Smart 2YO colt Limehills took Redoute’s Choice through the $10 million mark in Australia this season with a stylish victory in the $100,000 Brisbane Town Plate over 1400 metres against older horses at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
It was Limehills’ fourth start after his January debut second in Sydney, and second and fifth placings in Listed company at Eagle Farm during June. The colt’s win was all the more impressive because he drew widest of the 16 runners, but drove clear with authority to post a winning margin of almost three lengths.
Limehills is the first foal of the fine New Zealand-bred sprinter Velocitea (Volksraad), whose seven wins included the SAJC Goodwood H. G1 from the Mick Price stable. She also has yearling and weanling colts by Redoute’s Choice, and is due to foal again this Spring to the champion sire.
Limehills was purchased for $320,000 by the Arrowfield Training Centre from the Glastonbury Farms draft at the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, and he is trained by Paul Messara for Arrowfield, breeders Rob & Jenny Ferguson, Haydn Chambers & Bill Kennedy.
The No. 1 spot on the Australian General Sires’ list has belonged to Redoute’s Choice since Lankan Rupee won the ATC T.J. Smith S. G1 on 12 April. His prizemoney of $10,067,073 is the second-highest total earned by his progeny in Australia since his first Championship season in 2005/06.
Redoute’s Choice has ended nine of the past 10 seasons among Australia’s top five sires, but this season is special because his nearest rival is his son & fellow Arrowfield resident Snitzel.
Snitzel’s position was strengthened when Royal Snitzel (1st), Zeletto (2nd) and Tan Tat Sun (4th) claimed the lion’s share of the prizemoney for the 2YO race at Caulfield on Saturday. City placings by First Course (2nd, Caulfield), El Sasso (3rd, Rosehill) & Dominating (3rd, Belmont) also helped Snitzel’s cause and his 2013/14 tally now stands at $9,609,130, almost $400,000 ahead of last season’s Champion Sire Exceed and Excel.
Snitzel’s effort is notable because he has only five crops of racing age, fewer than any other stallion in the top ten, and fewer runners this season than all in that group except the New Zealand-based Champion Sire O’Reilly.
However, if Redoute’s Choice claims this season’s Premiership it will be his third in nine seasons – a period of dominance matched only by his own sire Danehill in recent Australian thoroughbred history. (Danehill’s nine titles spanned 11 seasons).