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.

30th Group 1 winner for Redoute's Choice

Howard Be Thy Name completed an historic Oaks-Derby double for Redoute’s Choice & Arrowfield when he outstayed his rivals in Saturday’s $500,000 SAJC South Australian Derby 2500m G1.

It was a polished performance by the imposing 3YO colt who came into the race after four consecutive wins, including Listed & Group 3 successes at Morphettville. Coolly directed by jockey John Allen, Howard Be Thy Name settled midfield off the fence, and coped easily when Arcadia Dream lifted the pace around 1200 metres from home.

He swept unimpeded around the home turn and joined a determined Etymology to fight out the finish, eventually forging clear to score by a half-length with Cool Chap 2.3 lengths away in third place.

Watch Howard Be Thy Name win the South Australian Derby G1.

A week earlier the champion sire’s daughter Abbey Marie won the Australasian Oaks G1 at Morphettville. It’s the first time since 1983, when the Oaks was granted Group 1 status, that the same sire has been responsible for individual winners of both races in the same year. ( Two fillies have also completed the Oaks-Derby double: Delicacy in 2015 and Zarita in 2008).

But it gets better. Howard Be Thy Name and Abbey Marie were both offered by Arrowfield at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale, where they entered the ring as Lots 339 & 362.

Abbey Marie found a buyer, well-known bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington, at $300,000, but Howard Be Thy Name was passed in, and so is raced by his breeder Eric Watson, Howard & Lisa Aldridge and his trainer Darren Weir.

Never out of the first three in his 11-start career, and with more than $520,000 in the bank, Howard Be Thy Name will now head to the $600,000 Queensland Derby G1 on 11 June. That race is already on Redoute’s Choice’s stud record, thanks to Empires Choice (2007) and Dariana (2010).

In all, the great son of Danehill has sired the winners of 7 Oaks, six Guineas and five Derbys; and, according to Arion Pedigrees, he is the leading active Australasian-based sire of individual Group 1 winners with a total of thirty.

Howard Be Thy Name, Abbey Marie and Group 1-winning mare Peeping head Redoute’s Choice’s 14 winners of 20 Group & Listed Races this season.

Howard Be Thy Name is Derby-bound

Howard Be Thy Name marked himself the horse to beat in the $500,000 South Australian Derby G1 later this month with a soft win in Saturday’s $120,000 SAJC Chairman’s S. 2020m G3.

The 3YO son of Redoute’s Choice jumped well and settled comfortably midfield where jockey Brad Rawiller was content to leave him until 600 metres from home when he asked the colt to go forward. A shake-up at the 300-metre mark was all that was needed to secure a stylish 2.3 length victory, ahead of Royal Rumble and Manhattan Boss, in a time of 2:05.45 on the Good4 track. 

Watch Howard Be Thy Name’s SAJC Chairman’s S. G3 win.

The win completed a stakes double at Morphettville for Rawiller and trainer Darren Weir, and took Howard Be Thy Name’s record to four wins, six placings and just over $200,000 prizemoney from 10 starts, all of them this season.  His progress has been dramatic, from a distant debut third at Cranbourne in October, to his maiden win five starts later at Ballarat in January, the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas two weeks ago and now his first Group success.

Bred by Watson Bloodstock, Howard Be Thy Name is the third foal of the admirable Group 2-winning mare Bellini Rose (by Faltaat). He was offered under the Arrowfield banner at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale, but was passed in and is now raced by Eric Watson, Howard & Lisa Aldridge and the Weir stable. His unraced 2YO three-quarter sister Roseito (by Snitzel) is in training with Paul Messara.

Howard Be Thy Name is among the 12 winners of 17 Group & Listed Races this season for Redoute’s Choice, but it can be predicted with some confidence that the great son of Danehill will incease that record before 31 July.  He has averaged 15 winners of 23 black type races each year of the past decade including four Group 1 Derby winners: Redoute’s Dancer (New Zealand Derby), Empires Choice & Dariana (Queensland Derby) and Wylie Hall (South African Derby). 

130th stakeswinner for Redoute's Choice

Howard Be Thy Name brought up a fresh milestone for Redoute’s Choice when he out-gunned his rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 SAJC Port Adelaide Guineas 1800m LR.

Watch Howard Be Thy Name’s Port Adelaide Guineas LR win.

Jockey John Allen said, “He was really strong at the end. He’s a nice horse and he’s only going to improve on that for the Derby.”

The 3YO colt is the champion sire’s 130th stakeswinner and is now a fine prospect to become his next Group 1 winner, in next month’s $500,000 South Australian Derby.

Redoute’s Choice was also represented at Morphettville by Into The Mist who scored an easy fourth win for owner-breeder Peter Katelanis & his family, and trainer Tony McEvoy.  Already Group 3-placed, the 4YO mare looks capable of earning black-capital status in the near future.

Howard Be Thy Name has won or placed in all nine of his starts from the Darren Weir stable this season, hitting top gear since his maiden win at Ballarat on 27 January. That was followed by a close second in the Tasmanian Derby LR and a second win at Pakenham before his trip to Adelaide.

Bred by Watson Bloodstock, Howard Be Thy Name is the third foal of the very good Group 2-winning mare Bellini Rose (by Faltaat). He was offered under the Arrowfield banner at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale but was passed in and is now raced by Eric Watson, Howard & Lisa Aldridge and the Weir stable. His unraced 2YO three-quarter sister Roseito (by Snitzel) is in training with Paul Messara.

Redoute’s Choice is enjoying a stellar season on the track and in the ring with 12 stakeswinners worldwide, among them his 28th Group 1 winner, and an average price of almost $440,000 for 36 lots sold across the two major Australian auctions, Magic Millions & Inglis Easter.