South African stars Wylie Hall and Majmu sealed a milestone month for Redoute’s Choice with a Group 1 quinella at Turffontein on Saturday.
Majmu started favourite for the President’s Champions Challenge G1, despite her trainer Mike de Kock’s reminders that she had not previously raced over 2000 metres and was meeting colts and geldings for the first time.
That caution was justified because, although the 3YO filly withstood extreme pressure and fought hard to claim the runner-up position, she could not overhaul the 5YO entire Wylie Hall who hit the finish-line 1.25 lengths ahead of Majmu with No Worries a further length away third.
The result is the fourth Group 1 quinella for Australia’s champion sire, after the 2005 Golden Slipper (Stratum & Fashions Afield), 2006 Blue Diamond (Nadeem & Miss Finland) and the 2009 Australasian Oaks (Gallica & Estee).
It’s also the fifth South African Group 1 victory recorded by Redoute’s Choice’s progeny, and Wylie Hall becomes his sire’s ninth multiple Group 1 winner, after Miss Finland & Lankan Rupee (5 Group 1 wins each), Samantha Miss (3), Fashions Afield, Gallica, Lotteria, Majmu & Melito (2 each).
The de Kock stable won three races, two of them at Group 1 level, on the Turffontein card and filled the runner-up position in the SA Nursery G1 with another daughter of Redoute’s Choice, Shaama (ex Absolut Glam), having only her second start.
Wylie Hall was a $205,000 purchase by South African agent Andy Williams from the 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast draft of his breeder Newhaven Park.
Raced by Michael Leaf and trained by Weiho Marwing, Wylie Hall won the South African Derby G1 at three, and lost last season’s Greyville Durban July G1 in the stewards’ room. He resumed three weeks ago with a win in the Turffontein Colorado King S. G2, his sixth success in 20 starts.
Wylie Hall’s dam Beauty Belle (by Ideal Planet), a multiple city winner, belongs to the celebrated New Zealand “Belle” family. This particular branch of it has also produced Group 1 winner Anamato and Group 3 winner Mearas to Redoute’s Choice, as well as champion Grand Armee and Wylie’s Hall’s half-brother Absolute Champion (2007 Champion Hong Kong Sprinter).
Beauty Belle has an unraced 2YO son Hong Kong Storm (by Manhattan Rain) in training with Gai Waterhouse, and is due to foal again to Redoute’s Choice in September. Newhaven Park is also the source of Redoute’s Choice’s 123rd stakeswinner Peeping, successful in Sydney last month.
With 7 Group 1 wins by five horses in 2014/15, Redoute’s Choice is close to equalling his best season as a sire of elite performers. That was in 2006/07 when he had five winners of 8 Group 1 events.
Earlier this month Majmu added the 250th stakes win and 150th Group win to Redoute’s Choice’s record, and Saturday’s New Zealand Group 2 winner Abidewithme is the 75th individual Group winner for the three-time champion sire of Australia.