Highly regarded Dundeel filly wins on debut

A strong debut victory by The Closer at Geelong on Sunday gave first season sire Dundeel his fifth winner and another bright prospect for Spring 3YO racing.  

In a performance reminsicent of her sire’s storming debut win at Ellerslie in New Zealand six years ago, The Closer circled the field around the turn and proved too strong for Wild Flyer and the favourite Angel in the 1340-metre contest for 2YO fillies.

Watch The Closer win on debut at Geelong.

Watch Dundeel’s debut win at Ellerslie, April 2012 

David Eustace, assistant to trainer Ciaron Maher, said The Closer is highly regarded by the stable.  

“She’s got a big action and she’s very athletic, but she still has plenty of furnishing to do so we are hopeful she will get over a bit of ground and up in class.”

The Closer is the first winner out of Miss Evasive (by Elusive Quality), herself a city-winning daughter of dual Classic winner Magical Miss. The filly was a $70,000 purchase for Ciaron Maher and part-owner W. Ballantine from the draft of her breeder Gilgai Farm at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. 

Miss Evasive has since delivered two colts by Dundeel’s barn-mate Olympic Glory, the first of which was bought by trainer Paul Perry from this year’s Inglis Premier Sale for $140,000.

Dundeel’s other first-crop 2YO winners are Group 3 winner Irukandji (trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes), Sydney winner Dealmaker (with Chris Waller), Cutadeel (prepared in New Zealand by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman) and Atyaab (trained by Mike de Kock in South Africa). 

Confidence in Dundeel’s future as a stallion has driven lively bidding for his second-crop yearlings, sold in 2018 for up to $500,000 (Inglis Easter), $280,000 (Magic Millions), $NZ270,000 (NZ Premier), $150,000 (Inglis Classic) and $180,000 (Inglis Melbourne Premier). 

Ducimus brings up 50 for Snitzel

In a perfect demonstration of synchronicity, it was 2YO colt Ducimus who brought up Snitzel’s milestone 50th stakeswinner in Saturday’s $120,000 VRC Talindert S.1100m LR.

“Ducimus” is Latin for “We lead” and that’s exactly what Snitzel is doing on almost every Australian stallion premiership for which he’s eligible.

Watch Ducimus win the VRC Talindert S. LR.

Ducimus takes his name seriously too, and after settling just off the lead, took control and galloped well within himself until 300 metres out, when he was asked to quicken by jockey Noel Callow. He pulled clear, but laid in on Sanadaat (by Not A Single Doubt), who eventually finished third, 1.7 lengths behind Ducimus, who found enough to withstand the strong late finish of Taking Aim by 0.2 lengths and win in a time of 1:03.72.

Unbeaten in his two starts, and nominated for the Golden Slipper & Inglis Sires’, the Hawkes-trained Ducimus has already returned the prospect of a stallion career to his Hong Kong owner Little Hung, who paid a sale-topping $700,000 for him at last year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Mr Hung’s bloodstock agent Justin Bahen spoke last week to G1X Racing and recalled Ducimus as a yearling. “We loved his temperament, that’s a big thing for me, thinking about them moving forward and keeping them as a colt. He was to my eye the best colt at the sale with a great pedigree and a valuable prospect if it all worked out, which so far it has.”

Bred by Oakland Park Stud, and offered by Blue Gum Farm, Ducimus is the 8th foal and fourth stakeswinner, after Hi World, Lite’N In My Veins & Loveyamadly, out of the wonderful broodmare Beauty World, a winning daughter of Danehill Dancer.

He is also the 15th stakeswinner this season for Snitzel, who currently heads the General, 3YO & 2YO Sires’ Premierships in Australia, and joins Group 3 winner Teaspoon and Listed winners Azazel & Jukebox as the best of Snitzel’s 22 juvenile winners this term. It’s a tally that puts the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice on target for sole ownership of Without Fear’s 30-winner record, which he equalled in 2015/16.

Ducimus is one of Snitzel’s three sale-topping colts from last year, along with the $1.8 million Chauffeur, a winner on debut in Sydney and second in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (R) LR, and the $2.3 million half-brother to Winx, as yet un-named and in training with Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott.

Snitzel has eight colts and five fillies in the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale which begins on Sunday 26 February. Before that though, he has the colts Azazel & Jukebox and the filly Spoils lining up in Saturday’s $1.5 million MRC Blue Diamond S. G1.

Snitzel filly tops record Inglis Premier Sale

Australia’s 2015 yearling sales season continues to provide excellent returns for many vendors as buyers compete for horses at every level of the marketplace.

The first session of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale concluded on Tuesday with a record average price of $95,886, up 15% on 2014, and a healthy clearance rate of 84%.

Snitzel generated strong profits for vendors, averaging $132,619 off the $30,000 fee he commanded in 2012. South African buyer Brett Crawford paid Snitzel’s, and the Sale’s top price of $560,000 for Yalambee Stud’s filly from Belle of the City.  That’s the highest price paid for a filly at the Inglis Premier Sale since 2006.

The top-priced Snitzel colt, from Orbiting Belle, was offered by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds and was knocked down to the China Horse Club for $300,000.  In all, 14 of Snitzel’s 21 lots sold made six figures. 

Not A Single Doubt, who stood at a $22,500 fee in 2012, averaged $98,500 for 10 lots. Bell River Thoroughbreds sold both of his top-priced colts, from Arthur’s Lass for $260,000 and Indexed, for $185,000.

Malaysian businessmen Vincent & Robin Tan were the successful bidders at $130,000 for Manhattan Rain’s top-priced lot, the colt from Class Apart offered by New Zealand vendors Ascot Farm.

All American’s top lot, the filly from Flying Single, sold for $100,000 from the Edinburgh Park draft to South Australian trainers Gary & Lloyd Kennewell.

Arrowfield’s first crop sire Smart Missile once again gave vendors plenty to smile about, averaging $118,370 for 23 lots and achieving a top price of $260,000 for the Maghreb colt.  His most expensive filly, from Spirit of Grace, was bought for $240,000 by Aquanita Racing from Blue Gum Farm. Eleven other yearlings by Smart Missile made more than five times his $20,000 fee.

Arrowfield sold all but two of the 22 yearlings in its draft, achieving an average of $119,250 and a median of $87,500.

The sale’s top price for a Redoute’s Choice yearling was $310,000 paid by South Africa’s Form Bloodstock for Arrowfield’s colt from the Rory’s Jester mare Possessed, whose Group 1-winning sister Episode is the dam of Flight S. G1 winner First Seal. 

Form Bloodstock has enjoyed recent success with previous Arrowfield Melbourne purchases Honorine, a Group 2 winner, Group 3-placed winner Nisa’s Machine and Alice Springs, winner of two of her 4 starts this season.

Three other Arrowfield colts were sold for more than $200,000: the Starcraft-Salutations colt ($300,000, George Moore Bloodstock, Hong Kong); the Smart Missile-Maghreb colt ($260,000, Frank Fiore, WA) & the Smart Missile-Miss Bellezza colt ($210,000, Ricky Yiu, Hong Kong).

Top-priced fillies sold by Arrowfield were the Redoute’s Choice-Alternative Edge filly ($150,000, Inglis NSW as agent) and the Smart Missile-Bianca filly ($150,000, Todd Balfour Racing, Victoria).

The origin of the draft’s buyers reflected the strong interstate and international interest the Inglis Premier Sale now attracts: Victoria (6), NSW (5), Hong Kong (3), Western Australia (2), South Africa (2), Queensland (1) & New Zealand (1).

Burnstone fires in stakes-winning debut

On Australia Day in 2010 a dynamic new talent emerged for Redoute’s Choice when a handsome colt named Beneteau won easily on debut at Randwick.

Roll on five years and a similarly good-looking son of Redoute’s Choice lined up at the Sandown Australia Day meeting in Melbourne, this time in the $120,000 MRC Blue Diamond Preview LR.

Named Burnstone, he settled towards the back of the field but was kept close to the fence by jockey Damien Lane before joining the leaders at the top of the straight and bounding away to win by 3.5 lengths from Top Me Up and Kirabo in a time of 58.34.

Like Beneteau, Burnstone was bred and sold by Arrowfield in partnership, this time with South Africa’s Klawervlei Stud  and, again like Beneteau, he is out of an Encosta de Lago mare from a superb female family. His dam Merlene de Lago, herself a juvenile Group winner, is a daughter of champion 2YO Merlene and a half-sister to the dam of the top-class mare Dear Demi (VRC Oaks G1 and seven Group 1 placings).

Trainer Robbie Griffiths & Peter Ford Thoroughbreds bought the colt from Arrowfield for $40,000 at last year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale after losing his $220,000 year-older full brother in an accident.

Though not surprised by Burnstone’s win, Griffiths made it clear the colt had not been wound up for the race. “We’ve only given him one easy half-mile (800m) trial, Ivan Culliver’s done all his work and we think that the horse has plenty of improvement still to come.”

He will see how Burnstone pulls up before deciding whether to start him in the Blue Diamond Prelude G3 (won by Beneteau in 2010) on 14 February, or go straight to the $1 million Blue Diamond S. G1 a fortnight later. 

There are 16 Arrowfield-sired horses in contention for the Blue Diamond after yesterday’s third declarations, among them Group 3 Flemington winner Prompt Return (by Beneteau) and Arrowfield graduate Secret Agenda (Not A Single Doubt), an impressive first-up winner at Moonee Valley for the Mick Price stable in December.

Burnstone is the 29th 2YO stakeswinner by Redoute’s Choice and takes his champion sire’s lifetime tally of stakeswinners to 121. Ten of them have been successful this season including Group 1 winners Lankan Rupee (MVRC Manikato Stakes), Majmu (Kenilworth Cape Fillies Guineas), Bonaria (VRC Myer Classic) and Hampton Court (ATC Spring Champion S.). 

Already the winner of two Australian 2YO Sires’ premierships, in 2005 & 2006, Redoute’s Choice now has a good opportunity to join his three sire sons, Not A Single Doubt, Snitzel & Beneteau in the top ten on the current table.

Arrowfield’s 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft includes Merlene de Lago’s colt by Starcraft. The mare also has a weanling filly by Animal Kingdom and is in foal to All American.