Arrowfield’s Class of 2017: no Editing needed

Arrowfield’s imposing yearling graduate record sets a high bar for the Class of 2017, but already they have shown themselves to be an exceptional group of horses…

Arrowfield’s imposing yearling graduate record sets a high bar for the Class of 2017, but already they have shown themselves to be an exceptional group of horses. 

The past week alone added four new performances to their record, starting with Katsumi Yoshida’s 3YO Camelot filly Re Edit, a strong debut winner from the Chris Waller stable at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

Kris Lees has an impeccable record with Dundeel’s progeny, sending out four runners for four winners of 7 races, including the filly Dundee Lee (ex Choice Blend), who posted her second win on Friday.

Two more successes followed at the weekend, by Perfect Match (Not A Single Doubt) for Danny Shum in Hong Kong, and Irving Lipschitz (Animal Kingdom) for Lee Freedman in Singapore.

The talent that has emerged so far from this Arrowfield cohort is headed by a superlative trio of Group 1 winners: JJ Atkins, Golden Rose & Caulfield Guineas superstar The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice), Champion 2YO and Golden Slipper heroine Estijaab (Snitzel) and Spring Champion Stakes winner Maid Of Heaven (Smart Missile).

Listed winners Wild Planet (also Group-placed) and Diplomatico (Snitzel) are capable of boosting their records in the Autumn, along with 7 other stakes performers including Star Thoroughbreds’ colt Dealmaker (Dundeel), twice Group-placed in Sydney during the Spring. 

ARROWFIELD’S YEARLING CLASS OF 2017

Triple G1 winner THE AUTUMN SUN (Redoute's Choice-Azmiyna)
B: $700,000, Hermitage, Waller & Mulcaster T: Chris Waller

Champion 2YO ESTIJAAB (Snitzel-Response)
B: $1.7 million, Emirates Park & Bryan Carlson T: Hawkes Racing

G1 winner MAID OF HEAVEN (Smart Missile-St. Therese)
B: $60,000, Dean Hawthorne T: Mark Newnham

Listed winner DIPLOMATICO (Snitzel-Top Cuban)
B: $1.7 million, George Moore Bloodstock T: Hawkes Racing

Listed winner WILD PLANET (Animal Kingdom-Salutations)
B: $280,000, Hawkes Racing & Andrew Williams B/s T: Hawkes Racing

Group-placed Dealmaker (Dundeel-Sport Chic)
B: $160,000, Star Thoroughbreds & Chris Waller T: Chris Waller

Hong Kong winner Perfect Match (Not A Single Doubt-Modave)
B: $130,000, Chris McAnulty T: Danny Shum

Singapore winner Irving Lipschitz (Animal Kingdom-Intimation)
B: $50,000, Woodpark Stud T: Lee Freedman

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Arrowfield’s 2019 Magic Millions draft includes siblings to four of the 12 stakes performers from the Stud’s 2017 yearlings:

Lot 63: Snitzel-Response filly – sister to ESTIJAAB
Lot 89:  Dundeel-Salutations filly
– half-sister to WILD PLANET
Lot 171: Real Impact-Sport Chic colt
– half-brother to Dealmaker
Lot 447: Redoute’s Choice-Champagne Run filly
– half-sister to G3-placed winner Cristal Eyes

Other recent winners to watch from Arrowfield’s 2017 offering include Nordicus (Dundeel) in Sydney, Kaplumpich (All American) & VRC Oaks G1 4th Maracaibo (Redoute’s Choice) in Melbourne, Princess Amelie (Snitzel) in New Zealand, Al’s Kingdom (Animal Kingdom) in Brisbane, Yankee Eyes (All American) in Adelaide and a pair of up-and-comers: Skyray (Smart Missile) & Valario (Not A Single Doubt), both two-from-three this season.

Kenedna seals Not A Single Doubt’s terrific Spring

Arrowfield-bred-&-sold Kenedna sealed Not A Single Doubt’s best-ever Spring with an explosive Matriarch Stakes G2 victory at Flemington…

Arrowfield graduate Kenedna struck on Stakes Day at Flemington to complete Not A Single Doubt’s best-ever Spring and add a fourth Group success to her already excellent record. 

The 5YO mare has worked her way steadily back to her best form this season and burst through late to defeat a strong field of mares in the $300,000 VRC Matriarch S. 2000m G2. Miss Siska and Luvaluva filled the placings.

Following her multiple Group-winning 3YO season, Kenedna’s 4YO campaign ended after one start and her owners considered sending her to stud until trainer Darren Weir suggested they think again.

Weir said, “For some reason, she developed so much. She’s become so big and strong and maybe another preparation might be good. Johnno [co-owner Mick Johnson] went around and saw all the crew, and the next day came back and said to put her back into work. This is the result. It’s a dream result.”

Kenedna has now won a third of her 21 starts for Mick Johnston, Craig Roylance, Terry Ginnane & partners and returned more than $740,000 on the $80,000 Darren Weir, John Foote & MDR Bloodstock paid for her at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. 

Multiple Group winner & $700,000+-earner Kenedna as a yearling at Arrowfield Stud. (PHOTO: Georgie Mitchell)

She is one of the six stakeswinners at 2000 metres and beyond who provide solid evidence of Not A Single Doubt’s ability to leave middle-distance performers, as well as star juveniles and top-notch sprinters.

Kenedna’s dam Miss Dodwell, by Japan Cup winner Falbrav, is an obvious source of stamina, although she herself won at 1200 metres, belongs to a largely speed-oriented family and is also the dam of precocious multiple Group-winning sprinter Spill The Beans (by Snitzel), now at stud. 

It’s been an easy decision for Arrowfield to repeat both of Miss Dodwell’s most successful matings. The Stud has retained her 2YO daughter Lady Patricia (by Snitzel), welcomed a brother to Kenedna born last month and has sent the mare back to Snitzel. 

Kenedna is Not A Single Doubt’s 6th stakeswinner this Spring, after two-time Group winner Winter Bride, 2YO Group winner Dubious, Oaks Day Group winner Cool Passion and Listed winners From Within and Doubt Defying.

The age range of these horses, from two to seven, is also typical of Not A Single Doubt whose progeny are noted for their early development but can also continue to progress if, like Kenedna, they are given time to do that. In fact, 46% of the 118 stakes wins on his lifetime stud record have been achieved by his 4YO and older sons & daughters.  

Smart Missile 2YO wins Inglis Nursery

Smart Missile’s fourth 2YO stakeswinner Irish Bet made a more-than-usual impact with his convincing debut win in Saturday’s $500,000 ATC Inglis Nursery 1000m (R) LR. 

Watch Irish Bet win the ATC Inglis Nursery (R) LR.

Most obviously, the $291,000 winner’s prizemoney is an exceptional, and early return on the $55,000 that agent Mick Flanagan bid for him on behalf of the China Horse Club at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale.

The Club’s International Racing & Breeding Manager Michael Wallace said of Irish Bet, “He showed us a lot of ability from day one but two-year-olds off one trial, you never know until you see them in action.

“He was a lovely horse, was always going to be a good two-year-old type, he just had everything we look for in a two-year-old type.”

The win was more than usually significant as the first stakes success for John O’Shea on his own account since leaving Godolphin earlier this year.

He described Irish Bet, “He is a classic two-year-old. He is a compact horse, a running horse with a great attitude.

“He will be straight to the paddock for a short break and then we will get him ready for a race like the Skyline Stakes to get him to the Slipper.”

Race bonuses of $50,000 are uncommon and welcome rewards for breeders Barry Broomhead and Jim Knox who sent the unraced O’Reilly mare Dublin Me Bet to Smart Missile, and for the colt’s well-regarded vendor Middlebrook Valley Lodge.

Mr Broomhead explained his stallion selection, “I just liked Smart Missile, he was well priced, he had great sectionals in some of his racing, he was very fast and I just thought he would work for us.” Dublin Me Bet also has a yearling filly by Smart Missile.

Irish Bet and the filly Anthemoessa, second at Caulfield on Saturday, have propelled Smart Missile into third spot, behind Choisir and Not A Single Doubt, on the Australian 2YO Sires’ premiership. He has also moved past Sepoy to head the Third Season Sires’ table, with $2.2 million and 46 winners.

It’s a strong performance featuring a large cast of talent beyond Irish Bet. In fact, it was a four-win weekend for Smart Missile, thanks to Smartedge (Kembla Grange), Missile Boom (Cranbourne) & Protest (Sunshine Coast). 

They join a long list of Smart Missile performers since 1 August, including Group-placed 3YO fillies I’ll Have A Bit and Smart Coupe, and progressive city winners Sparky Lad, Special Missile, The Avenger and Missile Coda in Sydney, and Club Tropicana, Masculino, Memory Bank and Ultra Smart in Melbourne. 

Backed by sustained breeder support, large foal crops and leading owners & stables, the Champion First Season Sire of 2015/16 is on track to make 2017/18 his best season yet.

Twenty-two yearlings by Smart Missile will be offered at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, followed by 36 lots catalogued for February’s Inglis Classic Sale. Arrowfield’s consignments for these sales include 7 colts and 4 fillies by Smart Missile. 

 

Redoute's Choice & Sons: an extraordinary year

As 2017 winds down, breeder & buyer clients of Arrowfield can look back on an extraordinary 12 months of racetrack excellence and sale-ring dominance by Redoute’s Choice and his sons Snitzel & Not A Single Doubt.

Highlights of the dynasty’s sensational year are:

67 winners of 92 worldwide Group & Listed Races – 81 in Australia, 4 in South Africa, 3 each in France & New Zealand and one in Hong Kong.

11 winners of 12 Group 1 races:
CLEARLY INNOCENT (Not A Single Doubt) – BRC Kingsford-Smith Cup G1
HEAVENLY BLUE (Snitzel) – Turffontein SA Classic G1
INVADER (Snitzel) – ATC Inglis Sires’ Produce S. G1
MIGHTY BOSS (Not A Single Doubt) – MRC Caulfield Guineas G1
MUSTAAQEEM (Redoute’s Choice) – Turffontein South African Nursery G1
RAFEEF (Redoute’s Choice) – Turffontein Computaform Sprint G1
REDZEL (Snitzel) – BRC Doomben 10,000 G1 & VRC Darley Classic G1
RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (Snitzel) – ATC The Galaxy G1
SECRET AGENDA (Not A Single Doubt) – SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1
SUMMER PASSAGE (Snitzel) – ARC Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. G1
TRAPEZE ARTIST (Snitzel) – ATC Golden Rose S. G1

18 2YO Stakeswinners inc. G1 winners INVADER, MUSTAAQEEM & SUMMER PASSAGE

Six of Timeform’s 10 top-rated Australian 2YOs in 2016/17 inc. the three best colts: Snitzel’s sons INVADER (119) & SUMMER PASSAGE (117) and Redoute’s Choice’s son PARIAH (118).

16 Arrowfield Sale Graduates
Inglis Sales
Easter: GUNNISON, HEAVENLY BLUE, MUSTAAQEEM, PARIAH, RAFEEF, ROCK MAGIC 
Melbourne: ARDROSSAN, KENEDNA
Classic: ODYSSEY MOON, UNTAMED DIAMOND
Magic Millions Sales
Gold Coast: DRACARYS, INVADER, PRETTY FAST, SECRET AGENDA, SHOWTIME 
National: ZESTFUL

10 of the 23 $1 million+ yearlings sold in Australia during 2017. 

The three-time Champion Sire and his brilliant sons each added milestone achievements to their records during the past 12 months: 

SNITZEL
Career:
75 SW, 12 G1 winners, 28 2YO Stakeswinners
In 2017: 32 Stakeswinners (inc. 9 2YOs), 21 Group winners, 6 Group 1 winners
Champion Sire of Australia, Champion Sire of 2YOs & Champion Sire of 3YOs, 2016/17

  • Equalled Danehill’s single-season record of 26 Australian stakeswinners
  • Set a new Australian record for stallion earnings in a season with $16.2 million
  • Claimed sole ownership of the Australian-sired 2YO winners record, with a season tally of 35 (inc. three in New Zealand)
  • Completed an unprecedented three-generation sequence of Champion Australian Sires: Danehill (9 titles), Redoute’s Choice (2006, 2010, 2014) & Snitzel (2017).
  • Sired the first Australian Group 1 2YO trifecta by the same stallion since 1982 (INVADER, SUMMER PASSAGE & TRAPEZE ARTIST in the ATC Sires’ Produce S. G1)
  • Sire of REDZEL, winner of the inaugural $10 million The Everest at Royal Randwick
  • Currently heads the 2017/18 Australian General Sires’ Premiership with 16 SW and $13.5 million (to 16 December)
  • The only stallion with top 10 performers in every age category of the current Australian Timeform rankings:
    2YO BONDI (112); 3YOs MENARI (122p) & TRAPEZE ARTIST (122); 4YO RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (120); 5YO REDZEL (126).

REDOUTE’S CHOICE
Career: 152 SW, 32 G1 winners, 37 2YO Stakeswinners
In 2017: 17 Stakeswinners (inc. 4 2YOs), 13 Group winners, 2 Group 1 winners

  • Sired a rare Group 1 sibling double with MUSTAQEEM & RAFEEF at Turffontein, South Africa, 6 May 2017 – his 14th same-track Group race double, and his second Group 1 double.
  • Sire of 3 top 10 Australian sires in 2016/17: Snitzel (1st), Not A Single Doubt (5th) & Stratum (10th)
  • Australia’s Leading Active Broodmare Sire, 2016/17 & again this season (to 16 December) with $12.1 million & 10 SW
  • Sire of New Zealand’s current Leading 2nd Season Sire Burgundy
  • Sire of Australia’s top-priced colt ($2.5 million colt ex Secluded, Arrowfield/Tim Stakemire), and top-priced filly ($1.8 million filly ex Court, Newhaven Park/Tim Stakemire)

NOT A SINGLE DOUBT
Career:
49 SW, 8 Group 1 winners, 17 2YO Stakeswinners
In 2017: 18 Stakeswinners (inc. 5 2YOs) 10 Group winners, 3 Group 1 winners

  • 5th, 2016/17 Australian General Sires’ Premiership  with $11.7 million & 14 Stakeswinners
  • Sired his first 3YO Classic winner, MIGHTY BOSS (MRC Caulfield Guineas G1), part of his first same-day stakes quadruple, with QAFILA, TORVILL & COOL PASSION on 14 October 2017.
  • Sire of three $1 million+ lots in three categories, Inglis, April 2017: 2YO gelding GUNNISON ($1.4 million), Yearling colt ex Quiet Maggy ($1.25 million) & Broodmare DON’T DOUBT MAMMA ($1.1 million).

The 2018 sales season opens with the irresistible festive spirit of Magic Millions at the Gold Coast, and the 97 yearlings (17 in the Arrowfield draft) on offer by Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel & Not A Single Doubt are set to fill buyers’ short-lists and orders. 

Not A Single Doubt & Snitzel, in particular, are assembling a strong team for the $10 million Magic Millions Raceday on 13 January. Among them are 2YO Classic prospects Bondi, Orcein & Nomothaj (by Snitzel) and Legislation, Singular Sensation & Granny Red Shoes (by Not A Single Doubt), and 3YO Guineas entries Debonairly, Goodfella, Chauffeur & Dinnigan (by Snitzel) and Pretty Fast, From Within & Single Bullet (by Not A Single Doubt).

Snitty Kitty tops off Snitzel's stakes treble

Two 3YO colts and a mare – Dracarys, Jukebox and Sweet Redemption – supplied Snitzel’s first stakes treble of this season, on 19 August. 

Two months later, same story, a pair of 3YO colts and a mare – but three different horses. This time it was Snitzepeg, Goodfella and Snitty Kitty completing a snappy 1-2-3 on Caulfield Cup day in Melbourne and Sydney. 

And it’s Snitzel’s third same-day triple stakes success in less than seven months. (The series began with Invader & Diddums at Randwick, and Heavenly Blue in South Africa on 1 April. Invader, remember, led home a Snitzel trifecta in the ATC Inglis Sires’ Produce S. G1.) 

At Caulfield, Snitzepeg followed up his Poseidon Stakes win two weeks ago with a gritty performance to overhaul the pace-setting Lord Sundowner and claim the $120,000 MRC Gothic S. 1400m LR. It was the colt’s third success for Hong Kong-based owner Peter Law and trainer Darren Weir. 

Watch Snitzepeg win the MRC Gothic S. LR.

Hopes are that Snitzepeg can follow the example of the stable’s 2015 Gothic Stakes winner Mahuta, who went on to complete a sequence of five straight Group & Listed victories that season.

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

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. 

Next up was 3YO Goodfella who, like Snitzepeg, has progressed sharply this Spring after an active juvenile campaign. He started favourite in the $150,000 ATC Brian Crowley S. 1200m LR at Randwick, but his chances didn’t look bright as he swung five-wide round the turn and Piracy picked up ahead of him.

However, Jason Collett had plenty of horse beneath him and Goodfella responded generously in the final stages to win by a half-length from Piracy and Andaz. 

Watch Goodfella win the ATC Brian Crowley S. LR.

Goodfella is Snitzel’s 73rd stakeswinner and the first winner that his dam Movie (by Red Ransom) has produced for Newhaven Park Stud, which sold the colt for $200,000 to Bjorn Baker & Blandford Bloodstock at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale. 

Back in Melbourne, Snitzel’s 4YO daughter Snitty Kitty confirmed her star quality with a 2.25-length victory in the $200,000 MRC Caulfield Sprint 1000m G2 where she was simply too strong and too fast for Super Too and Fatinah.

Watch Snitty Kitty win the MRC Caulfield Sprint G2.

Snitty Kitty was bought from the Willow Park Stud draft by her trainer Henry Dwyer for $175,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions Sale and has earned almost $390,000 from six wins for a group of owners that includes her breeder Gordon Henderson. It’s a total she looks capable of increasing significantly over the next 12 months.

Snitty Kitty is the best of three winners left by Lassiter’s Cat, an unraced daughter of Tale of the Cat, from the well-known “Leica” family that has produced two Victoria Derby winners, Redding (in 1992) and Nothin’ Leica Dane (in 1995).

Remarkably, Snitzel is collecting plural stakes wins more often than singular ones this Spring. Ten of his progeny’s 18 stakes victories since 1 August have been either doubles or trebles, and all but two of them have been achieved in Sydney or Melbourne. 

Eight members of Snitzel’s outstanding 2014 crop, all of them colts, have contributed to that tally: Group 1 winner Trapeze Artist, Group 2 winners Menari & Showtime, Group 3 winners Dracarys, Jukebox & Perast and Listed winners Goodfella & Snitzepeg.

Arrowfield farewells Champion Alinghi

The extraordinary life of Champion Alinghi ended early on Monday morning when she died foaling at Arrowfield Stud.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of Arrowfield’s dedicated foaling team and vet Dr Sean Finan, neither the 16-year-old mare nor her foal by Not A Single Doubt could be saved.

Arrowfield Chairman John Messara says, “It’s a sad day for all of us, losing Alinghi and her foal, she was a magnificent racehorse and after more than eleven years with us at Arrowfield, very much part of all our lives.

“We’re immensely grateful for the joy she gave us, co-owners John Leaver & Alan Jones, her breeders, trainers, original owners and many others, and for her contribution as a broodmare.

“She has also left us five daughters, four of them already breeding for us, and a gorgeous yearling filly by Deep Impact we’ll now keep.”

Alinghi’s first foal Line Honours (by Hussonet) won in Sydney and has left Group-placed fillies Regatta Rebel and Extra Olives (both by Redoute’s Choice).

Her second daughter Lahana, also by Hussonet, is the dam of Adelaide winner Arleigh (by Smart Missile and visiting Maurice) and produced a Not a Single Doubt colt earlier this month.

City winner Defender (by Redoute’s Choice) has a yearling colt by Animal Kingdom and foals to Dundeel this Spring, and Dame Pattie (by Snitzel) has been served by Mikki Isle.

Alinghi’s only son, by Snitzel, made headlines at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale where he was sold for $1.8 million to David Raphael. Named America, he has had three starts and is in training with Anthony Freedman.

Matching Alinghi’s superlative race record was always going to be a tall order for her progeny.

The imposing 16.2-hand daughter of Encosta de Lago and Oceanfast was bred by Piney Ridge & Edenkey Nominees and bought for $80,000 from the 2003 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale by syndicator Slade Bloodstock.

Named for the two-time America’s Cup-winning syndicate, Alinghi was trained in Australia by Lee Freedman for his own Markdel Racing Syndicate, Corinna Slade, the Real Deal Syndicate, Steve Saunderson, the Diamond Forehead Syndicate, Kathlee Syndicate, Alan Halse, Theo Menounnos, Karen Bytel and Clem Engelkamp.

Seventeen of Alinghi’s 18 starts were in black type company, and she won 11 and placed in five of them, earning $3.5 million. That record is even more impressive when her best performances are considered.

She won her first four starts at two including the MRC Blue Diamond S. G1 and was third in the fastest STC Golden Slipper G1, won by Dance Hero from Charge Forward with Fastnet Rock fourth.

Alinghi earned Champion 3YO Filly honours and a Timeform rating of 125 after winning the MRC 1000 Guineas G1, VRC Edward Manifold S. G2 and VRC Ascot Vale S. G2, besting Fastnet Rock in the VRC Newmarket H. G1 and Glamour Puss in the SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1.

She also placed in the MRC Invitation S. G1, VRC Empire Rose S. G1 and VRC Lightning S. G1, rounding out a program rarely contemplated, much less undertaken and completed with distinction by a 3YO filly.

A fourth in the 2005 AJC TJ Smith S. G1 was her only unplaced run in Australia, before her purchase by Arrowfield and an American campaign with US Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel. That began promisingly with a Grade 3 victory at Saratoga in August 2005 followed by an eighth in the Keeneland Turf Mile G1.

Soon afterwards a tendon injury ended Alinghi’s racing career and she returned to Arrowfield where she remained until her 2015 trip to Japan for her date with Champion Sire Deep Impact.

Alinghi will be buried in the Arrowfield cemetery alongside several distinguished former residents including Beneteau (out of Alinghi’s full sister Slice of Paradise), New Zealand Horse of the Year Tycoon Lil, champion sprinter Special, Champion Filly & blue hen mare Denise’s Joy, Lady Giselle (dam of Zabeel) and Singles Bar (dam of Not A Single Doubt).

Fell Swoop set to descend on Everest

“Very, very excited!” That’s how Paul Armstrong, co-breeder and part-owner of Not A Single Doubt’s son Fell Swoop, describes his emotional state in the final countdown towards The Everest at Randwick on Saturday. 

The Canberra-based builder-turned-demolition specialist says, “I was lucky enough to be at the barrier draw on Tuesday, rubbing shoulders with Peter Snowden, Max Whitby and Damion Flower, wondering ‘How did we get here?’

“It’s good that little guys like us get a chance at these big races. It’s quite surreal, we feel very privileged and very grateful.” 

Back in 2003, Paul, Graham Singh and Mark Richards, friends since their schooldays at De La Salle Bankstown, all took shares in the Fasliyev-Crimson Flight yearling filly bought by Lee Curtis at the Magic Millions Sale, and named Touched In Flight. 

Remembers Paul, “She won her debut at Wyong, and we thought ‘How easy is this?’ She was very quick but wasn’t temperamentally sound so she was retired. We stayed in her ownership with Lee and a couple of other people and after we bred Fell Swoop, Mark, Graham and I bought her outright.

“Then Matt Dale bought Fell Swoop at Inglis Classic for $45,000 and we stayed in for 60%, with all of us bringing in other people to race him, so he now has 17 owners in all.”

The 6YO gelding has already given his owners a wonderful ride, winning nine races, including the BRC Victory S. G2, two Listed Races, and more than $1.6 million.  Five Group 1 placings – two of them in successive TJ Smith Stakes, in company with Chautauqua and English – have earned Fell Swoop serious respect, though that’s not reflected in his long odds for The Everest.

Says Paul, “I know the bookies don’t rate his chances highly, but he deserves his place in the field, and it’s a horse race so, as The Everest ads say, expect the unexpected!”

Paul highlights a few specifics in Fell Swoop’s favour. “Matt has had one aim for the last six months, to have him 100% for his Grand Final on Saturday.

“His coat’s come through, he’s thrived on bush walking and beach work at Moruya and Tye [Angland] is very confident and happy with him. And his best runs are usually third up.”

Fell Swoop’s prospects also improve with easing in the ground at Randwick. Untried on Firm conditions, he’s won seven times on Good ground and twice on Soft tracks. 

Paul nominates Fell Swoop’s unflinching will to win, and Matt Dale’s skill and dedication as key factors in their quest for the Everest. 

“Matt has been the most patient of trainers, he thinks about his horses all the time and his focus and attention to detail are second to none. It’s a privilege to share this experience with him and his family.”

It was Matt who negotiated with slot-holder Inglis, confirming Fell Swoop as the fourth Everest contender in June. 

Says Paul, “Our relationship with Inglis is wonderful, I can’t speak highly enough of Mark Webster and Jonathan D’arcy, and the whole Inglis team has been wonderful to deal with.”

Touched In Flight is playing her part too. She produced a “beautiful” full brother to Fell Swoop at Willow Park on 9 September, and visits Not A Single Doubt again this Spring.

And what if Fell Swoop wins The Everest? “I’ll cry like a baby,” says Paul, “then I’ll compose myself and make the speech!”

Seven Group 1 winners head Arrowfield's 2016/17 season

The Arrowfield stallion roster has deservedly claimed most attention in 2016/17 season summaries, but the farm’s own graduate and sale results were equally spectacular.

Invader (ATC Inglis Sires’ Produce S. G1) and Secret Agenda (SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1) were only two of the Stud’s seven Group 1 winning-graduates in 2016/17. The other five were successful in South Africa (full brothers Rafeef & Mustaaqeem, Heavenly Blue and Whisky Baron) and Hong Kong (Contentment).

They head a group of 20 stakeswinners of 33 Group & Listed Races last season that were bred and/or sold by Arrowfield. All but two (Group-winning juvenile fillies Shoals & Teaspoon) were offered at Australian yearling sales: seven at Inglis Easter, four at Magic Millions Gold Coast, three at Inglis Melbourne Premier, two at Inglis Classic, one at each of the Magic Millions National and Adelaide Sales. 

Their prices ranged from the $1.75 million paid by Shadwell Stud for Mustaaqeem to the $23,000 trainer Shea Eden gave for dual Group 3 winner Ocean Embers at Magic Millions Adelaide, where she was offered under the banner of Cornerstone Stud. The median price of the 17 horses sold at auction was $210,000, and the average was just over $460,000.

Only Western Australian sprinter Rock Magic, winner of three Group 3 events and a Listed Race last term, failed to sell as a yearling. He was prepared by Paul Messara to win four races before his sale as a 4YO to clients of Perth trainer Chris Gangemi for whom he has now won more than $900,000.

Arrowfield’s Class of 2016 contributed eight stakeswinners: Invader & Mustaaqeem, Group 2 winners Gunnison & Shoals, Group 3 winners Pariah & Teaspoon and Listed winners Ardrossan (in New Zealand) & Azazel. All remain in training, although Gunnison, sold for $1.4 million at the Inglis Chairman’s Sale, is now in Hong Kong, and Ardrossan has been transferred to Mick Price in Melbourne. 

The season’s honour roll was completed by 3YOs Heavenly Blue, Kenedna and Detective, six 4YOs headed by Secret Agenda, Rafeef & Whisky Baron, 5YO mare Wild Rain, 6YO Contentment and 7YO Rock Magic.

Peter & Paul Snowden (trainers of Invader, Gunnison, Pariah & Detective) and James Harron (buyer of Detective, Gunnison & Pariah) enjoyed most success with Arrowfield graduates last season. The famous team of Shadwell Stud and champion South African trainer Mike de Kock earn a special mention for their Group 1 double with Mustaaqeem and Rafeef at Turffontein on 6 May.

Against this background of top-level performance, outstanding sale-ring results were achieved for the Stud and several long-standing clients. By the end of the yearling sales season Arrowfield had sold 138 lots for a total of $34.7 million, among them eight colts and a filly sold for $1 million or more. 

They included the top-priced Australian yearling of 2017, the $2.5 million Redoute’s Choice-Secluded colt bought at Inglis Easter by Tim Stakemire for Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed al Maktoum. 

Arrowfield sold the joint top-priced Redoute’s Choice-Ballet Blue colt at Magic Millions, secured for $1.3 million by James Harron, who also signed for three other colts from Arrowfield’s Magic Millions draft. 

Other buyers who bought multiple yearlings from Arrowfield were: Andrew Williams Bloodstock (6 lots), Darby Racing (5), Australian Bloodstock (4) and Shadwell Stud, Boomer Bloodstock & Cameron Cooke (3 each).

Smart Missile strikes with a stakes double

Last season’s Champion First Season Sire Smart Missile struck in Adelaide on Saturday with his first stakes double and suddenly, the race for the 2016/17 Second Season Sires’ title has intensified.

The John McArdle-trained I’ll Have A Bit has progressed steadily from a debut fourth at Flemington on New Year’s Day, a second to stakeswinner Jukebox at Geelong and a third at Flemington a fortnight ago. She left no excuses for her rivals in the $200,000 SAJC National S. 1200m G3, driving along the rail from the rear of the field and momentarily held up before sprinting past hot favourite Booker to win by 1.3 lengths in 1:10.48.

Watch I’ll Have A Bit win the SAJC National S. G3.

Bred by Ken Breese, I’ll Have A Bit was a $48,000 buy for Redgum Racing from Basinghall Farm at the 2016 Inglis VOBIS Gold Sale. She’s the best of three foals out of Take All Of Me (by Jeune), a city-winning daughter of the very good multiple Group winner Tickle My.

Three races later, I’ll Have A Bit’s champion jockey Craig Williams joined Pinecliff Racing’s Freedman-trained home-bred filly Exocet to fight out the finish of the $125,000 SAJC Centaurea S. 2019m LR with Sort After and Have Another Glass. 

Watch Exocet win the SAJC Centaurea S. LR.

Exocet’s ability was seen early, when she won twice, at Geelong & Caulfield, in her first three starts last Spring. She wasn’t quite ready for black type Melbourne company then but has improved this time in and relished her first try beyond 1800 metres.

Exocet is the second stakeswinner, after talented colt Ready For Victory, out of the Zabeel mare Crillon, a half-sister to Champion 2YO Meurice.  This is the family of Group 1-winning brothers, leading sire Rubiton and Euclase. It’s also interesting to note that Exocet is in-bred 3 x 3 to Danehill.

In all, Smart Missile has added seven wins to his Australian record this week, consolidating his lead on the Second Season Sires’ list by winners (55) & wins (75). With little more than $400,000 covering Foxwedge, So You Think & Smart Missile at the top of the table, the battle for the Second Season Sires’ premiership is set to light up the final 10 weeks of 2016/17. 

Vive la France in Inglis Guineas

Just as the first French-conceived 3YOs by Redoute’s Choice start to appear in French Group 1 fields, his 147th stakeswinner turns up close to home, and his name happens to be…France.

If it’s an omen, it is surely a very good one because France’s performance to win the $400,000 Scone RC Inglis Guineas 1400m (R) LR was outstanding, after jumping from barrier 13 and settling well back off the pace.

Sent wide around the turn, France began to sprint home and was then pushed even wider by Calanda at the 200-metre mark. Tye Angland quickly re-balanced the colt who picked himself up in time to nab dual Group 1 winner Prized Icon on the line, with Spright third.

Watch France win the Scone RC Inglis Guineas (R) LR.

France will now be sent to Queensland for the Winter Carnival, according to part-owner Henry Field of Newgate Farm.

“There’s an abundance of options for him up there. He’s come from the back and run past a Victoria Derby winner today, so there’s no doubting he’s a very talented colt.”

France, a full brother to Group 1 winner Peeping, from two-time Group winner Miss Marielle (by Encosta de Lago), was bred by John Kelly and bought from the Newhaven Park draft for $475,000 by China Horse Club and Michael Wallace Bloodstock at the 2015 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. He is the 7th stakeswinner from 49 foals bred on the Redoute’s Choice/Encosta de Lago cross.

Trained by Peter & Paul Snowden, who also prepared Redzel to win the Doomben 10,000 G1 90 minutes later, France has now earned almost $300,000 in his two-win, six-start career.

France and Doomben 10,000 runner-up Counterattack were the major contributors to a very rewarding day for Redoute’s Choice, who moved back into the top 10 on the General Sires’ premiership dominated by his sons Snitzel (1st), Not A Single Doubt (5th) and Stratum (8th).

France is the sixth member of his champion sire’s 2013 Australian crop to score in stakes company this season, after Group winners Hardham, Royal Star, Swear & Table Bay and Listed winner Very Tempting. Redoute’s Choice has also registered the first stakeswinner from his 2014 French crop, Gold Luck, winner of the Prix Vanteaux G3 at Chantilly last month.