Redoute's Choice the surest bet

As 2016 winds down and the world looks back at a turbulent 12 months, a few certainties for 2017 would be welcome, but they seem in short supply and in racing that shortage is more-or-less a permanent condition.

Occasionally, though, something emerges that can be relied upon over several years, perhaps a decade or more if we’re lucky. In Australian racing and breeding one pillar of consistently top-class performance has been, and still is, Redoute’s Choice.

An all-up bet that Redoute’s Choice would leave double-figure stakeswinners, including at least one Group 1 winner, in each of the past dozen years would have made a December 2004 punter rather rich, and his or her bookmaker increasingly unwell. And there’s no sign of the pace slackening either – in fact, over the past two years he’s averaged a stakes win every 17 days.

In 2016 the three-time Champion Sire has put up 15 individual winners of 19 Group and Listed Races, among them Group 1 winners Peeping (ATC Coolmore Classic G1), Howard Be Thy Name (South Australian Derby G1) & Abbey Marie (Australasian Oaks G1). His 30 lifetime Group 1 winners place him firmly among the world’s elite stallions.

2016 Group winners Honesty Prevails & Thyme For Roses and Listed winner Zamzam in Australia, and Table Bay in South Africa boosted Redoute’s Choice’s tally of 2YO stakeswinners to thirty-three. And don’t worry about the durability of his progeny – Rock Magic and Abidewithme from his 2009 crop both won in Group company this year.

Redoute’s Choice is already shaping future generations through 17 stakes-siring sire sons headed by Snitzel (47 SW), Not A Single Doubt (35 SW) & the deceased Stratum (31 SW).

Irish-based Elzaam and New Zealand-based Burgundy seem likely to join that group soon, after making very favourable impressions with their first runners in 2016. Scissor Kick’s arrival at Haras d’Etreham strengthens the dynasty’s foothold in Europe, as Redoute’s Choice’s own second crop of French-conceived 2YOs prepares to race in 2017.

Daughters of Redoute’s Choice are similarly proving their worth as transmitters of his class with 50 stakeswinners (14 of them in 2016 and number 50, Hong Kong Group winner Blizzard, scoring on 1 January), including Group 1 winners Sacred Falls, Zoustar, Pasadena Girl and Stay With Me.

Thirteen Redoute’s Choice yearlings will be offered at the upcoming Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, among them three colts and two fillies in the Arrowfield consignment.

Tribute to Champion Sire Hussonet

Champion sire Hussonet, responsible for 30 Group 1 winners among 96 lifetime stakeswinners, died at Cornerstone Stud, South Australia on Monday morning.

The 25-year-old son of Mr. Prospector leaves an imposing stud record in Chile and Australia, and son & daughters creating a wonderful legacy in both countries.

Hussonet was bred by Peter Brant & Julian Schnabel from the 1987 Champion US 3YO Filly Sacahuista, the grand-daughter of a sister to US Hall of Famer Shuvee and later the dam of Group 1 winner & sire Ekraar. 

Trained by Bill Mott for Sheikh Mohammed, Hussonet achieved the modest status of stakes-placed winner on the racetrack, but proved a spectacular success at stud, winning seven premierships in Chile before his purchase by Arrowfield Stud in 2003. He stood seven seasons at Arrowfield before his 2010 sale to Cornerstone.

His ten Australian-bred crops of racing age have produced the winners of more than $53 million, including 36 stakeswinners headed by six Group 1 winners: Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler, Eagle Falls (MRC Oakleigh Plate G1), Gold Trail (ARC Railway H. G1), Hong Kong stars Glorious Days & Contentment and MRC Blue Diamond S. G1 winner Reaan, as well as multiple Singapore domestic Group 1 winner Stepitup.

Given that Hussonet’s progeny tend to improve with age, the runners to come from his last few crops, his sire sons Husson, Host & Rios and his excellent broodmare daughters (49 stakeswinners, including 10 Group 1 winners), his record is well short of final. 

Arrowfield Chairman John Messara says, “Hussonet was probably the most left-field stallion purchase Arrowfield has ever made – even I took some persuasion to consider a Champion Sire from Chile! However, when I analysed South American racing, his performance and his pedigree more closely, I realised he was something special.

“His very significant contribution to Australian breeding and racing remains evident this season, when he’s been represented by Hong Kong Group 1 winner Contentment & Singapore Horse of the Year Stepitup, and as a damsire by 2YO Group winner Honesty Prevails, Listed winner Selenia and, of course, the Blue Diamond winner Extreme Choice.  He’s also the damsire of our exciting new stallion Panzer Division.

 “From all of us at Arrowfield, thank you Hussonet for a great job well & truly done.”

Widden Stakes quinella for Arrowfield sires

The Arrowfield roster’s challenge for the season’s major 2YO prizes was given another boost at Rosehill on Saturday when Honesty Prevails (by Redoute’s Choice) and Smart Amelia (by Smart Missile) ran one-two in the $150,000 ATC Widden S. 1100m G3 at their first starts.

It was a terrific performance by both fillies in a strong field that may well yield plenty of good form this Autumn. Honesty Prevails jumped well for Jason Collett who settled her in fourth position on the fence, with Smart Amelia behind her, but forced to travel wide throughout.

Kentucky Miss and Vixen Lass led into the straight while Collett found space for Honesty Prevails who then sprinted clear to win by 2.3 lengths in 1:05.73 – slightly faster than the colt Tessera posted a race earlier in the Canonbury Stakes G3.

Smart Amelia had more ground to make up, but found enough to snatch second from Chipanda and impress her jockey Christian Reith who said, “Super run. Still doing a couple of things wrong but once she irons them out she’ll be a very nice filly.”

Watch Honesty Prevails win the ATC Widden S. G3.

Collett was even more impressed with Honesty Prevails.

“She destroyed them. Just an out and out racehorse. She’s got a great head on her. Just took it in her stride. Puts herself in the spot, races professionally and coming to the turn I was pretty confident when I’m the only one travelling.”

Honesty Prevails is trained by Rick Worthington who purchased the filly with owner Trevor Gluck and agent John Hutchinson of Scone Bloodstock from the Arrowfield draft at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Knocked down for $720,000, Honesty Prevails is the second living foal of Flavoured (by Hussonet), also dam of stakes-placed city winner Aerobar, from the family of champion US racehorse & sire A. P. Indy.  Flavoured has a weanling colt by Exceed and Excel and is in foal again to Redoute’s Choice.

Honesty Prevails takes her three-time Australian champion sire’s tally of stakeswinners to 127; she is also his 30th juvenile stakeswinner.

Redoute’s Choice also appears in Smart Amelia’s pedigree, as the sire of her dam My Amelia, a More Than Ready daughter of Carry On Cutie (AJC Champagne S. G1). Smart Amelia is trained by James Cummings for her breeder Richard Pegum, Matthew Sandblom and Westcode Pty Ltd.

Smart Amelia is Smart Missile’s second stakes performer from his first 11 runners, after New Zealand Listed winner Sassy ‘N’ Smart.

The Golden Slipper is now on the radar for Honesty Prevails, while another Redoute’s Choice filly, Sheikh Hamdan’s Zamzam put herself in play for the Blue Diamond after a super debut win at Moonee Valley on Friday evening.

Redoute’s Choice already has two Golden Slippers and two Blue Diamonds on his record, but there is, of course, always room for more…