Hot on the track and happy in retirement

Group 1 winner Hot Snitzel was retired from racing in early 2016 after injuring a suspensory ligament. The son of Snitzel and Flames of Paris was bred in 2008 by the Arrowfield & Jungle Pocket partnership, raised at Arrowfield Stud and sent in the farm’s draft to the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

There he was purchased for $60,000 by Chris & Michael Ward’s Triple Crown Syndications, which organised and managed the large group of people who raced him. After five years, 38 starts and eight wins (7 in Group & Listed stakes company), amassing earnings of $1,334,850, ‘Snitty’ is now enjoying his retirement with two of his owners, Steve and Debbie Graham.

Steve and Debbie first crossed paths with Hot Snitzel when they purchased a share in him through Triple Crown. Impressed by his Snitzel breeding and the success rate of Triple Crown, Steve and Debbie embarked on an unimaginable success story. When asked about her first impression of Hot Snitzel, Debbie was surprised at how small he was. “When I saw him on race day I questioned if he was actually a pony mate to one of the other racehorses there on the day! I felt like I was sending out my young child to run with the big kids – but he proved he was up for the challenge!”

Hot Snitzel provided so much joy for Debbie and Steve during his time racing, particularly when they could bring their two-year-old granddaughter Lily to the races to watch him run. Lily would enthusiastically support the horse and cheer ‘Go Snitty’ as he flew past.

The brave son of Snitzel never gave up and always ran an honest race. Nicknamed ‘War Horse’ by many owners, Hot Snitzel demonstrated a true love for racing and for being out on the track. His talent and competitive zest were finally rewarded with a Group 1 win on 9th May 2015, when Hot Snitzel easily won the BTC Cup at Doomben despite being at odds of 24-1.


The most memorable race day for the Grahams was on 26th April 2014, when he won the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick. Debbie recalls, “I always look at our horses in the raceday stalls before a race. With Hot Snitzel I had developed a pattern of looking for him to wink at me. On this day he not only winked at me, but also sneezed all over me, splattering my face with his saliva. I took this as a sure sign!

 “It also happened to be his strapper Harry’s last day working with Gerald Ryan so he was confident Hot Snitzel would win for him – and win he did, by one-and-a-quarter lengths! I proudly made the long walk back in leading Hot Snitzel with Harry, trying very hard in six-inch heels to keep up.”

Hot Snitzel demonstrated a kind and quiet temperament during his racing career and was labelled a gentleman by all stable staff, who cried upon hearing of his retirement. He impacted the lives not only of those who worked with him, but he also inspired in Debbie and Steve a love for a horse that they couldn’t imagine “would ever be so strong.” Their success with Hot Snitzel has given the Grahams a much deeper understanding of the thoroughbred industry, as well as warm friendships with his other owners.

On raceday Debbie would often look adoringly at Hot Snitzel and turn to Chris and Michael Ward from Triple Crown to ask “Can I please have him?!” So, when the time came to retire him, Michael rang Debbie to see if she would seriously like to take care of Hot Snitzel in his retirement.

Two weeks later a Goldners truck arrived carrying their special boy and Debbie asked the truck driver to please walk him down to the gate. He wasn’t too impressed, replying “I’m just the truck driver, lady”, but much to Debbie’s relief, he did!

The first few weeks were a steep learning curve for the Grahams, but they had plenty of help and advice from the friendly staff at Muskoka Farm where Hot Snitzel was often spelled. Reflecting on this time Debbie realises that it didn’t take long for them to feel comfortable with him, “He is just like a big dog, so lovable and kind.”

Pictured: In his old life, Hot Snitzel celebrated in the Group winner’s circle – now he celebrates Christmas with Steve & Debbie Graham’s grand-children! 

Adored by his family, Snitty now acts as Debbie’s training partner on her morning runs, racing her across the paddock.

When not racing people, or rolling in the sun, Snitty loves seeking out the attention of Debbie and Steve’s grandchildren who affectionately cuddle and play with him. If Hot Snitzel was a human, his owners think he would be George Clooney – handsome, laid-back, successful, popular and loved by everyone.

While the process of re-homing an ex-racehorse was a challenge, Debbie and Steve took it in their stride, and provide Snitty with an amazing home surrounded by love. “We have learned so much about horse ownership, from food and grooming, to washing him. I couldn’t imagine our lives without him now.”

Ryan close to a Snitzel century

Leading Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan has three Saturday runners (Spill The Beans & Dances On Stars at Eagle Farm, and Argie Bargie at Kembla Grange) capable of delivering his 100th win with the progeny of his former stable star Snitzel.

It’s a big milestone for Gerald, who has trained plenty of notable winners by other stallions (including Group 1 winners Melito, Mrs Onassis & Peggy Jean), but is widely known as Mr Snitzel, thanks to his 43 winners of 99 races and $8.3 million prizemoney by the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice.  

Nine of those winners are among Snitzel’s 38 stakeswinners and all of them, except Dances On Stars & Fireworks, were bred & sold by Arrowfield:

  • Snitzerland (VRC Lightning S. G1) for Neil Werrett & Steve McCann
  • Darby Racing’s dual Group 2 winner Time For War
  • Triple Crown Syndications’ Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel & Hot Snitzel (who later won the BTC Cup G1 for Peter & Paul Snowden)
  • Perignon (ATC Light Fingers S. G2) for Camilla Flower & Sylvana Surace
  • Group 3 winner Dances On Stars for Brian Mullins, Donna Keegan and Anne & Richard Glenister
  • Fairway Thoroughbreds’ home-bred 2YO stakeswinner Fireworks
  • Arrowfield’s dual Group 3-winning colt Spill The Beans
  • and Listed winner Ygritte for Carl Holt.

Gerald and owner Damion Flower bought Snitzel himself for $260,000 from Yarraman Park Stud & breeder Francois Naude at the 2004 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Gerald then prepared Snitzel throughout his 15-start, seven-win, $1 million career, including the 2006 MRC Oakleigh Plate G1, beating Virage de Fortune & Takeover Target.

He says, “Damion and I said before we bought him as a yearling, if this horse can gallop he will make a stallion, so to see what he’s doing is very pleasing. I’m very proud of him.”

Gerald nominates toughness, durability and speed as Snitzel’s best racing qualities. In fact, he was so sound and healthy when he retired that his vet record was almost blank.  

“He doesn’t stamp his progeny as types, but most of them are really athletic and, like him, they don’t go shinsore.  They have pretty good temperaments too, and if they’re feisty, they improve with each prep.

“I train the Snitzels similar to how I trained him. When he galloped, he went fast, but I kept him sharp.”

Group 1 winner Snitzerland is an easy choice for the best Snitzel progeny Gerald has trained, but he has several favourites.

“Snitzerland went through from her breaker’s prep to run second at her first start in a Listed Race on Melbourne Cup Day.  She was so tough, and always did everything you wanted her to do.

“I also have a soft spot for Intertidal, Snitzel’s first winner. I raced and trained his mum Miss Rainmaker, as well as her sire Hurricane Sky.”

Second-crop filly Schiffer was special too. “She was so tough and so arrogant. I bought her So You Think daughter last year and she’s the same.” Yet to race, the 2YO filly is named Schifty Thinker.

“And my staff cried when Hot Snitzel left the stable!”

Gerald has bought and advised on the purchase of Snitzel’s yearlings since the first crop went through the ring in 2009, and this year he joined Damion Flower’s Jadeskye Racing to buy the $1.6 million Magic Millions Sale-topping colt out of Mirror Mirror. However, his stable of Snitzels continues to draw from various sources, at a range of prices.

2YO colt Sahara Emaar (ex Lady of the Desert by Desert Prince) was a $50,000 David Raphael buy from Milburn Creek’s Inglis Melbourne Premier draft. “A nice, big colt”, he was a good third to Prized Icon and Attention in his first trial and returned to work this week.

Another 2YO, Corumbene Stud’s home-bred filly Samantha (ex Icedginger by Tale Of The Cat) trials next week. Gerald says, “Based on what she’s shown me, she could be my best filly since Snitzerland.”

As for the 2016 yearlings, the Mirror Mirror and Maid For Me colts, and the Perfect Truth filly have all “broken in sensationally.”

The odds on Gerald Ryan’s second Snitzel century are already shortening.

Grateful acknowledgement to Racing & Sports: www.racingandsports.com.au for the data on Gerald Ryan’s record with Snitzel’s progeny.

Arrowfield is Australia's leading Group 1 breeder of 2014/15

Arrowfield closed out the 2014/15 season as Australia’s leading breeder of Group 1 winners with four horses successful at that level.

As the Stud celebrates thirty years of operation, they bring Arrowfield’s tally of Group 1-winning graduates to 54 – forty of them also Arrowfield-bred.

Sweet Idea, Hot Snitzel & Wandjina (all by Snitzel) won a total of six Australian Group races last season with their Group 1 victories coming in the ATC Galaxy Handicap, the BRC BTC Cup and the VRC Australian Guineas.

Champion South African filly Majmu (Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous by Hussonet) progressed from her unbeaten 2YO season to claim the Kenilworth Cape Fillies Guineas & Turffontein Empress Club Stakes at Group 1 level for Sheikh Hamdan & Mike de Kock. She also made up a Group 1 quinella for Redoute’s Choice in the Turffontein President’s Champions Challenge won by Wylie Hall.

Sweet Idea (ex Flidais by Timber Country) & Hot Snitzel (ex Flames of Paris by Blushing Groom) were bred & sold by Arrowfield & Katsumi Yoshida, a partnership also responsible for 2008 Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler and 2008 Blue Diamond winner Reaan.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Sweet Idea was retired after her Galaxy win which capped a stellar $2.4 million career of eight wins (five in Group company) and eight placings (four of them in Group 1 races) from 19 starts.

Sweet Idea’s indomitable character and consistency in top company gave her owners a tremendous ride and one of them, Nick Vass, paid $1.6 million for her at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. That completed a $4 million return on the $240,000 that Waterhouse & James Harron paid for her at the same venue three years ago.

Harron also bought Wandjina (ex La Bamba by Last Tycoon), but had to pay $1 million for him at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale on behalf of Edmund & Belinda Bateman. The handsome bay colt more than fulfilled the expectations attached to such a price with his powerhouse, all-the-way Guineas win and two Group 1 placings, most notably a valiant second, splitting Dissident & Chautauqua in the weight-for-age ATC All Aged S. G1.   

Sent to Royal Ascot before retiring to Newgate Farm, Wandjina signed off with a fine effort for sixth in Undrafted’s Golden Jubilee Stakes, over a distance short of his preferred 1600 metres.

Hot Snitzel saved his best until the Brisbane Winter Carnival for his Triple Crown-managed band of owners and proved too strong in the 1200-metre BTC Cup at Doomben.

That was the 6YO gelding’s sixth Group success among the 8 wins & eight placings that have returned $1.2 million on the $60,000 that Chris & Michael Ward paid for him at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.  Trained by Gerald Ryan for most of his career, Hot Snitzel was transferred to Peter & Paul Snowden before his Group 1 win and remains in training for 2015/16.

This quartet heads a collection of 16 Arrowfield-bred winners of 26 Group & Listed Races in 2014/15. All were offered for sale at auction and 15 of them sold for prices ranging from the $20,000 paid for the weanling Lady Jivago to the seven-figure bid Wandjina attracted.  Perth stakeswinner Rock Magic was sold out of training after four wins with Paul Messara.

The list doesn’t include champion sprinter Lankan Rupee (by Redoute’s Choice; MVRC Manikato Stakes & VRC Lightning Stakes) & Miracles of Life (by Not A Single Doubt; SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes), both born & raised at Arrowfield for Teeley Assets; nor does it include Listed winners Bouzy Rouge & Modello (both by Snitzel), both offered for sale by Arrowfield on behalf of their private breeders.

The full list of Arrowfield’s stakes-winning graduates last season is:

2014/15 STAKESWINNER
& Co-Breeder

SIRE-DAM

STAKES WINS
Trainer(s)

SALE & PRICE
Prizemoney

HOT SNITZEL
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Flames of Paris

G1
Peter & Paul Snowden

Inglis Melbourne
$60,000
$1.2 million

MAJMU

Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous

G1 x2, G3
Mike de Kock

Inglis Easter
$300,000
2.2m Rand

SWEET IDEA
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel- Flidais

G1, G2 x2
Gai Waterhouse

Magic Millions
$240,000
$2.4 million

WANDJINA

Snitzel-La Bamba

G1, G3
Gai Waterhouse

Inglis Easter
$1 million
$653,000

MOONOVERMANHATTAN
with Planette & Belford

Manhattan Rain-Lunaspur

G2
Mick Price

Inglis Easter
$100,000
$279,000

STEPITUP
with Planette

Hussonet-Ain’t Seen Nothin’

Sgp-2 x2, Sgp-3
Laurie Laxon

Inglis Melbourne
$90,000
$S1.9 million

AMORINO
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Steal My Love

G3, LR x2
Archie Alexand
er

Magic Millions
$70,000
$763,000

BURNSTONE
with Klawervlei Stud

Redoute’s Choice-Merlene de Lago

LR
Robbie Griffiths

Inglis Melbourne
$40,000
$72,000
Died after his debut

HIJACK HUSSY
with Planette & Belford

Hussonet-Joy Ride

LR
Tony Gollan

Magic Millions
$62,000
$218,000

MANAPINE
with Jungle Pocket

Manhattan Rain-Anapine

LR
Nigel Blackiston

Inglis Easter
$200,000
$113,000

ROCK MAGIC
with Planette

Redoute’s Choice-Rockabubble

LR x2
Chris Gangemi

Inglis Easter
Passed
$358,000

SMOKO
with Planette
Snitzel-London Lights LR
Ross Price
 Inglis Melbourne
$75,000
$251,000

WILD RAIN
with Planette

Manhattan Rain-North Flower

LR
Mark Kavanagh

Magic Millions
$150,000
$220,000

YGRITTE
with Planette & Belford, Maldale, Michael & Lucy Messara & Tim Noonan

Snitzel-Deputy Lil

LR
Gerald Ryan

Inglis Classic
$135,000
$314,000

LADY JIVAGO
with International Equities

Beneteau-Hussterics

R-LR
Jeff Englebrecht

Magic Millions Weanling
$20,000
$192,000

ODYSSEY MOON
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Run to the Moon

R-LR
Rod Northam

Inglis Classic
$25,000
$435,000

Sixth Group 1 winner for Snitzel

In May 2011 Arrowfield graduate Hot Snitzel won the Ken Russell Memorial Classic, becoming the fourth stakeswinner for Snitzel.

Almost exactly four years later Hot Snitzel is Snitzel’s sixth Group 1 winner, joining Sweet Idea, Wandjina, Snitzerland, Shamus Award and Sizzling, after taking out out the $500,000 BRC BTC Cup 1200m G1.

Chris and Michael Ward manage the gelding’s ownership group under the Triple Crown banner and are understandably delighted with his success.

Michael says, “Hot Snitzel is every owner’s dream come true! Purchased for only $60,000, he has gone on to win over $1.2 million so far. He has won a Group race each season at 2, 3, 4 and 5 and has now added a Group 1 race to his achievements as a six-year-old. What a fairy tale he has been for all involved!”

Hot Snitzel’s proven competitiveness at Group level and his juvenile successes in Brisbane were overlooked by punters who let him start at $26 at Doomben.

They also forgot how effective he is when fresh, as he was on Saturday, six weeks after his good third in the ATC Star Kingdom S. G3 at Rosehill. The last essential ingredient was a perfect ride by Blake Shinn, one of his five wins on the card.

Hot Snitzel settled behind the early leader and favourite Our Boy Malachi, then challenged within the final 200 metres and won by three-quarters of a length from a fast-finishing Knoydart with a neck back to Our Boy Malachi, third.

Peter Snowden, whose stable picked up Hot Snitzel only in the past month, acknowledged the work of his previous trainer Gerald Ryan in preparing the gelding for this campaign, now likely to culminate in the $2 million Stradbroke H. G1 on 6 June.

Hot Snitzel is the ninth and last foal out of the Blushing Groom mare Flames of Paris, an unraced half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Park Appeal, the dam of champion miler and leading sire Cape Cross.

Bred by the Arrowfield-Jungle Pocket partnership that has also produced Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler, and Group 1 winners Reaan and Sweet Idea, Hot Snitzel was bought from Arrowfield at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Triple Crown clients have previously occupied the Group winner’s circle with Snitzel’s daughter Flying Snitzel – also bred by Arrowfield & Jungle Pocket.

Hot Snitzel wins Hall Mark Stakes

If there is a prescription for the ideal syndicate horse it would surely read something like this:

At two, wins on debut before Christmas, progresses to win a stakes race & place in Group 1 company, and earns 7 times the purchase price after nine starts.

At three, wins a stakes race first-up in the Spring, runs respectably in a Group 1 contest and returns in the late Summer to beat a Group 1 winner in a Group 2 race.

At four, wins only once but makes it count in a Group 3 race, finishes 2 lengths from the winner in a Group 1 and adds more than $100,000 to the kitty.

At five, runs a Group 3 second in the Spring beaten only 2.3 lengths by a subsequent triple Group 1 winner and Horse of the Year contender, then fronts up again in the Autumn to win a fourth Group race and boost career earnings to 14 times purchase price.

That is the career of Hot Snitzel in a nutshell. No wonder that Triple Crown Syndications tweeted after his win in today’s $150,000 ATC Hall Mark S. 1200m G3, “Love this horse!!!”

Or that his jockey Hugh Bowman said, “He’s the type of horse that’s a good advertisement for anyone that wants to own a horse. He just keeps coming back and getting the job done. It’s a pleasure to ride a horse like him.”

Hot Snitzel is one of 13 stakeswinners this season by Snitzel, and the last and best foal from the beautifully bred mare Flames Of Paris (by Blushing Groom).

Flames of Paris is an unraced relative of European Group 1 winners Park Appeal, Cape Cross, Diktat & Alydaress among others, and was imported in 2002 from Japan to Australia where she had four foals for the Arrowfield/Jungle Pocket partnership.

Hot Snitzel was purchased by Triple Crown Syndications for $60,000 from Arrowfield at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. A year later Triple Crown’s Chris & Michael Ward returned to the same sale to purchase Group 2 winner Flying Snitzel, also from Arrowfield. Like Hot Snitzel, she was prepared by Snitzel’s own trainer Gerald Ryan, who has turned out a remarkable 24 winners by his former stable star.

Ryan said after Hot Snitzel’s win today, “He ran in the Golden Slipper three years ago and he is the only one out of that whole field who is still racing.

“He keeps backing up. He is a good little horse who always gives his best. He’ll head up to Queensland, he’s going to go to the BTC Cup.”

Snitzel’s 22nd stakeswinner, 3YO filly Estonian Princess (ATC J.H.B. Carr S. G3), and Snitzerland (3rd, BRC Victory S. G2) joined Hot Snitzel today to keep their sire in clear air behind their grandsire Redoute’s Choice in the race for the Australian General Sires’ premiership. 

Snitzel stands this coming season at a fee of $71,500 inc. GST.