New stakeswinner, new record for Snitzel

No sooner had Champion Sire Snitzel broken his own season earnings record, than 2YO colt Sandbar brought him a step closer to his next target. That’s the record he currently shares with Danehill of 26 stakeswinners in an Australian season.

Sandbar became Snitzel’s 20th Australian stakeswinner since 1 August at Warwick Farm on Saturday with a gritty performance in the $125,000 ATC Lonhro Plate 1100m LR, defeating the favourite, Gimcrack Stakes winner Satin Slipper, and Oxford Tycoon.

It was the colt’s second win from two starts for trainer Brad Widdup and owners Damion Flower (who also raced Snitzel himself), BK Racing, Strawberry Hill Stud, Nick Vass & Neil Werrett. 

Watch Sandbar win the ATC Lonhro Plate LR.

Sandbar is the fourth foal and first winner out of smart juvenile and Group 3 winner Tallow (by Street Cry)  and was bought for $650,000 from the Magic Millions draft of his breeder Strawberry Hill by Jadeskye Racing, BK Racing & Gerald Ryan.

Snitzel’s career record now shows 78 stakeswinners and 30 2YO stakeswinners, with Sandbar joining Traces (Kenilworth Summer Juvenile S. LR) and the filly Nomothaj (VRC Maribyrnong Trial S. LR) from Snitzel’s 2015 crop.

The champion sire has surpassed the all-time Australian prizemoney record of $16,220,135 he set last season, and has done it in little more than six months.
 
Snitzel has two fillies and a colt on offer by Amarina Farm, Bhima Thoroughbreds & Torryburn Stud at the Inglis Classic Sale, with eight yearlings catalogued for Inglis Melbourne Premier and 64 lots for Inglis Easter, including 8 fillies and 2 colts in Arrowfield’s Easter consignment.

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.

Ryan's high hopes for 2017/18

Like his former stable star-turned-Champion Sire, Australia’s “Mr Snitzel”, Gerald Ryan had much to celebrate at the end of 2016/17, and plenty to look forward to in the new season.

Gerald says of Snitzel’s Premiership success, “I am so proud of him. When we bought him as a yearling Damion [Flower] and I agreed that if he can gallop then he would make a stallion, but to get to the heights he has is just unreal, and to be part of his success makes both of us proud of him.”

He adds, “He was a fast two-year-old that got better every preparation and it doesn’t surprise me that he is getting very good older horses too.”

Gerald has now trained 12 winners of 22 Group & six Listed races by Snitzel, three of them successful last season: Group winners Diddums (ex Raheights by Rahy) & Trapeze Artist (ex Treppes by Domesday) and Listed winner Samantha (ex Icedginger by Tale of the Cat).

Gerald says, “They’re all different, Diddums is a gross doer who kept improving and races best when she sits up on the speed and creates a tough race, but Samantha’s the opposite, she used to be a bit delicate and needs to be ridden quietly.”

Trapeze Artist made great progress through his 2YO season, winning the Canberra Black Opal S. G3 then putting up a top performance to round out Snitzel’s trifecta, behind Invader and Summer Passage in the ATC Sires’ Produce S. G1.

“He’s a good, tough on-pace runner who gets 1400, perhaps 1600 metres, and he’s very laid-back and straightforward, just so easy to train.”

Gerald believes all three horses are capable of stepping up a notch or two this season.

“Trapeze Artist can win a Group One, and he might get 1600 metres and be a Guineas horse, or perhaps the Coolmore. He’ll start in the Up and Coming on 19 August, then go to the Run to the Rose and the Golden Rose.

“Samantha and Diddums will be both be competitive in Group company, but they’re limited by the options for mares around 1200 metres.”

Apart from this trio, the Snitzel that Gerald is most excited about this season is 3YO colt Menari (ex Isurava by General Nediym), unlucky not to have more than one win, a Group 3 placing and a relegated Golden Slipper fourth on his five-start juvenile record.

“He’s come back a big, strong horse, and will kick off in the Rosebud or the San Domenico, and then we’ll decide about the Golden Rose.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he got to The Everest, he just needs a dry track.”

Among the stable’s new Snitzel 2YOs, Gerald says, “I can’t wait to get Snitzerland’s full sister in, and we have a nice colt out of One Sweet Day.”

The Arrowfield influence on Ryan Racing doesn’t end with Snitzel. Ryan’s new recruits include a pair of superbly bred Redoute’s Choice colts: “a nice colt that moves really well” out of Group 1 winner Faint Perfume (by Shamardal), and Stealth Sniper, out of Group 2 winner Timbourina (by Timber Country), “more of an Autumn two-year-old.”

Not A Single Doubt is represented by 3YO colt Condor Heroes (ex Gosetgo by More Than Ready), a city winner and Group 3-placed at two who impressed with a sparkling trial win at Rosehill last week and will likely make his season debut in the ATC San Domenico S. G3 on 26 August.  Gerald is also preparing a couple of 2YO Not A Single Doubt colts, King’s Order (ex Pinwin by Pins) and Legend Of Condor (ex Rhodamine by Success Express), both showing early ability.

“I like King’s Order a lot and he’ll be aimed at the Magic Millions Classic, and Legend Of Condor is back in work on Monday. He’s an early goer, he moves really well and everyone who rides him loves him.”

Smart Missile’s 4YO son Damaging (ex Sequinella by Catbird) has taken time to mature but was placed, then won in July. “I quite like him and he’ll now stretch out through his grades to 2000 metres.” The 2YO Smart Missile-Cat By The Tale filly has also joined the stable, and she will probably make her first raceday appearance in the Autumn.

The Ryan stable earned more than $5 million prizemoney nationwide in 2016/17 and closed out the season in 7th spot on the NSW Trainers’ Premiership. It’s a performance Gerald and his team can be proud of, and a target they can confidently aim to exceed with an abundance of proven and emerging talent.

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!” 

Ryan adds milestone winner to Snitzel's record

Snitzel has exceeded even the high hopes that owner Damion Flower & trainer Gerald Ryan had of him when they bought the Redoute’s Choice-Snippets’ Lass colt for $260,000 at the 2004 Magic Millions Sale.

And Gerald has been part of Snitzel’s story ever since as the man who prepared him to win the Oakleigh Plate G1 and six other races, then trained his first winner Intertidal, his third stakeswinner Hot Snitzel and his first female Group 1 winner Snitzerland.  Last Saturday, the Ryan stable sent out Snitzel’s 31st 2YO winner for the season, the Vinery Stud-and-partners-owned Pymble successful at Newcastle at his fourth start.

That gave the son of Redoute’s Choice sole ownership of the Australian sire record for 2YO winners in a season. Whakanui Stud’s filly Shadow Dancer made it 32 in New Zealand on Sunday and Prime Thoroughbreds’ filly Zelsignoret became No. 33 with a strong debut at Seymour on Tuesday.

Gerald said after Pymble’s win, “I’m a bit surprised it took him this long to win one, he’s a bit of a colt but he’s certainly got the ability. He should learn a lot from this win and we might look at 1000-metre race at Randwick in two weeks.”

Pymble takes Gerald’s record with the Snitzel tribe to 53 winners of 121 races, twelve of them stakeswinners with 28 Group & Listed Race victories on the board.

Arrowfield’s staunch early support for Snitzel is evident in the Stud’s 7 graduates among those stakeswinners, but the most recent additions to Gerald’s list, Diddums, Trapeze Artist and Samantha, are homebreds for Torryburn Stud, the Vieira family and Corumbene Stud.

Gerald nominates Arrowfield graduate Snitzerland as the filly most like Snitzel, “in stature, her attitude, with a little bit of aggression, and her speed.”

Dual Group 2-winning juvenile Time For War, also sold by Arrowfield, was the colt most like Dad. “To look at, he was very much like Snitzel, and his mannerisms too. He was hotter than Snitzel, but he settled down.”

All of Gerald’s current 2YOs by Snitzel have now raced, with 7 of them contributing to their sire’s record and he’s particularly excited about the Spring 3YO prospects of two colts already back in the stable.

“Menari and Trapeze Artist both returned to work last Friday and I’m happy with both of them. Trapeze Artist has done really well and all going well he’ll aim at the Golden Rose, he’s already proven at the 1400 metres.

“Menari was unlucky to strike heavy tracks but he still finished third, relegated to fourth in the Golden Slipper. The Coolmore is likely for him, I think he’ll run a great straight six.”

Arrowfield’s filly Dame Pattie, out of champion mare Alinghi, is a yet-to-race rising 3YO daughter of Snitzel to watch out for in the Ryan stable next season. “I’m looking forward to having her back, she has really good ability and a great nature.”

Ryan close to a Snitzel century

Leading Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan has three Saturday runners (Spill The Beans & Dances On Stars at Eagle Farm, and Argie Bargie at Kembla Grange) capable of delivering his 100th win with the progeny of his former stable star Snitzel.

It’s a big milestone for Gerald, who has trained plenty of notable winners by other stallions (including Group 1 winners Melito, Mrs Onassis & Peggy Jean), but is widely known as Mr Snitzel, thanks to his 43 winners of 99 races and $8.3 million prizemoney by the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice.  

Nine of those winners are among Snitzel’s 38 stakeswinners and all of them, except Dances On Stars & Fireworks, were bred & sold by Arrowfield:

  • Snitzerland (VRC Lightning S. G1) for Neil Werrett & Steve McCann
  • Darby Racing’s dual Group 2 winner Time For War
  • Triple Crown Syndications’ Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel & Hot Snitzel (who later won the BTC Cup G1 for Peter & Paul Snowden)
  • Perignon (ATC Light Fingers S. G2) for Camilla Flower & Sylvana Surace
  • Group 3 winner Dances On Stars for Brian Mullins, Donna Keegan and Anne & Richard Glenister
  • Fairway Thoroughbreds’ home-bred 2YO stakeswinner Fireworks
  • Arrowfield’s dual Group 3-winning colt Spill The Beans
  • and Listed winner Ygritte for Carl Holt.

Gerald and owner Damion Flower bought Snitzel himself for $260,000 from Yarraman Park Stud & breeder Francois Naude at the 2004 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Gerald then prepared Snitzel throughout his 15-start, seven-win, $1 million career, including the 2006 MRC Oakleigh Plate G1, beating Virage de Fortune & Takeover Target.

He says, “Damion and I said before we bought him as a yearling, if this horse can gallop he will make a stallion, so to see what he’s doing is very pleasing. I’m very proud of him.”

Gerald nominates toughness, durability and speed as Snitzel’s best racing qualities. In fact, he was so sound and healthy when he retired that his vet record was almost blank.  

“He doesn’t stamp his progeny as types, but most of them are really athletic and, like him, they don’t go shinsore.  They have pretty good temperaments too, and if they’re feisty, they improve with each prep.

“I train the Snitzels similar to how I trained him. When he galloped, he went fast, but I kept him sharp.”

Group 1 winner Snitzerland is an easy choice for the best Snitzel progeny Gerald has trained, but he has several favourites.

“Snitzerland went through from her breaker’s prep to run second at her first start in a Listed Race on Melbourne Cup Day.  She was so tough, and always did everything you wanted her to do.

“I also have a soft spot for Intertidal, Snitzel’s first winner. I raced and trained his mum Miss Rainmaker, as well as her sire Hurricane Sky.”

Second-crop filly Schiffer was special too. “She was so tough and so arrogant. I bought her So You Think daughter last year and she’s the same.” Yet to race, the 2YO filly is named Schifty Thinker.

“And my staff cried when Hot Snitzel left the stable!”

Gerald has bought and advised on the purchase of Snitzel’s yearlings since the first crop went through the ring in 2009, and this year he joined Damion Flower’s Jadeskye Racing to buy the $1.6 million Magic Millions Sale-topping colt out of Mirror Mirror. However, his stable of Snitzels continues to draw from various sources, at a range of prices.

2YO colt Sahara Emaar (ex Lady of the Desert by Desert Prince) was a $50,000 David Raphael buy from Milburn Creek’s Inglis Melbourne Premier draft. “A nice, big colt”, he was a good third to Prized Icon and Attention in his first trial and returned to work this week.

Another 2YO, Corumbene Stud’s home-bred filly Samantha (ex Icedginger by Tale Of The Cat) trials next week. Gerald says, “Based on what she’s shown me, she could be my best filly since Snitzerland.”

As for the 2016 yearlings, the Mirror Mirror and Maid For Me colts, and the Perfect Truth filly have all “broken in sensationally.”

The odds on Gerald Ryan’s second Snitzel century are already shortening.

Grateful acknowledgement to Racing & Sports: www.racingandsports.com.au for the data on Gerald Ryan’s record with Snitzel’s progeny.

Snitzel tops Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale

Snitzel made headlines for all the right reasons at the first premier auction of the 2016 yearling sales season, the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

He supplied three of the Sale’s seven million-dollar yearlings, a group headed by Strawberry Hill’s $1.6 million colt from stakes-winning juvenile Mirror Mirror, already the dam of Group 1-placed stakeswinner No Looking Back, by Snitzel’s sire Redoute’s Choice. Monte Rosa, an Arrowfield mare from the same family, has already produced Group 1 winner Snitzerland to Snitzel. 

Damion Flower’s Jadeskye Racing and trainer Gerald Ryan – key players in Snitzel’s racing career and many of his winning progeny – signed for the Mirror Mirror colt.

Arrowfield was the vendor of the other two million-dollar lots by Snitzel, the brother to Group 1 winner Sweet Idea, knocked down to New Zealand agent Dean Hawthorne for $1.1 million, and the colt from dual stakeswinner Nocturnelle, a $1 million purchase by agent James Harron. 

Arrowfield has taken a 25 per cent share of the Flidais colt who will be trained by John, Michael & Wayne Hawkes.

This trio of colts take Snitzel’s record of million-dollar sellers to seven, following his pair of 2015 Inglis Easter Sale-toppers, stakes-placed city-winner Sooboog and Group 1 winner Wandjina.   

Snitzel’s 48 lots sold from Book 1 achieved an average price of $329,688, more than 7 times his 2013 fee of $45,000, and bettered only by Exceed And Excel among sires with 3 or more lots sold. 

Most pleasing though were the individual results achieved by breeders and the consistency of the demand for Snitzel’s first offering in 2016. His lowest price in Book 1 was $80,000 and 25 made $250,000 or more.

The $780,000 received for two colts offered in the Sale’s first hour was a particularly notable result for long-time leading Queensland breeders the McAlpine family of Eureka Stud. The $500,000 paid by Spendthrift Australia for their Air’s Precious colt is the Stud’s best sale-ring result in more than eight decades of thoroughbred breeding.

Other vendors to post $400,000 or better for at least one Snitzel yearling were Amarina Farm, Burnewang North Pastoral, Element Hill, Fig Tree Thoroughbreds, Mill Park, Widden & Yarraman Park Studs. 

The Magic Millions buyers of Snitzel’s yearlings are a who’s who of local and international agents, owners, trainers & syndicators, among them Gai Waterhouse & Julian Blaxland (6 lots), China Horse Club (5 lots), Jadeskye & Gerald Ryan (3 lots), John Foote (3 lots, two with Tony Gollan), Belmont Bloodstock, Hong Kong Jockey Club, James Harron & Paul Perry (two lots each). 

Their judgment is likely to look even better in a few months’ time. Almost two-thirds of the 67 Australian Group & Listed stakes race wins by Snitzel’s progeny have come in the second half of the season, from February to July. That includes all but one of their 7 Group 1 victories – the exception being Shamus Award’s 2013 Cox Plate success.