Before Saturday, Redoute’s Choice already had a same-track, same-day Group 1 double on his extraordinary record. That was achieved more than a decade ago, when Nadeem & Snitzel won the Blue Diamond and the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on 25 February 2006.
But a Group 1 double at the same meeting by two full brothers, bought from the same vendor & breeders by the same owner and prepared by the same trainer? Surely that’s beyond even this bar-raising, mould-breaking, three-time Champion sire?
Here’s the news: it isn’t. On Champions Day at Turffontein in South Africa Sheikh Hamdan’s colts Mustaaqeem and Rafeef, both by Redoute’s Choice out of South African Horse of the Year National Colour and both Arrowfield Inglis Easter graduates, won Group 1 races within three hours of each other.
With only a (very impressive) debut win behind him, 2YO Mustaaqeem started favourite in the R1 million South African Nursery 1160m G1 and stalked the early leaders until Callan Murray set him alight 400 metres from home. The colt sprinted smoothly away from his rivals to score by 4 lengths from his stablemate Naafer in 1:05.80.
Watch Mustaaqeem win the Turffontein SA Nursery G1.
Speaking from Newmarket, UK after the victory, Angus recalled inspecting Mustaaqeem at the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale.
“I thought he was outstanding, with a very classy look. He was really well-balanced with a lovely head, and a ready-made stallion if he could run. And I got him on my very last bid, thank god!”
That bid was $1.75 million, the third highest price of the Sale and more than twice the $800,000 Shadwell Stud paid for Rafeef at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale.
Rafeef, with a larger frame to grow into, required more time to develop but has found top sprinting form this season, winning four of his six starts including the Hawaii S. G2 and now the R1 million Computaform Sprint 1000m G1.
Like his brother, Rafeef was bred by Arrowfield in partnership with Klawervlei Stud and is prepared for Sheikh Hamdan by champion trainer Mike de Kock. National Colour, herself a three-time Group 1 winner, has a yearling filly by Snitzel (bought by Arrowfield for $675,000 at Inglis Easter), a weanling colt by Redoute’s Choice and is again in foal to him.
The brothers take Redoute’s Choice’s tally of Group 1 winners to 32, among 146 lifetime stakeswinners. Mustaqeem is the supersire’s eighth Group 1 juvenile winner and joins Ardrossan, successful earlier on Saturday in New Zealand, on his list of 36 2YO stakeswinners.
They are two of the half-dozen stakeswinners that have already emerged from Arrowfield’s Yearling Class of 2016 after Invader (ATC Sires’ Produce S. G1), Gunnison (ATC Todman S. G2), Pariah (ATC Canonbury S. G3) and Azazel (MVRC Inglis Banner (R) LR).
That’s not the end of the database updates required after racing on 6 May. Robert Sangster S. G1 winner Secret Agenda, Rafeef and Mustaqeem boost the number of Arrowfield Group 1 graduates to sixty-four, a figure that Not A Single Doubt’s daughter Kenedna (2nd, Australasian Oaks G1) and Snitzel’s son Heavenly Blue (3rd, South African Derby G1) came close to increasing.
On the Australian General Sires’ premiership, Snitzel has quietly slipped past Street Cry this week to claim the top spot with $12.8 million and Not A Single Doubt is fifth with $9.4 million. Even with six offshore performers among his 15 stakeswinners this term, Redoute’s Choice has enough domestic firepower to sit just outside the top 10 with prizemoney of $5.8 million.