Snitzel can exceed 2YO winners' record

Snitzel equalled Without Fear’s 40-year-old season record of thirty juvenile winners in 2015/16 and now he’s on target to claim it for himself.

Remarkably, he could set a new mark well before the end of this season, because he’s already posted 16 winners – eleven more than he’d compiled by this time last year. 

So it’s perfectly apt that the latest Snitzel 2YO winner is Think Big Stud’s filly Exceeds, successful at her second start at Randwick on Saturday when she beat the favourite Eden Roc, with Kristensen and Pandemonium dead-heating for third.

Her performance franked the quality of the 2YO race at Canterbury on 31 December won by the exciting Not A Single Doubt filly From Within, from Snitzel colts Invader & Chauffeur (fifth & second respectively in the Magic Millions Classic), with Exceeds fourth.  

Watch Exceeds win at Randwick

Trainer James Cummings said of Exceeds’ win, “She had the race experience from one of Sydney’s best Saturday two-year-old races over the past few months. She was able to produce late like a really promising filly in the making.”

“It might pave the way for a nice little fillies race in the coming months. There is a race I’ve got my eye on but she’s got up over 1000m there so I’ll have to keep thinking about it. She has got a bit of style about her and pretty of improvement still to come.”

Exceeds was bred by Musk Creek Farm from Exceedingly Happy (Exceed and Excel) and purchased for $250,000 by Duncan Ramage’s DGR  Thoroughbred Services at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Exceeds is one of 12 city victors among Snitzel’s 16 2YO winners since 1 August, a group headed by Listed Inglis Banner winner Azazel, Group-placed Goodfella, and stake-placed Chauffeur & Snitzkraft.

Yet to win and good chances to do so in coming weeks are stakes-placed fillies Dinnigan & Spoils and the colt Bowerman, Friday’s impressive Rosehill trial winner Showtime, Invader and city-placed Epic Rant & Milanese Girl.   Nor is the Australian 2YO Sires’ earnings premiership beyond Snitzel’s reach. Houtzen’s Magic Millions defeat of Chauffeur gave I Am Invincible a lead, but he currently holds it by less than $130,000.

Snitzel has 10 lots catalogued for next month’s Inglis Classic Sale, including Arrowfield’s filly out of Miss Victoria and 13 lots for Inglis Melbourne Premier.

Dundeel's dozen Magic Millions yearlings: Lot 709

Success as an owner doesn’t always translate to success as a breeder and vendor, but David Kobritz, who raced Danzero and Subzero, has done it at Musk Creek Farm. The boutique operation on Victoria’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula has quickly notched up more than 20 black type graduates, including champion Pierro and Listed winners Dead Or Alive and Pinch River from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Their 13-lot 2017 consignment includes Dundeel’s top-priced weanling, Lot 709, the $240,000 colt out of Cerberus Gal, a city-winning, Group-placed daughter of General Nediym. Farm Manager Darren Mackereth explains why they bought him: 

“First of all, the pedigree must match our criteria enough to make our shortlist, but I liked the cross over a speed dam-line, and as my boss David won a Golden Slipper with Danzero,  it didn’t hurt to look down the page and see his name!

“For me personally, I want any weanling or horse to come out of the stable and have an “X factor” or a presence, I like to see them relaxed and comfortable with standing still.  Temperament is key, then once they do move they need to have drive and overstep, a looseness when they move and be soft over the ground. If they have that as a weanling, they rarely lose it and this colt has all these things in spades.”   

The six months leading into the sale preparation is a crucial stage of development and Darren monitors all the Musk Creek yearlings very closely during that period.

He says, “The Cerberus Gal colt has developed well – our winters can be long and a bit tough, and combined with the farm’s undulating country, it’s testing, but it makes horses out of them and keeps their growth and weight in check.

“He’s thrived during sales prep so far and is really growing and developing now, though he’s a while away from peaking yet with mid-January in mind, and is still changing his coat and losing hair. He enjoys his work, handles it well so far and always eats up, something I like to see in a young horse.”

Darren admits that Dundeel wasn’t initially on his radar as a pinhook sire. “But in saying that, we seek out good types, that are athletic and a racehorse, and he was all three, and then some. We saw quite a few by Dundeel at the sales this year, but the Cerberus Gal colt was the standout for us and the one we wanted to take home, so we went about securing him.” 

The rest of the Musk Creek Magic Millions yearlings are also coming along nicely, among them a colt (Lot 684) and a filly (Lot 40) by barnmates of Dundeel.

Darren reports, “We’re all very impressed with a home-bred Snitzel colt out of a nice young mare Brandish. He was a cracking foal and is developing into a powerful jump-and-run type with plenty of quality about him.

“The other is a precocious Not A Single Doubt filly, also a home-bred, who is a half-sister to the Tony McEvoy-trained colt Nistaan, a fast-finishing second in the Magic Millions Clockwise two-year-old race at Ballarat. He’s now heading to Sydney for a run and then maybe up to the Gold Coast if all goes well. The filly is a relaxed customer, nothing fazes her, and like most by Not A Single Doubt, she does well on very little feed!”

The sale-ring provided a major highlight for Musk Creek this year when the Stratum half-sister to Sunday evening’s valiant Hong Kong Sprint G1 runner-up Lucky Bubbles, out of resident mare Bubble Below, was knocked down for $400,000 to Debbie Kepitis’ Woppitt Bloodstock & Guy Mulcaster at the Inglis Easter Sale.

Darren explains, “She was my favourite filly and it was only our second year selling a draft at Easter. She’ll get every chance with Chris Waller and his team.”

Other successful Musk Creek graduates include Group 2 winner Nicoscene, Moonee Valley speedster Beach Front and Group 1 winner Rock Kingdom who is now enjoying a new life in Darren’s care. “He’s here at Musk Creek but not retired, as he’s now my show-jumper and he loves it.”

 View the Musk Creek draft for Magic Millions.

Dundeel leads first season sires at Magic Millions

Dundeel can now add Leading First Season Sire at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale to the string of titles he earned as a racehorse.

In a buoyant, but highly selective marketplace, all six of his weanlings have sold for an average price of $143,333 – more than five times his service fee, which remains at $27,500 inc. GST this year.

Top price of $240,000 was paid for a colt described by buyer Tim Stewart, acting on behalf of Musk Creek Farm as “a must-have.” Offered by the Hodges family’s Riversdale Farm, he’s the third foal of Group-placed city winner Cerberus Gal (by General Nediym), from the family of Golden Slipper winner and former Arrowfield resident Danzero.

Agent Sheamus Mills was the successful bidder at $180,000 for Bell View Park’s three-quarter brother to current season Group 3 winner Tivaci, out of Breccia (by Fastnet Rock). Breccia is a three-quarter sister to Group 1 winner Allez Wonder (by Redoute’s Choice).

Marc & Sarah Devcich cared for Dundeel at their lovely Henley Park property in New Zealand when he spelled between Australian campaigns, so it’s not too surprising they would want their own “baby Dundeel” to prepare for re-sale next year.

They joined fellow Kiwis, the van Dyk family of Prima Park, to purchase the $150,000 colt out of the Fasliyev mare Sunset Boulevard, already dam of Group 2 winner Meliora.  The colt was offered by Robyn Wise on behalf of Mary Lee & Richard Trivett’s Banchory Thoroughbreds.

Another New Zealand buyer, agent Paul Willetts, paid $140,000 for Lyndhurst Stud’s Dundeel colt from Joyful Moments (by Viking Ruler), a grand-daughter of the celebrated matron Denise’s Joy.

Dundeel’s consignment was completed by Newgate Farm’s Johan’s Toy colt ($110,000 to Ocean Warhorse, NZ) and the Arrowfield-offered filly out of smart Melbourne mare Sussuro ($40,000 to Queensland buyer Andrew McDonald).

The two-day Sale grossed more than $17 million and achieved an average price of $60,138, both figures breaking last year’s record figures. Importantly, the clearance rate also rose from last year’s 79 to 86 per cent.

Dundeel’s only entry in the Inglis Weanling Sale earlier this month, the filly out of Valda Merceda (by Hennessy), was sold by Holbrook Thoroughbreds for $90,000 to Inglis as agent.