The Magic continues for Redoute's Choice

A new Classic prospect in France and a senior sprint star in Australia have added the latest flourishes to the remarkable record of champion sire Redoute’s Choice.

On Saturday star Western Australian sprinter Rock Magic  became the first horse in 25 years to win consecutive runnings of the $150,000 Roma Cup 1200m  G3. Rock Magic’s stablemates Battle Hero and Durendal completed the trifecta. 

The race is extra-special for trainer Chris Gangemi and his brother Michael because their grandfather Michele helped to introduce the Roma Cup in 1966. 

Chris said, “The trifecta’s an unbelievable result. To get the job done I’m sure nonno, dad and the whole family would be proud.”

“Rocky looks like he’s getting better as he’s getting older which is ridiculous.”

Rock Magic and Battle Hero will meet again on 2 June in the Belmont Sprint G3 – also won by Rock Magic in 2017.

Bred by Arrowfield’s partnership with John Leaver, Rock Magic began his career with Paul Messara who prepared him to win four races before his sale as a late 4YO to the Gangemi stable. Now rising nine, he has rewarded his large group of Perth owners with 10 wins, eight of them Group or Listed Races.

He’s also won enough prizemoney to join the elite group of 15 million-dollar earners by Redoute’s Choice, a group headed by 2006 Champion 2YO Miss Finland & 2014 Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee. 

Rock Magic is one of only three living foals out of Group 1 winner Rockabubble (by Bubble Gum Fellow) who continues to live in happy retirement at Arrowfield. 

On Friday Redoute’s Choice’s French-bred daughter Lady Athena, a debut 2YO winner last season, showed a lovely turn of foot to score over 2100m at Chantilly, inspiring a tweeted comment from her trainer Yan Durepaire, “The French Oaks has always been on our mind, hopefully that will be next run!”

The French Oaks (Prix de Diane) is held at Chantilly on 17 June. 

Although she was foaled in France by the stakes-winning Monsun mare Monblue, Lady Athena has connections with Australia beyond Redoute’s Choice. She is a home-bred for John Hutchins of the Queensland farm Element Hill, also responsible for 2010 Australian Horse of the Year Typhoon Tracy. 

Monblue was a €400,000 purchase from the 2013 Arqana Breeding Stock Sale by Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock for Element Hill. She  delivered a colt by Soldier Hollow in 2014 and then visited Redoute’s Choice  during his second and final season at Haras de Bonneval. 

Another exciting Redoute’s Choice 3YO in Europe is the John Gosden-trained colt Sevenna Star, winner of the Sandown Classic Trial G3 on 27 April and heading to the King Edward S. G2 at next month’s Royal Ascot meeting.  

So far in 2017/18, Redoute’s Choice has compiled 12 winners of 13 stakes races in Australia & Europe, with Time’s Arrow (France), Sevenna Star, Glenall (New South Wales) and Rock Magic all successful within the past month. 

The three-time Champion Sire ended the weekend with a pedigree update from Japan, where Silk Racing’s outstanding filly Almond Eye raced away with the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) G1 in near-record time. Like Redoute’s Choice, Almond Eye (by Lord Kanaloa) is descended from 1982 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Best In Show.

New stars rise for Redoute’s Choice

Glenall, seen here at Randwick in 2017, is the 157th stakeswinner by Redoute’s Choice. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

He has three Champion Sire awards in the Arrowfield trophy cabinet, he’s just posted his 76th million-dollar yearling, he appears on the 2018 Arrowfield roster for the 19th year,  and his sire sons make headlines every week.

And still, Redoute’s Choice can reel out new stakeswinners at a rate most of his rivals cannot match.

He’s done it again this week, starting in France with 4YO colt Time’s Arrow, successful in the Maisons-Laffitte Prix Servanne 1200m LR on Wednesday.

Prix de l’Abbaye G1 winner Gilt Edge Girl (by Danehill Dancer’s son Monsieur Bond) was carrying Time’s Arrow when she was bought for €550,000 by Flaxman Stables Ireland at the 2013 Goffs Breeding Stock Sale.

Prepared by Philippe Sogorb, Time’s Arrow had won four of his previous 13 starts, but this was his first try at six furlongs and he won by two lengths, with recent Listed winner Cheikeljack’s third franking the quality of the performance.

Two days later in England 3YO colt Sevenna Star pressed his Classic aspirations with a fighting win in Sandown Classic Trial 2000m G3 for owner-breeder Gestut Ammerland and trainer John Gosden.

Gosden said: “He is a big horse, as you can see, and he is still learning. He didn’t really see anyone around Windsor last time. He did a nice piece of work around there.

“It was a good race. The second, third and fourth are good horses. It was a quality trial.”

Sevenna Star was placed twice at three, but his progress over the winter was evident in his 14-length maiden win at Windsor on 16 April. 

He is the fourth stakeswinner out of Group 3 winner Sevenna (by Galileo) from a German family that has also produced Sydney 2YO Group winner Replicator and Hong Kong stakeswinner Green Treasure.

Stakeswinner Number 3 for the week appeared in Australia on Saturday at the Hawkesbury standalone meeting when Stuart Ramsey’s home-bred 4YO colt Glenall won the $125,000 Hawkesbury Gold Rush 1100m LR. Spending To Win (by Snitzel) and multiple Listed winner Kuro filled the placings.

Watch Glenall win the Hawkesbury Gold Rush LR.

Glenall’s potential has been evident since his classy debut win in August 2016 and jockey Brenton Avdulla can now confirm it. “He’s got good Group class ability. He’s a very talented horse.”

Glenall is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes for owner-breeder Stuart Ramsey and is a half-brother to multiple Listed winner Panipique, out of Group 3 winner Our Quivira (by Spinning World).

Time’s Arrow, Sevenna Star and Glenall take Redoute’s Choice’s lifetime record to 157 stakeswinners, a figure that maintains his world-class 12% SW/Runners strike rate.

The week’s racing also revealed a likely future addition to that record in the shape of 2YO colt The Autumn Sun, who could not have been more impressive in his debut at Randwick on Anzac Day. After settling near the rear of the field, he emerged at the top of the straight to round up his rivals and score by 1.5 lengths in class record time of 1:08.61 for the 1200 metres.

The Autumn Sun was bred by Arrowfield and the Aga Khan Studs and purchased for $700,000 by trainer Chris Waller & owner Hermitage Thoroughbreds from the Arrowfield draft at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale.  

His promise is more than matched by his pedigree. He is bred on the same Redoute’s Choice/Galileo cross as Sevenna Star, and his dam Azmiyna is a half-sister to European Champion Azamour.

The stunning  Snitzel-Azmiyna yearling filly will soon be a stablemate of The Autumn Sun after being knocked down for $1.3 million to Waller Racing & Guy Mulcaster at this year’s edition of Inglis Easter.
 

Champion 2YO Shalaa to stand at Arrowfield in 2017

Al Shaqab’s Champion 2YO Shalaa (IRE) will shuttle to Arrowfield Stud in Australia from 2017.

Shalaa (Invincible Spirit-Ghurra by War Chant) made his mark on the 2015 European season with five consecutive 1200-metre victories, culminating in Group 1 success in Europe’s premier 2YO sprinting tests, powering clear of his rivals in the Deauville Prix Morny G1 and making all in the Newmarket Middle Park S. G1.

Those performances ultimately cemented Shalaa’s status as Champion 2YO Colt in Great Britain and France.

Jockey Frankie Dettori said after Shalaa’s Middle Park win, “He’s got tremendous speed and he is the fastest two-year-old I’ve ridden. I haven’t met a horse fast enough to lead him.”

His champion trainer John Gosden echoed Dettori’s assessment. “He’s very, very fast – the fastest two-year-old I’ve trained.

“He has so much speed and has that sprinter’s build, so he reminds us all of Oasis Dream…He’s of that mould.”

Timeform was similarly impressed, rating Shalaa at 123+ in July 2015, and declaring him the best two-year-old in the world at that time.

Shalaa is now about to start serving his first mares in France at owner Al Shaqab’s Haras de Bouquetot, among them World Champion and dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve.

Shalaa is a son of the remarkable success story Invincible Spirit, who now commands a €120,000 fee at The Irish National Stud.  His 98 stakeswinners include European Horse of the Year Kingman, Champion European Sprinter Moonlight Cloud and successful young Australian sire I Am Invincible, who currently leads the Australian General Sires’ premiership, following Houtzen’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic victory.

Benoit Jeffroy, Manager of the Al Shaqab breeding operation, comments, “Shalaa is a standout individual, well balanced, correct and he is a great mover. As a son of Invincible Spirit he should undoubtedly prove as popular with Australian breeders as he has been in Europe.”

Khalifa Al Attiya, Al Shaqab Racing ‘s General Manager, says, “We are delighted that Shalaa will be shuttling to Arrowfield Stud in Australia. After his tremendous racing career we have all the hopes he will become a top sire, and we’ve entrusted him with some of our own top quality mares including dual Arc winner Treve.”

Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara says, “We’re excited to stand Europe’s dominant sprinting two-year-old Shalaa at Arrowfield in association with Al Shaqab, alongside their Champion sprinter-miler Olympic Glory.

“Shalaa displayed the high quality, early-maturing speed that Australian breeders demand and offers a fresh take on the Danzig sire-line that is clearly working here.”

Messara adds, “I have inspected him personally and he is a great physical type, ideally suited to the Australian market. Arrowfield will support him strongly with a significant number of our quality mares.”

Shalaa will stand his first Australian season in 2017 at a fee of $33,000 inc. GST.

Redoute's Choice filly scores at Newmarket

The John Gosden-trained filly Astronomy’s Choice became the ninth winner from the first European crop of Redoute’s Choice with a strong debut performance on Newmarket’s Future Champions Day last Friday.

She lined up in the £25,000 Maiden Fillies Stakes over seven furlongs and, after a slow start, raced off the pace until asked by Frankie Dettori to quicken up before the two-furlong mark. The filly took up the lead insid the final furlong and despite runnng greenly had enough in hand to be eased down close to home.

Her performance was noted by Timeform’s Simon Rowlands in his assessment of the day’s racing.

“…two of the most eye-catching efforts were undoubtedly posted in victory by John Gosden-trained two-year-olds. Astronomy’s Choice quickened nicely on her debut on the Friday and promises to be at least useful, but Coronet was even more impressive in landing the listed Zetland Stakes on the Saturday.”

Bred & raced by London-based businessman Robin Geffen and raised at Ecurie des Monceaux, Astronomy’s Choice is the first foal of Astronomy Domine (by Galileo), whose dam Platonic has been a signifcant foundation mare for the partnership of Monceaux and Skymarc Farm.
 
Platonic is the dam of the stakes-winning fillies Pacifique, and Prudenzia, responsible for Irish Oaks winner Chicquita, and the family has responded to its first-class opportunities with five seven-figure Arqana yearlings since 2012.

Astronomy Domine was bought for Mr Geffen by Badger’s Bloodstock for €280,000 at the 2010 Arqana August Yearling Sale, but had only one unplaced start. With her first runner now a promising winner and €300,000 paid for her Oasis Dream colt at Arqana this year, she is already contributing to the family’s excellent record.

Monceaux Manager Henri Bozo noted on Twitter that John Gosden is already considering next year’s Listed Pretty Polly Stakes for Astronomy’s Choice. That race is held at Newmarket’s Guineas Festival meeting in early May and Gosden has trained the last two winners, subsequent Oaks winner Taghrooda and Jazzi Top.