Princess completes Snitzel's Randwick Group double

If the gold and blue colours carried by Brenton Avdulla on board today’s ATC J.H.B. Carr S. 1400m G3 winner Estonian Princess look vaguely familiar…well, they should.

After all, it’s only a year since they were last carried in Sydney by Not A Single Doubt’s brilliant daughter Karuta Queen, retired to stud last Spring with earnings of $1.8 million as a Magic Millions heroine, Group 3 winner & Group 1 runner-up to Black Caviar.

Two years after Sydney owners Glenn & Viive Williams bought Karuta Queen, they returned to the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale and paid $65,000 for a Snitzel filly from the draft of her breeder Rosemont Stud.

A half-sister to Sandown Guineas winner Schilling, from the US-bred Meet My Sis (by Prized), the filly was sent to Warwick Farm trainer Scott Aspery. Named Estonian Princess, she had four starts at two for second placings at Wyong and Rosehill, and a Listed Race fourth at Scone last May before a winter spell.

She began her 3YO campaign in December, broke her maiden on New Year’s Day at Randwick and followed Sweet Idea home to give Snitzel a quinella in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (R) LR.

A second win at Wyong over 1600 metres earlier this month encouraged thoughts of an Oaks start, hence Estonian Princess lined up in the 2000-metre Adrian Knox S. G3 on 12 April.

Scott Aspery explained,“We went to the Adrian Knox instead of the Carbine Club because we thought that gave us more options going forward if we went to the Oaks. She didn’t run the 2000m so we dropped her back in distance and it was fantastic, it looks like the seven furlongs is just right for her.”

However, it didn’t look promising for Estonian Princess and her jockey Brenton Avdulla early in today’s race when they settled at the rear of the field. Their prospects of victory took a while to brighten, and they still had plenty to do with 400 metres to run, as Northern Glory and Lady Lakshmi pulled clear to fight out the finish.

Fifty metres from the line, Estonian Princess still had not reached that pair, but she extended very generously to catch Northern Glory right on the line, with Lady Lakshmi a short head away third.

Estonian Princess is Snitzel’s 22nd lifetime stakeswinner, and takes his tally of Australian stakeswinners this season to thirteen.

The Randwick Group double she and Hot Snitzel completed today boosted Snitzel’s season earnings beyond $8.6 million – enough to keep him in touch with his premiership-leading sire Redoute’s Choice on $9 million, and handily clear of Exceed and Excel ($8 million).

Snitzel’s fee for the 2014 breeding season is $71,500 inc. GST.

Snitzel stars dance at Randwick

Sizzling, Sweet Idea, Hot Snitzel, Flying Snitzel and Petrol Power – they’re all by Snitzel, they all won Group or Listed Races at two and then trained on to achieve further black type success in subsequent seasons.

Today Dances On Stars joined their company when  he added the $100,000 ATC Carrington S. 1100 metres LR to the Kindergarten S. G3  he won as a juvenile.

The 4YO son of Snitzel found more obstacles than gaps in the first half of the Randwick straight, but he and a determined Brenton Avdulla persevered and finally found the space they needed to burst through and win by a short neck. 

Dances On Stars has now won or placed in nine of his 18 starts and earned more than $350,000 for his owners Brian Mullins, Donna Keegan and Ann & Richard Glenister.

Dances On Stars was competitive enough to place in Guineas company during the Queensland Carnival last winter, and has benefited from three months in the paddock and off-peak race targeting by trainer Gerald Ryan. 

Avdulla said, “He’s a very promising horse, and he was racing against the better three-year-olds in Brisbane, and he never disgraced himself. I got enough luck from the 100 [metres] and he was good enough to do it.”

Bred in New Zealand by the Hong Kong Breeders Club, Dances On Stars is from the Last Tycoon mare Starnet, a city-winning half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Miss Margaret, from the family of top-class 1970s mare Bellota.

Dances On Stars was originally purchased for $95,000 by Dynamic Syndications from Highview Stud’s draft at the 2011 New Zealand Premier Sale.

Earlier on the Randwick card, Snitzel’s 3YO daughter Estonian Princess made a trip to the Gold Coast for the $1 million Magic Millions Guineas more likely when winning in convincing fashion over 1400 metres. Her owner Viive Williams has already enjoyed Magic Millions success with an Arrowfield-sired runner: she and her husband Glenn raced the 2011 2YO Classic winner Karuta Queen (by Not A Single Doubt).

Dances On Stars is the 6th stakeswinner this season for Snitzel, who heads the current Australian General Sires’ table with more than $4.4 million prizemoney. Forty-one of his yearlings are on offer at next week’s Magic Millions including four fillies in the Arrowfield draft.