Southern Legend triumphs in second Kranji Mile

Saturday evening’s S$1.5 million Kranji Mile LR was a triumph for the Australian breeding industry, Hong Kong racing, Inglis sales, Not A Single Doubt and Arrowfield & Corumbene Studs as Southern Legend sped to a commanding victory, chased home by 7YO former Hong Kong Group winner Blizzard.

Saturday evening’s S$1.5 million Kranji Mile 1600m LR was a triumph for the Australian breeding industry,  as Southern Legend sped to a commanding victory, chased home by former Hong Kong Group winner Blizzard.

Southern Legend and Zac Purton had everything under control at the end of the 2019 Kranji Mile LR. (PHOTO: Singapore Turf Club)

Already Not A Single Doubt’s all-time leading earner, Southern Legend took his prizemoney to around $4.9 million with his second consecutive Kranji Mile win for owner Boniface Ho and trainer Caspar Fownes. His time of 1:33.61 was slightly faster than his 2018 performance and, in the opinion of his jockey Zac Purton, a stronger win all round. 

Mr Ho’s buyer and Australian-based manager Carmel Size shared her delight on Twitter: “Thrill of a life time to have kicked the journey off with such a super, super horse, he is so honest and wouldn’t know how to run a bad race.”

Carmel and her father Neville Begg bought Southern Legend (ex Donna’s Appeal by Carnegie) for $280,000 from the 2014 Inglis Easter draft of breeder Corumbene Stud. The Stud has retained Southern Legend’s yearling sister, already named Loveland.   

The Kranji Mile is Mr Ho’s second major success with a Not A Single Doubt son this year, following Classique Legend’s brilliant ATC Arrowfield Stud 3YO Sprint G2 victory at The Championships last month. Classique Legend is now a contender for the $14 million The TAB Everest after Mr Ho & Carmel Size Racing purchased GPI Racing’s slot.

They also signed for three Not A Single Doubt yearlings from Arrowfield’s Class of 2019, securing the Zillow & Lahana colts at Inglis Easter for $1.05 million & $480,000 respectively, and the Stormy Hussey colt for $140,000 at Inglis Classic.

There was plenty to admire about Blizzard’s runner-up performance too. Bred by GSA Bloodstock and purchased for $75,000 by Ricky Yiu from Arrowfield’s 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft, the 7YO son of Starcraft and Stormy Choice (by Redoute’s Choice) has been a wonderfully genuine performer in top company over five seasons for the Infinitude Syndicate.

His four years in Hong Kong produced a Group 3 victory, a Group 1 third and three excellent Group 1 fifths in Japan before his transfer last year to Lee Freedman in Singapore. Blizzard has since added the Fortune Bowl LR & three placings to his record and his lifetime prizemoney now approaches $4 million.

As for Not A Single Doubt, he looks increasingly secure in 5th spot on the Australian General Sires’ Premiership and his season tally of stakes wins is only five short of his career-best total of 26, compiled in 2016/17.

Kenedna does it again for Not A Single Doubt

Star mare Kenedna has pushed Not A Single Doubt past $10 million Australian prizemoney for the fourth consecutive season, and she has done it in the best possible way, with her second Group 1 victory…

Star mare Kenedna has pushed Not A Single Doubt past $10 million Australian prizemoney for the fourth consecutive season, and she has done it in the best possible way, with the second Group 1 victory from her last three starts.

And it’s only a week since Not A Single Doubt’s 3YO daughter Qafila won the South Australian Derby G1.

His 13th Group 1 success as a sire came in the $700,000 BRC Doomben Cup 2000m G1 where Kenedna settled midfield and travelled sweetly for John Allen who found space for her to shoot through on the rail at the top of the straight. After that, it was all over as the mare proved too strong for the fast-finishing Life Less Ordinary and Sixties Groove, posting the excellent time of 2:02.18.

Co-trainer Ciaron Maher was delighted with Kenedna’s performance, five weeks after her success in the Coolmore-sponsored Queen of the Turf S. G1 at Randwick.

He said, “This was always her target race, the Coolmore Legacy was just a bonus. She has always been a high quality mare, I think she has just furnished.”

John Allen added, “She is fast becoming my favourite horse – she is so tough and so genuine.” 

Kenedna, now the winner of 9 races and $1.8 million, is Not A Single Doubt’s third dual Group 1 winner after Miracles of Life (Blue Diamond & Robert Sangster S.) and Extreme Choice (Blue Diamond & AJ Moir S.).

She and her multiple Group-winning three-quarter brother Spill The Beans (by Snitzel) are among five winners left by the Falbrav mare Miss Dodwell, from the family of Group 1 winners Bounding Away, Glastonbury and Speak Fondly. 

Miss Dodwell has a weanling colt by Not A Single Doubt and is in foal to Snitzel.

Kenedna was an $80,000 buy for John Foote, Mike Rennie’s MDR Bloodstock & Darren Weir from Arrowfield’s 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft. She is Arrowfield’s fifth Group 1-winning graduate this season, following The Autumn Sun (Golden Rose, Caulfield Guineas, Randwick Guineas & Rosehill Guineas), Maid of Heaven (Spring Champion), Atyaab (Cape Derby in South Africa) & Castelvecchio (Champagne S.). 

As for Not A Single Doubt, he is challenging Fastnet Rock for 4th spot on the General Sires’ premiership, with $10.2 million and 13 winners of 20 stakes races.

Dundeel filly impresses on Ballarat’s big day

Ballarat’s standalone Cup Day marks the official end of the Victorian Spring Carnival and aptly enough, Dundeel’s daughter The Closer was one of the most eye-catching winners on the card…

Ballarat’s standalone Cup Day marks the official end of the Victorian Spring Carnival and aptly enough, The Closer was one of the most eye-catching winners on the card.

The daughter of Dundeel won her debut at Geelong as a late 2YO before an unplaced attempt over an unsuitable 1100 metres in Group company on Oaks Day. 

The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable rated her an each way chance at Ballarat in a strong field for the $150,000 VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade, but she raced away for a 2.75 length victory, with Winning Partner & Bricktop (by Snitzel) filling the placings. 

Watch The Closer win at Ballarat.

The Closer is 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 Wes & Sally 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 – he is now named Krayzelburg. The second Olympic Glory colt will be offered at next year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Gilgai sent the mare back to Dundeel this Spring and she is safely in foal to the six-time Group 1 winner. 

The Closer is Dundeel’s fifth 3YO winner in 24 days, after Nordicus (in Sydney), Malfoy, Total Power and Shake On It, and one of his 18 first-crop winners to date. The champion son of High Chaparral has also been represented by two Group performers this Spring, Irukandji and Dealmaker.

The Closer’s co-trainer David Eustace told RSN on Sunday, “I’d say we’d probably pop her away now with a view to the Autumn and Queensland [Winter Carnival]. We always felt that she’d get a trip. There’s a nice race in her for sure.

“We’ve had a lot of success with them [the Dundeels]. We’ve won three races and the other one has been placed and we think he’s going to be a very good sire for us.

“His stats are very good, and they will continue to improve as his progeny head to stakes class.”

Magic Millions has catalogued 14 Dundeel yearlings for its 2019 Gold Coast Sale, eight of them in Arrowfield’s consignment, including four out of mares by Redoute’s Choice.

Flemington stakes double for Snitzel

Eleven stakeswinners in the first 62 days of the season was impressive enough but, yet again, Snitzel has excelled himself.

The superstar son of Redoute’s Choice now claims 13 stakeswinners in 68 days after a black type double on Turnbull Stakes day – make that Winx day – at Flemington. 

First up was the Hayes & Dabernig-trained 2YO filly Nomothaj whose tenacity got her home just ahead of the Godolphin colt Rainier and eight other debutants in the $120,000 VRC Maribyrnong Trial S. 1000m LR. Nomothaj is Snitzel’s 28th juvenile stakeswinner.

Watch Nomothaj win the VRC Maribyrong Trial S. LR.

Bred by Love Racing, Nomothaj was a $420,000 buy for Shadwell Stud from the Newgate Farm draft at this year’s Magic Millions Sale. She’s the second foal and first winner out of 2011 VRC Maribyrnong Plate G3 winner Real Stolle (by Elusive Quality), who delivered another Snitzel filly on 28 August.

The Snitzel/Elusive Quality cross has also produced Arrowfield graduate Dracarys, successful in the ATC Up and Coming S. G3 on 19 August.

No sooner were Snitzel’s statistics updated than 3YO colt Snitzepeg chimed in with his maiden stakes win in the $120,000 VRC Poseidon S. 1400m LR.

Watch Snitzepeg win the VRC Poseidon S. LR.

Bred in Victoria by Jeff Allis from the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Pegasus Queen, Snitzepeg was purchased for $260,000 by Darren Weir and John Foote. He was offered by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. 

Pegasus Queen has a 2YO Not A Single Doubt filly named Killer Queen in training with Anthony Freedman, and a yearling colt by Deep Field. 

Snitzel’s lifetime tally of stakeswinners now stands at 72, but it’s probably more significant that the 13 Australian black type winners he’s compiled since 1 August are exactly half of his final total in 2016/17. And he’s done it in little more than two months of the new season.

Snitzel currently leads the Australian Sires’ premiership with $4.2 million prizemoney and has powerhouse sprinter Redzel representing him in next Saturday’s $10 million The Everest.

Road Trippin' to retirement

 

For some people  ‘Road Tripping’ might spark memories of long, lazy summer holidays and the carefree travelling celebrated in the 1999 Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song Road Trippin’.

But what trainer Stephen Theodore affectionately remembers is the stakes-winning son of Charge Forward and Road to Damascus, Road Trippin’. Bred by Arrowfield with John Leaver’s Planette Thoroughbreds and Alan Jones’ Belford Productions, Road Trippin’ was foaled in 2009 and raised at the Arrowfield Broodmare Farm.

Purchased for $22,500 from Arrowfield at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, Road Trippin’ raced for an enthusiastic group of owners and amassed winnings of $404,065 from six wins, including a Listed Race, and 13 placings in a 41-start career.

Pictured: Road Trippin’ on the track. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Now known as ‘Roadie’, Road Trippin’ has settled into retirement with ease at Ciaron Maher’s Pakenham facility where he fills an important role as a buddy to spellers and horses in work. Property manager Justine Hales believes his laid back attitude makes him a perfect friend to all horses. “Roadie is very quiet in the paddock and doesn’t gallop round too much, so he is a fantastic influence on more spirited horses.”

Roadie has a particular bond with Caulfield Cup winner, Jameka. Justine says of the relationship,  “Roadie is Jameka’s paddock mate whenever she’s at the farm. She adores him which is quite funny as she is very bossy to most other horses!

“Roadie is particularly good when out with young horses – he teaches them some respect and manners, especially at feed time! He is funny to watch with the fillies; he falls head over heels in love every time!”  

Not only a great buddy to horses, Road Trippin’ has also taught one staff member how to ride.

Justine explains, “He is very relaxed, quiet and well behaved so it was easy for Charlotte to learn basic riding skills. However, he has taken retirement in his stride and does little more than walk and trot without encouragement. Charlotte adores him, and has bonded with him from day one – it was wonderful that he could teach her to ride.”

Pictured: Charlotte on board Road Trippin’ in the paddock with Jameka

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.”

Group 3 quinella for Not A Single Doubt & Snitzel

In a near-repeat of last Saturday’s Todman S. G2, 2YO sons of Not A Single Doubt and Snitzel fought out an enthralling battle for the $175,000 ATC Pago Pago S.1200m G3 at Rosehill.

The main differences were improved weather and track conditions at Rosehill, and the final chance for a spot in next Saturday’s $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper G1.

The late scratchings of Not A Single Doubt’s ebullient son Condor Heroes and Albumin robbed the race of some interest, but not quality as Single Bullet and Ducimus levelled up in the final 300 metres. Both colts responded generously under pressure, and Single Bullet found just a little more, prevailing by a short neck in his maiden victory, with Coruscate 1.25 lengths back in thrd.

Watch Single Bullet and Ducimus quinella the ATC Pago Pago S. G3.

Single Bullet strengthens trainer Gary Portelli’s hand in the Golden Slipper, by joining stablemate and race favourite She Will Reign in the field.

Portelli said, “I’m not saying he’ll win it, but we’re in it and that’s half the battle. I think the filly (She Will Reign) is still superior but he’s honest and things can go wrong in the Slipper so I’ve got a plan B.”

Single Bullet was bred by George Altomonte’s Corumbene Stud and sold to Portelli Racing for $150,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions National Sale. The colt’s dam Cheetara, an unraced daughter of More Than Ready and top-class filly Dashing Eagle, returned to Not A Single Doubt’s court last Spring and is due to foal in September.

Ducimus (ex Beauty World by Danehill Dancer) was bred by Oakland Park Stud, and offered by Blue Gum Farm at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where owner Litte Hung and agent Justin Bahen paid the sale-topping top price of $700,000 for him. Already winner of the VRC Talindert S. LR on 18 February, he will also take his place in the Golden Slipper field for Mr Hung and the Hawkes stable.

Single Bullet is Not A Single Doubt’s first winner of the Pago Pago Stakes, previously won by Snitzel’s sons Salade (2011) and Time For War (2014), and the Redoute’s Choice colts Stratum (2005) and Tickets (2009).

After Single Bullet and 3YO Final Salute, successful in Perth several hours later, Not A Single Doubt’s career tally of stakeswinners stands at 39, with nine of them successful this season. His four yearlings in the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale include Arrowfield’s Lot 298, a colt from Quiet Maggy, a half-sister to Champion US colt Afleet Alex.

Unstoppable Snitzel dominates stallion premierships

Snitzel’s grip on stallion premiership honours has tightened after the weekend’s racing, with 2YO Jukebox supplying the highlight at Caulfield on Saturday.

The strongly built Ciaron Maher-trained colt backed up his debut win at Geelong last month with a polished performance to win the $250,000 MRC Inglis Premier 1200m (R) LR by two lengths from Coppergate, with Perast (also by Snitzel) third.

Watch Jukebox win the MRC Inglis Premier (R) LR.

Jukebox is the 49th stakeswinner and the 21st juvenile stakeswinner for Snitzel, and he is the latest of 14 runners by the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice to succeed in black type company this season. (That total includes Young Man Power, a dual Group 3 winner in Japan).

Bred by Oakland Park Stud from the Perth 2YO Listed winner Jestatune (by Rory’s Jester), Jukebox was offered by Blue Gum Farm at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where Ciaron Maher bought him for $200,000.

He is Snitzel’s second winner of the Inglis Premier after Arrowfield graduate and subsequent Group 1 winner Snitzerland, who romped away with the 2012 race. Snitzel’s progeny have won all four Inglis sale-related 2YO races that carry Restricted Listed status:
Inglis Premier, Caulfield – Jukebox (2017) & Snitzerland (2012)
Inglis Classic, Randwick – Chance Bye (2010)
Inglis Banner, Moonee Valley – Azazel (2016)
Inglis Nursery, Randwick – Odyssey Moon (2014) & Chance Bye (2009).

Snitzel now leads not only the Australian General, but also the 3YO and 2YO Sires’ premierships by prizemoney and winners, and his 13 domestic stakeswinners give him the overall top spot in that category too.

Beating his own jointly held Australian record of 30 2YO winners in a season becomes ever more likely, after the colt Trapeze Artist scored on debut at Newcastle. That gives Snitzel the remarkable tally of 18 juvenile winners this term, and takes trainer Gerald Ryan’s record of winners by Snitzel to a milestone fifty, with cumulative earnings exceeding $9 million.

Snitzel’s success has rippled out to many breeders, vendors, owners and trainers, with Arrowfield figuring as breeder and/or vendor of 22 of his 49 stakeswinners to date. Among them are Group 1 winners Hot Snitzel, Snitzerland, Sweet Idea and Wandjina; Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel, Perignon, Spill The Beans and Time For War; and current juveniles Azazel and Teaspoon.

Teaspoon heads the current Order of Entry for the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper G1 on 18 March, with her paternal siblings Menari, Exceeds, Chauffeur, Spoils and Azazel joining her inside the top 25 qualifiers.

Snitzel’s ten lots at the upcoming Inglis Classic Sale include Arrowfield’s strapping filly out of Miss Victoria, while his 44 entries for April’s Inglis Easter Sale feature eight fillies and 6 colts by him in the Arrowfield consignment.

View Arrowfield’s 2017 Inglis Classic Sale draft.

Breeders' judgement tips the Scales

Breeders are generally advised to avoid over-mating mares. Yet it can sometimes be exactly the right tactic to take a breeding program to a whole new level.

That’s the experience of Victorian breeders Gerard & Kathy Hammond who found themselves leaping off the couch last Saturday to cheer home their first Group 1 winner Scales Of Justice in the $1 million WATC Railway S. 1600m G1.

“It’s a nice feeling,” says Gerard, who made his first foray into horse breeding during the 1970s when he and his father Brendan bought shares in several stallions. That venture proved unsuccessful and, although he remained a “mad racing fan”, Gerard chose to concentrate instead on his career in corporate finance. He stepped up his breeding interests shortly before his retirement in 2008, eight years after dipping his toe back in the water with a yearling filly by Umatilla bought privately from breeder Thea MacKnamara.

“I got onto the filly via the internet and when I inspected her in the paddock, I fell in love with her straight away. I like horses that are well-balanced, staying types with a bit of length, and I liked the way she moved too.

“I needed a trainer for her, and Thea MacKnamara’s partner Bob Gard, a bit of a character who knew a lot, recommended a young trainer in Stawell named Darren Weir.”

Named Beymatilla, the filly unfortunately broke down before she raced, but Gerard and Kathy decided to breed from her. She left winners to Johann Cruyff, Grass Wonder and Spinning World, and unraced fillies by Good Journey and Al Maher before the Hammonds sent her to Not A Single Doubt in 2011 – the season his fee increased to $24,750 after six years at $13,750.

Gerard explains, “I’d been breeding for several years with Beymatilla and her progeny could all run, but they were very much like her, tall, angular and not a lot of muscle or bone, so they weren’t attractive to the Australian market.

“I was getting more serious about breeding and she needed to go to a stallion with far more substance. I was very keen on Not A Single Doubt, the absolute opposite of Beymatilla on physical type, but I was well aware it was probably over-capitalising the mare.

“However, I knew we’d get a foal with substance that would run, as well as line-breeding through Redoute’s Choice and Umatilla to Best In Show, so I thought the risk was worth it and I was very optimistic about it.”

The resulting colt, born in September 2012, sadly proved to be Beymatilla’s last foal, but he was everything Gerard hoped he’d be: an imposing, powerful, athletic type that presented superbly well at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Taken through the ring by Millford Thoroughbreds who agist and prepare the Hammonds’ horses, the colt was knocked down to agent Craig Rounsefell of Boomer Bloodstock for $180,000.

Raced by owners Chris Wells and Bill Andrews, the now 4YO gelding is prepared by leading Western Australian trainer Lindsey Smith who is confident he’ll be equally effective over the 1800 metres of the Kingston Town Classic G1 on 3 December.  

Gerard Hammond agrees. “The family’s distance range is 1800 to 2200 metres, and they don’t peak until they’re five or six, so the best is still ahead of him.” Not A Single Doubt’s progeny also train on and he’s already had four Group winners at 1800 metres and beyond: Single Gaze (ATC Storm Queen S. G1), Gypsy Diamond, My Ex Mate and 2011 Champion Older Horse in Singapore, Always Certain. 

Gerard acknowledges Smith’s management of his new stable star. “I’ve followed Scales Of Justice very closely and when I saw what he was doing at shorter distances, I thought he might be special. But he’s needed time to relax properly during his races and Lindsey has done a terrific job with him.”

Group 1 success won’t tempt the Hammonds to increase their broodmare band beyond an ideal number of five, but Gerard is planning to ring the changes by selling a couple of mares and bringing in some fresh bloodlines. However, Another Show (by Redoute’s Choice’s three-quarter brother Al Maher from Beymatilla) is definitely not for sale!    

Azazel rewards Aga Khan joint venture

Tony McEvoy paid $310,000 to secure the standout Snitzel-Allariza colt offered by Arrowfield at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

The colt, now named Azazel, has wasted no time at all franking his trainer’s judgment, winning Saturday’s $250,000 MVRC Inglis Banner 2YO S. 1000m (R) LR at his very first start.

It was achieved in some style too, after jockey Luke Currie settled the strapping, dark grey colt well off the pace, while the favourite Luiza led the field through the turn. Currie chose to go wide and Azazel powered up quickly to take command of the race 150 metres out and win by almost two lengths from Can’t Remember and Ephesian.

Watch Azazel win the MVRC Inglis Banner (R) LR.

Tony McEvoy said, “I’ve got a really good batch of babies and we’ve bought really well at the sales. He’s been at the pointy end all the way through and just continued to impress me and step up to the plate.

“I thought he’d be beautifully placed in this race restricted to (Inglis) sale horses. He’s a big, strong horse and he’s sound. He wants to be here and wants to be two.

“I think we can go to the Maribyrnong Plate then sweeten him for the Autumn.”

The $150,000 Maribyrnong Plate G3 will be held over 1000 metres at Flemington on 5 November.

Azazel, raced by a group including well-known Melbourne owner Bruce Mathieson, is a notable success for the joint venture between Arrowfield and the Aga Khan Studs. His dam Allariza, an unraced daughter of champion French sire Linamix, was sent to Australia as a maiden mare in 2009.

Allariza has also left Alligator (by Charge Forward), placed at his only start to date, and a yearling colt by Not A Single Doubt. She has been served this Spring by Olympic Glory.

Allariza and her dam Alharir are among the mares HH The Aga Khan acquired in 2005 from the estate of leading French businessman and breeder Jean-Luc Lagardere. Alharir, a half-sister to 2001 Arc winner & top-class international performer Sakhee, is also the dam of Listed winners Albahri & Alnamara, and grand-dam of Group 3 winner Alnadana.

Azazel is the 44th lifetime stakeswinner for Snitzel, his 19th juvenile stakeswinner and his 8th stakeswinner this season. After Saturday’s racing, the son of Redoute’s Choice has taken over as Australia’s leading active sire with $2.3 million prizemoney, bettered only by the deceased Street Cry, sire of Cox Plate heroine Winx.

Azazel is the second Arrowfield graduate to win the Inglis Banner, the first of the nine-race series for 2YO Inglis sale graduates this season. The Arrowfield-bred Crack A Roadie (by Charge Forward) won the race in 2012, defeating Snitzel’s son, the subsequent Cox Plate & Australian Guineas winner Shamus Award.