Animal Kingdom filly rules on debut

Animal Kingdom’s 3YO daughter – and Arrowfield Magic Millions graduate – I Am Queen streeted a strong maiden field by 4.3 lengths on debut in New Zealand on Saturday. 

The chestnut filly started favourite after two good trial placings and took up the running alongside Excaliffraaj after jumping well from gate 2. Excaliffraaj ran off on the turn but I Am Queen held her line, quickened up sharply when asked by jockey Danielle Johnson and raced away to win in a time of 58.39 for the 1000-metre journey. 

Watch I Am Queen win on debut at Taupo, NZ.

I Am Queen is the fourth foal and third winner out of the very good US racemare Cat By The Tale (by Tale of the Cat) and is trained by Stephen Marsh who said, “She’s not a 1000-metre horse, but she showed a good turn of foot and she won really well in the end….she’ll be better in the Autumn.”

The filly’s Waikato owner Roger Blunt bought the Arrowfield & Cloros Bloodstock-bred filly for $310,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale and he was naturally delighted with her first-up success. 

“She showed ability from the start, but we’ve been patient with her and she did well, it’s been a great day at the races!

“We like Animal Kingdom, and she’s so similar to him, she has a lovely nature.” 

This tallies with the observations of Animal Kingdom’s trainer Graham Motion about the yearling I Am Queen, which he reported in his sale blog for Thoroughbred Daily News at the time: “[She] is very athletic and attractive, with a lovely walk and a real presence about her. I’ve had photos taken with her a few times now and she handles it all very well. She just has a really nice way about her.” 

A Magic Millions Guineas campaign was derailed by wet Spring weather in New Zealand, but Roger Blunt hopes I Am Queen will justify a trip back cross the Tasman at some stage during her career. In the meantime, New Zealand’s Filly of the Year series offers tempting possibilities.  

I Am Queen is the 13th winner from Animal Kingdom’s first Australian crop which also includes the Group-placed pair Peaceful State and Lord Cecil, recent winners White Boots and Seductive Miss, and Miss Finland’s debut-winning daughter Earth Angel, now preparing for an Autumn campaign.

The Kentucky Derby winner’s first US crop has produced 10 juvenile winners headed by Grade 2 winner and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf G1 runner-up Untamed Domain, and Listed winners Continental Divide & Sunny Skies. 

There are 11 yearlings by Animal Kingdom on offer at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, with six colts and 3 fillies in Arrowfield’s consignment.

Also in the Stud’s barn at Magic Millions will be Lot 591, the Redoute’s Choice-Cat by the Tale colt, a full brother to the Group-placed city winners Raphael’s Cat and Tale of Choice. Cat by the Tale has a 2YO filly named Keiai Tsubaki with Gerald Ryan, a filly foal by Real Impact and a positive test to Maurice. 

Snitzel sets new 2YO winners record

May has been a terrific month for Snitzel.

He’s increased his Australian prizemoney by more than $1.3 million, slipping past Street Cry to claim the No. 1 spot, and an all-time earnings record, on the Australian General Sires’ premiership. And within a few hours on 13 May, he added a new Group 1 winner and three new stakeswinners to his season statistics.

But one thing he hadn’t done, since Risen and General Mu on Anzac Day, was put up any new 2YO winners. Instead, he sat on 30 alongside Without Fear, who achieved that number in 1975/76 from a crop of fewer than 50 foals, and his own tally in 2015/16.

Snitzel has taken care of that this weekend, marching straight on to 32 juvenile winners, after trans-Tasman wins by Pymble at Newcastle on Saturday, and Shadow Dancer at Rotorua in New Zealand on Sunday. 

The cosmos must have been paying attention, because Pymble is prepared by the man who has had more success with Snitzel’s progeny than anyone else, and trained Snitzel himself, Gerald Ryan.

He’s sent out 58 winners by his former stable star, including Snitzel’s first winner Intertidal and 12 stakeswinners headed by the wonderful Group 1-winning filly Snitzerland and Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel, Hot Snitzel, Perignon, Spill The Beans & Time For War – all Arrowfield graduates.

Bred by Hobartville Stud, Pymble is the last foal of Ravenswood (by Woodman), and a half-brother to Hurtle Myrtle (VRC Myer Classic G1). He was bought for $360,000 by Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock from the Kitchwin Hills draft at last year’s Magic Millions Sale.

Watch Pymble win over 900m at Newcastle.

Shadow Dancer offered a very professional effort in her first raceday appearance for owner-breeder Whakanui Stud at Rotorua and it was enough to achieve a 1.25 length victory. The early Spring 3YO fillies races in New Zealand look realistic targets for the daughter of Dubai Express (by Zabeel).

Watch Shadow Dancer win over 1050m at Rotorua.

Shadow Dancer is Snitzel’s third winner from only four juvenile runners in New Zealand this season, after Aquilo (also stakes-placed) and exciting colt Summer Passage, winner of the Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. G1 and runner-up to Invader in the Sydney equivalent.

Redoute's Choice colt too classy in New Zealand

Classy 2YO colt Ardrossan brought up several numbers for Redoute’s Choice when he cleared out for a 3.75 length victory in Saturday’s Waikato RC Star Way S. 1100m LR.

Watch Ardrossan win the Waikato RC Star Way S. LR
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Adrossan’s trainer Stephen Marsh said, “He’s still a colt and he’s got a massive future. He’s going to be a lovely three-year-old.”

Ardrossan is one of 36 juvenile stakeswinners for his champion sire and his ninth stakeswinner from only 53 runners in New Zealand. However, the colt’s Spring 3YO racing, for an ownership group including Waikato Stud & Lou Petagna, will be done from the stable of leading Melbourne trainer Mick Price.

There’s no mistaking the Redoute’s Choice influence on the physique of the good-looking colt, bought for $150,000 by Kiwi agent Bruce Perry from Arrowfield’s draft at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. He was bred by Steve & Anne Tregea’s Windemere Stud from stakes-placed juvenile Miss Argyle (by Last Tycoon’s son Iglesia), also the dam of 2YO stakeswinner Cheyenne Warrior (by Not A Single Doubt).

Redoute’s Choice has left 10 stakeswinners, including Group 1 winners Bonaria, Dariana & Master of Design from 42 foals out of Last Tycoon’s daughters, and nine winners from only 13 foals out of mares by Last Tycoon sons, of which Ardrossan is the first stakeswinner.   

His sire sons, led by Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt and his highly prized daughters, have firmly secured the Redoute’s Choice legacy, but his own record remains a sensational work in progress. Fourteen worldwide stakeswinners this season, including French Group 3 winner Gold Luck, and two major sale-topping colts confirm the enduring class of Danehill’s best sire son.