Interstate stakes double for Arrowfield graduates

Saturday’s interstate Arrowfield graduate stakes double was good news for two of the Stud’s former stallions, as well a pair of Arrowfield mares now in foal to boom young sire Dundeel…

Saturday’s interstate Arrowfield graduate stakes double was good news for two of the Stud’s former stallions, as well a pair of Arrowfield mares now in foal to boom young sire Dundeel.

Wild Planet struck first in front of a Hunter Valley home crowd at the Scone Cup Carnival, taking the $300,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas 1400m RLR by the scruff of the neck and staving off the challenges of the favourite Military Zone and third-placed Total Power (by Dundeel).

Tommy Berry & co-trainer Michael Hawkes celebrate after Wild Planet’s Inglis Guineas win. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

It was Wild Planet’s second stakes victory after last Spring’s VRC Poseidon S. LR,  but earned him more than twice the prizemoney and adds further gloss to the record of his dam Salutations (by Redoute’s Choice), also the dam of stakes-placed 2YO winner Super Seth (by Dundeel), and a Dundeel filly sold at the this year’s Magic Millions Sale.  

Wild Planet’s sire Animal Kingdom no longer shuttles to Arrowfield but his record here has improved markedly this season, thanks to Australian Derby G1 winner Angel of Truth, Listed winner Mystery Miss, Group 1-placed Peaceful State, Group 2-placed Victory Kingdom, stakes-placed Earth Angel and a swag of city winners.  Animal Kingdom’s final Australian yearlings will be offered for sale in 2020.

“Wild Planet dug deep under pressure like he always does. He’s a fighter, he’s a winner and he is going the right way.’’
– Co-trainer Michael Hawkes

Wild Planet was Animal Kingdom’s top-priced colt of 2017, bought for $280,000 by Hawkes Racing & Andrew Williams Bloodstock from the Arrowfield Inglis Easter draft that has also produced Group 1 winners The Autumn Sun, Estijaab & Atyaab, and Listed winner Diplomatico.

Around three hours later at Caulfield, the Melbourne Racing Club presented  the 2YO 1200-metre race named for Arrowfield’s late, great Champion Sire,  but amended the name slightly to Vale Redoute’s Choice S. LR. 

Arrowfield-bred & -sold filly Missile Mantra then completed the tribute by unwinding a big run down the outside to win the race for her Triple Crown-managed syndicate of owners and  trainers Peter & Paul Snowden. 

Magic Millions yearling and now unbeaten 2YO stakeswinner Missile Mantra. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

By Smart Missile, who now stands at Twin Hills Stud, Missile Mantra was a $30,000 Magic Millions buy for Triple Crown. She is the second foal of the Starcraft mare Wecansay Mak, a sister to dual Group 1 winner We Can Say It Now.  

Missile Mantra is the third stakes-winning graduate of Arrowfield’s Class of 2018, after Group 1 winner Castelvecchio and last weekend’s Group 3 winner Stronger (also out of a Starcraft mare). 

Heavenly day for Arrowfield graduates

Jubilation broke out around Team Arrowfield at Randwick on Saturday after Maid Of Heaven became the third Group 1-winning graduate of the Stud’s Yearling Class of 2017…. 

Jubilation broke out around Team Arrowfield at Royal Randwick after Saturday’s $500,000 Spring Champion S. 2000m G1 when Maid Of Heaven became the third Group 1-winning graduate, after Estijaab & The Autumn Sun, of the Stud’s Yearling Class of 2017. 

Watch Maid Of Heaven win the ATC Spring Champion S. G1.

Earlier in the day, a fourth member of that Class, Wild Planet (Animal Kingdom-Salutations by Redoute’s Choice) won the VRC Poseidon S. LR at Flemington. He was a $280,000 Inglis Easter buy for Hawkes Racing & Andrew Williams Bloodstock and is the sixth worldwide stakeswinner for Animal Kingdom.

Wild Planet joined Amphitrite (VRC Edward Manifold S. G2) and Extra Brut (VRC Super Impose S. LR) to complete a trio of new stakeswinners on the card for Redoute’s Choice as a broodmare sire. 

Watch Wild Planet win the VRC Poseidon S. LR.

Rachel King & Mark Newnham celebrate their Maid(en) Group 1 victories. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Maid Of Heaven’s success is notable for several reasons. She gave trainer Mark Newnham and jockey Rachel King their maiden Group 1 victories, and she is Smart Missile’s first Group 1 winner, as well as the first Group 1 winner sold out of the Gold Riband section of the Inglis Classic Sale. Maid Of Heaven was bred by Arrowfield with Belford Productions and bought back for $60,000.

She is also only the second filly, after Yankee Rose in 2016, to win the Spring Champion Stakes in the 48-year history of the race. 

“It’s all about the girls” as Alice & Kris Messara lead in Maid Of Heaven & Rachel King after the Spring Champion S. G1. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Arrowfield counts 68 Group 1-winning graduates off the farm over the past 31 years – 49 of them also bred by Arrowfield. The famous “Jockey Cap over 3 conjoined diamonds” brand is carried by four winners of six Group 1 races so far in 2018: Maid Of Heaven, Estijaab,  Shoals & The Autumn Sun. 

Maid Of Heaven is out of the grand stakes-winning mare St. Therese (by Dehere), a half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Planet Ruler and already the dam of Group 3 winner Mirrasalo (by Redoute’s Choice) and two other winners.

St. Therese’s 2YO colt Castelvecchio (by Dundeel) was a $150,000 purchase by Ottavio & Wendy Galletta from Arrowfield’s 2018 Inglis Classic Sale draft, and is in training with Richard Litt.  St. Therese visits Panzer Division at Pepper Tree Farm this Spring.

Arrowfield’s night at Racehorse of the Year Awards

Winx justly filled the headlines when she won her third Australian Racehorse of the Year award, but it was also a very big night for Arrowfield which celebrated Champion Sire Snitzel and four other awards…

World champion Winx was naturally the centre of attention at the 2018 Australian Racehorse of the Year Awards, held at the Forum, Melbourne on 4 October.

No gift for prophecy was required to predict that she would be crowned Racehorse of the Year for the third consecutive season, joining the elite company of Sunline (2000, 2001, 2002) and Black Caviar (2001, 2012, 2013) as a three-time winner of the ultimate accolade.

Winx, unbeaten in her eight starts in 2017/18, six at Group 1 level, also won the awards for Champion Middle Distance Performer and Victorian Horse of the Year.

Outside Winx, though, it was Arrowfield’s night as the Stud celebrated its connections with five of the other seven national awards.

Snitzel claimed the Champion Sire Award for the second consecutive year, with all-time record prizemoney of $29.2 million and a record-equalling tally of 26 individual stakeswinners. It is the sixth time in the past 13 years that an Arrowfield stallion has won the coveted title, after Snitzel’s sire Redoute’s Choice (2006, 2010 & 2014) and Flying Spur (2007).

Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer accepted the award on behalf of the Stud and the Snitzel Syndicate, acknowledging the quality of Snitzel’s competition, “possibly the strongest stallion roster ever assembled in Australia” and thanking all who had supported his stud career.
 
However, Freyer noted that it hadn’t all been plain sailing. “In Snitzel’s fourth year at stud we were cajoling, coercing and downright pleading with breeders to send their mares  to him and fickle as this business can be, he garnered little outside support.

“In fact, a great number of his relatively modest 63 foals in 2010 were bred by Arrowfield – but the crop included the Cox Plate winner Shamus Award and the wonderful mare Sweet Idea, now a resident of Her Majesty the Queen’s broodmare band.

“That crop was conceived on a fee of $20,000 and today’s it’s $200,000. What a ride it’s been and how much we look forward to what’s yet to come with Snitzel.”

Snitzel’s dominance of last season was demonstrated when his progeny collected three of the category awards, which are decided by the votes of racing administrators and media.

It is the first time, in the 14 seasons since 2004/05 when the 3YO Filly & Colt awards were introduced, that progeny of the reigning Champion Sire 

Emirates Park’s filly Estijaab (Snitzel-Response by Charge Forward) was named Champion 2YO after winning three of her four starts last season, including the ATC Golden Slipper G1 and Reisling S. G2 and $2.3 million prizemoney.

The third foal of her dual Group 1-winning dam, Estijaab was bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm and purchased by Emirates Park & Bryan Carlson for $1.7 million from Arrowfield’s draft at the Inglis Easter Sale. She is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes and is spelling after a setback cut short her 3YO Spring preparation. She is expected to return in the Autumn.

Also an Inglis Easter graduate, though not finding a buyer there, is the Champion 3YO colt Trapeze Artist (Snitzel-Treppes by Domesday). He won four of his 9 starts and $2.7 million in 2017/18, a record headed by three tremendous Group 1 victories, in the ATC T.J. Smith S. & All Aged S. against older horses and the Golden Rose  in his own age-group.

He is the second Snitzel son to be named Champion 3YO Colt, following Cox Plate & Australian Guineas winner Shamus Award in 2013/14.

Trapeze Artist is trained by Gerald Ryan for his owner-breeder Bert Vieira and success in The Everest, for which the colt is joint favourite, would be a timely boost for the Vieira family. Bert’s wife Gai is recovering in hospital from serious injuries suffered in a car crash on 5 September.  

The inaugural Everest winner Redzel (Snitzel-Millrich by Rubiton) won the Champion Sprinter title after a spectacular, five-win, $7.5 million season that also featured the VRC Darley Classic G1 and three other Group race wins. 

Redzel was bred by Lee Fleming and initially sold as a weanling, then offered by Marquee Stud at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale where he was bought for $120,000 by Triple Crown Syndications’ Chris & Michael Ward. He is trained by Peter & Paul Snowden for a large group of Triple Crown owners and is at single-figure odds for this year’s $13 million second running of The Everest on 13 October.

Snitzel, his sire Redoute’s Choice (with Lankan Rupee in 2013/14) and  grand-sire Danehill (with Exceed and Excel in 2003/04 & Fastnet Rock in 2004/05) are the only three stallions in the past 20 years to claim the Champion Sprinter in at least one of their own championship seasons. 

And it is the first time, in the 14 years since 2004/05 when the 3YO title was split by gender, that progeny of the reigning Champion Sire have won the 2YO, 3YO Colt or Filly & Sprinter awards in the same season.

Arrowfield’s trophy haul was completed by Shoals (Fastnet Rock-The Broken Shore by Hussonet), bred and raced in partnership with Jonathan Munz and trained by Anthony Freedman. She was voted Champion 3YO Filly after a stunning season against older mares, winning the Myer Classic G1 at Flemington, Surround Stakes G1 at Randwick and the Sangster Stakes G1 at Morphettville.

She is the second Arrowfield home-bred filly to win the title after Miss Finland in 2006/07.  

In all, Shoals won four of her 7 starts and $1.4 million last season while her full brother – cleverly named Groundswell – was the top-priced Australian yearling of 2018, knocked down for $2.3 million at Inglis Easter. 

Groundswell and another full sibling, 3YO filly Tides join their big sister in the Freedman stable, and The Broken Shore is due to foal again to Fastnet Rock this month. 

Six winners in 7 days for Animal Kingdom

Six winners in seven days have made it a productive week in Australia for Animal Kingdom whose fourth crop of Southern Hemisphere foals arrive this Spring…

Six winners in seven days have made it a productive week in Australia for Animal Kingdom whose fourth crop of Southern Hemisphere foals arrive this Spring while he remains at Darley America in 2018.

Four of those winners are Arrowfield graduates and all but one of them are 3YOs, including the latest, Wild Planet (ex Salutations by Redoute’s Choice). He confirmed the promise shown in his two Listed seconds last season with a 2.5 length win over 1200 metres at Ballarat on Sunday.

Watch Wild Planet win at Ballarat.

New maiden winner and already stakes-placed, Wild Planet is a grandson of Group 2 winner Toast Of The Coast. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

He was a $280,000 Inglis Easter buy for trainers Hawkes Racing & agent Andrew Williams and is raced by Rupert & Cheryl Legh and partners.

Bob & Sandra Peters’ home-bred filly Mystery Miss (ex Mystical Miss by More Than Ready) was equally convincing at Belmont in Perth, and on the Gold Coast, The Kingdom (ex Helena Girl by Commands) prevailed despite covering more ground than any other runner.  

I Am Queen is a daughter of US Group 2 winner Cat By The Tale and a half-sister to two Group-placed performers. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

On Wednesday Animal Kingdom posted a double, thanks to  3.5 length Doomben maiden winner Al’s Kingdom (ex Alexandrova by Snitzel), and the New Zealand-owned 4YO mare I Am Queen (ex Cat By The Tale by Tale of the Cat), who sustained a big finish to win at Cranbourne. These two horses and The Kingdom are all graduates of Arrowfield’s Magic Millions consignments. 

Watch Al’s Kingdom win at Doomben.

This sequence of success began with a game country maiden win by the Paul Perry-trained Onyar (ex Girona by Giant’s Causeway) on 17 September.

Other winners for Animal Kingdom earlier this month were  Seductive Miss (ex Armed For Action by Exceed and Excel) who notched up her fourth victory at Moonee Valley on 8 September, and Doctor Doolittle (ex Miss Diagnosis by Medicean) who broke his maiden on 5 September. 

This steady accumulation of results has allowed the Dubai World Cup champion to move into fourth position on the list of Australia’s Third Season Sires after the first 8 weeks of 2018/19. 

Mares that have already foaled to Animal Kingdom this Spring include dual Group 2 winner Dilly Dally (by Rubiton); Double Ranga (by Exceed and Excel), dam of G2 winner Scarlet Rain; La Pelegrina (by Redoute’s Choice), full sister to champion Miss Finland; Ouachita (by Canny Lad), sister to G1 winner Preserve & half-sister to G1 winner Denman; and Group 3-placed city winner Smart Manoeuvre (by Smart Missile).

Showtime stars in Caulfield feature

Snitzel’s classy son Showtime added a second Group 2 victory to his CV  with a defiant performance in Saturday’s $200,000 MRC P.B. Lawrence S. G2 over 1400 metres at Caulfield… 

Snitzel’s classy son Showtime added a second Group 2 victory to his CV  with a defiant performance in Saturday’s weight-for-age feature at Caulfield, the $200,000 MRC P.B. Lawrence S. 1400m G2. 

The 4YO entire began well and tussled for the lead before taking a sit behind Jungle Edge, then pushing forward to challenge after the turn. 

Showtime found plenty in the fight to the line, applying high-cruise pressure and resolute determination to draw clear over the final 100 metres and defeat last year’s P.B. Lawrence winner Hartnell by almost a half-length with Widgee Turf third.

“It took us a little bit to get back from Jungle Edge and get away from him.  He did a good job to overcome that then fight it out in the straight. It was a good effort.” – jockey Dwayne Dunn on Showtime

Watch Showtime win the MRC P.B. Lawrence S. G2.

Add his MVRC Stutt S. G2 win, Group 1 placings behind Trapeze Artist & Brave Smash last season, good juvenile form, arresting good looks and top-drawer pedigree, and Showtime is already well-qualified for a stud career.

However, he has more to achieve on the track first, and the $1 million Memsie Stakes G1, also over 1400 metres at Caulfield on 1 September, is Showtime’s next target.

The $1.1 million yearling now known as dual Group 2 winner Showtime. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Showtime is a result of Arrowfield’s highly successful, 20 year-old joint breeding venture with Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm. Sold by Arrowfield for $1.1 million at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale, he is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes for both his breeders, in partnership with Alan Jones, Jonathan Munz, Greg & Barb Ingham and Eric & Georgina Koundouris.

His dam Flidais (by Timber Country), a Group-placed daughter of dual Group 1 winner Electronic, has proved a gem at stud, generating more  than $4 million of yearling sale returns and leaving Showtime, his splendid Group 1-winning sister Sweet Idea and Malaysian stakeswinner Rush (by Charge Forward).

The $1.8 million Snitzel-Flidais filly sold to Reg Inglis, Jon Kelly & Paul Frampton at this year’s Magic Millions Sale has been named Evening Slippers and is in training with Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.  Flidais is due to foal again to the two-time Champion Sire in September and will be making a return visit to his court.

Showtime and last weekend’s ATC The Rosebud LR winner Sandbar have given Snitzel a quick start to the season and taken his career tally of progeny stakes wins to 162.

First stakes performer for Dundeel

There were several Arrowfield stories out of Saturday’s $130,000 VRC Festival of Racing S. 1000m LR at Flemington, but the most significant result was the gritty effort by Dundeel’s son Irukandji for second.

The 2YO Hawkes-trained colt has been a star of Dundeel’s stud career since his $240,000 sale as a Magic Millions weanling by Riversdale, on behalf of breeders Roger Langley & Alison Hodges.

Purchaser David Kobritz’s Musk Creek Farm then returned to Magic Millions to sell Irukandji as a yearling for $500,000 to Spendthrift Farm whose Orange & Purple silks the colt carried to become Dundeel’s first stakes performer.

In fact, Arrowfield stallions dominated the finish of the race, won by Snitzel’s daughter Nomothaj with debutante Absaroka (by Redoute’s Choice) finishing strongly for fourth.

Watch Nomothaj & Irukandji quinella the VRC Festival of Racing S. LR.

Irukandji, New Zealand debut winner Cutadeel and twice-placed Sunreel have all emerged from Dundeel’s first seven runners and buyers of his second-crop yearlings have clearly been paying attention. 

The 20 Dundeel yearlings sold at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast & Inglis Classic Sales averaged better than four times their sire’s $25,000 fee, with a top price of $280,000 paid for Arrowfield’s colt out of Opportunity by Duncan Ramage & Chris Anderson.

Dundeel’s likely affinity with Australian bloodlines is already evident in his first three performers. Cutadeel and Sunreel are both out of mares by Danehill sons Dylan Thomas & Danzero, while Irukandji’s Group-placed dam Cerberus Gal is by General Nediym from Danzero’s family.

Cerberus Gal has a yearling colt by Zoffany and a weanling full sister to Irukandji.

Dundeel has six colts on offer at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, which begins on Sunday, and they can be found in the Bombora Downs, Glentree, Henley Park, Phoenix & Three Bridges consignments. 

The Inglis Easter Sale catalogue includes 12 Dundeel yearlings, among them five fillies & five colts in the Arrowfield draft – eight of them featuring Danehill sons as damsires or grand-damsires.

Animal Kingdom's first Flemington winner

It’s easy to imagine Animal Kingdom’s progeny relishing Flemington’s big open stretches and 2YO colt Royal Phoenix gave a hint of that future with a dead-heat victory at the famous track on Saturday.

Watch Royal Phoenix win at Flemington.

Racing on the challenging 1100-metre course, Royal Phoenix and his fellow dead-heater Andaz settled together without cover, just behind the early leaders. They joined serious battle at the 250 metres when Royal Phoenix extended impressively to take the lead before Andaz fought back to level up right on the line, with Evil Cry a neck away away in third.

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said of Royal Phoenix, “He didn’t get cover but neither did the other, but they both fought it out very strong to the line. He will get better – it’s never easy first time up the straight, but he did it beautifully.”

Royal Phoenix is the second foal of Helena Girl, a winning daughter of Commands and also the dam of Macau stakeswinner Sparta (by Beneteau). He’s prepared for a group of owners, including his breeder Tony Pistikakis, by Team Hawkes, who bought him for $240,000 from Arrowfield’s 2016 Magic Millions draft.

The Hawkes stable also bought Royal Phoenix’s year-younger full brother at this year’s Magic Millions Sale and Helena Girl, now in foal to Dundeel, has a weanling filly by Smart Missile.

Royal Phoenix is the fifth winner from Animal Kingdom’s first Australian crop, sufficient to hold third on the First Season Sires’ premiership by winners.  His best performer this term, Group-placed winner Lord Cecil, ran a meritorious sixth, beaten less than two lengths, in Saturday’s BRC J.J. Atkins G1 after racing very wide for much of the race.

Add six placegetters from a representation of only 14 runners and the Dubai World Cup champion is a big watch for 2017/18.

Animal Kingdom’s second-crop yearlings averaged almost $155,000 at 2017’s major sales and his top price of $340,000 was paid by Solis Litt Bloodstock at Inglis Easter for Arrowfield’s filly out of Sammy’s Girl. Other buyers of his second-crop yearlings include Andrew Williams, Phil Cataldo, Damon Gabbedy, Champion Thoroughbreds, Liam Birchley & Paul Perry.

New stakeswinner for Beneteau

Redoute’s Choice’s son Beneteau notched up his 10th stakeswinner when Sparta easily won Saturday’s Macau Sprint Trophy 1200m MAC-3.

The 4YO gelding, winner of four of his previous eight starts in Macau, romped home by more than three lengths from the New Zealand-bred River Bobo in 1:08 flat.

Watch Sparta win the Macau Sprint Trophy Mac-3.

Sparta was bred by Tony Pistikakis from the Commands mare Helena Girl and initially raced by him in Australia, in partnership with Lam King Poy & K.M. Ng, who now race him in Macau.

Sparta, described after foaling at Arrowfield in October 2012 as a “lovely, big, strong maiden foal”, was trained for two Spring 3YO starts in Australia by Hawkes Racing, which subsequently signed for his younger half-brothers by Animal Kingdom at the 2016 and 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sales.

Helena Girl has a filly foal by Smart Missile and is in foal to Dundeel.

With ten stakeswinners, including Group 1 winner Lasqueti Spirit, and 11 other stakes performers from 131 named foals, Beneteau was clearly headed for major sire success before his death in January 2013. He has no juveniles representing him this season, yet still holds third, behind Hinchinbrook & Star Witness, on the Australian Third Season Sires’ table, with 25 winners and $1.8 million prizemoney.

Swear makes it 136 for Redoute's Choice

A trio of stakeswinners in the first 34 days of 2016/17 has given champion sire Redoute’s Choice his fastest season start since 2008. 

Spendthrift Australia’s colt Swear joined August stakeswinners Great Esteem and Rock Magic with a professional effort on heavy ground to claim Saturday’s $125,000 ATC Ming Dynasty Quality 1400m G3. High Mist was a determined 2nd, a half-length away, and Skylight Glow was third.

Watch Swear’s ATC Ming Dynasty G3 win.

It was Swear’s first appearance since his debut success at Hawkesbury in April and extended a great run of early 3YO success for Hawkes Racing which has sent out 12 winners in that category since 1 August.

Michael Hawkes said after Swear’s win, “He’s a stayer on the up. He covers a lot of ground and hopefully there’s a lot more in store for him once he stretches out in journey.”

Swear is the first stakeswinner among the first four foals out of Crossyourheart (by Show A Heart), a brilliant dual stakes-winning juvenile in New Zealand, from the family of Hong Kong Sprint G1 winner All Thrills Too and Group winners Adaline and Gotta Have Heart.

Swear is the fourth Ming Dynasty winner by Redoute’s Choice, after Mearas (2006), Aussies Love Sport (2013) and Panzer Division (2014).

Bred by Dean Fleming, Swear was sold for $725,000 at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale by Tyreel Stud and he is the first Australian stakeswinner for his owner Spendthrift Australia.

He is also the 136th lifetime stakeswinner for Redoute’s Choice who has averaged a remarkable 14 individual stakeswinners per season across the 14 years his progeny have graced racetracks in Australia and around the world.

After Saturday’s racing, the Australian General Sires’ table is headed by Snitzel (4 stakeswinners & $982,113 prizemoney) and Redoute’s Choice (3 stakeswinners, $697,715).

Stakes double for Redoute's Choice

Strawberry Boy and La Amistad put up equally dominant performances over very different distances on Saturday to give their champion sire Redoute’s Choice his fifth same-day stakes double this season.

Strawberry Boy claimed his first Group win in the $125,000 BRC Lord Mayor’s Cup 1600m G3 at Doomben with a strong front-running performance piloted by Zac Purton.

The 6YO gelding took an early lead, settled into a lovely rhythm and repelled the challenge of Estonian Princess before drawing away in the straight for a stylish 2.5 length victory. Lucky Lago and I’m Imposing filled the placings.

Trained by Chris Waller for owner and breeder John Singleton, Strawberry Boy earned black capital status in the Ladies Day Cup LR at Hawkesbury last November. He has now won eight of his 23 starts for prizemoney of more than $550,000. 

Strawberry Boy is from the fine broodmare Strawberry Girl (by Strawberry Road) whose eight earlier winners include Group 2 winner Danroad and stakeswinners Newtown Jet & Tippitaka. Sadly, their dam died last year, soon after foaling a colt by Not A Single Doubt.

A couple of hours later at Flemington La Amistad brought back memories of her famous big sister, three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva, with a decisive victory in Flemington’s “other 3200-metre race”, the Andrew Ramsden S. LR.

Damien Oliver was happy to settle La Amistad at the back of the field and found that the further they went, the stronger she felt. By the home turn, she was ready to chase down the leader Lucciola and then hold off the fast-finishing Sonntag and Zabeelionaire to score by two lengths in 3:22.79.

The 5YO mare’s evident progress since her McKell Cup LR win at Randwick a year ago makes a 2015 Melbourne Cup campaign a realistic possibility for trainers Hawkes Racing and her owners Tony & Deslee Santic, Greg Ingham and Michael Sullivan.

La Amistad is from another first-class broodmare Tugela (by Riverman), who also died last Spring after delivered her 11th foal, a filly by All Too Hard. Makybe Diva, La Amistad’s Group 2-winning brother Musket and Group 3 winner Valkyrie Diva established Tugela’s worth some time ago.

It’s been a bountiful season for Redoute’s Choice, with 15 winners of 23 Group & Listed races in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, including five winners of 7 Group 1 races: Lankan Rupee, Majmu, Bonaria, Hampton Court & Wylie Hall. 

His four other stakes doubles since 1 August were achieved by Panzer Division (Sydney) & Rock Magic (Perth) on 6 September; Bonaria (Melbourne) & Majmu (South Africa) on 1 November; Scissor Kick (Sydney) & Vavasour (New Zealand) on 7 February; and Wylie Hall (South Africa) & Abidewithme (New Zealand) on 25 April.