Diplomatico is Snitzel’s 84th stakeswinner

And like Group 1 winners The Autumn Sun, Estijaab & Maid Of Heaven and Listed winner Wild Planet, Diplomatico is a graduate of Arrowfield’s Yearling “Class of 2017…

What co-trainer Michael Hawkes described as “a little race on Derby Day for three-year-olds” is a possible target for Snitzel’s 84th stakeswinner Diplomatico after his defiant victory in the $150,000 ATC Brian Crowley S. 1200m LR at Randwick on Saturday.

That “little race” is the $1 million VRC Coolmore Stud S. G1, down the famous straight six at Flemington on 3 November. It’s a big step from Listed company, but the determined manner in which Diplomatico ran down his rivals after sitting three and four wide confirmed that he is a colt on the rise.

Watch Diplomatico win the ATC Brian Crowley S. LR.

He is the third Brian Crowley winner for Snitzel after Goodfella (2017) and Hot Snitzel (2011), and Not A Single Doubt’s son Legend Of Condor completed the 2018 quinella for Arrowfield stallions.

Diplomatico is the fourth winner, after Havana (BTC Classic G3) and Hong Kong talent Jing Jing Win, from four foals out of juvenile winner and excellent broodmare Top Cuban (by Anabaa).

Co-incidentally, Top Cuban’s youngest half-sister Working From Home also earned black type on Saturday, when she was runner-up to From Within (by Not A Single Doubt) in the MRC Alinghi S. LR.

Top Cuban has since produced two colts by Redoute’s Choice and has an early positive test to his son Pariah, serving his first book of mares at Arrowfield this Spring. 

All four of Top Cuban’s progeny offered at auction have sold well, up to the $1.7 million Hong Kong agent George Moore bid for Diplomatico at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale. Paul Favretto, who bred the colt with Paul Rowe, retains a share in the ownership alongside John Moore, David Boehm & partners.

While Flemington is an option for Diplomatico, Michael Hawkes indicated that the best of him won’t be seen until his next campaign. “He has a few grades to jump but it’s all up to him, he could be in the paddock as well. We’ll just take it step by step but I can say he’ll be some horse in the Autumn.”

Diplomatico is the fifth stakeswinner to emerge from Arrowfield’s Class of 2017, after Group 1 winners The Autumn Sun (by Redoute’s Choice), Maid Of Heaven (Smart Missile) & Estijaab (Snitzel) , and Listed winner Wild Planet (Animal Kingdom).

Smart Hong Kong debut by Arrowfield graduate

On paper, Race 2 at Sha Tin on Sunday evening was a modest (at least in Hong Kong terms, with prizemoney of $A140,000) Class 4 handicap over 1200 metres.

It attracted special attention because of the debut of this year’s Hong Kong International Sale-topper, the Starcraft-Top Cuban colt bought for $360,000 from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft by the Hong Jockey Club.

He was then purchased by Liu Yu Wen for $HK8.5 million (~$A1.4 million) at the Hong Kong Sale last March and sent to trainer David Hall. The now 4YO gelding’s excellent lead-up work and two barrier trials ensured considerable interest in his first raceday appearance.

Jing Jing Win could hardly have made it look easier. He jumped out smartly and took up the running, but jockey Zac Purton was happy to let Gainfuljet cross over into the lead, allowing Jing Jing Win to settle comfortably behind him.

Purton slipped the favourite off the fence before the turn, putting him in the perfect position to attack and attack he did, just before the 300-metre mark, powering away to win by 4 lengths in 1:09.51. Three-time Hong Kong winner Winning Boy was second and Gainfuljet was third.

Watch Jing Jing Win score on debut at Sha Tin.

While acknowledging Jing Jing Win’s evident ability, David Hall did not overplay the performance. “He’s got a bit of talent, he’s done the job nicely first time and now he’s got to build on it.”

For Paul Favretto, who bred Jing Jing Win with Paul Rowe, there is much to look forward to.

He said, “We’re excited to own a mare that can produce such athletic and talented sons and for all involved: Jing Jing Win’s owner, trainer and Arrowfield. 

“We’re looking forward to seeing what he can achieve in Hong Kong, the debut of his Redoute’s Choice half-brother for Shadwell, how her Snitzel colt develops ahead of next year’s sales and her next foal by Redoute’s Choice.”

Messrs Favretto & Rowe are familiar with major Hong Kong success: they’re also co-breeders of Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup G1 winner Contentment (Hussonet-Jemison).

Top Cuban (by Anabaa) has already left Group 3 winner Havana to Starcraft and her $1.5 million Inglis Easter colt by Redoute’s Choice, named Eltizaam, will race for Sheikh Hamdan from the Hayes & Dabernig stable.

Arrowfield graduates top Hong Kong Sale

The only two Arrowfield graduates in Friday evening’s Hong Kong International Sale have topped the results of the auction, which grossed $HK100.5 million, 5.9% up on last year’s figure, for 24 lots. 

The top price of $HK8.5 million ($1,455,479) was paid by businessman Liu Yu Wen for the athletic 3YO Starcraft gelding out of Top Cuban, bred by Paul Favretto & Paul Rowe and sold by Arrowfield for $360,000 at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale. 

This is the all-time highest price for any progeny of Starcraft, and the second-highest price ever achieved at the Hong Kong Sale.

A full brother to Group 3 winner Havana, the gelding’s appeal has been enhanced by the recent outstanding performances of another Arrowfield-sold son of Starcraft. That’s Blizzard, unplaced in Sunday evening’s Hong Kong Derby HK-1,  but otherwise a top-three finisher in 11 of his 15 starts for earnings of $HK7.7 million.

Top Cuban has an impressive Redoute’s Choice colt catalogued as Lot 113 in Arrowfield’s draft for this year’s Inglis Easter Sale.

Ho Ka Kui Boniface paid the Sale’s second-highest price of $HK7 million ($1,198,630) for the 2YO colt by Manhattan Rain from La Bamba.

A half-brother to Hong Kong star Inspiration & Australian Guineas G1 winner Wandjina, he was a $700,000 purchase from Arrowfield’s offering at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale.  La Bamba’s yearling filly by Snitzel has been retained by the Stud.

Arrowfield will offer another superbly bred Manhattan Rain colt as Lot 233 at next month’s Easter Sale. He’s out of  Charming Estelle, full sister to Australian Horse of the Year Lankan Rupee.

Owner-breeder celebrates Havana's Group success

It’s typical of co-breeder and part-owner Paul Favretto that he should acknowledge everyone’s achievement except his own after Havana’s success in the $125,000 BRC Fred Best Classic 1350m G3 at Doomben on Saturday.

It was, in fact, his first stakes win as a breeder, but Paul’s first response was, “Great for the mare, stallion, stud and trainer most of all.”

Havana’s story begins with the filly Top Cuban, who was raced by Paul and good friend Paul Rowe with limited success – to be precise, one win from 13 starts. However, her pedigree (by Anabaa and descended from the US Grade 1-winning mare & producer Weber City Miss) offered hope of redemption as a broodmare.

So the two Pauls sent Top Cuban to Starcraft in 2009 and got a handsome bay colt with abundant athleticism and charisma. The decision was made to sell him at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale where he was knocked down for $290,000 to Blue Sky Thoroughbreds for their 2012 Stallion Fund.

Both Arrowfield and Paul Favretto took shares in Havana’s ownership, and added a third Paul to the story by sending him to the Scone stable of Paul Messara.

Havana’s ability was seen early in a couple of trial wins and a third placing in Criterion’s ATC Todman S. G2 in March 2013, followed by a frustrating string of unplaced efforts in black type company. The benefits of a gelding operation last Spring were evident immediately upon Havana’s return to racing in March when he broke his maiden by 4 lengths at Canterbury.

At Doomben on Saturday Havana enjoyed a good passage behind the leaders and let down powerfully in the straight to win by a length from In The Red (by Not A Single Doubt) and Dothraki.

Winning jockey Luke Nolen told Sky Racing, “I rode him once before when he was a real juvenile. I rode a placing on him when he was still a colt. I liked him then, they cut him, and I think that’s been the making of him. He’s a smart horse.”

The $350,000 Queensland Guineas G2 at Eagle Farm on 31 May is Havana’s likely next target.

In the meantime Paul Favretto & Paul Rowe can celebrate a very rewarding couple of months with Top Cuban. Havana’s yearling full brother was bought for $360,000 by the Hong Kong Jockey Club from Arrowfield’s Inglis Easter draft, and Top Cuban is in foal to Redoute’s Choice.

Havana is the 15th stakeswinner, and one of 3 stakes performers in eight days for Starcraft, who stands the 2014 season at a fee of $11,000 inc. GST.

Starcraft's son targets Autumn riches

Havana’s easy four-length victory at Canterbury on Wednesday was more than usually satisfying for his co-breeder Paul Favretto and fellow owners including Arrowfield and Blue Sky Thoroughbreds.

The handsome 3YO son of Starcraft showed his trainer Paul Messara abundant early ability and was third in the ATC Todman S. G2 as a juvenile. However, a lack of concentration undermined his raceday performances and after a frustrating Spring campaign, the decision was made to geld him.

The result was today’s sparkling win. Jockey Nash Rawiller took Havana forward from his wide barrier and they controlled the pace comfortably, then sprinted quickly at the 300-metre mark to put the race beyond doubt. Havana, who carried topweight of 59.5 kg, cut out the 1100 metres in 1:03.57, and posted 34.65 for his final 600, despite being eased down over the final fifty metres.

Paul Favretto was both thrilled and relieved. “We all thought he could win that well and I’m so glad for Paul [Messara], he’s always had massive faith in him and presented him looking magnificent today.

“He’s a totally different horse now, he really wants to race, and Nash was surprised by the way he clicked up a gear in the straight.”

Paul bred Havana in partnership with Paul Rowe and kept a share in him after he was purchased for $290,000 by Blue Sky at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Arrowfield will offer Havana’s full brother as Lot 255 at next month’s Inglis Australian Easter Sale. The Arrowfield draft includes another two Starcraft colts, full brothers to dual stakeswinner Ain’tnofallenstar and Group 3 winner Lunar Rise.

Paul Favretto says of the Top Cuban yearling, “Like Havana, he’s blossomed during his sale prep and is a very athletic mover.” Top Cuban (by Anabaa) is now in foal to Redoute’s Choice.

At this stage, Havana’s Autumn targets are the Darby Munro S. LR over 1200 metres at Rosehill on 29 March, and the $500,000 Royal Sovereign S. G2 at the same distance on the second day of The Championships at Randwick, 19 April.

Starcraft was also represented today by 2YO filly Shantra (ex Shantreusse by Danehill), who made a pleasing debut, finishing second at Kyneton for owners including Brad Spicer and her breeder Suez Thoroughbreds.