Quality & value in Arrowfield's Classic yearlings

There is a compelling reason to buy at the 2018 Inglis Classic Sale, especially if the budget is tight.

Twenty of the last 32 stakeswinners offered at Inglis Classic were sold or passed in for $50,000 or less. That includes Group 1 winners I Am A Star ($40,000), She Will Reign ($20,000), and Yankee Rose ($10,000).

There’s also a good reason to make sure the 33-strong Arrowfield consignment is on the inspection list. An outlay of $115,000 at the 2014 Classic Sale would have bought Arrowfield graduates Spill The Beans, Odyssey Moon & Untamed Diamond, all by Snitzel.  Their earnings total a cool $1.5 million, and that’s not including their combined residual value. 

Spill The Beans was passed in at $45,000, and $60,000 would have secured him. With sale options exhausted, he raced in Arrowfield’s silks from the Gerald Ryan stable, winning five of his 11 starts including three Group races and $560,000 before retiring to stud at Aquis Farm.

Adam Cook had to bid only $25,000 to buy Odyssey Moon, subsequently sold for $120,000 to James Harron on behalf of Edmund & Belinda Bateman.  The colt won the $250,000 ATC Inglis Nursery (R) LR, then proved competitive in 2YO Group company, finishing second in the ATC Sires’ Produce S. G1. He sealed his $720,000 career with a Group 3 sprint success at Flemington before retirement to Twin Hills Stud.

Untamed Diamond was knocked down to New Zealand trainer Richard Collett for $30,000, about $5000 less than the Sale average and an investment her owners, Richard among them, have no cause to regret. She’s won 7 races including this season’s Waikato Racing Club Sprint LR and three races in Sydney for prizemoney of almost $300,000.

Yes, it’s true that the Classic Sale has strengthened considerably since 2014, supported by greatly improved rewards for racing in New South Wales. The 2017 Sale average was more than twice the figure achieved three years earlier.

Yet Arrowfield’s 2017 draft still offered attractive options for buyers on a budget, with 15 lots sold for $50,000 or less. One of those purchases, the Zoustar-Jessica Rose colt bought by Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm, has already turned a handy profit, selling for $150,000 at October’s Inglis Ready2Race Sale.

What can value-seekers find in Arrowfield’s 2018 Classic draft, the first to be presented by the Stud at the spectacular new Inglis Riverside Stables?

First season, emerging and progressive stallions with good numbers in leading stables offer the same opportunity presented by those three Snitzel yearlings in 2014. Happily, Arrowfield has a strong collection of yearlings by four young sires in those categories.

Freshman sire Olympic Glory is not only a close physical match for Snitzel, he also had a similar racing profile as a precocious, high-class sprinter. However, he was an even better racehorse, achieving Champion status at two, winning four European Group 1 races at two, three & four and retiring with a Timeform rating of 130. Olympic Glory has five colts and three fillies in Arrowfield’s draft, with Group 1 winners Bonneval, Macedon Lady, Malaguerra, Tawqeet, Tycoon Lil & Victory Vein among their relations.

Dundeel, already off the mark with his first 2YO winner Cutadeel and placegetter Sunreel, has three fillies & two colts in Arrowfield’s Classic consignment out of mares by Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel, Encosta de Lago and Dehere.

Animal Kingdom’s ten 3YO winners this season include Group-placed Peaceful State, Melbourne winner Shalya and impressive debutante I Am Queen. He has two fillies and two colts on offer under Arrowfield’s banner.

Smart Missile has shot to the top of the current Third Season Sires’ table, thanks to his fourth 2YO stakeswinner Irish Bet and a host of city winners, among them Jane’s Angel, Memory Bank, Sparky Lad, Stylish Missile and The Avenger. Fully booked in his first five seasons at stud, Smart Missile is represented in major stables from Baker, Freedman, Hawkes & Hayes to Lees, Price, Ryan, Snowden & Waller, and has more than enough firepower to maintain his upward mobility.  Arrowfield will present five colts and a filly by Smart Missile at Inglis Classic, including relatives of Serenade Rose, Gunnison & Heatherly, and a son of Group 1 winner Clean Sweep. 

View the Arrowfield draft here.

Performance & value offered at Inglis Classic

It’s a given that every vendor wants to sell yearlings as profitably as possible, but for most buyers the big question is “Where is value to be found?”

The Inglis Classic Sale has been supplying the right answers to that question for some time now. For example, the seven Group 1 winners that have so far emerged from the 2012-16 Classic Sales were bought for an average of less than $55,000.

The price range of those star graduates is bracketed by the sensational Arrowfield-sired pair Extreme Choice (by Not A Single Doubt; bought for $100,000) and Yankee Rose (All American; $10,000). They’ve since returned $3.7 million prizemoney and hefty residual values for their owners’ investments.

Ditto Arrowfield’s contribution to the Classic Sale honour roll, Group 1-winning sprinter-miler Contentment (Hussonet-Jemison), bought for $65,000 by John Foote from the 2012 auction.

The now 6YO gelding has fashioned a superb record in Hong Kong for owner Benson Lo Tak Wing and trainer John Size, winning nine of his 25 starts, including the 2016 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup G1, and around $4 million.

Contentment’s quality is underlined by a slew of excellent placings, among them a second to international champion and new Arrowfield stallion Maurice in the 2016 Champions Mile G1m and a very game fourth in December’s Hong Kong Mile G1.

Other recent Arrowfield graduates encourage Classic Sale buyers to consider yearlings by an emerging sire that has the backing of a major stud.

Back in 2012, when Snitzel was on the cusp of “hot sire” status, Ross & Clint Price spotted his daughter out of Deputy Lil in the Arrowfield draft and bought her for $80,000 on behalf of Perth owners Frank & Josie Fiore.

She notched up a Listed success at three and has since added four more victories and a Group placing for earnings of more than $250,000.

My Sister Lil’s younger sister Ygritte proved an even better investment for owner Carl Holt who gave $135,000 for her at the 2013 Inglis Classic Sale. A Listed win, multiple Group placings and more than $300,000 prizemoney later, she was re-sold for $800,000.

Those results are matched by a pair of Snitzel colts from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Classic consignment: Spill The Beans, passed in & raced to Group 2-winning, $500,000-earning success and a stud career; and $25,000 buy Odyssey Moon, a arecent Group 3winner and Group 1-placed at two with more than $600,000 on his record.

Snitzel, along with champion sire Redoute’s Choice and Group 1 sires Not A Single Doubt and Charge Forward are all represented among Arrowfield’s 39-lot offering for this year’s Classic Sale, which begins onSaturday evening. So are All American, sire of Yankee Rose, and popular Hong Kong sire Starcraft.

Firmly in the emerging sire category is 2015/16 Champion First Season Sire Smart Missile, now leading the Second Season list by winners and earnings.

Hard on their heels come Dubai World Cup champion Animal Kingdom, represented by three colts and two fillies from his second crop,  and six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel, with five first-crop yearlings on offer under the Arrowfield banner.

Buyers keen on yearlings out of young mares will find 10 first foals in Arrowfield’s Classic draft, including the only Redoute’s Choice in the Sale, a filly out of Group 3 winner Pretty Pins. That makes her a three-quarter sister to Group 1 winner Allez Wonder and a relative of dual Group winner Tivaci.

Fairytale finish for Spill The Beans

Snitzel’s crackerjack son Spill The Beans signed off on his career in fairytale fashion when he won Saturday’s $175,000 BRC QTC Cup 1300m G2.

The victory sealed his status as an exciting stallion prospect for his new majority owner Aquis Farm, and brought up a remarkable milestone for trainer Gerald Ryan: his 100th success with Snitzel’s progeny.

Read more about Gerald Ryan’s Snitzel century.

Spill The Beans drew 11 in the 13-horse field but a quick break from the gate allowed jockey Tim Clark to work him up on the pace, where he settled comfortably outside the early leader Eloping.

The colt took control just after the turn and drove clear at the 300-metre mark, as Miss Cover Girl led the challenges behind him. But Spill The Beans isn’t short of fortitude and he pressed on stubbornly to score by a head from Federal and  Stratum Star who burst late from the pack, and Miss Cover Girl fourth.

Watch Spill The Beans’ BRC QTC Cup G2 victory.

Clark, who was posting his third win from four rides on the colt, said, “He travelled really well. You can’t wait on him and the leader sort of left me there a bit soon. But he toughed it out really well and showed good fight.”  

Spill The Beans ends his racing career with five wins, three placings and just over $560,000 in prizemoney. Eight of his runs were at stakes level and he won three of them, all in the last four months: the ATC Eskimo Prince S. G3 in February, the Hawkesbury Guineas G3 in April and Saturday’s Group 2 contest.

Spill The Beans was bred by Arrowfield and offered at the 2014 Inglis Classic Sale, but failed to find a buyer, so he joined the Stud’s racing team. He will stand his first season this Spring at the Fung family’s new Queensland stud, Aquis Farm, with Arrowfield retaining an interest in him.

He is the best of three winners out of Miss Dodwell (by Falbrav), from the classy speed family of this season’s Group 1 winner Speak Fondly and 1986 Horse of the Year Bounding Away (five Group 1 wins including the Golden Slipper).

Miss Dodwell’s 2YO daughter Kenedna (by Not A Single Doubt) won her second start for Darren Weir last month, and her yearling filly by Smart Missile was bought for $110,000 by Dermot Farrington at the Inglis Melbourne Sale. The mare produced a second Smart Missile filly last Spring and is in foal to Snitzel. 

Ryan close to a Snitzel century

Leading Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan has three Saturday runners (Spill The Beans & Dances On Stars at Eagle Farm, and Argie Bargie at Kembla Grange) capable of delivering his 100th win with the progeny of his former stable star Snitzel.

It’s a big milestone for Gerald, who has trained plenty of notable winners by other stallions (including Group 1 winners Melito, Mrs Onassis & Peggy Jean), but is widely known as Mr Snitzel, thanks to his 43 winners of 99 races and $8.3 million prizemoney by the sensational son of Redoute’s Choice.  

Nine of those winners are among Snitzel’s 38 stakeswinners and all of them, except Dances On Stars & Fireworks, were bred & sold by Arrowfield:

  • Snitzerland (VRC Lightning S. G1) for Neil Werrett & Steve McCann
  • Darby Racing’s dual Group 2 winner Time For War
  • Triple Crown Syndications’ Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel & Hot Snitzel (who later won the BTC Cup G1 for Peter & Paul Snowden)
  • Perignon (ATC Light Fingers S. G2) for Camilla Flower & Sylvana Surace
  • Group 3 winner Dances On Stars for Brian Mullins, Donna Keegan and Anne & Richard Glenister
  • Fairway Thoroughbreds’ home-bred 2YO stakeswinner Fireworks
  • Arrowfield’s dual Group 3-winning colt Spill The Beans
  • and Listed winner Ygritte for Carl Holt.

Gerald and owner Damion Flower bought Snitzel himself for $260,000 from Yarraman Park Stud & breeder Francois Naude at the 2004 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Gerald then prepared Snitzel throughout his 15-start, seven-win, $1 million career, including the 2006 MRC Oakleigh Plate G1, beating Virage de Fortune & Takeover Target.

He says, “Damion and I said before we bought him as a yearling, if this horse can gallop he will make a stallion, so to see what he’s doing is very pleasing. I’m very proud of him.”

Gerald nominates toughness, durability and speed as Snitzel’s best racing qualities. In fact, he was so sound and healthy when he retired that his vet record was almost blank.  

“He doesn’t stamp his progeny as types, but most of them are really athletic and, like him, they don’t go shinsore.  They have pretty good temperaments too, and if they’re feisty, they improve with each prep.

“I train the Snitzels similar to how I trained him. When he galloped, he went fast, but I kept him sharp.”

Group 1 winner Snitzerland is an easy choice for the best Snitzel progeny Gerald has trained, but he has several favourites.

“Snitzerland went through from her breaker’s prep to run second at her first start in a Listed Race on Melbourne Cup Day.  She was so tough, and always did everything you wanted her to do.

“I also have a soft spot for Intertidal, Snitzel’s first winner. I raced and trained his mum Miss Rainmaker, as well as her sire Hurricane Sky.”

Second-crop filly Schiffer was special too. “She was so tough and so arrogant. I bought her So You Think daughter last year and she’s the same.” Yet to race, the 2YO filly is named Schifty Thinker.

“And my staff cried when Hot Snitzel left the stable!”

Gerald has bought and advised on the purchase of Snitzel’s yearlings since the first crop went through the ring in 2009, and this year he joined Damion Flower’s Jadeskye Racing to buy the $1.6 million Magic Millions Sale-topping colt out of Mirror Mirror. However, his stable of Snitzels continues to draw from various sources, at a range of prices.

2YO colt Sahara Emaar (ex Lady of the Desert by Desert Prince) was a $50,000 David Raphael buy from Milburn Creek’s Inglis Melbourne Premier draft. “A nice, big colt”, he was a good third to Prized Icon and Attention in his first trial and returned to work this week.

Another 2YO, Corumbene Stud’s home-bred filly Samantha (ex Icedginger by Tale Of The Cat) trials next week. Gerald says, “Based on what she’s shown me, she could be my best filly since Snitzerland.”

As for the 2016 yearlings, the Mirror Mirror and Maid For Me colts, and the Perfect Truth filly have all “broken in sensationally.”

The odds on Gerald Ryan’s second Snitzel century are already shortening.

Grateful acknowledgement to Racing & Sports: www.racingandsports.com.au for the data on Gerald Ryan’s record with Snitzel’s progeny.

Spill The Beans wins Hawkesbury Guineas

Arrowfield’s crack sprinting colt Spill The Beans left his rivals no excuses when taking out Saturday’s $200,000 Hawkesbury Guineas 1400m G3 under topweight of 58kg and in track record time of 1:22.10.

It’s the second time in a decade that the Stud’s colours have been carried by the Hawkesbury Guineas winner. The race was won by Alverta in 2007, three years before her Coolmore Classic G1 victory and third in the Newmarket July Cup G1.

Spill The Beans jumped smartly from gate 9 and Tim Clark elected to stay wide as the colt took control of the pace. He rolled along sweetly in front until the turn when Clark asked him to sprint, and received a decisive response that put the race in his keeping. Spill The Beans ran the last 600 metres in 34 flat, with Denmagic and Serene Magic filling the minor placings, more than two lengths away.

Watch Spill The Beans win the Hawkesbury Guineas G3 in track record time.

Trainer Gerald Ryan, only two wins away from a century of wins by Snitzel’s progeny, said, “He was the best horse in the race. Class factor. The bit of sting out of the ground suited him too.”

Spill The Beans has now won four of his nine starts, including both his juvenile runs and February’s Eskimo Prince S. G3, for prizemoney of more than $360,000.

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.

His winning dam Miss Dodwell (by Falbrav) has an unraced 2YO filly, Kenedna (by Not A Single Doubt) in the Darren Weir stable, and her yearling filly by Smart Missile was purchased for $110,000 by Dermot Farrington & Tony Karakatsanis at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Miss Dodwell also has a weanling filly by Smart Missile and is in foal again to Snitzel.

The next target for Spill The Beans will be the $400,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas over 1400 metres at Scone on 14 May and that’s likely to be his final appearance this season.

April was busy for Snitzel’s progeny who averaged a win a day for the month. Five of his April winners were 2YOs, including the colt El Divino (ATC Kindergarten S. G3) and the filly Modern Wonder, so impressive when winning the SAJC Dequetteville S. LR on debut.

Snitzel closed out the month with a tri-state flourish as Spill The Beans was joined in the winner’s circle on Saturday by fellow Arrowfield-breds Kayjay’s Joy who posted her 7th career win at Caulfield, and Bourne Supremacy, who notched up win number 5 at Ascot in Perth.

Snitzel & Arrowfield Making the Most of Success

Success can never be taken for granted in racing.

But with a stallion like Snitzel, it must be hard to resist the temptation and allow expectations get away from you.

For leading breeder John Messara such temptations have repeatedly been placed before him, especially over the past few years as Snitzel builds a reputation and a record to rival the best.

“When you’ve been in this business for three decades, as Arrowfield has, you never reach the point of taking any success – especially stallion success – for granted,” Messara says.

Messara has been behind some of the greatest Australian, and international, breeding successes of the modern era, introducing such stallions as Danehill to this country and managing the career of the champion stallion Redoute’s Choice.

Like most, Messara and Arrowfield Stud have also been reminded of the fickle nature of the business, as they were recently by the loss of Beneteau just as he emerged as a potentially superior stallion.

But he still permits himself a glimpse toward the future of Snitzel and to his sons, like Saturday’s stakeswinner Spill The Beans, who is also bound to stand alongside his sire and grandsire at Arrowfield.

“Possibly the most exciting thing about Snitzel, and Not A Single Doubt, is that they both made slower starts to their stud careers than Redoute’s Choice, so I don’t think they’ve hit top gear yet,” Messara says.

“The best is still to come.”

At the same time, Messara can’t help acknowledging the realities.

“We’re delighted with every new stakeswinner and every good price Snitzel achieves, and grateful for all the support that breeders, owners & trainers give him and his progeny,” he says.

The victory of Spill The Beans in Saturday’s Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes at Randwick added to that delight.

At every major sale in Australia and New Zealand in the past year, his sire Snitzel has been either the leading stallion or has provided the sale-topper.

At the Magic Millions Gold Coast sale in January his colt form Mirror Mirror topped the sale at $1.6 million. He also led the averages and was the highest grossing stallion.

At last year’s William Inglis Sydney Easter Sale his brother to the Group 1-winning sprinter Sizzling led the sale at $2.2 million and a half-brother to the champion mare Alinghi brought $1.8 million, the second-highest price.

Snitzel also produced the top lot at the 2015 Melbourne Premier sale and last month he topped the averages at the Karaka Premier Sale in New Zealand.

And they can run.

Last year Snitzel had three Group 1 winners – Hot Snitzel, Wandjina and Sweet Idea.

In 2014 he had Shamus Award who won the Group 1 Australian Guineas, having won the Group 1 Cox Plate the previous year, and Snitzerland, and before that Sizzling also won a Group 1 sprint in 2013.

Already in 2016 Snitzel has produced the stakes winner Sun Jewellery (HK G1) as well as Spill The Beans.

As well as anticipating Spill The Beans’ potential as a stallion, Messara also looks to the colt as an example of the two sides of racing’s glorious uncertainty.

Offered as a yearling at the 2014 Inglis Classic Sale, Spill The Beans was less than an immediate success.

Even though Snitzel was already making a name for himself, Messara had placed a modest reserve of only $60,000 on the colt, but the bidding struggled to only $45,000 at which point the auctioneer muttered the dreaded “more needed” and he was led away.

As his trainer Gerald Ryan reported after Saturday’s win, Spill The Beans had been considered by a Hong Kong buyer at the sale, only for a vet to reject him after viewing x-rays of his joints.

“He failed the x-rays for Hong Kong at the yearling sale and again when he got up and racing,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the only flaw he found in the colt was a scar from a knock he’d suffered in the paddock – and wins at his first two starts suggest his horseman’s instinct might be superior to veterinary science.

“He’s never gone shin sore or had any issues. I’ve always thought he could gallop,” he said.

Messara, in whose Arrowfield colours the colt races, can now afford to reflect philosophically on the failed sale.

“Inherent athletic ability, great rearing, skillful training and the passage of time can, and often do out-weigh any flaws that prevent a young horse selling,” he said.

“Even with our best efforts to place yearlings in the right markets and set realistic reserves, and all the skill and effort buyers put into their work, a few horses will slip through the net.”

For a yearling who was passed-in to go on and become a successful racehorse and stallion is far from unprecedented.

Australia’s champion stallion Fastnet Rock was led away unsold when he was offered as a yearling in 2003 and the bidding stalled at $290,000.

Spill The Beans’ win in the Eskimo Prince was his first since last June, and while his three performances in between were moderate, Ryan said he had expected the improvement the colt showed.

Ryan now has Group 1 races in mind for Spill The Beans who holds entries for both the Newmarket and the TJ Smith Stakes.

“Whether he gets to races like that remains to be seen,” Ryan said.

For Arrowfield the future may be in colts like Spill The Beans and Scissor Kick, another son of Redoute’s Choice, but for now attention is more closely focused on the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale beginning later this month, and Easter.

“We have a very strong draft for the 2016 Inglis Easter Sale – the 25 yearlings we’re taking there represent the best work of the entire Arrowfield team and we’re proud to present them,” Messara said.

“We’ll have a few outstanding Redoute’s Choice colts at Easter in what we hope will be an admired draft.

“Melbourne Premier has been a happy hunting ground for our buyer clients with Hot Snitzel, Snitzerland & Singapore champion Stepitup all among our recent graduates.

“This year we have a standout filly by our new sire Animal Kingdom from the Queensland Oaks winner Vitesse Dane; the All American-Salutations colt and the Redoute’s Choice-Anadan colt are also very good types.”

For Messara, a look to the future can’t be made without reference to Redoute’s Choice who claimed the first of his four titles as Australia’s champion sire in 2005-06.

“The best accolade I can give Redoute’s Choice now is that 15 years after he joined the Arrowfield roster, I am still astonished by him,” he says.

“And I am still excited by the prospect of what his own progeny will do during this coming autumn, at The Championships and most of all in Europe over the next few years, as his two French-conceived crops start to race.

“Wherever he appears in a pedigree, he’s pure class.”

Published with the kind permission of Aushorse: aushorse.net.au 

Father-and-son stakes quinella at Randwick

Three Arrowfield-sired winners at Randwick on Saturday were headed by a father-and-son quinella in the $150,000 ATC Brian Crowley S. 1200m LR. 

Counterattack (by Redoute’s Choice) put up a resolute run from off the pace to overhaul the front-running Spill The Beans (by Snitzel) 100 metres from the post.

It was Counterattack’s second black type victory this Spring, following his Heritage Stakes LR win last month, and he is now likely to head to Flemington for the $1 million Coolmore Stud S. G1 on Derby Day.

Liam Prior, Racing Manager for Counterattack’s trainer Chris Waller, said, “He’s always been a horse that’s shown well above average ability.”

“As Chris explained earlier in the week, the siblings Red Tracer and Shellscrape were always horses that performed best with blinkers so they went on today and it certainly sharpened him up.”

Raced by his breeders Geoff & Mary Grimish, Counterattack is from the splendid producer Kisma (by Snippets) who is due to foal again to Redoute’s Choice any day now.

The Gerald Ryan-trained Spill The Beans is an Arrowfield homebred from the Falbrav mare Miss Dodwell. His family, responsible 30 years ago for Horse of the Year Bounding Away, has also thrown up Speak Fondly, winner of the Flight S. G1 this Spring.  Miss Dodwell is due to foal later this month to Smart Missile.

Counterattack’s stablemate Good Project (Not A Single Doubt-Euchre by Final Card) and the Neville Layt-trained Grand Proposal (Snitzel-Proposing by Pentire) also added Randwick wins to their records.