Diplomatico is Snitzel’s 84th stakeswinner

And like Group 1 winners The Autumn Sun, Estijaab & Maid Of Heaven and Listed winner Wild Planet, Diplomatico is a graduate of Arrowfield’s Yearling “Class of 2017…

What co-trainer Michael Hawkes described as “a little race on Derby Day for three-year-olds” is a possible target for Snitzel’s 84th stakeswinner Diplomatico after his defiant victory in the $150,000 ATC Brian Crowley S. 1200m LR at Randwick on Saturday.

That “little race” is the $1 million VRC Coolmore Stud S. G1, down the famous straight six at Flemington on 3 November. It’s a big step from Listed company, but the determined manner in which Diplomatico ran down his rivals after sitting three and four wide confirmed that he is a colt on the rise.

Watch Diplomatico win the ATC Brian Crowley S. LR.

He is the third Brian Crowley winner for Snitzel after Goodfella (2017) and Hot Snitzel (2011), and Not A Single Doubt’s son Legend Of Condor completed the 2018 quinella for Arrowfield stallions.

Diplomatico is the fourth winner, after Havana (BTC Classic G3) and Hong Kong talent Jing Jing Win, from four foals out of juvenile winner and excellent broodmare Top Cuban (by Anabaa).

Co-incidentally, Top Cuban’s youngest half-sister Working From Home also earned black type on Saturday, when she was runner-up to From Within (by Not A Single Doubt) in the MRC Alinghi S. LR.

Top Cuban has since produced two colts by Redoute’s Choice and has an early positive test to his son Pariah, serving his first book of mares at Arrowfield this Spring. 

All four of Top Cuban’s progeny offered at auction have sold well, up to the $1.7 million Hong Kong agent George Moore bid for Diplomatico at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale. Paul Favretto, who bred the colt with Paul Rowe, retains a share in the ownership alongside John Moore, David Boehm & partners.

While Flemington is an option for Diplomatico, Michael Hawkes indicated that the best of him won’t be seen until his next campaign. “He has a few grades to jump but it’s all up to him, he could be in the paddock as well. We’ll just take it step by step but I can say he’ll be some horse in the Autumn.”

Diplomatico is the fifth stakeswinner to emerge from Arrowfield’s Class of 2017, after Group 1 winners The Autumn Sun (by Redoute’s Choice), Maid Of Heaven (Smart Missile) & Estijaab (Snitzel) , and Listed winner Wild Planet (Animal Kingdom).

Smart Missile 2YOs in demand at Karaka

Such was the demand for Smart Missile’s progeny at this week’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale that he shaded his illustrious barn-mate Snitzel on the sire averages.

Three 2YOs by Smart Missile averaged $NZ266,667 – almost $NZ40,000 more than Snitzel’s four lots – and two of them sold for $NZ350,000.

Lot 80, out of city winner Cyclone Stacey (by Encosta de Lago), attracted brisk bidding before being knocked down to agent George Moore, buying for the champion Hong Kong stable of his father John.  The gelding, an outstanding type from the highly successful Princess Tracy family, breezed up in 10.78 and was offered by Mark & Shelley Treweek’s Lyndhurst Farm.

Moore said, “Dad has a quality Smart Missile in the stable named Rocketeer who we think could be a Hong Kong Derby candidate so when this horse breezed up so well he was definitely on our radar.”

Mark Treweek credited the sale to the gelding’s progress through the year and his sire’s recent success. “The Smart Missiles have been performing well of late, especially in Hong Kong which is where he’s going.”

Rocketeer is one of four winners from Smart Missile’s first seven runners in Hong Kong. 

On the second day of the Sale, Diamond Lodge offered Lot 305, the Smart Missile colt from Queen of Troy (by Storm Cat), with a breeze-up time of 11.18. He was one of four purchases by Tauranga couple Lou & Val Te Keeti and Matamata trainer Graham Richardson, so will remain in New Zealand.

Richardson said, “He really is a super type and just fits the bill in so many ways.

“He’s a lovely mover with a great attitude. Once the bidding got going I knew we were in for a fight, but Lou was determined we’d be taking him home.”

The two Smart  was among the ten top-priced lots of the two-day auction which set fresh Australasian 2YO sale records across the board, completing transactions worth more than $NZ31 million at an average price of $NZ107,638.

The third Smart Missile entry was Lot 400, a gelding out of the Zeditave mare Tiffinco who breezed up in 10.80, was bought for $NZ100,000 by leading Singapore trainer Stephen Gray from the Kilgravin Lodge consignment. 

Other notable sales for Arrowfield stallions were the $NZ300,000 Snitzel-Passiflora colt, bought by Busuttin Racing, the $NZ200,000 Not A Single Doubt-Je T’Aime colt, purchased by Victoria Peak Bloodstock and the $NZ100,000 Animal Kingdom-Only Roses colt sold to Sydney trainer Bjorn Baker.

John Street’s Lincoln Farms Bloodstock paid $NZ200,000 for the stylish Dundeel-Causeway Queen colt, presented by JK Farm for Nearco Stud.

The colt will be trained by Lisa Latta who already has an eye on his 3YO career. “He’s a really nice horse, a good walker and a lot like his Dad. He’ll go to the paddock now for a month and hopefully he’ll trial in the Autumn.”   

Smart Missile, currently second on the Australian 3rd Season Sires’ list with $1.4 million prizemoney, has 22 yearlings catalogued for January’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. They include two colts, one of them a half-brother to Group 1 winner Secret Agenda, and three fillies in the Arrowfield draft. 

Smart Missile's aim is true

Smart Missile’s barrage of 16 winners, including two stakeswinners, in the past six weeks do more than keep him in the tight race for the Australian Second Season Sires’ title.

They also confirm his growing value as a sire of smart juveniles, like impressive Group winners Debellatio & I’ll Have A Bit,  as well as performers that relish distances beyond 1400 metres. 

The latest example is 3YO Rocketeer who made winning over 2000 metres at Sha Tin look easy when he scored by 2.5 lengths in the Class 2 Hong Kong Young Indstrialists Council Silver Jubilee Cup for the Hung family and champion trainer John Moore. 

Watch Rocketeer win over 2000 metres in Hong Kong.

“It’s a change of luck for the Hung family, and they have another Derby prospect to look forward to next season,” said Moore. “This horse was my first Derby purchase for next season, we bought him after he ran in the Victoria Derby last November. He wasn’t my first choice, I was chasing Inference who went on to win the Randwick Guineas, but like many of them he wasn’t for sale. This horse was, and he always looked like he’d be better with six months under his belt, he was on the leg.”

Rocketeer had finished near the tail in his first two runs over a mile, but the switch to Happy Valley and the step up to 1800m last start saw him show a glimmer of form when sixth to Packing Dragon.

“I’ve been bringing him along very slowly, letting him find his legs and acclimatise,” Moore said. “He started to show a bit of form last start at Happy Valley, he was getting to the line and that told me that he was not far off. I didn’t do much with him going into this as he was a fit horse after the last race. He was focused, he was ready and he just outstayed them. From my point of view, though, he’s done what we wanted this season, to win one race at least. Now he can progress on to next season as one of our Derby contenders.”

Moore family makes them Listen

If you thought Hong Kong Group winner Not Listenin’tome was named by a slightly frustrated parent, you’d be right.

George Moore, who bought him for $270,000 from Arrowfield’s draft at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale, recalls, “My late mother actually named him. I can’t remember the exact situation, but one of us wasn’t listening to her, and she said ‘Not Listenin’tome.'”

He adds, “Not Listenin’tome was a stand out on type at the Easter Sale. In our minds he was a no-brainer, being out of a good producing mare in Flame Of Sydney, and a fluid mover with great drive behind.”

Bred by Michael Pitt & Mark Read, the son of Dylan Thomas has paid serious attention to the business of winning races since his successful debut at Bendigo three years ago. Team Hawkes initially trained Not Listenin’tome for George’s father, multiple champion Hong Kong trainer John Moore, and the result from six starts was three wins, notably the MRC Zeditave S. G3, and three placings, including a second in Zoustar’s VRC Coolmore Stud S. G1. 

After a winless Spring 4YO campaign, the bay gelding was sent in December 2014 to his owner’s Hong Kong stable and quickly made his mark, with a first-up Group placing and success in the Sha Tin Vase HK-3 at his third appearance.

Although he physically resembles his champion Derby-and-Arc-winning sire, Not Listenin’tome’s racing aptitude is obviously closer to that of  his dam who won three 1000-metre juvenile races, and  the 1400-metre VRC Desirable S. LR at three. His victory in last weekend’s Jockey Club Sprint 1200m G2 was his fourth Hong Kong Group success and took his career earnings to $2.4 million.

Not Listenin’tome goes into next month’s ~$3.2 million Longines Hong Kong Sprint G1 with an international rating of 118, one point below last year’s winner Peniaphobia, the 2014 winner Aerovelocity & Lucky Bubbles, who all finished behind him on Sunday.

However, jockey Hugh Bowman doesn’t under-estimate the task ahead of Not Listenin’tome, who was a fine third in last year’s International Sprint. He said, “I feel he will have to run a little bit better than he did today to win in three weeks, because… it will be a stronger race. But that being said, if I can have the same run as I did last year, it will be very welcome, because I think I have the better horse.”

John Moore’s long list of major victories includes the 2008 Hong Kong Sprint with Flying Spur’s son Inspiration, while Not Listenin’tome’s owner Matthew Wong also raced Horse of the Year Makarpura Star and the very good sprinter Sunny Sing.

The Moore stable will be represented in all four of this year’s Hong Kong International Races by Designs On Rome (Hong Kong Cup), 2015 Horse of the Year Able Friend, Helene Paragon & Joyful Trinity (Hong Kong Mile) and Helene Happy Star (Hong Kong Vase), as well as Not Listenin’tome in the Sprint.

George has played a key role in the family business for more than a decade and is regularly seen at Australian yearling sales where he purchased Inspiration, Able Friend, 2016 Queensland Derby G1 winner Eagle Way and Group winners Admiration, Dashing Fellow & Running Tall.

His recent buys include another Arrowfield graduate, this time a $300,000 colt by Starcraft from the Redoute’s Choice mare Salutations, sourced from the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Bought for Sebastian Man Shiu Wai, owner of this year’s Derby runner-up Victory Magic, he’s been named Victory Music. George reports, “He’s had two trials to date and is showing some nice ability at this stage.” 

Starcraft, currently second on the Hong Kong Sires’ list, has only two lots catalogued for the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Cast Sale, both of them offered by Arrowfield: a colt from Purring Flying and a filly out of Vortex. Arrowfield will offer Salutations’ colt by Animal Kingdom at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale.

Group 2 goes to Arrowfield graduate

Arrowfield graduate Not Listenin’tome returned to the winner’s circle on a Sunday evening with a polished performance in the $HK4 million HKJC Jockey Club Sprint 1200m G2.

His half-length defeat of a quality field, including his champion stablemate Able Friend (4th), Lucky Bubbles (2nd) and Group 1 winner Aerovelocity (3rd), surprised punters but it’s not out of place on his excellent record. He’s now won eight and placed in seven of his 27 starts for $2.4 million prizemoney and, while this win is his best, he’s also won four Group 3 races, and placed three times at Group 1 level.

One of those Group 1 placings was in last year’s Hong Kong Sprint and Hugh Bowman, who rode him then and on Sunday, is happy tobe  on board on 11 December.

He said, “I got a lovely run, he settled the best he’s ever settled for me. All the times I’ve ridden him have been over 1200m and in that time, all his best form has been over 1000 metres.

“Twelve months ago, after the Hong Kong Sprint, I thought that the 1200m was too far for him, or at least for him to produce his best, but obviously after what he produced this afternoon, it makes me very excited going into the international meeting.”

Not Listenin’tome (Dylan Thomas-Flame of Sydney by Encosta de Lago) was a $270,000 purchase by George Moore Bloodstock from Arrowfield’s draft at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale and is prepared for Matthew Wong Leung Pak for champion Hong Kong trainer John Moore.

The 6YO gelding was bred with Mark Read by long-time Arrowfield client Michael Pitt, who said, “It’s wonderful to see Not Listenin’tome back in form. I’ve done really well with Flame Of Sydney and I might try to do it all again, as I do want to keep an involvement.”

Flame Of Sydney has been a wonderful racing and breeding story for Michael over the past decade. A $NZ230,000 buy out of Karaka in 2005, she earned $315,000 in a career that featured a Listed win at Flemington and multiple Group placings.

Her five yearlings, her broodmare daughter Star of Sydney and finally Flame Of Sydney herself, sold for $605,000 at the 2015 Inglis Broodmare Sale, have returned a healthy seven-figure sum, undoubtedly aided by Not Listenin’tome’s racetrack success.

And the story’s not over yet. Flame Of Sydney’s current 2YO Invader (by Snitzel) was fourth on debut for the China Horse Club and partners in the ATC Breeders’ Plate LR, and she has since produced a yearling filly and colt foal by Snitzel for her new owner Yulong Investments.

Meanwhile, Michael’s only current mare Tennessee Sunrise, from the brilliant family of dual Group 1 winner Malaguerra, has an attractive Smart Missile filly in Arrowfield’s draft for the 2017 Inglis Classic Sale in February.

Hong Kong Group double for Arrowfield & Inglis

Not Listenin’tome and Contentment have more in common than being highly impressive Australian-bred Group winners at Sha Tin on Thursday evening. 

Both are also Arrowfield graduates of Inglis yearling sales.

The Hong Kong International Sprint G1 is the obvious target for Not Listenin’tome after proving way too strong for his rivals in the National Day Cup HK-3.

The 5YO gelding jumped smartly and initially settled in a group behind the early leader Amber Sky, but when jockey Neil Callan pushed the button 400 metres out, the race was all over as Not Listenin’tome instantly sprinted clear to win by two lengths from Super Jockey in 55.90.

Watch Not Listenin’tome’s National Day Cup HK-3 win.

It was the second Hong Kong stakes win for Not Listenin’tome, also successful in last season’s Sha Tin Vase HK-3 after an excellent 3YO year for the Hawkes stable in Australia where he won the MRC Zeditave S. G3 and was twice Group 1-placed, behind Zoustar and Appearance.  With five wins & 5 placings from 15 starts, his earnings now exceed $A1 million.

John Moore, who prepares Not Listenin’tome for Matthew Wong Leung Pak, could not have been happier with the gelding’s performance.

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked – he’s finally done what I wanted him to do. This should take him on his way to become Hong Kong’s top sprinter.”

Not Listenin’tome (Dylan Thomas-Flame Of Sydney by Encosta de Lago) was bred by Michael Pitt & Mark Read and bought by George Moore for $270,000 from the Arrowfield consignment at the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale. Flame Of Sydney, herself a Flemington stakeswinner, has an unraced filly named She’s Got Power and a 2YO filly, both by Redoute’s Choice, a yearling colt by Snitzel and is foaling again to Snitzel this Spring.

Just over an hour later it was the turn of Contentment, Hong Kong’s Most Improved Horse last season and a $65,000 John Foote purchase from Arrowfield Stud at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale.

He lined up in the Celebration Cup 1400m HK-3 where he settled comfortably in fourth spot for Joao Moreira while Beauty Flame and Divine Calling rolled along in front. Set alight round the turn, Contentment picked up strongly to hit the lead 200 metres out and win by a half-length from Giant Treasure in 1:21.17.

Watch Contentment’s Celebration Cup HK-3 win.

Moreira said, “He is a much more mature horse than he was last season and he showed us what we were expecting.

“I don’t think he is at his best at the moment and he still won, so we are very excited about what he will bring to his next races. Wherever he goes he will be competitive – he has heart.”

It’s the chestnut gelding’s first stakes victory among seven wins in Hong Kong, and takes his career prizemoney for owner Benson Lo Tak Wing to more than $A1.3 million.

Bred by Paul Favretto, Tony & Judy Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn, Contentment is a new stakeswinner for champion sire Hussonet, from the Commands mare Jemison, a relative of champion 2YO colt Align. Jemison is also the dam of 3YO and yearling colts by Charge Forward, a 2YO filly by Gio Ponti and a recently foaled filly by Animal Kingdom.

Completing a tremendous night at Sha Tin for Inglis & Arrowfield was Blizzard (Starcraft-Stormy Choice by Redoute’s Choice) who sustained a big run to catch Go Baby Go close to the finish of the Class 2 Beijing Handicap over 1200 metres. 

Watch Blizzard’s win at Sha Tin.

Blizzard was bred by Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock and offered by Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where his trainer Ricky Yiu bought him for $75,000.  Five wins from 9 starts have now returned almost $A680,000 to Blizzard’s owner, the Infinitude Syndicate.

All American's first winner in Hong Kong

John Moore’s seventh Hong Kong trainer’s premiership looks much more certain after four winners at Sha Tin on Sunday took him to 67 winners for the season. That’s six ahead of John Size, with two meetings to go, on Wednesday and next Sunday 12 July.

Those three winners on Sha Tin’s all weather track included Tianhuang, the first Hong Kong winner by second season sire All American.

Watch Tianhuang’s win here.

The 3YO gelding put up an eye-catching performance to win the Tai Mong Tsai Handicap over 1200 metres at his second start for the Moore stable. Despite a slightly slow start, jockey Doublas Whyte settled him midfield on the fence, then swung to the outside on the turn.

Tianhuang steadily picked up ground and stretched out really well over the final 200 metres to score by 2.5 lengths in 1:08.54 from King of Household, with Geronimo Meadow third and the Size-trained favourite Modern Fortune fourth.

Although Tianhuang was obviously comfortable on the dirt surface, John Moore isn’t prepared to limit him to it just yet, saying, “We won’t pigeon hole him after just a couple of starts.”

Like Moore’s other two winners on the card, People’s Knight & Chevalier Star, Tianhuang is an Inglis sale graduate, bought by George Moore Bloodstock for $290,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. He is All American’s top-priced colt to date.

Tianhuang was bred by the Arrowfield, Planette & Belford partnership from the Viscount mare Miss Victoria,  a half-sister to Group 2 winner Domesday, from the family of champion 2YO Xaar – all descended from “blue hen” mare Best In Show, the fourth dam of Redoute’s Choice.

Tianhuang is the second winner for his dam who also has a rising 2YO filly by All American, purchased by Marc Conners at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, and a weanling brother to Tianhuang. Miss Victoria is in foal to Snitzel.

This Hong Kong success and three Australian winners over the weekend seal a very good month for All American, whose nine winners since 6 June also include Sydney winner Eisenhower, Caulfield 2YO winner Green Card and US stakeswinner America Mon Amie.