Four Group 1-winning Arrowfield graduates, all purchased from the Inglis Easter Sale, were the only Australian-bred finalists for South Africa’s 2016/17 Equus Awards, and two of them won their respective categories.
Sheikh Hamdan’s brilliant colt Mustaaqeem was named Champion 2YO Colt, and Whisky Baron won the Champion Middle Distance title at the Awards ceremony in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.
Like his sire Redoute’s Choice, Mustaaqeem made only two juvenile appearances, but achieved maximum impact with a runaway debut win, followed by a four-length victory in the Turffontein South African Nursery G1 on 6 May.
That performance very quickly turned into a rare piece of history when Mustaaqeem’s older full brother Rafeef – now standing at Highlands Stud in South Africa – won the Computaform Sprint G1 on the same Champions Day card. Rafeef was a finalist for the Champion Sprinter award won by Carry On Alice.
Mustaaqeem and Rafeef are sons of South African Horse of the Year National Colour, both of them bred by Arrowfield and Klawervlei Stud, both offered at successive Inglis Easter Sales and both purchased for Shadwell by master buyer Angus Gold. It took $800,000 to buy Rafeef in 2014, and more than twice that amount, $1.75 million, to secure Mustaaqeem two years later.
National Colour has a 2YO Snitzel filly bought for $675,000 by Paul Messara at Inglis Easter and now part of Arrowfield’s racing team, and a yearling colt by Redoute’s Choice. The mare is in foal to Snitzel.
Whisky Baron (Manhattan Rain-Tazkara by Sinndar), a product of the Aga Khan Studs’ partnership with Arrowfield, was also bought from the 2014 Easter Sale, for just $50,000 by Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden. Trained by Brett Crawford for former international cricketer Craig Kieswetter and his brother Ross, Whisky Baron progressed dramatically from three to four, winning all five of his starts last season, which ended with a stunning success in the R5 million Kenilworth Sun Metropolitan H. G1 over 2000 metres.
Tazkara is now in France, but has two daughters in Australia including Whisky Baron’s full sister Downtown Manhattan whose first foal is a yearling colt by Olympic Glory.
The fourth Arrowfield graduate among the Equus Award finalists was 3YO colt Heavenly Blue (Snitzel-Simply Carina by El Prado), bred by the Stud in partnership with Cloros Bloodstock and bought for $200,000 by Jehan Malherbe’s Form Bloodstock.
Winner of both his 2YO starts, Heavenly Blue raced exclusively in Group company at three, winning the Turffontein South African Classic G1, and finishing third in the South African Derby G1.
He also hails from the yard of champion trainer Mike de Kock who received a Special Achievement Award after reaching the milestone of 3,000 career wins in March.
Simply Carina has a 3YO daughter, Play That Song (by Smart Missile), in the Mike Moroney stable, a 2YO filly by Snitzel and a yearling colt by Smart Missile.