Dundeel's half-brother wins impressively

Dundeel’s 4YO half-brother Diehard won at Pukekohe, New Zealand on Wednesday in the manner of a horse likely to make an impact over middle distances this season.

It was the fourth start for the son of Pour Moi and Stareel and capped his progress from educational 2YO start last December and two placings last month to stylish maiden winner.

Racing over 1600 metres on heavy ground, he settled back before improving wide around the turn. As his rivals began to struggle, Diehard began to do his best work and  picked up gamely to score by more than four lengths from Avant and Florence Ivy.

Watch Diehard win at Pukekohe.

Diehard’s owners include Arrowfield, Paul Favretto, Greg Ingham and his breeder Waimarama NZ Ltd, comprising several members of Dundeel’s racing partnership. He is trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman who also prepared Dundeel to win six Group 1 races. 

Stareel has a 2YO colt by Redoute’s Choice, bought by Paul Perry for $1 million from Arrowfield’s Inglis Easter draft and a yearling filly by Redoute’s Choice that’s now in New Zealand. The now 17-year-old mare is due to foal again to the three-time Champion Sire this Spring. 

Like Dundeel, Pour Moi is a Derby-winning grandson of Sadler’s Wells who has left two Group 1 winners, 2YO Sacred Elixir in Australia, and this year’s Epsom Derby winner Wings Of Eagles in England.  

Fifty-three yearlings from Dundeel’s first crop sold for an average of $132,330, just over five times his fee, and he was the Magic Millions Leading First Crop Sire with an average price of $272,500. His top-priced yearling, the Miss Finland colt, was sold for $900,000 to Boomer Bloodstock and is in training with Bjorn Baker. 

Other stables with Dundeel 2YOs on the books include Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, Chris Waller, Kris Lees, Anthony Freedman, Ciaron Maher and Mick Kent.

Dundeel's dam booked to Redoute's Choice

The dam of Arrowfield’s new stallion, the six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel, will visit the Stud’s flagship sire Redoute’s Choice this coming Spring.

Murray & Jo Andersen, breeders and part-owners of Dundeel, confirmed earlier this week their decision to send Stareel (Zabeel-Staring by Fiesta Star) to the champion son of Danehill.

Murray explains, “Redoute’s Choice is a great sire and sire of sires, and becoming an equally valuable broodmare sire, and I am very happy to support Arrowfield too.

“It’s an excellent match on type and on pedigree, as Zabeel mares have such a good record with Redoute’s Choice.

“I’d be happy to get a colt or a filly, but I’m really keen to have a Redoute’s Choice filly from this family for future breeding.”

The Andersens have worked with Dundeel’s female family for almost 30 years after purchasing his third dam Sweet Violet in the early 1980s. They bred and raced Sweet Violet’s daughter Staring who, like her famous grandson, won a Group 1 classic at three and then succeeded as a 4YO in Group 1 weight-for-age company.

Dundeel added the Randwick & Rosehill Guineas and the Spring Champion Stakes at three, and last Spring lowered the colours of champion mare Atlantic Jewel in the MRC Underwood S. G1.

His climactic Group 1 victory in last Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes has earned him a Timeform rating of 129, ranking him alongside past champions such as Placid Ark, Northerly, Makybe Diva and Sunline.

The Australian Timeform ratings are compiled by Gary Crispe of Racing & Sports. Click  here for the current 4YO ratings.

Murray Andersen says of Dundeel’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes triumph, “Without doubt it couldn’t get any better than that. The Australian stage is where we breed to race and winning the biggest race in our own backyard is a bigger thrill for us than winning overseas.

“We always wanted Dundeel to win the race for Arrowfield, they have so much confidence in him as a stallion prospect, and it has given his stud career the perfect launch.”

The Andersens have always operated as private owner-breeders from their Hawke’s Bay base, usually mating no more than a couple of mares each year.  Their new status as stallion shareholders will only slightly change that long-standing strategy. 

“We don’t want to be large-scale breeders, but we will be supporting Dundeel and we are currently looking for a small number of mares especially for him. We may sell one or two of his progeny, but we’re mainly owners so we want to race most of them.”

A recent UK broodmare purchase is Michikabu, a Grand Lodge half-sister to Irish Group 3 juvenile winner Luminous Eyes (dam of this season’s Australian 2YO Group performer Lumosty), from the family of champion Pilsudski.

While Murray is excited about Dundeel’s stud future, the memories of Dundeel’s racing finale won’t be erased.

He says, “It was magic, he looked the best I’ve ever seen him. Murray as trainer and Emily as strapper have done an absolutely fantastic job, James rode him brilliantly and Dundeel put up his best-ever performance. We simply couldn’t have wished for more.”

Dundeel’s 2014 fee is $27,500 inc. GST, and Redoute’s Choice will stand at a fee of $110,000 inc. GST.