Summer Passage wins Group 1 Sires' Produce

Snitzel’s headline-making season continued on Thursday when his 2YO son Summer Passage stepped up from Listed success at Matamata last month to take out the $200,000 ARC Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. 1200m G1.

The race, sponsored by Brendan & Jo Lindsay’s recently sold company Sistema Plastics, began with a three-horse battle for the lead as Summer Passage sped forward from the outside gate to join Ujjayyi and Felton Road. The trio settled in front and jockey Blake Shinn let Summer Passage get round the home turn before applying pressure which dropped off his co-leaders as Star Treasure and Gold Fever emerged from the pack.

However, placings were their lot as the Snitzel colt’s class shone in the final stages and he pulled away for a convincing three-quarter length win, his second from three starts since his late January debut for owner Hermitage Thoroughbreds and trainers Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott. 

Watch Summer Passage win the ARC Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. G1.

The result was also a triumph for Ron & Deb Gilbert’s Highgrove Stud, based in the famous Darling Downs region of Queensland. Summer Passage was knocked down to Wexford Stables for $800,000 at the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale and joins Group 1 winners Porto Roca & Wanted, Group 2 winner Shrapnel (by Charge Forward) and Listed winner Thronum (also by Snitzel) on the boutique farm’s graduate list.

Summer Passage is the second foal of Subsequent, a winning daughter of Encosta De Lago and he was as much a star of Highgrove’s draft as he was at Ellerslie.

Ron Gilbert recalls, “He was a very good sort. The good yearlings tend to pick themselves and this bloke certainly did that.
“They’re standouts from day one, there’s never an issue with them, they’ve very popular with potential buyers and they never turn a hair.”

Subsequent, from the family of Group 2 winner Shania Dane and Group winners Order Of The Sun (in Singapore) and Scintillation (in Hong Kong) has a yearling colt by Sebring, a weanling filly by Snitzel and is again in foal to the superstar son of Redoute’s Choice.

Summer Passage, previously nominated for the Golden Slipper, is now likely to make the trip across the Tasman for the $1 million Inglis Sires’ 1400m G1 on 1 April, the first day of The Championships at Randwick.

Snizel shows no sign of breaking his record-setting habit, with 21 stakeswinners for the season to date, and 24 individual 2YO winners, six of them stakeswinners: Summer Passage, Azazel, Ducimus, Jukebox and two of his four Golden Slipper G1 runners on Saturday, Teaspoon & Trapeze Artist.

Snitzel has 42 yearlings on offer at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale which begins on 4 April, among them Highgrove’s colt out of Simply Spiteful (by Speightstown), and six colts & 8 fillies in Arrowfield’s consignment.

Macarthur heads to Golden Horseshoe

Charge Forward’s 2YO son Macarthur’s second win at Kranji on Friday evening was even more impressive than his maiden victory a month ago.

He jumped smartly from barrier 10 in the 1200-metre IRT Juvenile Stakes and took up the lead with favourite Jupiter Gold in close attendance. Macarthur always looked more comfortable than his rivals during the race and had plenty left in to offer when Vlad Duric asked to him to sprint in the straight.

The filly Athena mounted a strong late challenge and got the better of Jupiter Gold, but Macarthur held her out by a head to score in a time of 1:10.78, cutting out the last 200 metres in 22:74.

Watch Macarthur’s IRT Juvenile Stakes win.

Steve Levar, who races Macarthur with his wife Christine and American couple Adam & Brittany Levinson under the Stars & Stripes Stable banner, was understably delighted with the gelding’s performance.
 
He says, “It was a great thrill for all of us to see win like he did and now he will more than likely be favourite for the Golden Horseshoe next month. He just keeps on improving and taking the next step each time he races and he has a great will to win.” 

Macarthur (ex Mozambique by Redoute’s Choice) was bred by the Gilberts of Highgrove Stud and offered at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, but he failed to meet his reserve. Sent to Gai Waterhouse, he trialled twice at Randwick before being sold privately to the Levar & Levinson partnership which has also enjoyed success with the Australian-bred Bugatty, bought last year from a partnership that included Deb Gilbert.

Steve Levar reports that Macarthur, who is prepared by Steven Burridge, has pulled up well after Friday’s race. “He will be given a quiet week to freshen up before we prepare him for the big one in July.”

He adds, “It’s a real credit to Ron and Debbie Gilbert who consistently breed top class thoroughbreds every year. We will definitely be taking a closer look at the Highgrove Stud yearlings next season.”

That’s good news not only for Highgrove, but also for Aushorse which sponsors the six-race Golden Horseshoe Series with the support of Inglis, Magic Millions & IRT. 

The final leg, the Golden Horseshoe Sgp-2, will be held on 8 July with prizemoney of $S325,000 plus a $S75,000 bonus for the winner if s/he was offered at an Inglis or Magic Millions Sale.  Macarthur’s cheque from last Friday’s win included a $S20,000 Auhorse bonus.

Recent Golden Horseshoe winners include Singapore Horse of the Year War Affair and Champion 2YOs Super One & Mr Big.

Well-established as a source of quality juveniles like Macarthur, Charge Forward also leaves his share of durable performers and one of them, 6YO Arrowfield graduate Bradman (ex Portrayal by Flying Spur) scored his sixth win at Flemington on Saturday.

Macarthur charges into Singapore 2YO Series

Back in August – it seems so long ago! – Gai Waterhouse was among the trainers interviewed by ANZ Bloodstock News about the stable’s most likely prospects for the new season.

One of the 2YOs Gai mentioned was a “nice colt” by Charge Forward from the Redoute’s Choice mare Mozambique. His name was Tribal and he duly appeared twice at Randwick in September, running second in a three-horse trial and then, at the Official 2YO Trials on 21 September, finishing 5th in his heat with subsequent Group 1 winner Prized Icon behind him.

Shinsoreness then held up his preparation for Queensland breeders Ron & Deb Gilbert of Highgrove Stud, who put him in training after he failed to meet his reserve at last year’s Magic Millions Sale.

Highgrove is a shareholder in Charge Forward and, as Ron says, “I’ve bred to Charge Forward every year since he went to stud, I know what a good Charge Forward looks like and Tribal was one. He was very athletic, an absolute tradesman, and I loved him.”

However, racing horses is a secondary activity for Ron. “Breeding is my passion, we’re busy and we live too far from major racetracks to get to the races very often, so most horses we race are for sale.”

That’s how a phone call from Steve Levar, the Australian-born, Singapore-based owner & CEO of iRaceMedia, led to Tribal’s sale in December 2015 to the Stars & Stripes Stable, established by the partnership of Levar & his wife Christine with US businessman Adam Levinson and his wife Brittany.

Levar, who draws on 30 years’ industry experience to manage the Stable’s six horses, had also bought Group-placed Melbourne winner Bugatty from a partnerhip including Deb Gilbert earlier in 2015. Re-named Vanderbilt in Singapore, he won his Kranji debut in September, a month after the partnership’s first runner, Risky Rockefeller, saluted the judge.

Tribal, now named Macarthur in keeping with the Stable’s American icon theme, extended this terrific run of success with an eye-catching maiden win at Kranji on Sunday.

The handsome, dark brown gelding had already begun his career on a promising note, with a third to Jupiter Gold in the Kranji Nursery Stakes on 10 April and trainer Steven Burridge was tempted to look at a leg of the 2YO Series for his next  start.

Levar suggested the 1200-metre War Affair Stakes, a restricted maiden, as a better option for the still immature Macarthur, and so it proved. Allotted 49 kg against his 3YO rivals, Macarthur shot out of gate 6, quickly crossed the field and settled comfortably in front with the other favoured runner Lim’s Dashing in close attendance.

At the top of the straight Lim’s Dashing kicked strongly, but once Macarthur balanced up, he responded with verve to hold him off by almost a length, with 4.3 lengths back to third-placed Nova Legend.

Watch Macarthur’s maiden win at Kranji.

Macarthur’s jockey A’Isisuhairi Kasim said, “I rode him in trackwork and he gave me a good feel. He’s got ability and is a real racehorse, but he’s still very green and still doesn’t know what he’s doing.

“In the straight, I didn’t pull the whip and waited for the other horse [Lim’s Dashing] to come up. That was when he responded and gave a very nice turn of foot in the last 200 metres.”

The Singapore Golden Horseshoe Series is now firmly on Macarthur’s radar, and he will be seen in the next leg on turf, the IRT Juvenile Stakes on 10 June. The Gilberts will naturally follow his progress with keen interest, but unfortunately without any further foals from Mozambique, who suffered laminitis and died two years ago.

Long Face Grace wins Pinker Pinker Plate

Pacific Bloodstock’s progressive 4YO mare Long Face Grace more than doubled her earnings on Friday evening when she proved too strong in the $100,000 Cranbourne TC Inglis Pinker Pinker Plate over 2080 metres.

The daughter of Manhattan Rain made light of her wide draw with the aid of Glen Boss who directed her towards the rail, to settle in third spot as Billie Frechette took up the pace from Trancing.

Long Face Grace rolled along easily off the pace through the middle stages and was poised to strike as the field caught Billie Frechette round the turn. Boss got to work after the mare straightened up and she kicked clear, with enough in hand to hold off the fast-finishing Zanteca by a neck. Ring Da Belle was a further 1.7 lengths away, third.

Watch Long Face Grace’s win in the Pinker Pinker Plate.

Boss said, “She’s a quality mare, I always thought she was probably looking for the 2000 or more. For an inexperienced filly, she’s got some good qualities.”

A $70,000 purchase by Pacific Bloodstock principal Mark Hoare from the 2013 Magic Millions draft of Highgrove Stud, Long Face Grace has progressed quickly in the Mark Kavanagh stable since her debut third at Yarra Valley in March. She has now won three of her last four starts and has relished each step up in distance.   

Long Face Grace is the fifth foal of Retract (by Flying Spur), a city-winning half-sister to the dam of champion filly Atlantic Jewel and Group 1 winner Commanding Jewel.

Given he is free of Danehill, it’s not surprising that Manhattan Rain (by Encosta De Lago) is proving effective with mares by the supersire’s sons. His eleven winners bred that way include his Group 2-winning son Moonovermanhattan (also from a Flying Spur mare), Group-placed pair Man Of Choice & Manhattan Avenue, and stakes-placed Right Or Wrong. 

It’s been a fruitful week for Manhattan Rain, with three notable winners in six days. 3YO filly Manrose Hattan (ex Marlena Rose by Al Samer) scored by 3 lengths over 1600 metres at Doomben last Saturday, and 4YO gelding Mr Manhattan (ex Fashion Police by Elusive Quality) was successful over 1000 metres at Warwick Farm last Monday.

Manhattan Rain has two Group 1 runners on Saturday: Moonovermanhattan in the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield, and Man Of Choice in the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.

No Long Faces around Grace

Syndicator Pacific Bloodstock hoped for a big showing from Long Face Grace at the first of Moonee Valley’s night meetings this season and that’s exactly what Manhattan Rain’s promising daughter delivered.

The 4YO mare stepped up to 1600 metres last Friday for the first time after her maiden win at Sandown last month and a second at Seymour on 9 September, both at 1400 metres. That form earned Long Face Grace favouritism in the Fillies & Mares Handicap which she justified with a narrow but strong win, defeating Billie Frechette by a half-head with 1.5 lengths further back to Bet You She Rocks.

Watch Long Face Grace win at Moonee Valley.

Out of the money only once in her six starts from the Mark Kavanagh stable, Long Face Grace was a $70,000 purchase by Pacific Bloodstock principal Mark Hoare from the 2013 Magic Millions draft of Ron & Deb Gilbert’s Highgrove Stud. 
 
The filly fitted Mark’s criteria. “I tend not to buy running two-year-olds, I prefer a bit of scope which she had and Mark [Kavanagh] liked her too.

“I liked Manhattan Rain given his pedigree and thought he had a chance, and of course, she had the Atlantic Jewel factor as well.”

Long Face Grace is the fifth foal of Retract (by Flying Spur), a city-winning half-sister to the dam of champion filly Atlantic Jewel and Group 1 winner Commanding Jewel.

However, things didn’t go smoothly for Long Face Grace during her early education, as Mark Hoare explains. “She was kicked in her paddock when she was being broken in and we nearly lost her. Mark and the stable have handled her very patiently, everything has been done at her pace and she’s starting to come into her own now.”

The next goal for Long Face Grace is the 1600-metre Ladies Day Vase G3, at Caulfield on 14 October but jockey Glen Boss, who has piloted the mare to both her wins, believes she will cope with 2000 metres and beyond as she progresses.

Manhattan Rain’s first crop has so far produced 36 winners including Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan (also from a Flying Spur mare), Listed winners Manapine, Ondina, Crafty and Long Face Grace’s short-course sprinting stablemate Wild Rain.