Quality wins by Animal Kingdom 2YOs

As Arrowfield prepares to welcome Animal Kingdom back for the 2017 season, excitement is growing about his future as a sire, thanks to six first-crop winners in Australia and two, including a Listed winner, in the United States.

His latest winners, one in each hemisphere in the past week, have advertised his prospects with quality maiden victories for leading stables.

The second day of Saratoga’s famous Summer Meet, on 22 July, brought up Animal Kngdom’s second winner from his first five US runners. 2YO colt Untamed Domain joined Animal Kingdom’s Australian daughter Earth Angel as a TDN Rising Star when he overcame a mid-race hold-up to power home for a stylish win over 8.5 furlongs on turf.

Watch Untamed Domain win at Saratoga. (courtesy of TDN)

Fourth at his debut on 2 July, Untamed Domain is in the care of his sire’s trainer, Graham Motion and is raced by West Point Thoroughbreds, which purchased him from the 2016 Keeneland September Sale for $US90,000.

Motion, who visited Australia in January 2016 to see Animal Kingdom’s first yearlings sold at Magic Millions, said, “I’m so impressed with Untamed Domain who got stopped in his tracks three furlongs out and won for fun.

“He showed his Dad’s turn of foot and seems to have his calm demeanour. I hope to run him back in the Grade 3 With Anticipation later in the meet which is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.”

The $US150,000 With Anticipation Stakes G3, also run over 8.5 furlongs on turf, will be held on Wednesday 30 August.

Untamed Domain’s stakes-winning dam Ciao (by Roberto’s son Lear Fan) is descended from French Group 1 winner Smuggly whose daughters have been successful producers in Japan, South Africa and Brazil as well as North America.

Animal Kingdom has already sired his first US stakeswinner, the Ken McPeek-trained filly Sunny Skies who followed up her April debut win with success in the Debutante S. LR at Churchill Downs on 30 June.

Godolphin’s 2YO gelding Animalia tackled 1600 metres at Gosford on 20 July and gave those who backed him into favouritism no worries at all as he began sharply, took an easy sit behind Dashing Special and sprinted clear to win by 7.5 lengths.

Watch Animalia win at Gosford.

Animalia is the sixth winner left by Royal Ascot stakeswinner Hold To Ransom (by Red Ransom), already the dam of Group winner Retrieve and Listed winners Reparations & Abduction. This is also the family of Prince Bishop who, like Animal Kingdom, won the Dubai World Cup G1.

Animal Kingdom’s other Australian winners this season include Flemington winner Royal Phoenix, Earth Angel (also fourth in the ATC Fernhill S. LR), and Group 3-placed Lord Cecil.

Snitzel can exceed 2YO winners' record

Snitzel equalled Without Fear’s 40-year-old season record of thirty juvenile winners in 2015/16 and now he’s on target to claim it for himself.

Remarkably, he could set a new mark well before the end of this season, because he’s already posted 16 winners – eleven more than he’d compiled by this time last year. 

So it’s perfectly apt that the latest Snitzel 2YO winner is Think Big Stud’s filly Exceeds, successful at her second start at Randwick on Saturday when she beat the favourite Eden Roc, with Kristensen and Pandemonium dead-heating for third.

Her performance franked the quality of the 2YO race at Canterbury on 31 December won by the exciting Not A Single Doubt filly From Within, from Snitzel colts Invader & Chauffeur (fifth & second respectively in the Magic Millions Classic), with Exceeds fourth.  

Watch Exceeds win at Randwick

Trainer James Cummings said of Exceeds’ win, “She had the race experience from one of Sydney’s best Saturday two-year-old races over the past few months. She was able to produce late like a really promising filly in the making.”

“It might pave the way for a nice little fillies race in the coming months. There is a race I’ve got my eye on but she’s got up over 1000m there so I’ll have to keep thinking about it. She has got a bit of style about her and pretty of improvement still to come.”

Exceeds was bred by Musk Creek Farm from Exceedingly Happy (Exceed and Excel) and purchased for $250,000 by Duncan Ramage’s DGR  Thoroughbred Services at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Exceeds is one of 12 city victors among Snitzel’s 16 2YO winners since 1 August, a group headed by Listed Inglis Banner winner Azazel, Group-placed Goodfella, and stake-placed Chauffeur & Snitzkraft.

Yet to win and good chances to do so in coming weeks are stakes-placed fillies Dinnigan & Spoils and the colt Bowerman, Friday’s impressive Rosehill trial winner Showtime, Invader and city-placed Epic Rant & Milanese Girl.   Nor is the Australian 2YO Sires’ earnings premiership beyond Snitzel’s reach. Houtzen’s Magic Millions defeat of Chauffeur gave I Am Invincible a lead, but he currently holds it by less than $130,000.

Snitzel has 10 lots catalogued for next month’s Inglis Classic Sale, including Arrowfield’s filly out of Miss Victoria and 13 lots for Inglis Melbourne Premier.

Smart Missile's three-state success

Second season sire Smart Missile enjoyed success in three states on Saturday, including two city winners, a new stakes performer and an eye-catching runner-up at Caulfield.  All four horses have big Spring prizes in their sights.

The day began with Jonathan Munz’s home-bred 3YO filly Exocet (ex Crillon by Zabeel), who progressed in style from her maiden win at Geelong earlier this month to a 2.3 length win over 1400 metres at Caulfield.

Watch Exocet win at Caulfield.

Co-trainer Lee Freedman confirmed that the filly’s main Spring target is the VRC Oaks G1, with her lead-up race still undecided.  He said, “One way or another we’ll try and get her there. She’s improving all the time and has got a sharp turn of foot.”

Twenty minutes later Arrowfield’s own runner Hair Trigger (ex Touch of Greatness by Don Eduardo) was a close third to Guard of Honour and Flash Fibian in the $100,000 ATC Heritage S. 1100m LR. Bred by Gooree Park Stud and trained by James Cummings, he’s Smart Missile’s 7th stakes performer.

Back at Caulfield, Rocketeer (ex Some Girls Do by More Than Ready) split the favourite Harlow Gold and Kaching in the 1600-metre National Jockey Trust Plate. He has stepped up with confidence into city company since his maiden win last month and, like Hair Trigger, is nominated for the $500,000 Caulfield Classic G3 on 15 October.

Rocketeer is trained by Mick Price for by a group of owners including Segenhoe Thoroughbreds.

Smart Missile’s fruitful day ended at Belmont in Perth where Simon Miller sent out Royal Missile (ex Spirit of Grace by Dr Grace) to down the hot favourite Bonny Be Good in a 3YO maiden plate over 1300 metres.

Watch Royal Missile win at Belmont.

Perth Racing presenter Adam McGrath reported on Twitter that Miller has a big opinion of Royal Missile and will aim her at the $200,000 WA Champion Fillies S. 1600m G3 on 12 November.

Smart Missile leads the Australian Second Season Sires’ table by winners with 11, and is second on the earnings list with $375,323 – less than $40,000 behind Foxwedge.

Hair Trigger fires at Wyong

First season sire Smart Missile added a new winner to his record when the Arrowfield-owned Hair Trigger scored comfortably over 1200 metres at Wyong on Thursday.

The 2YO gelding jumped well from gate 10, but Blake Shinn opted to ease him back then send him forward round the turn before asking him to quicken up. Hair Trigger took the lead and, without further urging, stretched out to win by almost a length from Uthred with Spending To Win a length away in third place. 

Watch Hair Trigger win at Wyong.

It was the 2YO gelding’s second start after he flashed home for a debut fifth at Kembla Grange in April wearing the colours of his breeder, and Smart Missile’s owner-breeder, Eduardo Cojuangco’s Gooree Park Stud.  Mr Cojuangco prefers to race fillies and colts, so Hair Trigger was sold to Arrowfield.

Smart Missile’s sixth winner, Hair Trigger is the first foal out of the winning Don Eduardo mare Touch of Greatness who is due to foal again this Spring to the brilliant son of Fastnet Rock.

Shinn tweeted after the race, “Hair Trigger showed great race sense for a young gelding and displayed brilliant acceleration to win today.”

Trainer James Cummings has a Saturday start at Canterbury on 23 July in mind for Hair Trigger and, all going well, will aim him at the early Spring 3YO stakes races.

Smart Missile’s popularity with breeders since his launch in 2012 has been matched by the enthusiasm of buyers who have paid an average of around six times his service fee for his first two crops of yearlings.

Widden Stakes quinella for Arrowfield sires

The Arrowfield roster’s challenge for the season’s major 2YO prizes was given another boost at Rosehill on Saturday when Honesty Prevails (by Redoute’s Choice) and Smart Amelia (by Smart Missile) ran one-two in the $150,000 ATC Widden S. 1100m G3 at their first starts.

It was a terrific performance by both fillies in a strong field that may well yield plenty of good form this Autumn. Honesty Prevails jumped well for Jason Collett who settled her in fourth position on the fence, with Smart Amelia behind her, but forced to travel wide throughout.

Kentucky Miss and Vixen Lass led into the straight while Collett found space for Honesty Prevails who then sprinted clear to win by 2.3 lengths in 1:05.73 – slightly faster than the colt Tessera posted a race earlier in the Canonbury Stakes G3.

Smart Amelia had more ground to make up, but found enough to snatch second from Chipanda and impress her jockey Christian Reith who said, “Super run. Still doing a couple of things wrong but once she irons them out she’ll be a very nice filly.”

Watch Honesty Prevails win the ATC Widden S. G3.

Collett was even more impressed with Honesty Prevails.

“She destroyed them. Just an out and out racehorse. She’s got a great head on her. Just took it in her stride. Puts herself in the spot, races professionally and coming to the turn I was pretty confident when I’m the only one travelling.”

Honesty Prevails is trained by Rick Worthington who purchased the filly with owner Trevor Gluck and agent John Hutchinson of Scone Bloodstock from the Arrowfield draft at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Knocked down for $720,000, Honesty Prevails is the second living foal of Flavoured (by Hussonet), also dam of stakes-placed city winner Aerobar, from the family of champion US racehorse & sire A. P. Indy.  Flavoured has a weanling colt by Exceed and Excel and is in foal again to Redoute’s Choice.

Honesty Prevails takes her three-time Australian champion sire’s tally of stakeswinners to 127; she is also his 30th juvenile stakeswinner.

Redoute’s Choice also appears in Smart Amelia’s pedigree, as the sire of her dam My Amelia, a More Than Ready daughter of Carry On Cutie (AJC Champagne S. G1). Smart Amelia is trained by James Cummings for her breeder Richard Pegum, Matthew Sandblom and Westcode Pty Ltd.

Smart Amelia is Smart Missile’s second stakes performer from his first 11 runners, after New Zealand Listed winner Sassy ‘N’ Smart.

The Golden Slipper is now on the radar for Honesty Prevails, while another Redoute’s Choice filly, Sheikh Hamdan’s Zamzam put herself in play for the Blue Diamond after a super debut win at Moonee Valley on Friday evening.

Redoute’s Choice already has two Golden Slippers and two Blue Diamonds on his record, but there is, of course, always room for more…