Snitzel filly makes stakes-winning debut

2YO filly Modern Wonder surprised everyone, includng her trainers, with her easy debut victory at double-figure odds in Saturday’s $100,000 SAJC Dequetteville S. 1050m LR.

Modern Wonder jumped well and settled comfortably just behind the early leader and second favourite Moshki, who led the field into the straight.

As the pressure came on, it was clear that Modern Wonder was travelling better than all her rivals. Jockey Stephen Baster’s urging was met with an instant response and she powered home to score by two lengths from Motown Lil and Neapolitan.

Watch Modern Wonder’s SAJC Dequetteville S. LR win.

Modern Wonder is the 38th stakeswinner for Snitzel and the 18th to score in stakes company at two. Snitzel leads the Australian 2YO Sires’ table by winners (14) and wins (19) and has added six new stakeswinners to his record since New Year’s Day, including dual Hong Kong Group 1 winner Sun Jewellery.  

Troy Corstens, who prepares the filly in partnership with his father Leon, admitted, “I didn’t expect her to win like that. Everything she’s done she’s shown that she’s above average. I think she might be a bit of a freak, actually.

“I always said she’d only have one run and then go to the paddock, but we’ll wait and see how she comes through it and what’s around.”

Closer analysis of the race confirm the brightness of Modern Wonder’s prospects. She returned fast closing sectional times of 56.86 for her last 1000 metres, 44.02 (last 800m), 33.53 (last 600m), and posted 22.81 for her last 200 metres.

Modern Wonder hails from the celebrated South Australian farm, Mill Park Stud which bred her with the Mill Thoroughbred Breeding Partnership and sold her for $175,000 to Malua Racing & Bahen Bloodstock at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. China Horse Club paid $420,000 for her full sister at this year’s Magic Millions Sale.

The fillies’ dam, Elusive Wonder (by Elusive Quality) was also a smart 2YO, winning on debut and finishing third in a Listed Race at her second start. Other recent members of this family, which descends from 1926 French Oaks winner Dorina, include Adelaide stakeswinner Liberty Rose and her son, the stakes-winning Perth sprinter Grand Jardin, by Snitzel’s sire Redoute’s Choice.

Modern Wonder is the sixth stakeswinner by Snitzel out of a mare by a grandson of Mr. Prospector, a group that includes Arrowfield graduates Sweet Idea and Oakleigh Girl.

New Group performer for Smart Missile

The Phillip Stokes-trained filly Smart Manoeuvre has joined Sassy ‘N’ Smart and Smart Amelia to give Smart Missile three Group performers from his first crop – more than Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt at the same stage of their careers.

Smart Manoeuvre’s effort impressed because she had to circle the field round the home turn to put herself in contention and, although Tris had already pinched the winning break on the rail, Smart Manoeuvre found enough to challenge Ariaz (by Charge Forward) for second, missing by a head.

Watch Smart Manoeuvre’s 3rd in the SAJC Breeders’ S. G3.

Raced by a partnership including Mill Park Stud and her breeders Ray Bradmore and Wayne Raven, Smart Manoeuvre is the first foal of the stakes-placed city winner Furline (by Tale of the Cat), herself a daughter of dual Group 2 winner Umaline.

Smart Missile’s out-of-the-box ability on the track has been matched by his unprecedented popularity with breeders and buyers since he began stud duties at Arrowfield in 2012.

The son of Fastnet Rock has been one of Australia’s busiest stallions over the past four breeding seasons and tellingly, several leading buyers returned to buy his yearlings this year after snapping up members of his first crop in 2015.

New Zealand syndicator David Ellis at Te Akau Racing is one of them. He purchased Arrowfield’s Smart Missile-Panorama Ridge filly for $150,000 at Inglis Easter last year, named her Sassy ‘N’ Smart and watched her compile a debut win, a Listed success and a Group 2 second in her first three starts.

Ellis got to work early in the 2016 sales season, buying Smart Missile’s second-crop son out of Ocelot (by Take of the Cat) for $140,000 from Arrowfield at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Similarly, Debbie Keptis’ Woppitt Bloodstock paid $400,000 for Amarina Farm’s Smart Missile-Rain Melody filly at last year’s Magic Millions Sale. Named Missile Coda, that filly also won on debut at Kembla Grange on 2 April, three months after Woppitt Bloodstock paid $220,000 for Coolmore’s Smart Missile-Rubinacci colt on the Gold Coast.

Other repeat purchasers of Smart Missile’s yearlings include trainers Mick Price & Aquanita Racing, agents Paul Moroney, Duncan Ramage & Paul Willetts and syndicators Darby Racing, Prime Thoroughbreds, Star Thoroughbreds & Triple Crown Syndications.

Overall, at the first sessions of the Magic Millions, Inglis Easter, Melbourne Premier & Classic Sales, 66 lots by Smart Missile have sold for up to $500,000, averaging $129,772, more than six times his fee, which remains at $22,000 inc. GST.