Thronum takes Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley

“He has freshened up well. His gallops have been classy. A small but quality field and I can see him running well fresh.”

That was head trainer David Hayes’ assessment of Thronum’s chances before Friday evening’s $200,000 MVRC Australia S. 1200m G2. It turned out to be both accurate and a touch modest as the 4YO entire took early control of the race and stayed there to score by 1.4 lengths from Mr Sneaky and Stellar Collision.

Watch Thronum win the MVRC Australia S. G2.

It was a welcome return to the stakeswinner’s circle for the son of Snitzel who won two of his first three starts in as a late 2YO and then took out the ATC Rosebud H. LR for the Waterhouse & Bott partnership. That was the best seen of him at three and after a long break due to injury, he returned last November to win easily at Bendigo and run third in the MRC Kevin Heffernan S. G3. 

As co-trainer Tom Dabernig said after the race, “He’s a well-bred colt, he’s got a stack of ability and he’s going places….We’ll be aiming at a Group One with him now.” Options include the Newmarket, the Oakleigh and the C.F. Orr.

Thronum is the first foal of Canadian juvenile winner Helena’s Secret (by Mr Prospector’s grandson Five Star Day) from the family of Champion racehorses and sires Street Cry & Shamardal. Bred by Highgrove & Widden Studs and Robert Anderson, Thronum was offered at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale under the Highgrove banner and purchased for $300,000 by Sun Stud.

Helena’s Secret has 2YO and yearling fillies by Sebring, a weanling colt by Snitzel and a positive test to the reigning Champion Sire. 

Thronum is Snitzel’s 19th Australian stakeswinner this season and his 47th lifetime Group winner. 

Snitzel has four yearlings on offer at the upcoming Karaka Book 1 Sale, three at next month’s Inglis Classic Sale, eight colts at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in March and a superb collection of 64 yearlings catalogued for April’s Inglis Easter Sale, including two colts & eight fillies in the Arrowfield draft.

Summer Passage wins Group 1 Sires' Produce

Snitzel’s headline-making season continued on Thursday when his 2YO son Summer Passage stepped up from Listed success at Matamata last month to take out the $200,000 ARC Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. 1200m G1.

The race, sponsored by Brendan & Jo Lindsay’s recently sold company Sistema Plastics, began with a three-horse battle for the lead as Summer Passage sped forward from the outside gate to join Ujjayyi and Felton Road. The trio settled in front and jockey Blake Shinn let Summer Passage get round the home turn before applying pressure which dropped off his co-leaders as Star Treasure and Gold Fever emerged from the pack.

However, placings were their lot as the Snitzel colt’s class shone in the final stages and he pulled away for a convincing three-quarter length win, his second from three starts since his late January debut for owner Hermitage Thoroughbreds and trainers Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott. 

Watch Summer Passage win the ARC Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. G1.

The result was also a triumph for Ron & Deb Gilbert’s Highgrove Stud, based in the famous Darling Downs region of Queensland. Summer Passage was knocked down to Wexford Stables for $800,000 at the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale and joins Group 1 winners Porto Roca & Wanted, Group 2 winner Shrapnel (by Charge Forward) and Listed winner Thronum (also by Snitzel) on the boutique farm’s graduate list.

Summer Passage is the second foal of Subsequent, a winning daughter of Encosta De Lago and he was as much a star of Highgrove’s draft as he was at Ellerslie.

Ron Gilbert recalls, “He was a very good sort. The good yearlings tend to pick themselves and this bloke certainly did that.
“They’re standouts from day one, there’s never an issue with them, they’ve very popular with potential buyers and they never turn a hair.”

Subsequent, from the family of Group 2 winner Shania Dane and Group winners Order Of The Sun (in Singapore) and Scintillation (in Hong Kong) has a yearling colt by Sebring, a weanling filly by Snitzel and is again in foal to the superstar son of Redoute’s Choice.

Summer Passage, previously nominated for the Golden Slipper, is now likely to make the trip across the Tasman for the $1 million Inglis Sires’ 1400m G1 on 1 April, the first day of The Championships at Randwick.

Snizel shows no sign of breaking his record-setting habit, with 21 stakeswinners for the season to date, and 24 individual 2YO winners, six of them stakeswinners: Summer Passage, Azazel, Ducimus, Jukebox and two of his four Golden Slipper G1 runners on Saturday, Teaspoon & Trapeze Artist.

Snitzel has 42 yearlings on offer at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale which begins on 4 April, among them Highgrove’s colt out of Simply Spiteful (by Speightstown), and six colts & 8 fillies in Arrowfield’s consignment.

Snitzel's trans-Tasman stakes double day

Melbourne 3YO Farson and New Zealand-based juvenile Summer Passage gave the sensational Snitzel his ninth same-day stakes double on Saturday, taking his tally of stakeswinners to 52.

Farson started favourite in the $200,000 MRC Autumn Classic 1800m G2 after consecutive wins at Caulfield and Moonee Valley.He kept punters happy when he took control of the race round the turn and kicked clear to score by almost two lengths from Cliff Hanger with Captain Rhett third.

Watch Farson win the MRC Autumn Classic G2.

Jockey Stephen Baster was impressed, saying afterwards, “He’s a beauty – he’s still learning and improving every time he goes around. Today we got there a little bit too soon, I didn’t want to be getting there at the top of the straight but I had no choice and to his credit he just kept hitting the line.”

Farson was a $180,000 Gai Waterhouse buy from the draft of breeder Stuart Ramsey’s Turangga Farm at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. His stakes-winning dam Clear View is a daughter of Gallo Di Ferro (by Deputy Minister), from a family that produced New Zealand Group 1 winners So Casual & Zola almost 20 years ago.

Farson is the third stakeswinner by Snitzel for the new Waterhouse & Bott partnership after Thronum (ATC The Rosebud LR) and Sweet Redemption (ATC Festival S. G3).

Inglis Easter graduate Summer Passage extended Snitzel’s record on several fronts with a stylish defeat of Summer Monsoon & Hanger in Saturday’s $50,000 Matamata Slipper 1200m LR in New Zealand.

It was a fine effort by the colt who was second to Aim Smart (by Smart Missile) on debut on 28 January and may now cross the Tasman to see if a rather bigger Slipper fits on 18 March.

Watch Summer Passage win the Matamata Slipper LR.

Bred and offered by Ron & Deb Gilbert’s Highgrove Stud, Summer Passage was bought for $800,000 by owner Hermitage Thoroughbreds and is trained by Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott. He’s the second foal out of Subsequent (by Encosta De Lago), a winning sibling of Listed winners Get To Work and Order Of The Sun, from the family of current smart 3YOs Northwest Passage and Man From Uncle.

Subsequent foaled a Snitzel filly last Spring and is in foal to him again.

Summer Passage is both Snitzel’s 23rd juvenile winner this season and his 23rd lifetime 2YO stakeswinner, as well as his first black type winner in New Zealand. He and Farson take Snitzel’s 2016/17 record to 17 stakeswinners – his best-ever season total, and it’s only February.

The next opportuity to buy a Snitzel yearling comes up on Sunday, when the first of eight colts and five fillies by the boom son of Redoute’s Choice enters the ring at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Charge Forward 3YO wins again at Kranji

Only three members of Charge Forward’s 2013 crop are racing in Singapore but all of them have won, most recently the promising Mark Walker-trained pair Hatta (on 16 September), and Awatere, successful for the second time on Sunday evening.

Awatere (ex Catbird Kitty by Catbird) scored an impressive two-length win over 1200 metres, taking his earnings from six starts to $94,000 for New Zealand owners Craig & Pip Forsyth. Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis purchased the gelding for $50,000 from Lyndhurst Farm which presented him on behalf of breeder Dan Myers.

Watch Awatere win at Kranji on 9 October.

Awatere is from the same family as the good Hong Kong performer Best Eleven, also by Charge Forward, and descends from the dam of English Two Thousand Guineas winner Mystiko.

Hatta (ex Jujitzel by Snitzel) finished fifth behind Awatere on Sunday after his stylish maiden victory for the Al-Arabiya Stable on the polytrack last month. His breeder Carl Holt has been a strong supporter of both Charge Forward and Snitzel, and this year sold a filly bred on the same cross, out of his stakes-winning mare Zelsnitz, for $85,000 to Moody Racing at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

The third Singapore runner and winner from Charge Forward’s 2013 crop is Macarthur (ex Mozambique by Redoute’s Choice), who impressed as a 2YO last season with two wins before finishing just behind the placegetters in the Golden Horseshore Sgp-2 and Juvenile Championship Sgp-3.

Macarthur was bred by Ron & Deb Gilbert of Highgrove Stud and is trained by Steven Burridge for Adam & Brittany Levinson and Steve & Christine Levar under the Stars & Stripes Stable banner.

It won’t escape pedigree analysts that all three horses are all out of Danehill-line mares, as is Charge Forward’s leading Singapore earner this year, the nine-time winner Good News (ex Rezyana by Redoute’s Choice). 

In all, the fifteen Singapore runners by the son of Red Ransom have earned an average of almost $114,000.

Long Face Grace wins Pinker Pinker Plate

Pacific Bloodstock’s progressive 4YO mare Long Face Grace more than doubled her earnings on Friday evening when she proved too strong in the $100,000 Cranbourne TC Inglis Pinker Pinker Plate over 2080 metres.

The daughter of Manhattan Rain made light of her wide draw with the aid of Glen Boss who directed her towards the rail, to settle in third spot as Billie Frechette took up the pace from Trancing.

Long Face Grace rolled along easily off the pace through the middle stages and was poised to strike as the field caught Billie Frechette round the turn. Boss got to work after the mare straightened up and she kicked clear, with enough in hand to hold off the fast-finishing Zanteca by a neck. Ring Da Belle was a further 1.7 lengths away, third.

Watch Long Face Grace’s win in the Pinker Pinker Plate.

Boss said, “She’s a quality mare, I always thought she was probably looking for the 2000 or more. For an inexperienced filly, she’s got some good qualities.”

A $70,000 purchase by Pacific Bloodstock principal Mark Hoare from the 2013 Magic Millions draft of Highgrove Stud, Long Face Grace has progressed quickly in the Mark Kavanagh stable since her debut third at Yarra Valley in March. She has now won three of her last four starts and has relished each step up in distance.   

Long Face Grace is the fifth foal of Retract (by Flying Spur), a city-winning half-sister to the dam of champion filly Atlantic Jewel and Group 1 winner Commanding Jewel.

Given he is free of Danehill, it’s not surprising that Manhattan Rain (by Encosta De Lago) is proving effective with mares by the supersire’s sons. His eleven winners bred that way include his Group 2-winning son Moonovermanhattan (also from a Flying Spur mare), Group-placed pair Man Of Choice & Manhattan Avenue, and stakes-placed Right Or Wrong. 

It’s been a fruitful week for Manhattan Rain, with three notable winners in six days. 3YO filly Manrose Hattan (ex Marlena Rose by Al Samer) scored by 3 lengths over 1600 metres at Doomben last Saturday, and 4YO gelding Mr Manhattan (ex Fashion Police by Elusive Quality) was successful over 1000 metres at Warwick Farm last Monday.

Manhattan Rain has two Group 1 runners on Saturday: Moonovermanhattan in the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield, and Man Of Choice in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.

No Long Faces around Grace

Syndicator Pacific Bloodstock hoped for a big showing from Long Face Grace at the first of Moonee Valley’s night meetings this season and that’s exactly what Manhattan Rain’s promising daughter delivered.

The 4YO mare stepped up to 1600 metres last Friday for the first time after her maiden win at Sandown last month and a second at Seymour on 9 September, both at 1400 metres. That form earned Long Face Grace favouritism in the Fillies & Mares Handicap which she justified with a narrow but strong win, defeating Billie Frechette by a half-head with 1.5 lengths further back to Bet You She Rocks.

Watch Long Face Grace win at Moonee Valley.

Out of the money only once in her six starts from the Mark Kavanagh stable, Long Face Grace was a $70,000 purchase by Pacific Bloodstock principal Mark Hoare from the 2013 Magic Millions draft of Ron & Deb Gilbert’s Highgrove Stud. 
 
The filly fitted Mark’s criteria. “I tend not to buy running two-year-olds, I prefer a bit of scope which she had and Mark [Kavanagh] liked her too.

“I liked Manhattan Rain given his pedigree and thought he had a chance, and of course, she had the Atlantic Jewel factor as well.”

Long Face Grace is the fifth foal of Retract (by Flying Spur), a city-winning half-sister to the dam of champion filly Atlantic Jewel and Group 1 winner Commanding Jewel.

However, things didn’t go smoothly for Long Face Grace during her early education, as Mark Hoare explains. “She was kicked in her paddock when she was being broken in and we nearly lost her. Mark and the stable have handled her very patiently, everything has been done at her pace and she’s starting to come into her own now.”

The next goal for Long Face Grace is the 1600-metre Ladies Day Vase G3, at Caulfield on 14 October but jockey Glen Boss, who has piloted the mare to both her wins, believes she will cope with 2000 metres and beyond as she progresses.

Manhattan Rain’s first crop has so far produced 36 winners including Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan (also from a Flying Spur mare), Listed winners Manapine, Ondina, Crafty and Long Face Grace’s short-course sprinting stablemate Wild Rain.