Hazard's ripper season

At the start of this season Flying Spur’s 5YO daughter Hazard looked like a candidate for that unlucky band of talented mares who build good records, but retire to stud without the stakes-winning status they really deserve.

Thankfully, Godolphin kept her in training and Hazard is now a dual Group winner after her success in last Saturday’s $200,000 BRC Dane Ripper S. 1350m G2.

That performance, defeating multiple Group winner & Group 1 placegetter Catkins, confirmed Hazard’s coming of age after more than three years of steady development by Anthony Freedman, now training in partnership with brother Lee.

A debut win can be a sign of stakes-winning potential and Hazard delivered it as a 2YO when she narrowly defeated subsequent Group 2 winner & Group 1 performer Angelic Light at Geelong in April 2012.

Eight months later she began a sequence of four consecutive 3YO successes, three of them in Melbourne at 1200m, 1400m & 1600m, and a black type win seemed imminent.

However, her career stalled after a runner-up finish in the SAJC Laelia S. LR at three and her 4YO season was a little disappointing, despite a valuable win at Bendigo, a Group 3 second and a Listed third.

It took five starts this term for Hazard to find the winner’s circle again, over 1000 metres at Caulfield in April. Unplaced in the MRC Bel Esprit S. LR later that month, she then hit her most rewarding patch of form, winning three races in three states from 2 May to 6 June, including the SAJC Proud Miss S. G3 and now the Dane Ripper.

That brings her record to a thoroughly admirable 10 wins, five placings and $551,615 from 25 starts, and elevated status as the best of four Group winners left by her outstanding dam Dawn Attack (by Fantastic Light) to four different stallions before her premature death in 2013. 

Dawn Attack’s other three performers are the fillies Crucial (by Nadeem) and Antelucan (by Domesday), and the gelding Java (by Medaglia d’Oro).

Darley’s Managing Director Henry Plumptre says, “Interestingly, Hazard has been the most backward of the four mentally, with Antelucan a two-year-old stakeswinner and both Java and Crucial  showing plenty as two- and three-year-olds.  

“As a type, she is a big strong girl now. Plenty of strength and scope, with a preference for good tracks.

“Dawn Attack was a great mare for our operation and it is good fortune that we have three stakes-winning daughters.”

Hazard, dual New Zealand Group 1 winner Sacred Star and Singapore speedster Zac Spirit head Flying Spur’s seven stakeswinners among 90 winners worldwide this season.

The now-retired champion sire now has a career tally of 97 stakeswinners and a century is in sight with the 173 foals from his last two crops about to turn three and four. 

Flying Spur still appears in the top 30 stallions on the Australian General Sires’ list, but his best performance is now on the Broodmare Sires’ table where he’s become a regular fixture behind Danehill and Zabeel, and alongside his relative Encosta de Lago and, more recently, Redoute’s Choice.

In 2014/15 Flying Spur’s best second-generation runner has been Victoria Derby G1 winner Preferment, one of three Group winners from only 8 named foals bred on the Zabeel/Flying Spur cross.

Flying Spur closes on 100 stakeswinners

A milestone century of stakeswinners is well within the grasp of Arrowfield’s retired champion sire Flying Spur after a tremendous sequence of results last Saturday.

His daughters Okahu Bay and Hazard supplied a Group 3 double at Morphettville while his son That’s A Good Idea capped a fine season with success in Listed company at Scone.

They took Flying Spur’s lifetime tally of stakeswinners to 97, a figure that, with his final crop only 2YOs, can be expected to increase over the next year or two.

3YO Okahu Bay defied punters’ expectations to lead all the way in the 2500-metre $115,000 SAJC SA Fillies Classic G3 for her owner-breeders Alan & Colleen Jackson.

Trainer Phillip Stokes said, “We knew she’d run the distance…She got into a nice rhythm and she was strong at the end.

“We’ve brought her up slowly through the provincials. She hasn’t had any hard runs and we got her to peak on the day so it’s great.”

Okahu Bay is the third live foal of Acacia Bay (by Rodrigo de Triano), a Sydney-winning half-sister to Group 1 winner Calveen, Group winners Kosi Bay & Fireworks and Listed winner Striker.

Godolphin’s talented mare Hazard went into the $115,000 SAJC Proud Miss S. 1200m G3 with a reputation for consistency earned during a  four-season, eight-win career that lacked only a stakes victory. A perfectly judged ride by Ben Melham helped her put that right, by finishing over the top of Miss Promiscuity and Nadeem Lass.

Co-trainer Lee Freedman said, “Hazard is probably the mare that has been knocking on the door to win a black type race…I can’t really fault her.”

Hazard is the fourth stakeswinner from the excellent broodmare Dawn Attack (by Fantastic Light), also the dam of Group winners Antelucan, Crucial and Java, and herself a half-sister to Champion Irish 3YO and successful sire Desert King.

That’s A Good Idea ended the day with his eighth career win in the Arrowfield Stud-sponsored $140,000 Scone RC Ortensia S. 1100m LR, a result that also helped to secure the meeting’s Golden Whip award for jockey Hugh Bowman.

Trained by Peter & Paul Snowden for Colin Charlwood, That’s A Good Idea was bred by the Estate of the late Bruce Reid from the stakes-placed Sunday Silence mare Sunday Service, also the dam of stakeswinner Kneeling.

There’s good evidence of Flying Spur’s ability to improve his record as his last few crops mature. His seven current season stakeswinners have all come from his 2009 and 2011 crops,  and his 4YOs earn, on average, three times more than his younger progeny.

Flying Spur’s 5YO stakeswinners this season are dual Group 1 winner Sacred Star (who goes for his third consecutive Group 1 success in Saturday’s Doomben 10,000), Hazard, That’s A Good Idea & Singapore star Zac Spirit, while his current 3YOs feature Okahu Bay and Perth stakeswinner Boom Time.

He has several 3YOs who look capable of progressing to success in stakes company. Among them are four fillies, all with leading trainers: Traveston Girl (Group 1-placed for Tony Gollan),  Ataab (Group-placed in South Africa for Mike de Kock),  Aerobar (with Gerald Ryan in Sydney) and Down the Hatch (with Robbie Griffiths in Melbourne).

Those fillies are already valuable as future broodmares, given Flying Spur’s great record in that department: 56 stakeswinners, five of them Group 1 winners. 

Fourth on the current Australian Broodmare Sires’ list with $7.8 million prizemoney, Flying Spur appears as the damsire of eight stakeswinners this season. They include Preferment (VRC Victoria Derby G1), Group 2 winners Moonovermanhattan & Speak Fondly, Group 3 winners Heart Testa, Thump and, in England, Royal Razalma.

Flying Spur’s sire sons haven’t made the same impact as his daughters, but he does have eight stakes-siring sons, headed by Casino Prince (9 SW including Champion 3YO All Too Hard), Magnus (7 SW) and Jet Spur (6 SW).

Now rising 23, Flying Spur grazes peacefully at the farm he helped to build, but he still shines brightly as a first-magnitude star in Danehill’s extraordinary dynasty.