John Messara to receive 2019 Longines & IFHA International Award of Merit

Industry leader John Messara will receive the 2019 Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit, which recognises distinguished horsemen and horsewomen for lifelong contributions to Thoroughbred racing…

Industry leader John Messara has been chosen to receive the 2019 Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit, which recognises distinguished horsemen and horsewomen for lifelong contributions to Thoroughbred racing.

He will be honoured during a ceremony on Thursday 11 April in advance of the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes G1 that Saturday in Sydney.

Representatives from both Longines and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) will be in Australia to celebrate Messara’s achievements. As the Official Partner and Official Watch of the IFHA, Swiss watchmaker Longines and the IFHA conjointly created the Award of Merit in 2013 in order to honour public figures for their outstanding contribution to the world of horse racing.

Messara has been a key figure in Australian racing for more than three decades, and he is the owner and chairman of Arrowfield Stud in New South Wales. The highly successful and respected farm, which was founded in 1985, identified, purchased and launched the career of breed-shaping champion sire Danehill in Australia and now stands his champion sire son Redoute’s Choice and champion sire grandson Snitzel.

Among his many titles, Messara has served as chairman of Racing New South Wales (December 2011- December 2016), inaugural chairman of Racing Australia (January 2014-December 2016), vice-chairman of the Asian Racing Conference (2014-2016), president of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (2007-2008), and inaugural chairman of Aushorse (2001-2008).

Previous accolades Messara has received include Life Membership of the Australian Turf Club (2016), the Thoroughbred Breeders NSW inaugural Heroic Award (2011), and appointment by the Australian government in 2008 as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Messara, who was born in 1947, attended the University of New South Wales. After graduating in 1968, he commenced work with Edwin V Nixon & Partners (Arthur Young & Co), chartered accountants, before joining the firm of Ralph King & Yuill, Member of the Sydney Stock Exchange, and establishing their European branch in Geneva, Switzerland. He returned to Australia and was elected a Member of the Sydney Stock Exchange in 1973. 

That same year, Messara married his wife, Kristine. They have four children: Dr. Louise Messara; Paul Messara, Group 1 trainer and manager, Arrowfield Stud; Michael Messara, a director of the Arrowfield Group; and media presenter and producer Susanne Gray.

John Messara is the first Australian to receive the Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit. Previous winners include the Magnier family and trainer Aidan O’Brien, the driving forces behind Coolmore and the Ballydoyle Racing Stable in Ireland; Yutaka Take, legendary Japanese jockey; the Romanet family, long renowned leaders in both the French and international world of horseracing; Jim Bolger, leading Irish trainer, owner and breeder; Alec Head, past champion trainer and patriarch of prominent stud farm Haras du Quesnay; Seth Hancock of historic Claiborne Farm in America; and the late Marcel Zarour Atanacio, former chairman of the South American organisation for the promotion of Thoroughbreds (OSAF).

About Longines
Longines has been based at Saint-Imier in Switzerland since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. Longines has built solid and lasting ties with the world of sport over the years, with a wealth of experience as timekeeper for sports championships around the globe and a partner of numerous international sports federations. Renowned for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of Swatch Group Ltd., the world’s leading watch manufacturer. Known by its winged hourglass logo, the brand is today present in over 150 different countries.

About the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA)
The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is the world peak body for the international sport of Thoroughbred racing. Its 60 members are the national racing authorities across the globe which stage Thoroughbred races.

Major areas of the IFHA’s activities include:

  • Making and amending the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering (the IABRW)
  • Policy development relating to welfare and safety of horses and riders
  • International Race Planning and Grading (“black type”)
  • World Rankings
  • The fight against Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
  • Harmonization of Race Day Rules
  • Certification of IFHA Reference Labs
  • Fostering commercial development of the racing industry globally

The IFHA is a foundation member with Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) of the International Horse Sports Confederation and is affiliated to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

2019 Magic Millions draft online now

As Australia’s leading yearling vendor – and more importantly, the source of 11 Group 1 winners since 2014 – Arrowfield can expect to be among the busiest teams at Magic Millions in January where the Stud will present 64 yearlings…

This week’s online release of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale catalogue marks the launch of the 2019 Australian sales season.

It kicks off months of prepping & parading, inspecting & researching, hosting & marketing, bidding, auctioning & buying by thousands of stud & sale company staff, agents, vets, trainers & owners. 

As Australia’s leading yearling vendor – and more importantly, the source of 11 Group 1 winners since 2014 – Arrowfield can expect to be among the busiest teams at Magic Millions in January where the Stud will present 64 yearlings. 

Click here for the full Arrowfield draft list for the 2019 Magic Millions Sale.

First-crop yearlings always attract plenty of interest as buyers assess how they shape up against what their sires are expected to leave and what the market wants. 

Arrowfield launches the first crops of two superbly qualified young stallions in 2019, representing the dominant sire-lines of Japan and Australia. 

Real Impact made an immediate impact at the highest level of Australian racing with a superlative victory in the 2015 ATC George Ryder S. G1. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Real Impact put himself up as the first son of Japanese supersire Deep Impact to stand in Australia with a stunning ATC George Ryder S. G1 victory in 2015, on top of his history-making Yasuda Kinen G1 success as a three-year-old. He has 18 lots on offer at Magic Millions, among them six colts and 7 fillies in Arrowfield’s  consignment.

The Stud’s General Manager Paul Messara highlights Lot 231, the Real Impact-Timeless Choice colt as “a strong, athletic type, with a great hind-quarter and strong through the shoulder.”

Lot 443, Real Impact’s daughter out of US Grade 2 winner Cat By The Tale is also powerfully made, “a compact filly that looks like an early type.” 

Real Impact yearlings will also be offered by Baramul, Edenglassie, Lyndhurst & Westbury Studs, and Musk Creek Farm.

Arrowfield has not so far missed the mark with a son of the great Redoute’s Choice (think Snitzel, Not A Single Doubt & Beneteau) and that alone puts the first yearlings by Scissor Kick into the “must-see” category.

Scissor Kick was a star sprinting 3YO, winning twice in quality Group company & earning admiration for his courageous 2nd in the ATC Golden Rose S. G1. (PHOTO: Lisa Grimm)

Paul Messara knows Scissor Kick particularly well, as he trained the charismatic colt for double Group 3 success and a memorable Golden Rose G1 second. He picks out Lot 553, the Esprit Hi colt as very much in the mould of his sire. “He’s a lovely colt, with plenty of size and scope, and attractively marked like dad.”

A busy parade schedule is guaranteed for the 18 yearlings by the legendary Redoute’s Choice himself and his sensational sons, two-time Champion Sire Snitzel and leading sire Not A Single Doubt.

Star lots most definitely include full same-sex siblings to Snitzel’s Champion 2YO Estijaab (Lot 63), Redoute’s Choice’s Champion South African 2YO Colt Mustaaqeem (Lot 850), and Not A Single Doubt’s Group 1-winning daughter Secret Agenda (Lot 853).

2018 Champion 2YO ESTIJAAB

2018 Champion 2YO ESTIJAAB

2018 Champion 2YO ESTIJAAB

Champion South African 2YO Colt MUSTAAQEEM

Champion South African 2YO Colt MUSTAAQEEM

Champion South African 2YO Colt MUSTAAQEEM

Group 1 winner SECRET AGENDA

Group 1 winner SECRET AGENDA

Group 1 winner SECRET AGENDA

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Buyers won’t miss Lot 839, the Redoute’s Choice-Mount Zero filly either. As Paul says, “She’s outstanding, the kind of high quality filly that Redoute’s Choice is famous for.”

Yearlings from the second and third crops of promising young sires often represent excellent value at Magic Millions, and that puts Dundeel and Olympic Glory right in the frame in 2019.

Arrowfield will offer seven colts and a filly represent by six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel whose first 17 winners include 2YO Group winner Irukandji and Group-placed 3YO Dealmaker.

Lot 535, colt out of Dual Star (by Starcraft and descended from Blue Diamond G1 winner True Jewels) is “a forward type of Dundeel, he’s an August foal with plenty of substance.”

With 18 winners including French stakeswinner Watch Me from his first-crop European runners on the board, top-class European sprinter-miler Olympic Glory has four colts and three fillies in Arrowfield’s draft.

Lot 295, the colt out of Wingstack (by Lonhro from the family of Charge Forward) will appeal  to buyers as “a racy and athletic Magic Millions type.”

A pair of first-crop colts by Redoute’s Choice Group winner Panzer Division, and interesting single lots by Deep Impact, Lord Kanaloa, Exceed and Excel, Nicconi, Sebring, Smart Missile, Spill The Beans, Wandjina and Written Tycoon complete a consignment of yearlings that will surely generate plenty of success and pleasure for their buyers in the years ahead. 

Snitzel 2YO colt wins South African stakes

Arrowfield’s famous black and yellow silks were carried to a stunning stakes victory overnight when Snitzel’s 2YO son Traces landed the R150,000 Kenilworth Summer Juvenile S. 1000m LR at his second start.

Sent to South Africa last July after an injury left him blind in his near-side eye, and so unable to race in Australia, Traces is raced by Arrowfield in partnership with Ridgemont Racing and trained by Brett Crawford. The connection was made by Paul Messara with Ridgemont’s Craig & Ross Kieswetter who have enjoyed Group 1 success with Arrowfield’s Inglis Easter graduate Whisky Baron. 

Traces obviously benefited from his first-up run, when all of his opponents were on his blind side, and was produced with perfect timing by jockey Greg Cheyne at the 200-metre mark. He finished off strongly to score by 2.25 lengths from the favourite Carlita and Royal Italian.

Bred by Arrowfield with long-time breeding partner John Leaver, Traces is the first foal of Traceability, an unraced daughter of Charge Forward and Urge To Merge, and so a half-sister to Group 1 winners Master Of Design and Suntagonal. This is, of course, the wonderful Princess Tracy family, also responsible for Australian Horse of the Year Typhoon Tracy and her South African champion dam Tracy’s Element.

Traceability’s second foal, a colt by Redoute’s Choice, was bought for $750,000 by Hawkes Racing at the Magic Millions Sale earlier this month. The mating with Redoute’s Choice has been repeated twice, resulting in a 2017 colt and a foal-to-come by the three-time Champion Sire. 

Traces is the 21st worldwide stakeswinner for Snitzel this season, and the sixth stakeswinner for former Arrowfield resident Charge Forward as a damsire, a group headed by Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign and Magic Millions winner Sunlight. 

The colt is Snitzel’s second South African stakeswinner, after Arrowfield Inglis Easter graduate Heavenly Blue, winner of the Turffontein SA Classic G1 last April.

Snitzel has two fillies and a colt on offer at next month’s Inglis Classic Sale, and buyers looking for yearlings out of Charge Forward mares will find eight at Classic, including Lots 54 and 506 in Arrowfield’s draft.

Damien's journey from newbie to horseman

Not growing up surrounded by horses has been no barrier for Arrowfield employee Damien Fitton, whose passion and enthusiasm for the thoroughbred industry has allowed him to establish a rewarding career. He recently returned home to Arrowfield having completed the Irish National Stud Breeding Course as a scholar sponsored by the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

Damien was first introduced to the world of horse racing at a young age when he attended races on the weekend with his dad and brother. Attracted to the athleticism and energy of the horses, Damien found it wasn’t long until he was hooked and yearning to learn more.

As fate would have it, one day at the races Damien met trainer Gai Waterhouse and her then-Racing Manager, Bruce Slade. With enthusiasm and confidence on his side Damien spoke about his passion for the sport and his lack of experience with horses.

It was quickly organised that Damien would join the Waterhouse Stable to complete his Year 10 work experience and gain an insight to the industry. He’d never touched a horse before joining the Stable, but with the encouragement and kindness of Mark Newnham and a gentle mare by the name of Kontiki Dane, Damien was soon handling thoroughbreds with confidence.

At the end of his work experience Damien was even more passionate about the industry and planned to drop out of school to continue working. However, a stern word from Gai convinced him that finishing his education was important, and he commenced a school-based apprenticeship which saw him at school for four days a week with one day spent at the stables learning about the industry. In his school holidays Damien would pack up and head to the stables to pursue his practical education. After finishing school, Damien continued working with Gai and was promoted to  Foreman just after his 18th birthday.

Damien joined the Arrowfield team in 2016 to gain a more holistic view of the industry. “I joined Arrowfield because I wanted to learn about the other half of the industry. I was lucky to join a stud where I was able to participate in the full operation of serving, foaling and sales.”

Fellow workers who were graduates of the Irish National Stud breeding course told him about the program and Paul Messara encouraged him to apply. Paul nominated Damien for the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association Irish National Stud Scholarship and within a week of his interview Damien received the news that he was the recipient of the 2017 Scholarship.

Pictured:  HTBA Irish National Stud scholar Damien with Champion Sire Galileo at Coolmore Ireland. 

Life on the breeding program involved daily stud work as well as evening lectures and classes. Students were involved in assisting with daily vet work as well as night watch and foaling. A particular highlight of the course was when Damien foaled down one of the best National Hunt mares in Europe, Quevega, who gave birth with no complications to a healthy colt by Walk In The Park. In the classroom Damien particularly enjoyed John Osborne’s lectures on purchasing stallions, as well as lectures by veterinarians which provided him with a more technical understanding of the breeding process.

Damien has returned to Arrowfield with a new skill set and increased ability. “My horsemanship skills have definitely increased, and I am far more capable and experienced in all aspects of my job. In particular, I have a grounded understanding of the entire breeding process and I’m able to evaluate all situations with more depth having learnt the European ways of doing things and comparing those methods to those used back here.”

Damien also credits course co-ordinator Sally Carroll for encouraging him to step outside his comfort zone and increase his communication skills. “Whenever visitors were on a tour of the stud Sally would encourage me to explain processes to them. I had no previous experience speaking in front of large groups, but doing this really gave me a lot of confidence to talk to people and teach them about the industry.”

So far Damien’s Arrowfield highlight is being a part of the 2017 Magic Millions sales team, and seeing Dundeel become the Leading First Crop Sire by sale average. As for the future, Damien hopes to “continue learning and progressing within the industry. My long-term goal is to become a bloodstock agent.

“I am also very passionate about encouraging younger people to become involved with the industry. Coming from a background where I didn’t grow up with horses, I feel so lucky to now be involved with such a dynamic industry and I would love to encourage other young people to pursue this path too.”

When asked what the experience meant to him, Damien replied with a smile, “The Irish National Stud Breeding program allowed me to develop not only as a horseman, but as an employee and as a person. I will forever be grateful to the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association for believing in me and for sponsoring me on this learning trip.

“I would also like to thank Gai Waterhouse for giving me such a good start, and John and Paul Messara for recommending me for the Scholarship and for encouraging all employees at Arrowfield to achieve their personal best. And finally to my family and friends – thank you for backing me always.”

Michelle Nichols honoured with HTBA award

The team at Arrowfield has celebrated many successes this season, but the announcement of Stud Secretary Michelle Nichols as the 2017 Hunter Valley Breeders Association Employee of the Year (Administration) is a particularly special highlight. 

Michelle was honoured at the HTBA’s 26th annual Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening, one of many events scheduled during the Scone & Upper Hunter Horse Festival, which concludes with the Darley Scone Cup Carnival on Friday and Saturday.

Michelle’s high level of professional performance and dedication to her work at Arrowfield during a period of great change and progress has been, and continues to be very valuable.

Michelle joined Arrowfield in 1998 and her role as Stud Secretary gives her responsibility for all administrative operations at the farm, notably the management of more than a thousand stallion bookings during the breeding season. The respect and gratitude that farm managers, stud administrators and broodmare owners express for Michelle’s work is the best testament to her effectiveness in this vital and challenging role.

She is also held in very high regard by her Arrowfield colleagues who can always rely on her efficiency and personal support.

Arrowfield Chairman John Messara says, “Michelle is one of the mainstays of Arrowfield, and her integrity, accuracy and diligence are all impeccable. Just as her home is the first building most visitors see at Arrowfield, so Michelle is the first port of call for our staff and clients, and she never fails to provide the advice, information and assistance they need.”

A second Arrowfielder, Broodmare Farm Manager Nigel Bentley, was a finalist for the Employee of the Year (Horsemanship) Award, won by Daniel Krzanic of Coolmore Australia.

Paul Messara collected two other awards during the evening: the HTBA Champion Sire Award, won by Snitzel, and the HTBA Champion 2YO Colt Award, won by Group 1 winner Invader (Snitzel-Flame of Sydney), and accepted on behalf of the colt’s breeder Michael Pitt. Invader was bred and raised at Arrowfield and sold through the Arrowfield draft on behalf of Mr Pitt. Those awards were sponsored respectively by William Inglis & Sons and International Animal Health Products.

Animal Kingdom's first stakes performer

First season sire Animal Kingdom posted his first stakes performer when 2YO Lord Cecil finished strongly for third in Saturday’s Gold Coast TC Ken Russell Memorial Classic 1200m G3.

Lord Cecil’s late surge took him within a length of the winner Taking Aim and runner-up Dissolution (by Snitzel), and under-lined the promise of his debut win at Muswellbrook on 21 April. Trained by Paul Messara for Arrowfield, Lord Cecil is nominated for the J.J. Atkins G1 on 10 June over what should be a very suitable 1600 metres.

The gelding was bred by Arrowfield in partnership with Klawervlei Stud and is a half-brother to the very good juvenile Time For War (by Snitzel). Their dam Lady Zabelia (by Zabeel), from the family of champion Might and Power, has a yearling filly by Snitzel bought for $170,000 by Darby Racing & De Burgh Equine at the Magic Millions Sale and a weanling colt, also by Snitzel. Lady Zabelia is in foal to Olympic Glory.

Animal Kingdom, whose second-crop yearlings have sold up to $340,000 in 2017, has three Australian winners (Earth Angel, Platinum & Lord Cecil) and six placegetters from 13 first-crop runners.

First American winner for Animal Kingdom

The name of Animal Kingdom’s first US starter and winner, 2YO filly Sunny Skies, may well turn out to be an accurate forecast of the young sire’s prospects as he begins to build momentum with his first crop runners in both hemispheres. 

Smart showings at a series of local breezes ensured strong betting support for Sunny Skies when she lined up over 4.5 furlongs (900 metres) at Keeneland on Thursday and she duly delivered, taking an early lead and opening up in the home straight to score an unpressured nine-length victory.

Watch Sunny Skies win on debut at Keeneland. (Race replay courtesy of TDN)

A daughter of the unraced mare Skyscape (by Marquetry), Sunny Skies is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Sky Cape and is trained by Kenny McPeek for owner-breeder Nancy Polk’s Normandy Farm. 

It’s been a good week for Animal Kingdom who posted his third Australian winner, after Earth Angel & Platinum, when the Paul Messara-trained Arrowfield 2YO gelding Lord Cecil (ex Lady Zabelia by Zabeel) won his debut at Muswellbrook on 21 April.

He also added a couple of new placegetters when Table Mountain (ex Aliyana Tilde by Snitzel) and Barbary (ex Amatista by Scenic) filled the placings in a juvenile handicap at Wyong on 27 April.

Arrowfield mourns Weatherly

The death of the gorgeous and enormously talented 3YO colt Weatherly, euthanased after fracturing a sesamoid at Canterbury on 31 December, is deeply felt by his owner-breeder Mr Oussama Aboughazale and by everyone at Arrowfield, in particular his trainer Paul Messara, his devoted strapper & friend Leah Gavranich and the Arrowfield Training Centre team.

As Paul wrote on his Facebook page, “We loved him and he was the star of our team. Above all he was a beautiful animal that we will miss having around. Thank you to all the racing team and especially Leah who has gone above and beyond to care for Weatherly.”

Fate sometimes seems to decree that great gifts are accompanied by ill fortune and that is certainly how it feels with Weatherly, whose four-start career featured a breath-taking victory in last February’s VRC Talindert S. LR.

Watch Weatherly win the VRC Talindert S. LR

It looked like a step on the way to stardom, as success in the same race had been for Miss Finland, Star Witness and All Too Hard. A Group 2 third followed in Sydney behind Kiss And Make Up and subsequent Golden Slipper winner Capitalist, but it was the prospect of his 3YO career that really excited Paul Messara.

The colt’s preparation sharpened with trial wins at Scone in October and Rosehill in November, before his eagerly awaited return at Canterbury on the last day of the year. It all ended soon after the start of the 3YO 1100-metre contest when Weatherly faltered abruptly, and was restrained out of the race by jockey Andrew Adkins, with an injury severe enough to make euthanasia the only option.

Weatherly’s death deepens the loss of his sire Beneteau, also an exceptional, but unfulfilled racing talent who died almost exactly three years ago after only two seasons on Arrowfield’s roster. The nine stakeswinners and 11 other stakes performers he’s so far left from his 136 named foals make him an even bigger absence from the ranks of Australian stallions than the celebrated Star Watch (10 stakeswinners & four stakes performers from 119 named foals).

But that’s not the end of it. Weatherly’s dam Luna Bella (by Stravinsky), an unraced sister to Group 2 winner Hips Don’t Lie, died during foaling in September 2015. The foal, a filly by Redoute’s Choice (and so a three-quarter sister to Weatherly) was saved by the prompt action of Arrowfield’s veterinary team and Operations Manager David Morrissey, who took the filly to Scone Equine Hospital.

Mr Aboughazale’s loss is acute, because he bred and owned all these horses, Beneteau, Luna Bella & Weatherly and, in partnership with Arrowfield, has managed to breed only three foals from Slice Of Paradise since Beneteau’s birth in 2007. He will retain the Redoute’s Choice-Luna Bella filly, but will offer the Snitzel-Slice Of Paradise colt at this year’s Inglis Easter Sale.

Redoute's Choice sons end 2016 with a flourish

Arrowfield’s sire sons of Redoute’s Choice have been among the big stories of 2016 and they ended the year on Saturday with a final flourish of success, tempered by the death of Beneteau’s brilliant son Weatherly in Sydney.

Not A Single Doubt opened the batting with the debut at Canterbury of his 2YO daughter From Within (ex Zimaretto by Anabaa) from the Chris Waller yard for owners Mark Sowerby and Raffles Racing.

From Within duly delivered, with a trio of Snitzels, the colts Invader & Chauffeur and the filly Exceeds, chasing her home. The filly’s official winning margin of 1.25 lengths could have been considerably more, because Glyn Schofield eased her down in the closing stages, and she still ran the final 600 metres in 34.80.

Watch From Within’s debut victory at Canterbury.

Bookmakers immediately made her favourite for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (R) LR on 14 January, and her trainer Chris Waller indicated that, much like Not A Single Doubt’s 2011 Magic Millions winner Karuta Queen, she has everything it takes to win the race. 

“She’s a ready-made two-year-old, very professional. Has speed, manners, knows that to do, relaxes and switches off.”

Snitzel quickly set about filling his side of the ledger, winning the next race at Canterbury with Spending To Win and the card’s feature race, the $150,000 Canterbury Classic 1200m LR with his 47th stakeswinner, Le Cordon Bleu.

Spending To Win, a grey son of the Invincible Spirit mare Madame Trop Vite, secured a strong maiden success on his return from tie-back surgery. The 3YO colt had shown good ability in three juvenile placings and jockey Blake Shinn was enthusiastic about his performance over 1100m in class record time of 1:03.86.

“The horse did a great job. Had to do a bit of work early to get across and travelled really nicely. First-up today off a relatively quick tempo was a fantastic effort.”

Sadly, it was after this race that Weatherly, the son of Beneteau and Luna Bella trained by Paul Messara for Sumaya Stables, was euthanased after fracturing his near-fore sesamoid about 600 metres after the start. The stunning colt made a very favourable impression when he won last season’s VRC Talindert S. LR and he seemed likely to be one of Sydney racing’s Autumn 2017 stars. His death compounds the loss of Beneteau who died almost three years ago and has now compiled 20 stakes performers from 91 runners.

6YO gelding Le Cordon Bleu (ex Ultimate Fever by Gold Fever) rewarded the patience of his breeder Luskin Park Stud, Wilf & Rosemary Mula and their fellow owners when he drove home from well of the pace to win the Canterbury Classic by almost a length from Wouldn’t It Be Nice and Grunderzeit.

Watch Le Cordon Bleu win the ATC Canterbury Classic LR.

Trained by Hawkes Racing, Le Cordon Bleu has now won five of his 16 starts for prizemoney of almost $350,000.

Between those two city victories, Corumbene Stud’s promising 3YO Treviso gave Snitzel a win at Gosford, where he won on debut last June before finishing third behind Russian Revolution and Morton’s Fork at Randwick.

Not A Single Doubt and Snitzel have made a big impact on 2016 racing with 27 winners of 44 Group & Listed Races between them, and sit third and fourth on the current Australian Sires’ list with collective prizemoney of almost $10 million. Vendors of their 79 yearlings on offer at the Magic Millions  Sale can look forward to being very busy indeed when parading starts at the Gold Coast later this week.

Animal Kingdom filly makes $400,000 at Keeneland

Animal Kingdom, whose first Australian-bred 2YOs run this season, began the US sales season with a $US310,000 filly at Saratoga and has followed up with strong results by his first NH-bred yearlings at the Keeneland September Sale.

His top price in Book 1 was $US400,000, paid for his daughter out of Eltimaas (by Ghostzapper). The filly’s pedigree was given a significant update when her half-brother Drefong won the King’s Bishop G1 on 27 August, and Drefong’s owner, Juddmonte Farm, was the winning bidder.

Also in Book 1, Lot 38 from the Taylor Made consignment, a filly out of multiple stakeswinner and G3-placed Somethinaboutbetty (by Forestry), sold for $US300,000 to Animal Kingdom’s racing owner Team Valor International. 

Since then, the Dubai World Cup champion has added the $US350,000 Queens Carousel colt and the $US210,000 filly out of Blumen (by Dynaformer). With three of the Sale’s six books completed, Animal Kingdom is averaging just over $US118,000 for 31 lots sold.

Animal Kingdom’s first Australian crop averaged $186,000 at the major 2016 sales, with a top price of $310,000 paid by New Zealand owner Roger Blunt for Arrowfield’s stunning filly out of Cat By The Tale at Magic Millions.

After covering three full books at Darley’s Jonabell Farm, Animal Kingdom has been rested from his Australian duties this Spring and returns to Arrowfield in 2017.

The Arrowfield stable includes several Animal Kingdom 2YOs to be trained by David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, Team Hawkes, Nigel Blackiston, Grahame Begg,  John Sargent, Marcus Wilson & Paul Messara.