallions and putting his bloodstock in the care of Curraghmore’s Gordon Cunningham.

Mark explains, “Gordon’s approach matches my focus on developing a racehorse first and foremost. He’s very hands-on and teaches the yearlings to enjoy their work which is a great basis for their racing careers.”

Self-described commercial small breeders, the Treloars are based in Hamilton where Mark works as a technology transfer manager for AgResearch. It’s an interesting role that bears some comparison with horse-breeding: taking good research and a bright idea, and and turning it into a real-world success story with the help of great people and management, money and a touch of luck.

He says, “It was a great thrill to get a Royal Academy filly from Good Faith, and a dream come true to get a Redoute’s Choice filly out of Mygoodgrace, but now, of course, it’s over to the marketplace to judge her.”  The filly is Lot 83 and comes up early on Monday afternoon.

Lot 27 is the colt from 2YO winner La Scala (by Bahhare), offered by Hallmark Stud on behalf of his breeders John & Mark Carter.  La Scala is a half-sister to Champion NZ 3YO Miler and dual Group 1 winner Final Destination, subsequently sold to Shadai Farm and now the dam of six winners including Group 3 winner Final Form.

More recently, another branch of the family has produced Irish Fling (by Darci Brahma), winner of the 2014 WRC Telegraph H. G1 and, like the La Scala colt, by a Danehill son.

Hallmark’s Mark Baker is delighted with the colt. “He’s a beauty, neat, correct and a great mover, with an incredible nature. He’s already proving popular in pre-sale inspections and no-one is disappointed.”

Hallmark Stud graduates in recent years include Group 1-winning fillies Katie Lee & Banchee, Group winners Amexed, Gobi Ranger, Paddy O’Reilly & Vatuvei and stakeswinners Callanish, It’s Crunchtime, Single Currency & Testa Secret.

Four years ago at Karaka, breeder Richard Rutherford sold a colt by O’Reilly from Volkrose to Melbourne trainer Danny O’Brien. Named Shamexpress, the colt retired to stud at Windsor Park Stud last Spring with one of Australia’s premier Group 1 sprints, the VRC Newmarket Handicap, on his record.

This year Richard, operating under his Beltana banner, returns to Karaka to sell Volkrose’s colt by Redoute’s Choice. Richard says, “He’s very like Shamexpress, medium-sized and very strong with a great action.”

Working with only a handful of broodmares, Richard has a fine record as a breeder of Group 1 performers O’Reilly Rose & Heidilicious, as well as Shamexpress and the 1984 Caulfield Cup winner Affinity.

The Volkrose colt is Lot 227 and goes through the ring near the end of the first day’s schedule.