Every hour matters in life but some hours definitely matter more than others.
For the Arrowfield firm of Redoute’s Choice & Sons it’s going to be hard to beat the 120 minutes on Saturday afternoon, 6 February, when Not A Single Doubt, Snitzel & Beneteau each added a Group 3 victory to their already outstanding stud records. A Sydney Listed Race success gave Beneteau a second stakeswinner, and took the trio’s tally of stakes successes to four for the day.
First up was 2YO colt Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt-Extremely by Hussonet) who made the $150,000 MRC Chairman’s S. 1000m G3 look like an enjoyable outing when he romped home by 4.5 lengths from Highland Beat & Gratwick in 57.09.
Bred by Lloyd Walker & Bob Hogno with the Ferguson family’s Bell River Thoroughbreds, Extreme Choice was a $100,000 buy from the Inglis Classic Sale for trainer Mick Price and his Bloodstock Manager Luke Wilkinson. Sent for his December debut to Sydney, Extreme Choice returned that purchase price and plenty more in the $500,000 ATC Inglis Nursery (R) LR.
Price said after the colt’s Caulfield win, “He’s a little natural, the perfect sort of two-year-old and a real professional. I look at him in the same light as Samaready. When Ollie [Damien Oliver] let him go and he went clear, he pricked his ears and relaxed.”
Samaready won the 2012 MRC Blue Diamond S. G1 and Extreme Choice is the clear fixed odds favourite for the $1.5 million 2016 Blue Diamond on 27 February.
Not A Single Doubt is having his best-ever season in Australia, where he has seven stakeswinners, heads the 3YO Sires’ list, chases Written Tycoon & Snitzel on the 2YO Sires’ table, leads the General Sires’ list by wins and winners and draws ever closer to Street Cry at the top of the earnings table.
The focus then shifted to Randwick where 2YO filly Twist Tops (Beneteau-Imtops by Snippets’ son High Rolling) claimed a lucrative maiden win at her fourth start, in the $250,000 ATC Inglis 2YO Classic 1200m (R) LR.
Trained by Kris Lees, Twist Tops was bred by Bob Hannon, also breeder of Snitzel’s dual Group 1-winning son Shamus Award, and passed through the ring without finding a buyer at last year’s Inglis Classic Sale.
A year later the filly put up a very determined effort to hold out Soviet Secret and Can’t Find Snippy, as jockey Tommy Berry explained, “She was out on her feet the last 100 metres, but her toughness kicked in.”
Less than 90 minutes after Twist Tops’ victory, Snitzel completed the three-son sequence of stakes victories when Arrowfield’s own 3YO colt Spill The Beans (ex Miss Dodwell by Falbrav) decisively won the $150,000 ATC Eskimo Prince S. 1200m G3.
Spill The Beans shared the early lead with Voilier and Zoutenant, then took charge 300 metres out and sprinted away to score by 1.75 lengths in 1:10.67 from Le Romain and Counterattack (by Redoute’s Choice).
It was a fine training effort by “Mr Snitzel”, Gerald Ryan to prepare the colt for a top effort first-up this campaign, and a nicely judged ride by Tim Clark who gave Racenet a succinct summary of Spill The Beans’ performance: “Good strong win. Good on-speed horse. Tough and gave a strong kick. Plenty of merit in his win.”
From the family of Group 1 winners Bounding Away, Glastonbury and Speak Fondly, Spill The Beans was offered by Arrowfield at the 2014 Inglis Classic Sale, but failed to meet his reserve. He has now earned more than $200,000 with three wins – two of them as a 2YO – and is Snitzel’s 34th individual stakeswinner.
Miss Dodwell has an unraced 2YO filly, Kenedna (by Not A Single Doubt) in the Darren Weir stable, yearling & weanling fillies by Smart Missile and is in foal again to Snitzel.
But the black type hat-trick wasn’t enough for the Redoute’s Choice clan. Beneteau – whose 2YO daughter Hussterical had also won at Newcastle earlier in the day – added a new Group winner to his record when 3YO gelding Puritan (ex Mina by Dracula) swamped his rivals late to claim the $150,000 Manfred S. 1200m G3.
Bred by Cox Stewart Thoroughbreds, Puritan was sold initially for $46,000 from the Crowningstone draft at the Inglis Classic Sale, then purchased by his trainer & part-owner Jason Warren for $80,000 at the 2014 NZ Ready to Run Sale. He’s now won two of his four starts and almost $112,000.
Beneteau’s death in January 2013 is now looking like a major loss for the Australian breeding industry. His two crops have already produced a pair of Group winners, two Listed winners and six other stakes performers, and after today’s racing he joins Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt in the top five on the Australian 2YO Sires’ list.