Venerable matron celebrates a Slipper runner

Arrowfield’s home-bred filly Teaspoon is a 40/1 chance in Saturday’s $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper G1, but she knocks it out of the park with the oldest dam of the 19 runners in the field.

The average age of those 19 mares at the birth of their Golden Slipper runners was 9.5, with eleven of them nine or younger and seven aged ten to 15.

Teaspoon, though, is the 16th and last foal of the unraced Patronella  (Mister C-All Sterling by One Pound Sterling) who was 23-years-old when she delivered the bay filly by Snitzel on 4 September 2014. The Arrowfield foaling team recorded a “normal foaling, foal of normal size with good body and bone” and similar observations were made of Patronella’s six previous deliveries at the Stud.

Assistant Operations Manager Kerry Stephens says, “We can’t recall any foaling issues with Patronella, and reproductively she’s been straightforward.”  Ditto her character too, although she’s no pushover, as Kerry points out.

“She’s an average sized mare, with an attractive head, plenty of bone and substance. She’s straightforward to handle, with no odd habits or quirks, but she has spirit –  if she doesn’t like something she’s quick to let you know. All the good ones have spirit!”

Unlike some mares, the now 25 year-old Patronella, pictured right at Arrowfield this week (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy) hasn’t had a special paddock mate and gets on well with most other horses. That’s made for an easy transition to her new life in retirement as a nanny mare.

Kerry explains, “Her latest assignment was baby-sitting the Easter Sale yearling fillies before they began their sale preparation. It’s very useful having an experienced older mare keeping an eye on the young ones, it helps to keep them settled in the paddock and reduces the chance of injury.”

Patronella has visited Starcraft, Charge Forward, Hussonet, All American, Beneteau and Snitzel (twice) during her eight-year breeding career at Arrowfield, failing to conceive only in 2011. Five of the resulting seven foals were sold as weanlings or yearlings for relatively modest prices, and three of those have won races. The best of them was Teaspoon’s full sister Aliyana Tilde, born in 2008 and bought for $50,000 by trainer Kerry Parker at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Aliyana Tilde turned out to be very good indeed, even better than Patronella’s first two foals, two-time Listed winner Stella Artois and Group 3 winner Smytzer’s Trish, born back in the mid-nineties, when their mother was five and six.

Unlike Teaspoon though, Aliyana Tilde’s forte was classic stamina, evident in her ATC Epona S. G3 victory and three Group 1 placings in the Australian Oaks, Sydney Cup and Storm Queen Stakes. That record made her an appealing proposition when she retired in 2013 and so it was that she returned to the ownership of Arrowfield where she’s had two colts by Animal Kingdom and a Dundeel filly.

Research conducted by Arrowfield alumnus Byron Rogers of Performance Genetics confirms both the rarity of mares that produce one Group winner during their careers, and that around one in five of those select mares will go on to leave subsequent Group winners. Three Group winners put Patronella in elite company, though not in the league of the extraordinary Juddmonte mare Hasili, dam of seven Group winners, five of them successful at Group 1 level.  

Kerry notes that all of Patronella’s Arrowfield foals have resembled her, and the one most like her is the filly Bacarella (by Beneteau), a year older than Teaspoon and talented enough to win at two and place twice in Sydney Group 2 company last Spring.

However, Kerry adds, “Teaspoon was always a staff favourite as a foal, because she was a particularly attractive filly and a strong individual.”

Like Bacarella, Teaspoon was retained by Arrowfield because she’s a late filly from a wonderful broodmare so, while her fellow yearlings were being prepared for sale, she was being educated at Rick Worthington’s Danric Lodge before joining Michael Freedman’s stable last September.

Teaspoon opened her account with a debut win at Canterbury in November, spelled, then returned to win the ATC Widden S. G3 with a quality performance under pressure, and become Snitzel’s 48th stakeswinner at Rosehill on 28 January. She also completed an Arrowfield graduate Group double with her Golden Slipper rival Pariah (by Redoute’s Choice), successful on the same card in the ATC Canonbury S. G3.

Teaspoon, quirkily named by Arrowfield’s Sydney Office Manager Sophie Swain for Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer’s habit of leaving teaspoons around the office, goes into the Slipper off a game third in the ATC Sweet Embrace S. G2 and will be ridden by Zac Purton. 

Meanwhile, Patronella grazes peacefully in the Hill 5 paddock at Arrowfield, perhaps thinking occasionally of those 16 foals, among them thirteen winners of 43 races, and that final, vibrant daughter out to make her mark on Slipper history at 4.10 pm on Saturday.

2YO Group double for Redoute's Choice & Snitzel

Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel delivered a one-two punch at Rosehill on Saturday when the Arrowfield-bred pair Pariah and Teaspoon took out both the Group 3 features for juveniles.

In the $150,000 Canonbury S. 1100m G3 Hualalai and Showtime took up the running ahead of the hot favourite Menari (by Snitzel), while Kerrin McEvoy settled debutant Pariah back off the pace.

Sent wide around the turn, Pariah got down to his work with real commitment to win by a length from Menari and Malahat in 1:04.63. Although Menari had to be counted unlucky, the Redoute’s Choice colt powered to the line in a manner that suggests there’s plenty more to come.

Watch Pariah win the ATC Canonbury S. G3.

Pariah’s co-trainer Peter Snowden said, “This horse has so much upside to him – it was only his first start today and he’s only going to improve from that.  He’s always been well above his years in everything he’s done.”

The $1.5 million Blue Diamond S. G1 at Caulfield on 25 February is the target proposed for Pariah, a $700,000 buy at last year’s Inglis Easter Sale.

He extends James Harron’s outstanding record with purchases from Arrowfield. Group 1 winners Sweet Idea & Wandjina, Group winner Odyssey Moon and Listed winner Detective have all been bought out of Arrowfield consignments by the Sydney-based agent. He signed for five Arrowfield yearlings at the 2017 Magic Millions Sale, including the sale-topping $1.3 million Redoute’s Choice-Ballet Blue colt.  

Pariah is raced by James Harron Bloodstock Colts with a group of regular JHB clients, among them Fergus Doyle, Belinda Bateman, Rob & Donna Love and John & Fran Ingham.

Harron said, “He’s a great-natured colt who has really matured into a beautiful horse and absolutely, things look good for him moving forward.’’

“When we saw him at Easter last year he had a lot of quality about him, was very masculine and he had a lovely shape, a really nice medium-sized horse, not too big and definitely not too small. Add to that his terrific pedigree and we were confident we were on a winner and, well, it’s off to a nice start.”

A three-quarter brother to dual Group1 winner Melito, Pariah is the first foal of the city-winning mare Secluded, and was bred by Arrowfield in partnership with John Leaver, David Paradice and Paul Favretto. Arrowfield will offer his full brother at this year’s Inglis Easter Sale and Secluded is again in foal to Redoute’s Choice.

The lifetime statistics for Redoute’s Choice now read 138 stakeswinners and 34 2YO stakeswinners and Pariah is his seventh stakeswinner this season. He is also the second stakeswinner to emerge from Arrowfield’s Graduate Class of  2016, after Inglis Melbourne Premier graduate Azazel, winner of October’s Inglis Banner S. (R) LR.

Forty minutes after the Canonbury, Arrowfield’s own Yellow and Black silks were seen in the winner’s circle after the Stud’s home-bred filly Teaspoon put up a quality performance to take out the $150,000 ATC Widden S.1100m G3 at her second start.

Teaspoon jumped smartly from gate 10 and Hugh Bowman elected to take advantage of her early speed by pressing forward to take up the running. The filly settled sweetly in front and went for home with plenty of determination, but briefly lost her lead as Mystic Empire drove at her in the straight.

However, when her champion jockey asked Teaspoon for another effort, she willingly gave it, and came away again to score by a half-length in 1:05.08 from Mystic Empire, Sweet Deal and the favourite Boorooj.

Watch Teaspoon win the ATC Widden S. G3
.

Teaspoon’s trainer Michael Freedman said, “She’s given them weight today. Hugh has had to use her up a little bit from that wide gate. She was there to be run down and she kept fighting.”

The $3.5 million Golden Slipper on 18 March is now in the filly’s sights, with races like the Sweet Embrace and the Reisling as possible lead-ups.

Teaspoon is the 48th stakeswinner and 20th 2YO stakeswinner for Snitzel who topped the Magic Millions sires’ table with 42 lots sold for $13.9 million. He is also back on top of the Australian 2YO Sires’ list, though he remains in close battle with I Am Invincible.

Teaspoon is the fourth stakeswinner out of Arrowfield’s wonderful and now-retired matron Patronella, also dam of Group 2 winner Stella Artois, dual Listed winner Smytzer’s Trish, Group 3 winner Aliyana Tilde (by Snitzel) and Group 2-placed filly Bacarella (by Beneteau). Aliyana Tilde is already part of Arrowfield’s broodmare band, while Bacarella, recovering from injury, and Teaspoon run for the Arrowfield stable.

Animal Kingdom to rest for the 2016 season

The decision has been taken to rest Animal Kingdom for the 2016 Southern Hemisphere breeding season, which would have been his fourth in Australia.

Animal Kingdom, whose first Australian-bred 2YOs run next season, will remain at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Kentucky after he completes the current US season.

The Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup winner will, however, return to Arrowfield Stud for the 2017 Southern Hemisphere season.

Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer says, “Arrowfield and Darley are the majority owners of Animal Kingdom, we’re firmly committed to him and we’re very pleased with his first progeny both here in Australia and in the United States.

“His stock have good size and scope with a tremendous depth of girth and appeal as late season two-year-olds and Classic horses.”

Freyer adds, “In a very competitive marketplace the fourth season is always the most difficult. We have great faith in Animal Kingdom and have decided to take a longer-term view of his stallion career so we’re resting him now, after he’s served three very big books in Kentucky and six consecutive seasons north and south .

“He’s an exceptional horse, but not surprisingly as a Kentucky Derby winner he’s been more popular in the US, so it makes sense to rest him from his Australian duties.”

Redoute's Choice colt makes $1.4 million at Arqana

The first European yearlings by Redoute’s Choice made a big impact on the opening two days of the Arqana August Sale, averaging almost $600,000 and including the 66th seven-figure yearling of his stellar sale-ring career.

Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock adviser John Ferguson bought three colts by the champion sire including the son of Group 1 winner Vadawina (by Unfuwain), offered by Haras d’Etreham and knocked down for  €950,000 (~$1.4 million). That makes him the top-priced Redoute’s Choice yearling sold worldwide in 2015.

Ferguson struck early on the first day, bidding €450,000 (~$670,000) for the colt from Copernica presented by Richard Powell’s Haras du Lieu des Champs.

He said after that purchase, “Redoute’s Choice has been a superb stallion in Australia, and there’s no reason why he won’t repeat his success in the Northern Hemisphere.
“This is a Redoute’s Choice out of a Galileo mare going back to a great family, including High Chaparral, and he was a very athletic horse and we’re delighted to have him.”

That sale was a great result for Joe Foley of Ballyhane Stud who bought the colt as a foal for 175,000gns at Tattersalls December last year.

Foley said, “He was an outstanding foal with a stallion’s pedigree and I’m a great believer in Redoute’s Choice, as I stand his son Elzaam, whose first foals head to the sales later this year. Everybody had looked at him and Richard filled me with confidence that he would sell well. Best of luck to Godolphin.”

Haras des Capucines was the vendor of John Ferguson’s third Redoute’s Choice colt, out of Sandy Girl (by Footstepsinthesand), a winning half-sister to six-time Group 1 winner Stacelita. He was secured for €660,000 (~$990,000).

Asked to compare Redoute’s Choice’s European and Australian progeny, Ferguson said,  “I’ve been looking at them in Australia for many years, so I’d say they’re fairly similar to those in Australia. There’s not a huge difference. Some horses with different mares can produce different types, but he’s such a pre-eminent and dominant stallion; Redoute’s Choices look like Redoute’s Choices.”

Ferguson’s past Australian purchases by the great son of Danehill include Group 1 winner Master of Design and Group 1-placed stakeswinners Estee & Time Thief.

Other successful bidders included Jehan Malherbe’s Form Bloodstock, which has already enjoyed success with Group 2-winning Redoute’s Choice filly Honorine in South Africa, and UK trainer Roger Varian.

In all, nine of the first 11 Arqana yearlings by Redoute’s Choice sold for an average of  €386,000 (~$580,000), well above the to-date average of  €245,791 (~$370,000) and placing him fourth on the Sale’s leading sires list.

Georges Rimaud, Manager of the Aga Khan’s French Studs, says, “At the time we brought Redoute’s Choice over from Arrowfield Stud there was concern that there weren’t enough good stallions in France. He was probably way above the standard of what people expected but they supported him and the rewards are coming now.”

Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer says, “We’re delighted with these results and acknowledge the wonderful support Redoute’s Choice has received in Europe from breeders, vendors & buyers. We’re also very grateful to the Aga Khan, Georges Rimaud and the team at Haras de Bonneval for giving Redoute’s Choice the best opportunity to make his mark in Europe.”

Haras des Capucines & La Motteraye Consignment will present the final two Arqana yearlings by Redoute’s Choice at the Sale’s closing session which begins at 9.00 pm on Monday evening (AEST).