Arrowfield applauds Yasuda Kinen trifecta

Arrowfield has several connections to Indy Champ, Aerolithe & Almond Eye who filled the trifecta in the record-breaking Yasuda Kinen G1…

It’s not so long ago that including a major Australian stud in a story on a Japanese Group 1 trifecta would have been considered as unlikely as the Japanese rugby team beating the Springboks  – which they did at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

There is no longer any surprise, or doubt about Japan’s pre-eminence in global thoroughbred breeding & racing, and Arrowfield’s connections with the first three horses home in Sunday’s Tokyo Yasuda Kinen 1600m G1 are cause for celebration rather than astonishment. 

This year’s contest generated more-than-usual excitement and attracted a 74,000-strong crowd keen to see 2018 Horse of the Year Almond Eye (by 2013 Yasuda Kinen winner Lord Kanaloa) take on a quality field headed by Danon Premium (by Deep Impact), Aerolithe (by Kurofune), Indy Champ (by Stay Gold) and Stelvio (by Lord Kanaloa).

Indy Champ surges to victory in the Yasuda Kinen G1. (PHOTO: Japan Racing Association)

The race certainly lived up to the hype without delivering the widely expected sixth consecutive Group 1 victory for Almond Eye, who was badly hampered immediately after the start by Logi Cry’s abrupt move sideways from gate 16, earning champion jockey Yutake Take a one-meeting suspension.

5YO mare Aerolithe set a strong pace in front, stuck on bravely for second and deserves credit for the sensational new race record time of 1:30.9 she shared in a thrilling finish with the winner Indy Champ, who caught her just before the line, and third-placed Almond Eye, who sprinted the last 600 metres in 32.4 and missed victory by a neck and a nose.  

The result is a notable triumph for Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Racing which bred all three placegetters, and the Yoshida-managed syndicates Sunday Racing (Aerolithe) & Silk Racing (Indy Champ & Almond Eye).

It’s also notable that fifth-placed Sungrazer was the closest of  Deep Impact’s four runners in the race. However, the 7-time Champion Sire is once again in charge of Japan’s General Sires’ Premiership, with prizemoney of almost $A50 million – more than twice the earnings of his nearest challenger Stay Gold.

As for the Arrowfield connections, Indy Champ’s dam Will Power (by King Kamehemeha) is a half-sister to Deep Impact’s dual Group 1-winning son Real Impact,  whose first Arrowfield-conceived 2YOs race next season.

Aerolithe’s dam Asterix (by Neo Universe) is a half-sister to the dam of dual Group 1 winner and Arrowfield sire Mikki Isle whose first Australian yearlings sell next year.

Asterix  herself has had four foals in Australia for Arrowfield’s joint venture with Northern Farm: city-winning 3YO filly Achondrite (by Lord Kanaloa), stakes-placed 2YO filly Akari (by Snitzel), a Redoute’s Choice yearling colt bought by Katsumi Yoshida for $400,000 at Inglis Easter and a weanling filly by Snitzel. 

Arrowfield has sold 7 yearlings by Lord Kanaloa over the past three years and is selling a pair of fillies out of the Japanese mares Dream Tiara (by Heart’s Cry) & Orgueil (by Deep Impact) at this week’s Magic Millions National Yearling Sale. 

The Japanese influence in the Stud’s final yearling draft of 2019 does not end there. Four colts and a filly by Real Impact are also on offer, alongside a Scissor Kick filly out of Glamour Stock, grand-dam of Arrowfield’s promising racemare Madame Pauline (by Redoute’s Choice). 

The Yasuda Kinen, first held in 1951 and elevated to international Group 1 status in 1993, is a fixture on the list of the world’s top-rated Group 1 races and Arrowfield stands not one, but two distinguished past winners. Real Impact became the first 3YO to win the race in 2011 and Horse of the Year Maurice won it in 2015.

Real Steel’s sister wins Japanese Oaks in record time

Real Steel’s full sister Loves Only You extended their family’s exceptional record when she stormed to a record-breaking victory in the Japanese Oaks G1…

Arrowfield’s new sire Real Steel already has plenty to recommend him, as a Group 1-winning son of Japan’s supersire Deep Impact descended from the great racemare and genuine “blue hen” Miesque. 

Loves Only You is now a Japanese Oaks G1 winner, like Champions Almond Eye, Soul Stirring & Gentildonna. (PHOTO: Japan Racing Association)

On Sunday his full sister Loves Only You burnished that solid-gold pedigree when she stormed to a record-breaking victory in the ~A$3 million Yushun Himba 2400m G1 (Japanese Oaks).

Loves Only You came into the race unbeaten in three starts, including a 3-length win in last month’s 2000-metre Hanshin Wasurenagusa Sho LR, but had missed the traditional lead-up in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas).

She showed an incredible burst of speed and stretched beautifully. She has a heart of steel and can’t stand to lose.
– Jockey Mirco Demuro on Loves Only You

She left no doubts about her brilliance and stamina when she burst through to challenge Curren Bouquetd’or (also by Deep Impact) less than 100 metres from the post, winning in 2:22.8 – 0.8 seconds faster than two-time Horse of the Year Gentildonna won the race in 2012.

 

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm, and raced by DMM Dream Club Co. Ltd, Loves Only You is the third stakeswinner her dam Loves Only Me (by Storm Cat) has left to Deep Impact, after Real Steel and Listed winner Prodigal Son. She also has an unraced 2YO filly by the 7-time Champion Sire. 

Real Steel and Loves Only Me are closely related to French Derby G1 winner Study Of Man (also by Deep Impact from a Storm Cat daughter of Miesque). Other major international performers on their shared pedigree page include multiple Group 1 winner and Champion Sire Kingmambo, Champion 3YO Fillies Alpha Centauri & East Of The Moon, Champion 2YO Filly Rumplestiltskin and Breeders’ Cup Mile G1 winner Karakontie.

A debut winner at two, Real Steel capped a stellar career at home with his Meydan Dubai Turf G1 victory on World Cup night in 2016.

Maurice foal sells for $A2.05 million

Buyers at The Foal Session of this week’s annual JRHA Sale have certainly expressed their enthusiasm for the first Northern Hemisphere foals of Japanese superstar Maurice…

Maurice’s top-priced filly foal out of Mecha Corta sold for around ten times her sire’s Japanese service fee. (PHOTO: Northern Farm/JRHA)

Buyers at The Foal Session of this week’s annual JRHA Sale have certainly expressed their enthusiasm for the first Northern Hemisphere foals of Japanese superstar Maurice.

His first entry, Northern Farm’s attractive filly out of Argentine Group 1 winner Mecha Corta (by Mr Greeley’s son El Corredor), was bought by owner Masaaki Kumeta for ¥42 million (~$508,000).

Top price honours for Maurice were achieved by Northern Farm’s $2.05 million son of Lasting Song. (PHOTO: Northern Farm/JRHA)

Thirty-two lots later, the first colt by Maurice, quickly dubbed on Twitter the “mini-Beast from the East”, was knocked down to KT Racing Co. Ltd for the Session’s third highest price of ¥170 million ($2.05 million). Also a product of Katsumi Yoshida’s famous Northern Farm, the colt is out of Lasting Song (by Fuji Kiseki) from the family of Group 1 winners Cheval Grand, Verxina and Vivlos. 

KT Racing  already owns the colt’s year-older half-brother, by Lord Kanaloa and Manager Yoshihiro Kunimochi said after his purchase that, although the price was higher than expected, he was happy to add the son of Maurice to the stable.   

Northern Farm’s Maurice-Fleeting Spirit colt was sold to G. Riviere Racing at the buoyant JRHA Select Foal Sale. (PHOTO: Northern Farm/JRHA)

Sales at the Yen equivalents of $870,000 (for the colt out of Champion European Sprinter Fleeting Spirit), $850,000, $400,000, $360,000, $350,000, $340,000 and $250,000 followed.

In all, 10 colts and 3 fillies by Maurice sold for a total of ¥544 million ($6.5 million), averaging ¥41,846,153 ($506,000), above the sale average of $488,000 – some achievement  in the world’s most extraordinary foal marketplace. 

The six-time Group 1 winner covered 121 mares in 2017, his first Australian season, and Arrowfield is preparing to welcome a tribe of “mini-Beasts” this Spring. Their dams include Group winners Brazilian Pulse, Don’t Doubt Mamma, Soft Sand, Hollow Bullet, Platinum Witness and Cat By The Tale, sisters to Pakistan Star, Lankan Rupee and Tawqeet, and daughters of champions Merlene, Alinghi and Special Harmony.  

Champion Sprinter-Miler Mikki Isle to join Arrowfield's roster

Arrowfield has announced that Mikki Isle, Japan’s Champion Sprinter & Miler of 2016, will join the Stud’s stallion roster for the 2017 season.

The handsome son of Japanese supersire Deep Impact won eight races, including two 1600-metre Group 1 events, and more than $A6 million prizemoney.

Mikki Isle quickly fulfilled the promise of his two-win juvenile season, establishing himself as Japan’s top-rated 3YO miler with victory in the Tokyo NHK Mile Cup G1, achieved with his trademark front-running pace in a time of 1:33.2.

Mikki Isle’s subsequent performances confirmed the quality of his speed. He was placed in consecutive runnings of the Chukyo Takamatsunomiya Kinen G1, and was second in last year’s Nakayama Sprinters S. G1 – all at 1200 metres.

He then sealed his award claims with a defiant, all-the-way victory in last November’s Kyoto Mile Championship G1, rated among the world’s top 100 Group 1 races of 2016.

Mikki Isle was bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm from the Rock of Gibraltar mare Star Isle, a grand-daughter of three-time US Grade 1 juvenile winner Stella Madrid, who defeated champion filly Go For Wand in the Belmont Frizette S. G1.

Now serving his first book of mares at Shadai Stallion Station, Mikki Isle will join Real Impact, also a dual Group 1-winning son of Deep Impact, on this year’s shuttle run to Arrowfield, which has acquired an interest in both horses.

Arrowfield will announce its 2017 stallion service fees after the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

 

Superlative Maurice takes out Champions Mile

Maurice crowned a day of champions at Sha Tin on 1 May 2016 with a superlative victory in the $HK14 million (~$A2.3 million) Champions Mile 1600m G1.

 “He was brilliant!” said winning rider Joao Moreira. “A machine,” was the verdict of Brett Prebble who had the closest view of Maurice’s powerful hindquarters in the run home – he was two lengths away, on board the valiant Arrowfield graduate Contentment.

Moreira enjoyed an untroubled passage on the Mrs Kazumi Yoshida’s entire, only the second overseas winner of the race after Variety Club in 2014.

Settled a handy fourth, with Contentment inside and clear ground outide him, Maurice tracked  the pace-setting Beauty Flame and close attendant Rewarding Hero, then eased three wide on the turn for home as the front pair began to toil.

With Beauty Flame mining his last reserves at the 300-metre point, Moreira shook the reins and Maurice responded with alacrity, and within fifty metres Japan’s hero had sealed the result.  He cut out the final 400 metres in a searing 21.79 to score in a time of  1:34.08.

Watch Maurice win the Hong Kong Champions Mile G1.

Moreira said, “He was lucky to get such a good position in the race, which gave me plenty of options to put him out whenever I wanted.

“He gave me so much confidence that he was going to get there any time that I was going to press the button. When I gave him the daylight he just started to get going by himself and showed what he is capable of. He’s a lovely horse and I think he can step up to a longer distance. I’m very blessed to have been given an opportunity to ride this horse today.”

Maurice magnificent in Hong Kong Cup

Japanese superstar Maurice rolled to a dramatic victory in the $HK25 million (~$A4.2 million)Longines Hong Kong Cup G1, capping a day that saw Japan and Hong Kong sweep the honours on the Sha Tin turf.

Watch Maurice win the Hong Kong Cup G1.

Maurice, a 5YO son of Screen Hero, got off to an awkward start in the Cup under jockey Ryan Moore and was third-last as the field entered the first turn. A Shin Hikari, who won last year’s Cup from the front, was out and sprinting for jockey Yutaka Take.
 
As the field hit the sweeping final turn, A Shin Hikari was seven lengths in front of the field, while Maurice was 20 lengths behind. But as the long stretch loomed, A Shin Hikari shortened stride as Maurice powered up to his magnificent best.
 
Moore came along the inside, right behind the tiring leader, swung to his outside and quickly finalised the result, winning by three lengths in 2:00.95, with Secret Weapon second and Staphanos third.
 
“That was fun,” said Moore, “When we found room to run, he just let down.”

The race was the last in Maurice’s spectacular 11-win, $12 million career for his owner Mrs Kazumi Yoshida and, as only the second horse from Japan to win three offshore Group One races, he retires as one of his country’s greatest-ever racehorses.

Global triumph for Snitzel

It proved to be a remarkable weekend for Snitzel, who was represented by three stakes winners in a little over 24 hours, taking his black type tally to 45.

But while Snitzel’s bona fides were well and truly established before Azazel ran away with the $250,000 Inglis Banner (R) LR at Moonee Valley on Saturday, before Young Man Power’s Group 3 victory in Japan, and before First Course’s first in Sunday’s Sale Cup LR, his three-peat perfectly illustrates the level of global and domestic investment in the Australian thoroughbred industry.

For instance, Azazel is the result of a long-standing joint venture between Arrowfield and one of the world’s most famous breeders in His Highness The Aga Khan.

Boasting a pedigree that includes European Champions such as Sakhee, Pressing and Mastercraftsman, Azazel was purchased by Tony McEvoy for $310,000 at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and commenced his career with a clean slate by winning the Banner comfortably.

“That win (by Azazel) was a dream result in any language and really satisfying for both us and the Aga Khan studs,” Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager, Jon Freyer, enthused. “We’ve enjoyed a strong association with the Aga Khan over many years and apart from Azazel selling well, the colt looks to have a very bright future too.

“Naturally enough, all of us have been keeping a close eye on the two crops sired by Redoute’s Choice at the Aga Khan’s French stud, Haras de Bonneval, and we’re getting a lot of good feedback from over there.”

Similarly, Haras de Bonneval’s manager, Georges Rimaud, was excited by the win of Azazel and said: “We always felt that Aga Khan families would do well in Australia and this result should boost confidence in purchasing our stock as more representatives of those families become available on the Australian market. Redoute’s Choice’s first European crop is looking very promising – we’ll now have to work on a stallion to follow in his footsteps!”

Freyer was also buoyed by the win of Young Man Power who proved too strong in the Tokyo Fuji S. 1600m G3, a third career Group victory for the 4YO entire, which takes his earnings to around A$1.8 million.

“Young Man Power is the result of another important relationship, with the Yoshida family and the Shadai Stallion Station, which shuttled Snitzel to Japan in 2007 and 2011,” Freyer explains.

“Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm bred Young Man Power, and in Australia has worked with Arrowfield to breed Group One winners Hot Snitzel, Reaan, Sweet Idea and Weekend Hussler, among many other winners.

“These kind of long-term relationships have been instrumental in the success of Arrowfield over the past three decades and now Australian racing and bloodstock auctions are attracting a whole new wave of investors from around the world.

“Another great example is five-time Group One winner, Miss Finland, who was bred by Arrowfield with the late Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum and is the dam of last year’s Thousand Guineas winner, Stay With Me.

“VRC Oaks winner, Brazilian Pulse, is yet another. She’s a granddaughter of an Aga Khan mare from Shergar’s family and she foaled a Redoute’s Choice filly last Friday for Arrowfield and Mr Yoshida.

“It’s terrific for Arrowfield of course, but more importantly, I think it underpins the faith that breeders from all over the world have in the Australian industry.”

The final leg of Snitzel’s trifecta, First Course, was bred Tasmanian thoroughbred royalty, Armidale Stud and close friends Ken & Jenny Breese.

Jon Freyer adds, “The domestic strength of our industry is equally important and that’s what First Course represents.

“The Whishaw family and the Breeses have earned great respect as breeders and vendors over several decades, and we’re very pleased to see an Arrowfield-sired horse join their list of stakeswinners.

“First Course is from Snitzel’s second crop, while Azazel is from his brand new crop of two-year-olds. A lot of success and a lot of good stories in between … and hopefully quite a few more to come. For everyone.”

Many thanks to Aushorse for this story.

Snitzel's international stakes double

Around five hours after 2YO colt Azazel won on debut at Moonee Valley, Young Man Power completed an international stakes double for Snitzel when he took out the ~$980,000 Tokyo Fuji S. 1600m G3.

He jumped well and briefly took up the lead before easing back into third on the rail. After the turn, as the leaders edged out and headed for home, Young Man Power drove through on the inside to take the lead. He galloped home strongly in a time of 1:34 to score by three-quarters of a length from Isla Bonita and Danon Platina and record his third consecutive victory from six starts this year.

Watch Young Man Power win the Tokyo Fuji S. G3.

The 4YO colt from Snitzel’s second Japanese crop has now won the equivalent of approximately $1.8 million from four wins – three at Group 3 level – and five placings in a 14-run career.

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm from the Sunday Silence mare Snapshot, Young Man Power was sold to Yusuke Hoshino for ~$165,000 at the 2013 JRHA Select Yearling Sale. He is prepared by Takahisa Tezuka for Juichi Hoshino, a combination that enjoyed Group 1 success with the 2013 Japanese One Thousand Guineas winner Ayusan.

Young Man Power is one of his sire’s eight stakeswinners this season and, with Azazel, has completed Snitzel’s eighth same-day stakes double. 

Real Impact's sibling defeats Japanese champion

While Real Impact was impressing breeders at Arrowfield’s Stallion Open House over the weekend, his three-quarter brother Neorealism was busy defeating Japanese champion Maurice in Sunday’s ~$1.7 million Sapporo Kinen 2000m G2.

Neorealism (by Sunday Silence’s champion 3YO son Neo Universe) had previously won five of his 11 starts at three & four, and earned black type status in February when third in the Kokura Daishoten G3 over 1800 metres. The 5YO chestnut entire was having his second start this campaign while Maurice, Japan’s 2015 Horse of the Year and this year’s Hong Kong Champions Mile G1 winner, was resuming after a mid-summer break.

Neorealism began well, went straight to the front, and maintained a steady tempo until the home straight where he kicked clear to score by two lengths from Maurice in 2:01.07 with Rainbow Line a neck away in third. 

Watch Neorealism win the Sapporo Kinen G2 – he’s No. 13 & Maurice is No. 15.

Neorealism’s jockey Christophe Lemaire said, “I thought there would be no front runner in this race so the plan was for him to go to the front and set a relaxed pace.

“He didn’t hate the soft ground and Maurice has excellent speed as the miler so we had to set the pace. I am sure that he has the potential to win a Grade 1. Maurice is so strong but today we defeated him.” Maurice currently holds a 124 rating, fifth-equal on the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

Like Real Impact, Neorealism was bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm and is trained by Noriyuki Hori for the racing club U. Carrot Farm. Their dam Tokio Reality (by Meadowlake) has built a formidable record as the dam of eight winners, including a third stakes-winning colt, I’ll Love Again (by Kingmambo’s Japan Cup-winning son El Condor Pasa), also Group 1-placed.

Now 22, Tokio Reality’s latest matings have all been with sons and grandsons of Sunday Silence. She has a 4YO son Realista (by Stay Gold; 4 wins in Japan), an unraced 2YO filly named Veritable (by Danon Chantilly) and a yearling filly (by Zenno Rob Roy).

Real Impact, by Japan’s supersire Deep Impact, won two of the world’s highest-rated races, the ATC George Ryder S. 1500m G1, defeating Criterion & Kermadec, and Japan’s big mile, the Tokyo Yasuda Kinen G1. He is among the 25 Group 1 winners from the first seven crops of Deep Impact who is heading towards his fifth Japanese General Sires’ Premiership with current prizemoney of ~$60 million – ~$20 million ahead of his nearest rival King Kamehameha. 

New Group winner for Snitzel in Japan

Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm has achieved many significant international successes, but on Saturday the stud made history much closer to home.

Northern Farm-bred Young Man Power became the first Japanese stakeswinner by Arrowfield’s leading young sire Snitzel, who shuttled to Japan in 2007 and 2011. He is the 29th stakeswinner and 18th Group winner by the brilliant son of Redoute’s Choice.

The 3YO colt prevailed in a desperately close finish of the Hanshin Arlington Cup G3, a 1600-metre contest on turf offering total prizemoney of approximately $760,000. Young Man Power won by a neck from Arma Waioli, with a nose back to Matenro Happiness.

Young Man Power is trained by Takahisa Tezuka for Juichi Hoshino, the team behind the Deep Impact filly Ayusan, winner of the 2013 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) G1.

Young Man Power is one of three winners out of Snapshot (by Sunday Silence), whose grand-dam is Alan Clore’s home-bred mare River Memories (by Riverman), a dual US Grade 1 winner in the 1980s.

Snitzel has had 54 winners to date from his two Japanese crops, including two Group-placed filies Leopardina & Rurinigana, and stakes-placed Floreal, as well as Young Man Power.

Among Snitzel’s seven Australian stakeswinners this season are 3YO colt Wandjina and 2YO filly Fireworks, both successful since New Year’s Day.

Snitzel was represented in Saturday’s Australasian racing by 2YO Odyssey Moon (2nd, ATC Skyline S. G2 at Warwick Farm) and new Group performer 3YO Mighty Maverick (3rd, ARC Mr Tiz Trophy G3 at Ellerslie in New Zealand).

Four yearlings by Snitzel have already sold for more than $500,000 this year, most recently the top-priced lot on the first day of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.  That was Yallambee Stud’s filly from Belle of the City, knocked down to leading South African trainer Brett Crawford for $560,000.

Nineteen lots by Snitzel will be offered during the next two days of the Sale at Oaklands.