Snitzel’s four new stakeswinners and eight other stakes performers took centre stage last weekend, but don’t assume his champion sire Redoute’s Choice was quietly waiting his turn in the wings.
Late on Saturday evening Sydney time, he recorded his 140th stakeswinner when Sheikh Hamdan’s 4YO colt Rafeef toughed it out in good style to defeat the season Group performer New Predator in the Turffontein Hawaii S. 1400m G2.
Mathew de Kock, representing his father, champion trainer Mike de Kock, said, “Rafeef took a big step up but he’s a top horse and we expected a good run.
“It’s bye-bye to his low merit rating now, but we have some options with him, like the Group 1 Horse Chestnut on Classic Day and a few features later in the KZN Champions Season. He will remain competitive because he’s lightly raced and still improving.”
He added: “This win secured Rafeef a place at stud and he’s got the looks to go with it. Everyone in the stable loves him!”
Rafeef was bred by Arrowfield in partnership with South Africa’s Klawervlei Stud and bought for $800,000 by Shadwell Australasia at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale. He’s the second foal of South African Horse of the Year National Colour, whose yearling filly by Snitzel will be offered as Lot 256 by Arrowfield at Newmarket Stables next month.
Redoute’s Choice has an exceptional 26 per cent Group Winners/Runners strike rate in South Africa and Rafeef is his 7th stakeswinner there, after Group 1 winners Musir, Wylie Hall & Majmu (also an Arrowfield Inglis graduate bought by Angus Gold for Sheikh Hamdan, and trained by Mike de Kock) and Bishops Rock, Honorine & Table Bay.
The Shadwell team’s record of success with Redoute’s Choice progeny in Australia is equally impressive. Nadeem (MRC Blue Diamond S. G1), El Daana, Shaaheq, Rawnaq & Zamzam have all carried Sheikh Hamdan’s celebrated Royal Blue & White Epaulettes with distinction.
The weekend produced three other stakes performers by Redoute’s Choice: 3YOs Glenall and Super Maxi, who filled the placings behind Snitzel filly Samantha in the ATC Fireball S. LR, and 5YO mare Zestful, 3rd in the ATC Wenona Girl S. G3.
Let’s not forget 3YO Redoute’s Choice gelding Caerless Choice who scored a dramatic, last-stride victory for Arrowfield and the Paul Messara team in Sunday’s Hunter & North West Country Championships Qualifier, earning a place in the $400,000 Final at Randwick on 1 April.
Add Group 3 winner & Blue Diamond runner-up Pariah, seven other stakeswinners this season, a quartet of progressive 3YO winners in Europe and the joint Magic Millions sale-topper and it’s clear there is always room on stage for Redoute’s Choice.
Thirty-four yearlings by Redoute’s Choice will be offered at next month’s Inglis Easter Sale, including four colts and seven fillies under the Arrowfield banner.