The Star secures Shoals for The Everest

Outstanding filly Shoals will run for The Star Entertainment Group, Arrowfield & Jonathan Munz in the $13 million The Everest on 13 October…

The Star Entertainment Group is delighted to announce the best three-year-old filly in Australia will be the company’s entry for the world’s richest turf race – The Everest – at Royal Randwick on 13 October.

Shoals (Fastnet Rock-The Broken Shore), with Group 1 victories in three states and prizemoney earnings of more than $2 million, will contest the 1200m weight-for-age sprint that is now the jewel of Sydney Spring Racing.

Launched last year as a ground-breaking $10 million race, The Everest in 2018 will have an even more staggering prizemoney pool of $13 million, well above the $7.3 million on offer for the Melbourne Cup.

Shoals will be The Star’s runner in The Everest’s elite 12-horse field following discussions between the ASX Top 100 listed company and Arrowfield Stud chairman John Messara.

“Like The Everest, The Star offers a premium entertainment experience for visitors to Sydney, and with three Group 1 victories on her record, Shoals has the kind of star power that can light up Royal Randwick,” said Messara.

Trained by Anthony Freedman for owner-breeders Messara and Jonathan Munz, Shoals has had a stellar three-year-old season, winning the Myer Classic in Melbourne , the Surround Stakes in Sydney and completing a Group One hat-trick with the Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide.

Unbeaten in three starts as a two-year-old, Shoals has now become one of only five horses to win three or more Australian Group One races in the current 2017-18 season.

Winx has won six. Shoals, Happy Clapper, Santa Ana Lane and Trapeze Artist have secured three apiece.

Shoals is already a Group 1 winner at Royal Randwick, in the ATC Surround Stakes on 3 March. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

“Jonathan and I are delighted to conclude an arrangement with The Star for Shoals to run in The Everest,” Messara said.

“We think she is a great chance to win the race and we’re all looking forward to her return in the Spring.”

The Star was an original slot owner for The Everest and continues to support the unique concept behind the race, won in its inaugural year by Redzel, a son of the Arrowfield-based Champion Sire Snitzel.

“We’re excited to be fielding a runner this year in partnership with Arrowfield’s John Messara,” said Michael Hodgson, GM Business Development and Partnerships at The Star Entertainment Group.

“He’s one of the most knowledgeable and esteemed racing men in the world, and in Shoals we believe we have an outstanding filly capable of claiming the event.”

Hodgson said The Star Entertainment Group was committed to delivering thrilling experiences to its domestic and international guests.“The Everest is certainly aligned to that promise,” he added.

“It also provides an opportunity to bring VIP guests from around the world to Australia to participate in an event unlike any other.

“There is no doubt The Everest, after successfully launching last year, is the new summit of thoroughbred racing and the star attraction for the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.

“We were excited to be involved in year one and delighted to be back for the second iteration.”

Watch Shoals’ three Group 1 victories in 2017/18:
VRC Myer Classic G1, Flemington, 4 November 2017
ATC Surround S. G1, Randwick, 3 March 2018
SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1, Morphettville, 5 May 2018

Shoals supreme in Group 1 Surround Stakes

The Arrowfield brand has been carried by some outstanding fillies over the past three decades, most sold as yearlings to achieve Group 1 success for many happy owners outside the company.

One of them, last season’s Group 1 winner Secret Agenda resumed with an ebullient victory at Flemington yesterday for the Bluebloods Thoroughbreds syndicate that purchased her for $120,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale.

Other recent Group 1-winning female Arrowfield graduates are Sheikh Hamdan’s Champion Filly Majmu, Oaks winner Abbey Marie, and Group 1-winning sprinters Snitzerland & Sweet Idea.

Occasionally, the Stud is either left with an unsold filly, like 2010 Coolmore Classic G1 winner Alverta, or chooses to keep a particularly well-bred filly, such as Champion 2YO & 3YO Filly Miss Finland and her 1000 Guineas-winning daughter Stay With Me. All three are now valuable members of the Arrowfield broodmare band – so valuable that they respectively have a yearling filly, a weanling colt and a positive test to Japan’s supersire Deep Impact.

The briefest glance at the pedigree of 3YO filly Shoals, brilliant winner of Saturday’s $500,000 ATC Surround S. 1400m G1, explains why Arrowfield and co-breeder Jonathan Munz elected to retain her.

By two-time Champion Sire Fastnet Rock from a Hussonet half-sister to three-time Champion Sire Redoute’s Choice, Shoals had sufficient value in utero for her mother The Broken Shore to command a $1.9 million final bid at the 2014 Magic Millions Teeley Dispersal.

Sent to the Melbourne-based Freedman stable now headed by Anthony & his son Sam, Shoals showed early ability, winning her 2YO February debut and stepping up immediately to Group 3 success, then victory in last April’s ATC Percy Sykes S. G2.

She opened her 3YO campaign by winning the MVRC Atlantic Jewel S. G1 in September, then filled the runner-up spots in the Tranquil Star S. G2 and the 1000 Guineas G1 before scoring a heroic, all-the-way victory in the VRC Myer Classic G1 on Derby Day.

The only below-par performance in her nine-start, $1.3 million career came at her Autumn campaign debut last month, when she was unplaced at Caulfield. A complete review of the filly’s physical status turned up nothing and Sam Freedman offered the most likely explanation for that uncharacteristically poor run.

“She had a month off and blew right out, did very well in the paddock and was probably a little flat first-up, it’s all we can put that down to.”

Shoals’ emphatic performance at Randwick backs the stable’s conclusion. She bounced out well from gate 4 and settled comfortably behind the early leader Shumookh, so was in the perfect position for Josh Parr to peel her out and challenge at the top of the straight. Shumookh fought on while the favourite Alizee struggled to make ground from the rear and Torvill (by Not A Single Doubt) & Rimraam began to steam home down the outside. 

Shoals had the race under control at the 200-metre mark, but kept fighting to defeat Torvill by a half-length, with Rimraam third and Shumookh fourth.

Watch Shoals win the ATC Surround S. G1.

Major Autumn targets in Sydney now beckon, including the T.J. Smith Stakes, the Doncaster Mile and the Queen of the Turf Stakes – and Shoals is nominated for all of them. A future Royal Ascot and July Cup campaign is also on the table. 

In the meantime, Arrowfield is preparing Shoals’ full brother for next month’s Inglis Easter Sale, raises her half-brother by Medaglia D’Oro and eight-year-old The Broken Shore, who hasn’t missed a beat in her breeding career, nurtures the Fastnet Rock foal she is due to deliver next Spring.

Partnership punt pays off with Myer Classic win

Some of the biggest punts in racing have nothing to do with totes or bookmakers.

One of them, the $1.9 million purchase of in-foal broodmare The Broken Shore by Jonathan Munz & Arrowfield, paid off on Derby Day at Flemington, when her daughter Shoals withstood every challenge to win the $500,000 VRC Myer Classic 1600m G1.

As Jonathan Munz said, “We backed ourselves when we bought the mare from the Teeley Dispersal and this is the best result we could have wished for.”

The 3YO filly, bought in utero with her mother, has barely missed a beat in her five-win, 7-start career. With only 50 kg to carry, she was favoured to give the Myer Classic a big shake after her gallant second to Aloisia in the Thousand Guineas G1 three weeks ago. 

And so she did, as jockey Dean Yendall perfectly executed the pre-race plan to use Shoals’ gate speed to take up a forward position,  settle her just off the lead, then strike hard and put pressure on her older rivals, all carrying 57 kg.  

Shoals had the race under control 300 metres out, but Yendall had to call on her fighting spirit as Eckstein, Dixie Blossoms and Beneteau’s daughter Prompt Response threw everything into the finish.

The filly’s class and courage took her through the last 50 metres for a narrow but decisive victory, much to the delight of Jonathan Munz, Pinecliff Racing Manager Rocket Douglas and Team Arrowfield led by Paul & Alice Messara.   

Shoals had visibly progressed since her Guineas second, and both her work last week and Aloisia’s Moonee Valley Vase win indicated that a more serious 1600-metre test was within her capability.

Trainer Anthony Freedman has had sole responsibility for Shoals this season, after brother Lee’s departure for Singapore. He said after the Myer Classic, “We got confident when Aloisia won last Saturday. 

“We decided to keep something up our sleeve for this race. She was incredibly tough today. There’s no reason she can’t win a few more Group Ones.”

Her status as a Group 1 winner – and Group 2, Group 3 & Listed winner – enhances Shoals’ already substantial value as a daughter of champion sire Fastnet Rock and a Hussonet half-sister to champion sire Redoute’s Choice. 

Shoals’ story is a new chapter in the book of one of Australia’s most illustrious female families. The prospects of Shoals’ Autumn campaign, plus her 2YO full sister Tides, their yearling full brother and a colt foal by Medaglia D’Oro give Jonathan Munz and Arrowfield much to look forward to.

Shoals too strong in Atlantic Jewel Stakes

The ten mares bought for $1 million or more from the spectacular Teeley Dispersal at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale are a fascinating group to follow. 

Nine of the ten are from the immediate family of Redoute’s Choice and the tenth mare, Estelle Collection was in foal to the champion sire. 

Four of them have had subsequent yearlings go through the ring in Australia for a total of $3.95 million. Two mares, Drifting Cube and Taste of Heaven are in the United States, while Unspoken Choice is in Japan where she has a yearling colt by Deep Impact. 

Several of these mares have unraced progeny in Australia, for example, 3YOs Notting Hill (Pierro-Monsoon Wedding), Lankan Rupee’s full brother Regal Stage (Redoute’s Choice-Estelle Collection), Mujaadil (Not A Single Doubt-Unspoken Choice) & Exrated (Pierro-Rex Is A Star).

The just-turned 2YOs include Munich (Snitzel-Quench The Thirst), Set Goals (Snitzel-Your Life Style) and a Dundeel filly from Rex Is A Star. 

However, the early prize for the best result from the Teeley Dispersal must go to The Broken Shore, one of two Hussonet fillies that Shantha’s Choice left at the end of her extraordinary career as a matron. 

Bought for $1.9 million by Dean Hawthorne for the partnership of Arrowfield and Jonthan Munz’s Pinecliff Racing, The Broken Shore produced a Fastnet Rock filly in 2014. Named Shoals, she was retained by her breeders and is unbeaten in four starts after adding Saturday’s $120,000 MVRC Atlantic Jewel S. 1200m LR to her two juvenile Group victories and debut win last February.

Watch Shoals win the MVRC Atlantic Jewel S. LR.

That record and her solid gold pedigree make Shoals one of Australia’s most valuable fillies in training, and not surprisingly her trainer Anthony Freedman has a Group 1 target in sight for her.  

He said after her no-nonsense Moonee Valley success, “We need to find out now is she can stretch out in distance. If she can get a mile then a race like the Thousand Guineas is the obvious race for her.

“She’s got the temperament to do it, it’s more a question of whether she can stay. She’s high quality and I’d like to think there’s more improvement in her – she hadn’t done that much coming here.”

The Atlantic Jewel Stakes was also won two years ago by Arrowfield’s filly Stay With Me on her way to success in the Thousand Guineas G1.  

Still a young mare, only eight years-old, The Broken Shore has already joined her half-sisters Monsoon Wedding and Sliding Cube to expand the distaff side of the Shantha’s Choice dynasty. And there’s more to come: Shoals has a 2YO full sister and yearling full brother and The Broken Shore is foaling this Spring to Medaglia d’Oro.