Arrowfield's Magic Millions strike rate is compelling

Eighteen stakeswinners from 203 lots offered is Arrowfield’s record from the past six Magic Millions Gold Coast Sales, 2011-16. That’s the best strike rate among the Sale’s vendors with 100+ lots offered during that period.

One of the Arrowfield Magic Millions graduates on show in the past year is quality Melbourne sprinter Wild Rain (by Manhattan Rain). Already a multiple stakeswinner, she stepped up this Spring to win the MVRC Ian McEwen S. G2 and run the bravest of thirds behind Extreme Choice in the MVRC A.J. Moir S. G1. Purchased from Arrowfield’s 2013 draft, Wild Rain has so far earned more than five times her $150,000 purchase price.

Syndicators have also done well with yearlings bought from Arrowfield. Darby Racing spotted another daughter of Manhattan Rain in the 2015 Magic Millions consignment and secured her for $100,000. Named Scarlet Rain, she didn’t take long to put smiles on her owners’ faces, winning three of her four 2YO starts, including the ATC Sweet Embrace S. G2. Her full sister is offered in Arrowfield’s 2017 Magic Millions consignment.

Melbourne syndicator Blueblood Thoroughbreds paid $120,000 for the Not A Single Doubt-Negotiate filly in 2014 and now own the valuable dual Group winner and $400,000 earner Secret Agenda.

2013 graduate Hijack Hussy (Hussonet-Joy Ride) has returned almost $300,000 on the $62,000 paid for her by Joe O’Neill’s Prime Thoroughbreds.Her four wins feature a Listed win at Flemington and a Group 3 placing at the Gold Coast where she’s nominated for next Saturday’s $1 million Magic Millions Fillies & Mares.

Also among Arrowfield’s 18 stakes-winning Magic Millions graduates since 2011 are Group 1 winner Sweet Idea (bought by Gai Waterhouse & James Harron), Group 2 winner Perignon (Gerald Ryan), Group 3-winning juveniles Honesty Prevails (Rick Worthington & Scone Bloodstock), Bachman (Jadeskye Racing) & Oakleigh Girl (Dan Bourgoure) and Flemington Listed winner Detective (James Harron).

On paper and in the flesh, this year’s 55-lot Arrowfield Magic Millions draft has all the credentials to give that list a substantial boost.

The Stud’s champion and proven sires are well-represented: Redoute’s Choice (three colts & two fillies) and his leading sons Snitzel (five colts & four fillies) & Not A Single Doubt (four colts & a filly); Manhattan Rain (three lots including Scarlet Rain’s full sister); and Group 1 sire Charge Forward (three fillies & a colt).  Golden Slipper favourite She Will Reign and the latest Australian-bred Group winner in South Africa, Whisky Baron, are both by Manhattan Rain.

Three new and emerging Arrowfield sires offer plenty of appealing options for buyers. The catalogue’s 12 first-crop yearlings by six-time Group 1 winner Dundeel include’s Arrowfield’s colts out of Hokuspokus (from Not A Single Doubt’s family) and Champion 2YO & Group 1 producer Miss Finland.

The draft’s seven yearlings from the second crop of Dubai World Cup champion Animal Kingdom are out of mares by Charge Forward, Choisir, Commands, Danzero, Flying Spur, More Than Ready and Snitzel.

Three fillies & five colts by the 2015/16 Champion First Season Sire and current leading Second Season Sire Smart Missile include Secret Agenda’s half-brother and relatives of Special, Inaflury and We Can Say It Now.

Former Arrowfield residents All American, sire of dual Group 1 winner Yankee Rose, and Starcraft, whose 10 winners in Hong Kong feature recent Group 3 winner Blizzard, have seven colts between them.

Buyers will also find full or half siblings of dual Group 2 winner Time For War, juvenile Group winner Honesty Prevails and debut 2YO stakeswinners Azazel & Burnstone; a filly out of multiple stakeswinner Moonlight Bay; and a filly by Japanese Horse of the Year and six-time Group 1 winner Lord Kanaloa.

Arrowfield is Australia's leading Group 1 breeder of 2014/15

Arrowfield closed out the 2014/15 season as Australia’s leading breeder of Group 1 winners with four horses successful at that level.

As the Stud celebrates thirty years of operation, they bring Arrowfield’s tally of Group 1-winning graduates to 54 – forty of them also Arrowfield-bred.

Sweet Idea, Hot Snitzel & Wandjina (all by Snitzel) won a total of six Australian Group races last season with their Group 1 victories coming in the ATC Galaxy Handicap, the BRC BTC Cup and the VRC Australian Guineas.

Champion South African filly Majmu (Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous by Hussonet) progressed from her unbeaten 2YO season to claim the Kenilworth Cape Fillies Guineas & Turffontein Empress Club Stakes at Group 1 level for Sheikh Hamdan & Mike de Kock. She also made up a Group 1 quinella for Redoute’s Choice in the Turffontein President’s Champions Challenge won by Wylie Hall.

Sweet Idea (ex Flidais by Timber Country) & Hot Snitzel (ex Flames of Paris by Blushing Groom) were bred & sold by Arrowfield & Katsumi Yoshida, a partnership also responsible for 2008 Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler and 2008 Blue Diamond winner Reaan.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Sweet Idea was retired after her Galaxy win which capped a stellar $2.4 million career of eight wins (five in Group company) and eight placings (four of them in Group 1 races) from 19 starts.

Sweet Idea’s indomitable character and consistency in top company gave her owners a tremendous ride and one of them, Nick Vass, paid $1.6 million for her at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. That completed a $4 million return on the $240,000 that Waterhouse & James Harron paid for her at the same venue three years ago.

Harron also bought Wandjina (ex La Bamba by Last Tycoon), but had to pay $1 million for him at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale on behalf of Edmund & Belinda Bateman. The handsome bay colt more than fulfilled the expectations attached to such a price with his powerhouse, all-the-way Guineas win and two Group 1 placings, most notably a valiant second, splitting Dissident & Chautauqua in the weight-for-age ATC All Aged S. G1.   

Sent to Royal Ascot before retiring to Newgate Farm, Wandjina signed off with a fine effort for sixth in Undrafted’s Golden Jubilee Stakes, over a distance short of his preferred 1600 metres.

Hot Snitzel saved his best until the Brisbane Winter Carnival for his Triple Crown-managed band of owners and proved too strong in the 1200-metre BTC Cup at Doomben.

That was the 6YO gelding’s sixth Group success among the 8 wins & eight placings that have returned $1.2 million on the $60,000 that Chris & Michael Ward paid for him at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.  Trained by Gerald Ryan for most of his career, Hot Snitzel was transferred to Peter & Paul Snowden before his Group 1 win and remains in training for 2015/16.

This quartet heads a collection of 16 Arrowfield-bred winners of 26 Group & Listed Races in 2014/15. All were offered for sale at auction and 15 of them sold for prices ranging from the $20,000 paid for the weanling Lady Jivago to the seven-figure bid Wandjina attracted.  Perth stakeswinner Rock Magic was sold out of training after four wins with Paul Messara.

The list doesn’t include champion sprinter Lankan Rupee (by Redoute’s Choice; MVRC Manikato Stakes & VRC Lightning Stakes) & Miracles of Life (by Not A Single Doubt; SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes), both born & raised at Arrowfield for Teeley Assets; nor does it include Listed winners Bouzy Rouge & Modello (both by Snitzel), both offered for sale by Arrowfield on behalf of their private breeders.

The full list of Arrowfield’s stakes-winning graduates last season is:

2014/15 STAKESWINNER
& Co-Breeder

SIRE-DAM

STAKES WINS
Trainer(s)

SALE & PRICE
Prizemoney

HOT SNITZEL
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Flames of Paris

G1
Peter & Paul Snowden

Inglis Melbourne
$60,000
$1.2 million

MAJMU

Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous

G1 x2, G3
Mike de Kock

Inglis Easter
$300,000
2.2m Rand

SWEET IDEA
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel- Flidais

G1, G2 x2
Gai Waterhouse

Magic Millions
$240,000
$2.4 million

WANDJINA

Snitzel-La Bamba

G1, G3
Gai Waterhouse

Inglis Easter
$1 million
$653,000

MOONOVERMANHATTAN
with Planette & Belford

Manhattan Rain-Lunaspur

G2
Mick Price

Inglis Easter
$100,000
$279,000

STEPITUP
with Planette

Hussonet-Ain’t Seen Nothin’

Sgp-2 x2, Sgp-3
Laurie Laxon

Inglis Melbourne
$90,000
$S1.9 million

AMORINO
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Steal My Love

G3, LR x2
Archie Alexand
er

Magic Millions
$70,000
$763,000

BURNSTONE
with Klawervlei Stud

Redoute’s Choice-Merlene de Lago

LR
Robbie Griffiths

Inglis Melbourne
$40,000
$72,000
Died after his debut

HIJACK HUSSY
with Planette & Belford

Hussonet-Joy Ride

LR
Tony Gollan

Magic Millions
$62,000
$218,000

MANAPINE
with Jungle Pocket

Manhattan Rain-Anapine

LR
Nigel Blackiston

Inglis Easter
$200,000
$113,000

ROCK MAGIC
with Planette

Redoute’s Choice-Rockabubble

LR x2
Chris Gangemi

Inglis Easter
Passed
$358,000

SMOKO
with Planette
Snitzel-London Lights LR
Ross Price
 Inglis Melbourne
$75,000
$251,000

WILD RAIN
with Planette

Manhattan Rain-North Flower

LR
Mark Kavanagh

Magic Millions
$150,000
$220,000

YGRITTE
with Planette & Belford, Maldale, Michael & Lucy Messara & Tim Noonan

Snitzel-Deputy Lil

LR
Gerald Ryan

Inglis Classic
$135,000
$314,000

LADY JIVAGO
with International Equities

Beneteau-Hussterics

R-LR
Jeff Englebrecht

Magic Millions Weanling
$20,000
$192,000

ODYSSEY MOON
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Run to the Moon

R-LR
Rod Northam

Inglis Classic
$25,000
$435,000

Arrowfield-sired mares make Millions

It may seem to a casual observer of the bloodstock business that juicy investment returns are reserved for colts.

Certainly, the multi-million-dollar deal-making buzz around prospective stallions is intoxicating and, when the deals are completed, very rewarding, even life-changing for their fortunate owners.

However, fillies can generate significant results too. The Select Session of this week’s Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale featured six mares sold for $1 million or more, and four of them, including the two most expensive mares, are by Arrowfield stallions. One of them was also bred & sold as a yearling by Arrowfield, and another is in foal to Snitzel.   

The top-priced mare was Group 1 winner Sweet Idea (Snitzel-Flidais), bred by Arrowfield & Katsumi Yoshida and bought as a yearling from Arrowfield’s 2012 Magic Millions draft by Gai Waterhouse & James Harron. They paid $240,000 on behalf of a group of owners who enjoyed three wonderful seasons of racing with Sweet Idea, winner of 8 races (five at Group 1 & 2 level) and $2.4 million.

On Wednesday she was offered by Widden Stud on behalf of her owners and one of them, Nick Vass, paid $1.6 million to own her outright. All-up, excluding training & racing costs, Sweet Idea has returned 16 times her original purchase price, and she still has a breeding career ahead of her.

The Sale’s second-highest price was the $1.5 million bid by Arrowfield’s Jon Freyer on behalf of Mr Yoshida for dual Group 1 winner Response (Charge Forward-Live It Up), bred by Andrew & Laska Bowcock and sold for $50,000 to Barry & Midge Griffiths at the 2008 Inglis Easter Sale.

Response earned more than $800,000 on the track, was sold for $840,000 after her retirement to SF Bloodstock  and her first foal, a Fastnet Rock filly, made $1,050,000 earlier this year. She has a weanling colt by Exceed and Excel and is due to foal to Snitzel this Spring.

Not A Single Doubt’s Group 2-winning daughter Villa Verde, knocked down for $1.1 million to James Bester & the Deep Field Syndicate, was originally sold in utero when her dam Young and Free was sold for $10,500 by Arrowfield as agent in 2010. 

The buyer, Melbourne breeder Todd Lichti, sold Villa Verde as a yearling for $95,000 to trainer Shaun Dwyer acting for his clients Mike Buys and Rob Willis. The brilliant grey mare earned them more than $650,000 prizemoney which, together with this week’s sale, means she has covered her original price 18 times over.  

Rounding out this quartet of million-dollar mamas was Varenna Miss (Redoute’s Choice-Mica’s Pride) whose status as a Group 2-winning daughter of a champion sire & leading broodmare sire was enhanced by the multiple Group One success of her younger half-brother Criterion.

Like Response, Varenna Miss was presented by Newgate Farm and, in foal to Pierro, was bought for $1 million by Emirates Park.

She was originally purchased for $80,000 as a 2YO by Glenn Fraser from her breeder Twin Palms Stud and won more than $360,000 in a career that featured a BRC QTC Cup G2 victory and a pair of Group 1 fourths.

The Sweetest of Group 1 victories

The path to the Group 1 winner’s circle is is more circuitous for some horses than for others, and their crowning success, when it comes, is especially satisfying.

Snitzel’s daughter Sweet Idea, brilliant winner of Saturday’s $400,000 The Galaxy 1100m G1, is that kind of long-burning star.

She has earned immense respect from punters, racegoers and industry professionals alike, from her debut win at Randwick as a Spring juvenile, through four Group 2 wins, and the same number of Group 1 placings at two, three & four.

Sweet Idea’s record of eight wins (five of them at Group 1 or 2 level), seven seconds, a third and $2.4 million prizemoney from 19 starts, all but three of them in black type races, describes a performer of the most genuine class, always competing to win and never giving less than her very best effort.

She is well-matched with her champion trainer Gai Waterhouse who joined James Harron to buy her for $240,000 from Arrowfield’s 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast draft.

Despite her almost impeccable first-up record, Sweet Idea was allowed to start in The Galaxy at $18, a response to her wide draw and the quality of her opposition, notably the favourite Deep Field. Usually found taking up a position on the speed, Sweet Idea this time settled further back in the field, a tactic explained by Waterhouse after the race.

“Blake [Shinn] and I had a quiet talk in the jockey’s room beforehand and he said what do you think? I said to just give her a little bit of breathing space, you don’t want to use her up too soon and he did exactly that. It was a magical ride by Blake.

“She was too good the way she stormed home. I am so thrilled for the owners. We’ve been wanting the Group 1 and she’s got it in her first start back. What a mare.”

Or “You little ripper”, as part-owner David Henderson described her on Twitter. He races Sweet Idea with his brother Luke and Nick Vass, Wayne Cook, Danny Maher, Grant Scott, Mrs T.L. Vogel, Beric Lynton, Campbell Brown and Matt Allen.

Sweet Idea is the 5th Group 1 winner for Snitzel, and the second in a fortnight, after her Arrowfield-bred stablemate Wandjina’s success in the VRC Australian Guineas G1 on 7 March. Wandjina, from Snitzel’s 2011 crop, was also purchased from Arrowfield by James Harron, for $1 million from the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale. 

Storming home for third in The Galaxy was Not A Single Doubt’s daughter Miracles of Life, bred by Teeley Assets, foaled and raised at Arrowfield and now raced by Stonestreet Stables.

Sweet Idea was bred by the highly successful partnership of Arrowfield & Katsumi Yoshida’s Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd, also responsible for Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler, Blue Diamond G1 winner Reaan, Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel & Hot Snitzel, recent Flemington Group winner Amorino & 2YO stakeswinner Odyssey Moon.

Sweet Idea was part of a notable day’s racing in Sydney for Mr Yoshida, also the breeder of Japanese visitor Real Impact, winner of the George Ryder S. G1. In a nice piece of synchronicity, Sweet Idea’s Group 1 success came on the same card as the Ranvet Stakes G1, one of two Group 1 races won by her Gai Waterhouse-trained grand-dam Electronic.

Arrowfield will offer Sweet Idea’s full sister as Lot 410 at next month’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale – view the draft here. The siblings’ dam Flidais (by Timber Country) has a weanling colt by Snitzel and is once again in foal to the outstanding son of Redoute’s Choice.

Group 1 quinella for Redoute's Choice & Snitzel

Redoute’s Choice and his son Snitzel have matched their one-two finish on last season’s Australian Sires’ Premiership with a Group 1 quinella on Derby Day at Flemington.

Robert & Deborah Anderson’s home-bred mare Bonaria stormed to victory in the $500,000 VRC Myer Classic 1600m G1, winning by a length from the endlessly courageous Sweet Idea, who finished a half-head in front of an equally game Catkins.

Bonaria, by Redoute’s Choice from Decidity (by Last Tycoon), has won in each of her five seasons of racing from the Pat Hyland stable to compile a record of eight wins, nine placings and prizemoney of $907,569. Her performance has improved each season, from juvenile success at two and two city wins at three, to her first Group win as a 4YO and dual Group 3 success last season.

Bonaria’s jockey Michael Rodd said, “She was great. The race panned out for us and she really deserved that win.”

For Sweet Idea (Snitzel-Flidais by Timber Country) it was the fourth Group 1 placing in an outstanding 18-start career that has returned $2.1 million on the $240,000 that Gai Waterhouse & James Harron Bloodstock paid Arrowfield for her at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. She has won at Group 2 level in each of her three racing seasons, including the ATC Missile Stakes and MRC Tristarc Stakes this Spring.

Jockey Tommy Berry was full of admiration for the 4YO mare’s effort in the race registered as the Empire Rose Stakes. “She gives you her all. She looked beaten at the top of the straight and then was in front again at the 100. That shows how honest and tough she is.”

Another Arrowfield graduate, the brilliant South African filly Majmu (ex Spontaneous by Hussonet) completed a Group race double for Redoute’s Choice when she won the Turffontein Starling S. 1400m G3.

Bonaria is the 26th Group 1 winner by Redoute’s Choice and his third this season, after champion sprinter Lankan Rupee (MVRC Manikato S. G1) and 3YO colt Hampton Court (ATC Spring Champion S. G1).

Bonaria is also Redoute’s Choice’s second winner of the Myer Classic (registered as the Empire Rose Stakes), after his first-crop daughter Lotteria, who won the race in 2005.

With six Australian stakeswinners, $3.4 million prizemoney and three sons (Stratum, Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt) among the top 25 sires, Redoute’s Choice is already odds-on to play a major role in the race for the 2014/15 Sires’ Premiership.

Life is Sweet at Caulfield

They were both born at Arrowfield in the Spring of 2010, just 21 days apart, and on Saturday they both scored tremendous Group victories at Caulfield.

The Snitzel-Flidais filly, bred by the Arrowfield & Jungle Pocket partnership, left the farm first. She travelled in January 2012 to the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale where she was bought by her trainer Gai Waterhouse and James Harron Bloodstock for $240,000, making her Arrowfield’s top-priced filly of the sale.

The Not A Single Doubt-Dazzling Gazelle filly, bred by Teeley Assets, left about five weeks later to be broken in and sent to her first trainer Daniel Clarken in Adelaide.

The paths of the two fillies did not cross again until Saturday when they took major roles on an outstanding Caulfield Cup day.

The Snitzel filly, Sweet Idea began with her customary speed in the $200,000 MRC Tristarc S. 1400m G2 and controlled the pace, with Enquare and Catkins leading the chasing pack.  Sweet Idea’s familiar courage kicked in over the final stages and she proved too strong for the fast-finishing Girl Guide and the gallant Catkins, winning by almost a length in 1:25.42.

It was Sweet Idea’s fourth Group 2 success among her seven wins in a 17-start, $2 million career that began almost exactly two years ago when she won on debut at Randwick.  She is raced by the Gold Coast-based brothers David & Luke Henderson with Nick & Amy Vass, Wayne Cook, Danny Maher, Grant Scott, Campbell Brown, Beric Lynton, Gary & Graeme Diamond and Matt Allen.

As Sweet Idea’s jockey Tommy Berry  later tweeted, “She’s a star.” Sweet Idea is the leading earner this season for Snitzel, represented by four stakeswinners since 1 August and currently 7th on the Australian General Sires’ list with $1.6 million prizemoney.

Gai Waterhouse purchased Sweet Idea’s 2YO full sister, now named Sweet Sister, for $200,000 from Arrowfield at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale. Flidais also has a yearling filly and a colt foal by Snitzel and, not surprisingly, visits him again this Spring.

The Not A Single Doubt filly, Miracles Of Life made her season debut in the $200,000 MRC Caulfield Sprint 1100m G2 for her new owner Stonestreet Stables and new trainers Peter & Paul Snowden after being sold for $900,000 at the Teeley Dispersal Sale conducted by Magic Millions earlier this year.

Already a Group 1 Blue Diamond winner at two, and a Group 2 winner last season, the diminutive mare settled behind the speed and hit the front halfway down the straight, only to be challenged by Bel Sprinter.  Miracles of Life refused to concede, Bel Sprinter did not relent and the result was a spectacular dead-heat finish.

Peter Snowden said of Miracles Of Life, “I knew her size when she got to us but she’s strong. I’ve had plenty of small horses and it’s not how big they are, but it’s the ticker that counts.

“It was a matter of her wanting to do it and getting her back to that mindset. In her work, she’s always been brave and Hughie (Bowman) says she’s a dream to ride.”

Miracles Of Life’s sixth win from 13 starts takes her earnings beyond $1 million. She has also taken Not A Single Doubt past that mark for the season – he’s among Australia’s top 20 sires by prizemoney, and fourth by individual winners (37).

Dazzling Gazelle, also now owned by Stonestreet Stables, has a yearling colt by Not A Single Doubt and delivered a full sister to Miracles Of Life in August.

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.

Third Group 1 placing for Sweet Idea

On the first Group One day of the new Australian season, Sweet Idea was the undoubted star for Arrowfield.

The 4YO daughter of Snitzel and Flidais lined up in a quality field for Saturday’s $400,000 MRC Memsie S. 1400m G1 – the first Group 1 race of the Australian season – and was quickly seen driving forward to set the pace, with three-time Group 1 winner Moment Of Change in close attendance.

Sweet Idea engaged top gear round the home turn and set sail for home, leaving Moment Of Change behind, but Dissident quickly emerged to challenge and then slip past her. However, Sweet Idea kept fighting right to the line and held off Puissance De Lune to secure her third Group 1 placing.

Sweet Idea’s jockey Craig Newitt said, “She tried her heart out. She got a nice soft breather midrace and the big horse (Moment Of Change) smoked up outside her coming to the corner. She let rip but the winner was too good.”

Bred by Arrowfield & Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd, Sweet Idea was purchased for $240,000 from Arrowfield’s 20102 Magic Millions Gold Coast draft by trainer Gai Waterhouse & agent James Harron.

Raced by a group that includes brothers David & Luke Henderson, and former AFL player Campbell Brown, Sweet Idea has been out of the money only twice in her 15-start career, and has earned prizemoney of $1.9 million. Her record now includes Group 2 victories and Group 1 placings at two, three and four.

Gai Waterhouse’s pre-Memsie Stakes comments could apply to Sweet Idea’s entire career: “…she is fit, she is tough and she will be right there at the finish.”

Flidais, a winning daughter of Timber Country and dual Group 1 winner Electronic, is also dam of Malaysian stakeswinner Rush and Australian winner Phantom Queen (both by Charge Forward), the unraced 3YO filly Surf Poet (by Charge Forward) and 2YO filly Sweet Sister & a yearling filly (both by Snitzel). Flidais is due to foal again to Snitzel next month.

Snitzel was also represented on Saturday by another Arrowfield graduate, 3YO filly Ygritte (ex Deputy Lil by French Deputy), third in the ATC Run To The Rose 1200m G3, her fourth Group placing in six starts for owner Carl Holt and trainer Gerald Ryan.

Those two performances have boosted Snitzel’s early-season Australian prizemoney beyond $700,000 – enough to maintain his lead on the General Sires’ list.

Stakes double opens Snitzel's season

Last season’s Sires’ Premiership runner-up Snitzel has already launched his challenge for this season’s title, with a valuable two-state stakes double.

His outstanding daughter Sweet Idea began her 4YO campaign with a stirring defeat of the talented Messene and five Group 1 winners in the $175,000 ATC Missile S. 1200m G2.

It’s the third Group 2 success and the first in open company for the Gai Waterhouse-trained mare whose records reflects her class and courage: six wins, 5 placings and more than $1.8 million prizemoney from 14 starts.

Stable representative Mark Newnham said,”She just doesn’t make any mistakes. She’s first out of the barriers, gets there, relaxes and fights like anything. You love horses like that.

“Every time a horse comes at her she just keeps putting her head out.”

Sweet Idea (ex Flidais by Timber Country) was purchased for $240,000 by Gai Waterhouse & James Harron from the Arrowfield draft at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. The stable also purchased her full sister from this year’s Magic Millions Sale. Flidais has a yearling filly by Snitzel and is due to foal again to him next month.

In Western Australia, another Arrowfield graduate, Smoko (ex London Lights by Bletchingly), blitzed his rivals in the $100,000 WATC Belmont Newmarket 1200m LR to become Snitzel’s 23rd stakeswinner.  The runner-up Dominating made it a stakes quinella for Snitzel.

After six brilliant wins from 7 starts, Smoko looks well and truly ready for an interstate trip. As co-trainer Clint Price said after today’s success, “He can match it with the best, there’s no doubt about that.”

Smoko, a $75,000 purchase by owners Frank & Josie Fiore, is the sixth stakeswinner from Arrowfield’s draft at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. The others are Group 1 winner Snitzerland, Group 2 winners Flying Snitzel & Honorine, Champion Singapore 3YO Stepitup, and stakeswinner Road Trippin’.  

How to start the season with a bang

Freshman stallions, watch and learn. Here’s how to start the season with a bang.

It’s only nine days since Redoute’s Choice and his son Snitzel made history with an historic father-and-son annexation of the top two positions on the 2013/14 Australian General Sires’ Premiership.

On Saturday they claimed three of the new season’s early stakes races.

3YO colt Scissor Kick (ex Back Pass by Quest For Fame) became the 116th stakeswinner for Redoute’s Choice with a strong victory in the $100,000 The Rosebud 1200m LR at Randwick. 

Scissor Kick, from the family of Danehill’s international champions Dansili, Intercontinental, Champs Elysees,  Banks Hill & Promising Lead, was bred by Jonathan Munz and is trained by Paul Messara for Arrowfield & Munz’s Pinecliff Racing.

Forty minutes later Snitzel’s indomitable 4YO daughter Sweet Idea (ex Flidais by Timber Country) opened her Spring campaign with an iron-willed performance in the $175,000 ATC Missile S. 1200m G2. 

It was Sweet Idea’s third Group 2 success in a 14-start, six-win career that has returned more than $1.8 million on the $240,000 bid for her by trainer Gai Waterhouse & James Harron at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Sweet Idea was bred & sold by Arrowfield & Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd and is raced by a group of owners including David & Luke Henderson, Nick Vass & Campbell Brown.

The day’s feature racing concluded with a Snitzel quinella in the $100,000 WATC Belmont Newmarket 1200m LR, won by the brilliant Arrowfield graduate Smoko (ex London Lights by Bletchingly) from Dominating (ex Red Princess by Red Ransom).

Smoko, bred by Arrowfield & Planette Thoroughbred, was purchased by owners Frank & Josie Fiore for $75,000 from the Arrowfield draft at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.  A half-brother to Group 1 winner Only A Lady, from the noted New Zealand speed family of Tudor Light, Smoko has now won six of his 7 starts from the stable of Ross & Clint Price.

Smoko is stakeswinner No. 23 for Snitzel, and the sixth stakes-winning graduate of Arrowfield’s 2011 Melbourne consignment, after Snitzerland (by Snitzel), Flying Snitzel (by Snitzel), Stepitup (by Hussonet), Honorine (by Redoute’s Choice) and Road Trippin’ (by Charge Forward).

The nine stallions on the 2014 Arrowfield roster will parade at the Stud’s Stallion Open House, Thursday 21-Sunday 24 August. All clients, guests & visitors are welcome – click  here  for more information.