Snitzel rises to a new level of performance

After Snitzel’s record-setting feats in 2017/18, it seemed unlikely that he would find another level of performance this season. Yet that is exactly what he’s doing.

His spectacular work continued last weekend, as a pair of colts took his lifetime record to 70 stakeswinners.

Showtime has defined “knocking on the door of stakes success” after fourths to Pariah and Gunnison, a third to She Will Reign, a second to Doubt I’m Dreaming and a fifth to Royal Symphony. It’s surely a good omen that his breakthrough finally came at his first try over 1600 metres, in the $200,000 MVRC Bill Stutt S. G2 on Friday evening. A start in the $2 million Caulfield Guineas G1 on 14 October now beckons.

Watch Showtime win the MVRC Bill Stutt S. G2.

The Hawkes-trained Showtime (ex Flidais by Timber Country) is a full brother to Group 1 winner Sweet Idea, bred by the partnership of Arrowfield and Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm, and sold for $1.1 million at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale. His breeders remain in his ownership, alongside Alan Jones, Jonathan Munz, Eric Koundouris, JG Moore and Greg & Barbara Ingham.

Flidais has a 2YO Snitzel colt bought for $240,000 by Apollo Ng at Inglis Easter, a yearling full sister and was served again by Snitzel last week.

Snitzel has made a habit of siring the winner and one or both placegetters in black type races. He did it for the third time in a month when Perast led all the way to win Sunday’s $175,000 MRC Caulfield Guineas Prelude 1400m G3 and Summer Passage took the runner-up spot from Kementari. 

Watch Perast & Summer Passage quinella the MRC Caulfield Guineas Prelude G3

Perast was bred by Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock (he also part-owns the 1000 Guineas Prelude runner-up Shoals), and bought by trainer Paul Perry for $100,000 from the Maluka Thoroughbreds draft at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. 

He is the best of four winners out of Listed winner Thousand Veils, and the third stakeswinner bred on the Snitzel/Zabeel cross, after Time For War and Lubiton. 

Perast is among 13 stakeswinners from Snitzel’s 2014 crop which has supplied six of his 11 Group & Listed winners since 1 August. That’s easily the best season start of Snitzel’s career.

The champion son of Redoute’s Choice certainly set the bar very high in 2016/17, when he equalled Danehill’s season record of 26 stakeswinners, but two months into 2017/18, his reach already looks capable of exceeding his grasp.

Snitzel plucks the Golden Rose

In its brief eight-year history as a Group 1 Sydney 3YO feature the Golden Rose had eluded Arrowfield’s stallions. 

But that all changed on Saturday when Trapeze Artist led home Champagne Cuddles and Menari to land a sensational Golden Rose trifecta for Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt. 

Watch Trapeze Artist win the ATC Golden Rose S. G1.

The $1 million race over 1400 metres was a triumph for “Mr. Snitzel”, Gerald Ryan, trainer of both the favourite Menari and Trapeze Artist, who slipped off the punters’ radar and started at 40/1. A Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed at two, Trapeze Artist left no doubt about his class when he overcame barrier 14 and a four-wide run to romp home by 4.3 lengths. 

The Bjorn Baker-trained Champagne Cuddles earned her own round of applause when she sprinted out of the pack to nab second from the valiant Menari. It was the fourth Group placing this season for the tough and talented Not A Single Doubt filly, who backed up after a similar late-dash run for second in last week’s Tea Rose S. G2.

Ryan has now trained 13 stakeswinners by Snitzel, they have won 31 Group & Listed races, and the Golden Rose is his second Group 1 victory with Snitzel’s tribe, after Snitzerland’s 2014 VRC Lightning S. G1 success.

Trapeze Artist is Snitzel’s 12th individual Group 1 winner and the result was the second Arrowfield-sired Group race trifecta in a fortnight, after the ATC Run to the Rose G2 won by Menari from Pariah (by Redoute’s Choice) and Perast (also by Snitzel).

Trapeze Artist is raced by the Vieira family headed by Bert Viera who paid $190,000 for the Domesday mare Treppes in foal to Snitzel from Edinburgh Park at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. Two years later, the yearling Trapeze Artist was passed in for $300,000 at the Inglis Easter Sale – a disappointment that was well and truly forgotten as Bert Vieira celebrated his first Group 1 success after several years of substantial investment. 

Treppes is a non-winning member of a distinguished family that includes the Woodlands Stud graduates Crawl, Marching & Gait, and descends from 1971 Golden Slipper winner Fairy Walk. Go back another four generations and there’s Raphis, one of the several full sisters to Phar Lap that have extended his family’s influence into the 21st century. 

Less than two months after winning his first General Sires’ title, Snitzel is once again leading every Premiership category with $3.1 million prizemoney, 40 winners, 50 wins, 9 stakeswinners and 11 stakes wins. Eight other stallions have broken through the $1 million mark, including Not A Single Doubt, who holds down sixth spot with just over $1.2 million. 

Menari magnificent in Run to the Rose

A quality field in Saturday’s $200,000 ATC Run to the Rose 1200m G2 unveiled a genuine star as Corumbene Stud’s magnificent colt Menari led home a Snitzel-Redoute’s Choice-Snitzel trifecta.

The pace was hot from the start as Perast took up the lead from Menari with Pariah settling in third. Perast kept going gamely into the straight, but Menari took control in the final 250 metres to win by 1.5 lengths in 1:08.59 from the gritty Pariah, with Perast the same margin away in third.

Watch Menari win the ATC Run to the Rose G2.

Menari’s jockey Josh Parr said, “Look at the size of the horse. It is just phenomenal to ride an animal like this. His turn of foot is second to none.”

Trainer Gerald Ryan’s suggestion a month ago that Menari was an Everest prospect now looks prescient, but the $1 million Golden Rose G1 on 23 September is the obvious interim target.

After today’s race Ryan said, “I was lucky enough to have a horse like Snitzel who I thought was a very good horse, then I had Snitzerland, then along came Rubick, who you never saw the best of, but this horse, what he showed us in the Autumn before he raced I thought this is a fair dinkum genuine horse.

“The way he worked last Friday morning, I reckon there’s only been two other horses I’ve clocked sectionals as quick as him and that’s been Chautauqua and All Too Hard when they were flying. He burnt the track last Friday.”

Pariah’s jockey Blake Shinn welcomes a Golden Rose re-match with Menari, saying, “He ran really well, had a lovely run behind the winner. Travelled beautifully, just maybe the weight swing, Menari had 1kg difference, in saying that full credit to the winner he was too good on the day, but level weights at 1400 metres in the Golden Rose, it’s going to be an exciting race.”

Menari is raced by George Altomonte’s Corumbene Stud which bred him from Isurava (by General Nediym), a stakes-winning juvenile and sister to Group 2 winner Ichihara, from the family of champion stayer Tie The Knot. 

Mr Altomonte has also placed Menari’s 2YO full sister Sweet Ava with Gerald Ryan, and Isurava is due to produce a Not A Single Doubt foal this Spring.

After today’s Group 2 successes by Russian Revolution and Menari, Snitzel’s stakes record in the first 40 days of this season stands at 8 winners of nine Group and Listed Races.

Snitzel colt too good in The Rosebud

Less than a fortnight after landing his first stallion Premiership, Snitzel has put up his first city treble of the new season, including Menari, a dashing winner of the $150,000 The Rosebud 1100m LR at Rosehill.

He is the second son of Snitzel to win The Rosebud, following Thronum’s success last year, and the 65th stakeswinner on Snitzel’s lifetime record.

Menari, carrying equal topweight of 60.5 kg, jumped marginally best of the field but as Siege Of Quebec and Perast moved forward on his inside, Josh Parr eased him  back towards the rear. Taken wide round the home turn, he balanced up quickly, took control of the race at the 200-metre mark and won by 1.3 lengths from Siege Of Quebec with Trekking a further length away in third.

Watch Menari win the ATC The Rosebud LR.

Trainer Gerald Ryan, recording his 13th stakeswinner by former stable star Snitzel, can justly feel that his assessment of Menari as an unlucky 2YO has been vindicated.

The $1 million Golden Rose G1 on 23 September is the obvious target for him, but Ryan believes he’s also a genuine prospect for The Everest. Whichever way Menari goes, the San Domenico S. G3, also over 1100 metres on 26 August is his likely next start.

Josh Parr said, “He’s an exceptionally talented horse. I know it sounds a little bit arrogant but I was so confident his ability could overcome the bias of the track today.

“He’s as good as anything I’ve sat on. I won’t say any more.”

Menari is the fifth foal and second winner out of 2YO stakeswinner Isurava (by General Nediym), a sister to Group 2 winner Ichihara, from the immediate family of Group 1 winner Whisked and her champion son Tie The Knot.

Corumbene Stud has also retained Menari’s year-younger full sister Sweet Ava, and Isurava is foaling this Spring to Not A Single Doubt. 

Menari supplied the final leg of Snitzel’s Rosehill treble, following the Waterhouse & Bott-trained Arbeitsam’s defiantwin over 1800 metres, and The Pharoah’s success over 1350 metres for owner-breeder Ottavio Galletta and Gerald Ryan.

Watch Arbeitsam’s win at Rosehill.

Watch The Pharoah’s win at Rosehill.

With 11 winners in the first 12 days of August, Snitzel is wasting no time putting his stamp on the 2017/18 Australian season.

Ryan's high hopes for 2017/18

Like his former stable star-turned-Champion Sire, Australia’s “Mr Snitzel”, Gerald Ryan had much to celebrate at the end of 2016/17, and plenty to look forward to in the new season.

Gerald says of Snitzel’s Premiership success, “I am so proud of him. When we bought him as a yearling Damion [Flower] and I agreed that if he can gallop then he would make a stallion, but to get to the heights he has is just unreal, and to be part of his success makes both of us proud of him.”

He adds, “He was a fast two-year-old that got better every preparation and it doesn’t surprise me that he is getting very good older horses too.”

Gerald has now trained 12 winners of 22 Group & six Listed races by Snitzel, three of them successful last season: Group winners Diddums (ex Raheights by Rahy) & Trapeze Artist (ex Treppes by Domesday) and Listed winner Samantha (ex Icedginger by Tale of the Cat).

Gerald says, “They’re all different, Diddums is a gross doer who kept improving and races best when she sits up on the speed and creates a tough race, but Samantha’s the opposite, she used to be a bit delicate and needs to be ridden quietly.”

Trapeze Artist made great progress through his 2YO season, winning the Canberra Black Opal S. G3 then putting up a top performance to round out Snitzel’s trifecta, behind Invader and Summer Passage in the ATC Sires’ Produce S. G1.

“He’s a good, tough on-pace runner who gets 1400, perhaps 1600 metres, and he’s very laid-back and straightforward, just so easy to train.”

Gerald believes all three horses are capable of stepping up a notch or two this season.

“Trapeze Artist can win a Group One, and he might get 1600 metres and be a Guineas horse, or perhaps the Coolmore. He’ll start in the Up and Coming on 19 August, then go to the Run to the Rose and the Golden Rose.

“Samantha and Diddums will be both be competitive in Group company, but they’re limited by the options for mares around 1200 metres.”

Apart from this trio, the Snitzel that Gerald is most excited about this season is 3YO colt Menari (ex Isurava by General Nediym), unlucky not to have more than one win, a Group 3 placing and a relegated Golden Slipper fourth on his five-start juvenile record.

“He’s come back a big, strong horse, and will kick off in the Rosebud or the San Domenico, and then we’ll decide about the Golden Rose.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he got to The Everest, he just needs a dry track.”

Among the stable’s new Snitzel 2YOs, Gerald says, “I can’t wait to get Snitzerland’s full sister in, and we have a nice colt out of One Sweet Day.”

The Arrowfield influence on Ryan Racing doesn’t end with Snitzel. Ryan’s new recruits include a pair of superbly bred Redoute’s Choice colts: “a nice colt that moves really well” out of Group 1 winner Faint Perfume (by Shamardal), and Stealth Sniper, out of Group 2 winner Timbourina (by Timber Country), “more of an Autumn two-year-old.”

Not A Single Doubt is represented by 3YO colt Condor Heroes (ex Gosetgo by More Than Ready), a city winner and Group 3-placed at two who impressed with a sparkling trial win at Rosehill last week and will likely make his season debut in the ATC San Domenico S. G3 on 26 August.  Gerald is also preparing a couple of 2YO Not A Single Doubt colts, King’s Order (ex Pinwin by Pins) and Legend Of Condor (ex Rhodamine by Success Express), both showing early ability.

“I like King’s Order a lot and he’ll be aimed at the Magic Millions Classic, and Legend Of Condor is back in work on Monday. He’s an early goer, he moves really well and everyone who rides him loves him.”

Smart Missile’s 4YO son Damaging (ex Sequinella by Catbird) has taken time to mature but was placed, then won in July. “I quite like him and he’ll now stretch out through his grades to 2000 metres.” The 2YO Smart Missile-Cat By The Tale filly has also joined the stable, and she will probably make her first raceday appearance in the Autumn.

The Ryan stable earned more than $5 million prizemoney nationwide in 2016/17 and closed out the season in 7th spot on the NSW Trainers’ Premiership. It’s a performance Gerald and his team can be proud of, and a target they can confidently aim to exceed with an abundance of proven and emerging talent.

Redoute's Choice dominates Golden Slipper pedigrees

Redoute’s Choice, already the sire of two Golden Slipper winners, appears in the immediate pedigrees of no fewer than 11 of the 19 juveniles in the field for this year’s $3.5 million event, sponsored for the second time by Longines.

Pariah is his 17th Slipper runner, bidding to join the 2006 winner Miss Finland, and Stratum, who defeated Fashions Afield in 2005 to give their champion sire a memorable quinella. 

This year Redoute’s Choice also appears as the damsire of Trekking, Frolic and 3rd emergency The Mission, and as the paternal grandsire of Single Bullet (by Not A Single Doubt), and Trapeze Artist, Invader, Menari, Teaspoon and emergency runners Chauffeur & Showtime (all by Snitzel).

Given that Snitzel heads the 2YO Sires’ premiership by earnings, winners and stakeswinners, it’s not surprising this is his best-ever contingent in the Slipper. He’s already the damsire of a Slipper winner (Mossfun in 2014) and two placegetters, Snitzerland, the gallant runner-up to Pierro in 2012, and Showtime’s sister Sweet Idea, third to Overreach in 2013. 

A fourth Arrowfield stallion, Charge Forward, figures as the damsire of Single Bullet’s stablemate She Will Reign, a daughter of former Arrowfield resident (and half-brother of Redoute’s Choice) Manhattan Rain. Charge Forward, himself a close second to Dance Hero in the record-breaking 2004 Slipper, is also the sire of 2009 runner-up Headway.

Arrowfield is attempting to add a third Golden Slipper to the trophies won by Miss Finland and Flying Spur (in 1995) as the owner-breeder of Teaspoon, the last foal of venerable matron Patronella, now in happy retirement as a nanny mare at the Stud. Trained by Michael Freedman, Teaspoon has won two of her three starts including the ATC Widden S. G3 (pictured, right; PHOTO: Sportpix) and will be ridden by Zac Purton.

Arrowfield bred and sold Inglis Easter graduate Pariah (in partnership with John Leaver, David Paradice & Paul Favretto), and Magic Millions colt Showtime (in partnership with Katsumi Yoshida), and sold Invader on behalf of his breeeder Michael Pitt. Two other breeders have multiple runners: Darley (Veranillo & Trekking) and Corumbene Stud (Single Bullet & Menari).

An interesting aspect of the 16-strong 2017 Golden Slipper field is its exactly even distribution between the sexes, eight colts and eight fillies, though the three emergencies are all colts. History favours colts and geldings with 35 wins, compared with 25 by fillies, but the split by runners (165 male, 146 female), top five finishes (51 male, 49 female) and winners (11 male, 9 female) is a little more evenly balanced over the past two decades, 1997-2016.

Apart from being a thrilling contest that can determine both the season’s best 2YO and the champion sire of juveniles, the Golden Slipper frequently previews other top performers. Subsequent Group 1 winners that ran in, but didn’t win the race include: English, Single Gaze & Speak Fondly (2015), Sweet Idea, Guelph & Criterion (2013), Snitzerland & Epaulette (2012), Mosheen, Foxwedge & Hot Snitzel (2011), Melito, Wanted & More Joyous (2009), Empires Choice, Gold Edition & Casino Prince (2006),  Snitzel (2005), Charge Forward, Alinghi & Fastnet Rock (2004), Shamekha & Exceed and Excel (2003) and Choisir & Yell (2002). 

The Longines Golden Slipper S. 1200m G1, offering winner’s prizemoney of $2 million, will be held for the 61st time at Rosehill this Saturday 18 March at 4.10 pm AEDT.