Arrowfield roster dominates national awards

The Arrowfield stallion roster achieved a rare dominance at the 2013/14 Australian Racehorse of the Year awards, claiming five of the nine equine titles presented in Melbourne on Thursday evening.

Redoute’s Choice received his third Champion Sire award and is the sire of Lankan Rupee, named Inglis Bloodstock Champion Sprinter of the Year and Australian Racehorse of the Year.

This is the first time since 1998/99, when Might and Power (by Zabeel) won the major award, that the Racehorse of the Year has been by the season’s Champion Sire.  

Lankan Rupee was foaled and raised at Arrowfield for his owner-breeder Muzaffar Yaseen, also the breeder and co-owner of Redoute’s Choice. The three-time Group 1-winning sprinter is trained by Mick Price at Caulfield.

Snitzel, who joined Redoute’s Choice to complete an unprecedented father-son quinella on last season’s Australian General Sires’ premiership, was represented by Shamus Award, winner of the Herald Sun 3YO Colt of the Year title. Shamus Award was trained by Danny O’Brien for Sean Buckley & Viv Oldfield.

Dundeel, who joined the Arrowfield roster after his sensational ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1 victory in April, took out the Champion Middle Distance Horse of the Year award. Dundeel was raced last season by Arrowfield and the Trans-Tasman Syndicate, and trained throughout his career by New Zealand-based Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman.

Lankan Rupee named Australian Racehorse of the Year

Arrowfield’s superstar sire Redoute’s Choice filled one of the few gaps in his lengthy CV on Thursday evening when his 4YO son Lankan Rupee was named 2013/14 Australian Racehorse of the Year.

The Teeley Assets homebred received 145 votes, ahead of the season’s Champion Stayer Fiorente (121) and Arrowfield’s latest stallion acquisition Dundeel (41), named Champion Middle Distance Horse of the Year.

He is the first Australian Racehorse of the Year by Redoute’s Choice, previously represented by Champion 2YO award winners Fashions Afield (2005) & Miss Finland (2006) and Champion 3YO Fillies Miss Finland (2007) & Samantha Miss (2009).

Lankan Rupee (ex Estelle Collection by Stravinsky) won $2.7 million and 7 of his eight starts last season, including three of Australia’s major sprints, the MRC Oakleigh Plate G1, VRC Newmarket H. G1 and ATC T.J. Smith S. G1. The latter performance earned him an international rating of 123, still the highest figure awarded in the Sprint category on the 2014 World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

Lankan Rupee, foaled & raised at Arrowfield for Teeley Assets, is the second Arrowfield-sired performer to become Racehorse of the Year. Weekend Hussler (Hussonet-Weekend Beauty), also bred by the Stud, claimed the 2007/08 title. In addition, Arrowfield stood the shuttle stallion Last Tycoon in 1993/94, the year his son Mahogany became Racehorse of the Year.

Dundeel (High Chaparral-Stareel by Staring) received 126 votes in the Middle Distance category, ahead of Boban (85) and Atlantic Jewel (43). He signed off on a magnificent racing career with prizemoney of $3.4 million and victories in the year’s two highest-rated races, the MRC Underwood S. G1 and ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1 – his fifth and sixth Group 1 wins.

Snitzel’s son Shamus Award won the Herald Sun Champion 3YO Colt of the Year title with 162 votes, from Zoustar (82) and Criterion (74) after a $2.3 million season. He made history by breaking his maiden in MVRC W.S. Cox Plate G1, defeating Happy Trails & Fiorente, and returned to cement his dominance of his generation with success in the VRC Australian Guineas G1.

Arrowfield Chairman John Messara accepted the award for Dundeel on behalf of trainer Murray Baker and the ownership group which includes breeders Murray & Jo Andersen.

John Messara also accepted the Champion Sire award for Redoute’s Choice. The mighty son of Danehill headed off his own son Snitzel and five other champion sires (Exceed and Excel, Fastnet Rock , Lonhro, O’Reilly and Encosta de Lago) with $10.3 million prizemoney and 10 stakeswinners in Australia, five of them from his remarkable 2009 crop.

It is the third time Redoute’s Choice has received Australia’s ultimate stallion accolade following his successes in 2006 and 2010.

Arrowfield's strong hand in Horse of the Year awards

Arrowfield is represented by finalists in four of the seven award categories at the 2014 Australian Racehorse of the Year Awards.

Arrowfield graduate Sweet Idea (Snitzel-Flidais by Timber Country) is a finalist for the Champion 3YO Filly Award after a three-win season featuring the ATC Light Fingers S. G2 and the GCTC Magic Millions Guineas (R) LR.  She was also second in the ATC Coolmore Classic G1. Sweet Idea’s Timeform rating of 119 was the second-highest achieved by a 3YO filly in Australia last season.
Sweet Idea is trained by Gai Waterhouse for her owners Nick & Amy Vass, David & Luke Henderson, Wayne Cook, Danny Maher, Grant Scott, Campbell Brown, Beric Lynton, Mrs T.L. Vogel & Matt Allen
Bred by the partnership of Arrowfield & Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd, she was purchased from the Arrowfield draft at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale by Gai Waterhouse & James Harron.

Shamus Award (Snitzel-Sunset Express by Success Express) is a finalist for the 3YO Colt/Gelding Award, and the Champion Middle Distance Horse Award, thanks to his sensational Cox Plate G1 and Australian Guineas G1 victories. Shamus Award was Timeform’s top-rated 3YO of 2013/14 with a figure of 124.
Bred by Bob Hannon, Shamus Award was a $230,000 purchase from the 2012 Inglis Easter Sale, and was trained by Danny O’Brien for Sean Buckley & Viv Oldfield.

Lankan Rupee (Redoute’s Choice-Estelle Collection by Stravinsky) is a finalist in the Champion Sprinter category. He won seven of his 8 starts last season, most notably the MRC Oakleigh Plate G1, VRC Newmarket H. G1 & ATC T.J. Smith S. G1. He is the world’s top-rated sprinter in 2014 and his Timeform rating of 132 is the highest achieved by any horse in Australia last season.
Lankan Rupee was foaled & raised at Arrowfield for his owner-breeder Muzaffar Yaseen, and is trained by Mick Price who has already received the Fred Hoysted Medal for the most outstanding training performance on Victorian tracks last season.

Dundeel (High Chaparral-Stareel by Zabeel), the new boy on Arrowfield’s 2014 stallion roster, is among the finalists for the Champion Middle Distance Horse award. He won the season’s two highest-rated races, the MRC Underwood S. G1 and the ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1, and has already won the titles of New Zealand Horse of the Year and Champion Middle Distance Horse.
Dundeel was bred by Murray & Jo Andersen and raced by them in partnership with Mike & Sharyn Craig, David & Jenny Morison, Tony & Wendy Craig, Gavin Chaplow, Tracy Andersen, Tony Muollo & Dino Focas. He was trained by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman.

The category award winners and the Australian Racehorse of the Year will be announced on Thursday 2 October at Melbourne Museum, at an event that will also mark the official launch of the 2014 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

Voted on by a national group of racing media and handicappers, the awards recognise performances on Australian tracks by horses, irrespective of origin, and internationally by Australian-trained horses from 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2014.

The five finalists in each category are the horses which have obtained the most votes, with the finalists for the overall Australian Racehorse of the Year to be announced on the night.

Shamus & Lil give Snitzel a Guineas double

The names of Snitzel’s best progeny sum up his current status among Australian sires: he’s sizzling, he’s flying and he is most definitely hot.

The temperature rose again today when his magnificent son Shamus Award became the first horse to win both the MVRC W.S. Cox Plate G1 and the VRC Australian Guineas G1. He is Snitzel’s first dual Group 1 winner, and his second Group 1 winner at Flemington in the past fortnight, following Snitzerland’s victory in the VRC Lightning S. G1.

Jockey Craig Williams provided a succinct description of how the Guineas unfolded this afternoon. “We got a nice lead and he settled beautifully for me. When I asked him to accelerate around the home turn he found plenty for me in the straight.”

Runner-up Criterion mounted a staunch challenge and Thunder Fantasy ran on well late for third, but Shamus Award’s hold on the race was never seriously threatened.

The handsome 3YO colt was bred by Bob Hannon from Sunset Express (by Success Express) and purchased for $230,000 out of the Vinery Stud draft at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Sale. Trained by Danny O’Brien for owners Sean Buckley and Viv Oldfield, Shamus Award has raced exclusively in Group & Listed stakes company to compile a record of rare quality: two Group 1 victories, eight placings (two at Group 1 level) and $2.4 million from 12 starts.

Shamus Award is the fifth foal of his city-winning dam, and has a 2YO three-quarter sister named Marple Miss (by Not A Single Doubt) in training with Kris Lees for his breeder. Sunset Express is again in foal to Snitzel.

Likely targets for Shamus Award are next Saturday’s $1 million VRC Australian Cup G1, the $500,000 ATC Rosehill Guineas G1 on 29 March and the $4 million ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1 on 19 April.

Three hours after the Guineas in Melbourne, 3YO filly My Sister Lil became Snitzel’s 20th stakeswinner when she proved too strong in the $100,000 WATC Ascot 1000 Guineas 1800m LR in Perth.

My Sister Lil (ex Deputy Lil by French Deputy) was bred by Arrowfield, John Leaver, Alan Jones, Martin Story, Michael & Lucy Messara and Tim Noonan and sold by Arrowfield for $80,000 at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale to Perth trainers Ross & Clint Price. The filly, a grand-daughter of New Zealand Horse of the Year Tycoon Lil, is owned by Frank Fiore, who also races Snitzel’s brilliant 4YO son Smoko – another Arrowfield yearling sale graduate.

My Sister Lil’s latest success takes her prizemoney to $95,600 from four starts, three of which she has won. Her next race may now be the $250,000 WA Oaks 2400m G3 on 29 March.

Snitzel maintains his lead on the current Australian General Sires’ premiership with earnings of $6.8 million, thanks largely to the efforts of ten stakeswinners. The son of Redoute’s Choice has 9 fillies and 8 colts on offer at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale which starts tomorrow.

Breeder celebrates historic Cox Plate victory by Snitzel colt

“Over the moon!” was breeder Bob Hannon’s first reaction to Shamus Award’s history-making victory in today’s $3 million MVRC Cox Plate 2040m G1.

The 3YO son of Snitzel is the first maiden to win Australia’s weight-for-age championship race, and joins a stellar group of 3YOs that have won the race in the past 30 years: So You Think (2009), Savabeel (2004), Octagonal (1995) & Red Anchor (1984).

The Cox Plate winner’s prizemoney has shot Snitzel to the head of the Australian General Sires’ list with season earnings of $3,075,922, ahead of Fastnet Rock and Exceed and Excel.

Shamus Award is the 16th stakeswinner and second Group 1 winner from Snitzel’s first four crops. Snitzel’s achievements last season included an Easter Yearling Sale average of $335,000, his first $1 million yearling and 11 Australian stakeswinners.

Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara says, “This is a milestone success for Snitzel, and confirms what his statistics have been telling us for the last two seasons: that he is a major Australian sire in the making.”

Bob Hannon’s relationship with Arrowfield goes back three decades to the 1980s when he was a shareholder in foundation Arrowfield sire Rancher. He was also co-breeder of the sensational filly Amelia’s Dream (by Redoute’s Choice).

Shamus Award is from the Success Express mare Sunset Express, a city-winning half-sister to three winners including Singapore stakeswinner Ghozi.

Bob purchased Shamus Award’s third dam, the Irish-bred mare From The Wood through bloodstock agent Kieran Moore in 1989, and has worked with the family ever since.

Offered by Vinery Stud, Shamus Award made $230,000 at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Sale and is trained by Danny O’Brien for Sean Buckley (who also raced 2007 Australian Horse of the Year Miss Andretti) and Viv Oldfield.

Shamus Award went into the Cox Plate on the back of an outstanding run for third in the Caulfield Guineas G1, and six other black type placings from nine starts.

As O’Brien said after the race, “He certainly didn’t deserve to be a maiden.

“It has not gone to plan because we would have loved to have come here after winning the Stutt (Stakes) and winning the Guineas, but a couple of things went against him in those races.

“Today we got our chance to get out there, make our own luck and show what a good colt he is because he could have easily been a Guineas winner and a Cox Plate winner.”

Sunset Express has what Bob describes as a “beautiful” 2YO filly by Not A Single Doubt who has been broken in and will join Kris Lees’ stable in January. Sunset Express is visiting Snitzel again this spring.

Shamus Award’s second dam Finito Fling has a Not Single Doubt daughter, Fimatino in the Lees stable, and a 2YO Snitzel filly, named Lady Snitzel, sold for $170,000 at this year’s Easter Sale.

Bob works with 11 mares and has owned and managed a New Guinea coffee export business since 1965. He says, “This is one of the beautiful days in life, this is what it’s all about.

“I love the stallion, I chose the mating on type, and to get that result for Arrowfield and for me, that’s fantastic. What a wonderful day!”

Shamus Award first colt home in the Caulfield Guineas

Snitzel colt Shamus Award put up a tremendous run for third in today’s $1 million MRC Caulfield Guineas 1600m G1, behind the gelded pair Long John and Divine Calling.

Jockey Glen Boss described the colt’s performance as “extraordinary”, and indeed it was, as Shamus Award jumped from barrier 11 and settled in the second half of the field, against his usual pattern of racing. Forced to run wide most of the way, Shamus Award responded generously when asked to accelerate round the turn and kept up a strong gallop down the straight to finish only 2.5 lengths from the winner.   

All of Shamus Award’s nine starts have been in Group or Listed Stakes races, and he has placed in seven of them, including a head-bobbing second to Divine Calling in the MVRC Bill Stutt S. G2 just over two weeks ago.

Yet to win a race, he is the sixth Group 1 performer by Snitzel and must be odds-on to become the next stakeswinner for the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice.

Shamus Award was bred by Bob Hannon from Sunset Express (by Success Express), a city-winning half-sister to the multiple Singapore stakeswinner Ghozi. Shamus Award’s third dam, Irish Group winner From The Wood, descended from the prolific and highly successful German-bred broodmare Adriana, was imported to Australia almost a quarter-century ago. 

Offered by Vinery Stud at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Sale, the dark brown colt was purchased for $230,000 and is trained for Sean Buckley by Danny O’Brien.

Sunset Express has a 2YO filly by Not A Single Doubt, and has recently been served by Snitzel.