Stakes milestone for Not A Single Doubt

Almost seven years after Not A Single Doubt opened his stakes account as a sire, Scales Of Justice brought up his milestone 90th stakes victory in Saturday’s $150,000 WATC Hyperion S. 1600m G3 at Belmont in Perth.

Sent out as odds-on favourite, Scales Of Justice took early control of the race, and out-classed his eight rivals to win by three lengths in 1:37.53. 

Watch Scales Of Justice win the WATC Hyperion S. G3.

 It was the 4YO gelding’s eighth career win and his third Group victory for owners Chris Wells & Bill Andrews, following last November’s Railway S. G1 and R.J. Peters S. G3. His consistency is as impressive as his rise to Group 1 class: he’s won or placed in all of his 16 starts since his juvenile debut win two years ago and garnered prizemoney of more than $1.2 million.

Bred by Gerard & Kathy Hammond, Scales Of Justice was bought for $180,000 by agent Craig Rounsefell’s Boomer Bloodstock and trainer Lindsey Smith at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. He’s the sixth and last foal of his dam Beymatilla (by Umatilla), but fortunately, the Hammonds are breeding from his close relation, Another Show (Al Maher-Beymatilla).

Find out why Gerard & Kathy Hammond chose Not A Single Doubt for Beymatilla.

Not A Single Doubt has followed up his spectacular 2015/16 season with career-best numbers in most categories, including 15 winners of 25 stakes races (including 2YO Qiji Phoenix in New Zealand) and four Group 1 winners: Secret Agenda, Clearly Innocent, Extreme Choice & Scales Of Justice.

Not A Single Doubt’s $11.1 million earnings this season give him fourth position on the Australian General Sires’ premiership, between Fastnet Rock and I Am Invincible, but when it comes to stakeswinners & stakes wins, he is headed only his Arrowfield barnmate, Snitzel.

Redoute's Choice sons sire Group 1 quinella

Two outstanding sons of Redoute’s Choice supplied the stars of a heart-stopping and controversial finish to Saturday’s WATC Kingston Town Classic 1800m G1.

Stratum Star (by Golden Slipper winner Stratum, who died in September) and Scales Of Justice (by Not A Single Doubt) drew the extreme gates, 1 and 15 respectively in the final of Perth Racing’s three $1 million Masters races.

Despite his wide draw, Scales Of Justice started second favourite, jumped smartly and drove forward to sit without cover behind the early leader Mackintosh. Stratum Star, a Group 1 winner and thrice Group 1-placed in Melbourne last season, settled comfortably on the fence in fifth position.

Champion Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte, who also rode Scales Of Justice to Group 1 success a fortnight ago, had plenty of firepower under him as the field swept round the turn and sent the 4YO gelding into the lead at the 300-metre mark. Scales Of Justice kicked clear and kept going, but Stratum Star and his West Australian-born pilot Damian Lane were right behind him and steadily closed the gap in the final 200 metres.

The last fifty metres were desperately fought and Stratum Star prevailed by a nose, with more than 3 lengths back to last year’s winner Perfect Reflection and multiple New Zealand Group 1 winner Kawi a further 1.25 lengths away in fourth place. 

Watch the Stratum Star-Scales Of Justice quinella in the Kingston Town Classic G1.

Opinions that Whyte had misjudged the position of the winning post were immediately expressed, but the champion jockey pleaded not guilty to the charge of failing to ride out Scales Of Justice. The Stewards’ inquiry has been adjourned at Whyte’s request, to allow the horse’s trainer Lindsey Smith and managing owner Chris Wells to be present.  

Damian Lane had clear reasons for Stratum Star’s victory and plenty of respect for the runner-up.

He said, “That was the key, a soft run from barrier one and he had the last crack at them and it all worked out perfect.

“I thought I had him easy at the top of the straight but at the 100, I didn’t know. Scales Of Justice kept kicking really strong and made a good fight of it.”

The three-race Masters series has been dominated by the Redoute’s Choice dynasty. Stratum is also the sire of last week’s Winterbottom S. G1 winner Takedown and third placegetter Rock Magic is by Redoute’s Choice, while Scales Of Justice and Good Project completed a Railway S. G1 quinella for Not A Single Doubt on 19 November.

Redoute’s Choice and his sons Not A Single Doubt, Snitzel & Stratum dominate the top end of the current Australian General Sires’ list, with 20 stakeswinners and collective prizemoney of more than $14 million. They are also well-represented in the Magic Milions Gold Coast catalogue: Snitzel (52 Lots), Not A Single  Doubt (32 lots), Stratum (10 lots) & Redoute’s Choice (14 lots).

Breeders' judgement tips the Scales

Breeders are generally advised to avoid over-mating mares. Yet it can sometimes be exactly the right tactic to take a breeding program to a whole new level.

That’s the experience of Victorian breeders Gerard & Kathy Hammond who found themselves leaping off the couch last Saturday to cheer home their first Group 1 winner Scales Of Justice in the $1 million WATC Railway S. 1600m G1.

“It’s a nice feeling,” says Gerard, who made his first foray into horse breeding during the 1970s when he and his father Brendan bought shares in several stallions. That venture proved unsuccessful and, although he remained a “mad racing fan”, Gerard chose to concentrate instead on his career in corporate finance. He stepped up his breeding interests shortly before his retirement in 2008, eight years after dipping his toe back in the water with a yearling filly by Umatilla bought privately from breeder Thea MacKnamara.

“I got onto the filly via the internet and when I inspected her in the paddock, I fell in love with her straight away. I like horses that are well-balanced, staying types with a bit of length, and I liked the way she moved too.

“I needed a trainer for her, and Thea MacKnamara’s partner Bob Gard, a bit of a character who knew a lot, recommended a young trainer in Stawell named Darren Weir.”

Named Beymatilla, the filly unfortunately broke down before she raced, but Gerard and Kathy decided to breed from her. She left winners to Johann Cruyff, Grass Wonder and Spinning World, and unraced fillies by Good Journey and Al Maher before the Hammonds sent her to Not A Single Doubt in 2011 – the season his fee increased to $24,750 after six years at $13,750.

Gerard explains, “I’d been breeding for several years with Beymatilla and her progeny could all run, but they were very much like her, tall, angular and not a lot of muscle or bone, so they weren’t attractive to the Australian market.

“I was getting more serious about breeding and she needed to go to a stallion with far more substance. I was very keen on Not A Single Doubt, the absolute opposite of Beymatilla on physical type, but I was well aware it was probably over-capitalising the mare.

“However, I knew we’d get a foal with substance that would run, as well as line-breeding through Redoute’s Choice and Umatilla to Best In Show, so I thought the risk was worth it and I was very optimistic about it.”

The resulting colt, born in September 2012, sadly proved to be Beymatilla’s last foal, but he was everything Gerard hoped he’d be: an imposing, powerful, athletic type that presented superbly well at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Taken through the ring by Millford Thoroughbreds who agist and prepare the Hammonds’ horses, the colt was knocked down to agent Craig Rounsefell of Boomer Bloodstock for $180,000.

Raced by owners Chris Wells and Bill Andrews, the now 4YO gelding is prepared by leading Western Australian trainer Lindsey Smith who is confident he’ll be equally effective over the 1800 metres of the Kingston Town Classic G1 on 3 December.  

Gerard Hammond agrees. “The family’s distance range is 1800 to 2200 metres, and they don’t peak until they’re five or six, so the best is still ahead of him.” Not A Single Doubt’s progeny also train on and he’s already had four Group winners at 1800 metres and beyond: Single Gaze (ATC Storm Queen S. G1), Gypsy Diamond, My Ex Mate and 2011 Champion Older Horse in Singapore, Always Certain. 

Gerard acknowledges Smith’s management of his new stable star. “I’ve followed Scales Of Justice very closely and when I saw what he was doing at shorter distances, I thought he might be special. But he’s needed time to relax properly during his races and Lindsey has done a terrific job with him.”

Group 1 success won’t tempt the Hammonds to increase their broodmare band beyond an ideal number of five, but Gerard is planning to ring the changes by selling a couple of mares and bringing in some fresh bloodlines. However, Another Show (by Redoute’s Choice’s three-quarter brother Al Maher from Beymatilla) is definitely not for sale!