A Champion-making, Everest-conquering, Sale-topping year

At the end of an exceptional year in Arrowfield Stud’s 33-year history, it’s not hard to identify 10 very special achievements on the track and in the ring…

Thank you to everyone whose work, investment and passion supported the Australian thoroughbred industry, including Arrowfield, in 2018. We wish you all a generous share of success, happiness & prosperity in 2019 and look forward to welcoming clients, visitors & guests to our Magic Millions Sale marquee from Friday 4 January.

At the end of a truly remarkable year in Arrowfield Stud’s 33-year history, it’s not hard to identify 10 very special moments from 2018, in chronological order:

SALE-TOPPING SUCCESS AT MAGIC MILLIONS
13 January 2018 – Gold Coast, Queensland
Arrowfield and Champion Sire Snitzel complete a leading vendor & stallion double in Book 1 of the record-breaking 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Arrowfield is the Leading Vendor by aggregate sales for the third consecutive year with $13,680,000 paid for 46 of 49 lots sold. Results include two 7-figure sales: the top-priced filly, by Snitzel out of Flidais ($1.8 million, named EVENING SLIPPERS & placed at Randwick at her first start in October) and the Redoute’s Choice-Cat By The Tale colt ($1 million).

Snitzel heads the Sires’ table by average for the first time at Magic Millions with 33 lots sold for an average price of $483,788.

THE SENSATIONAL SPEED FILLY
3 March 2018  – Randwick, Sydney

SHOALS (Fastnet Rock-The Broken Shore by Hussonet) gave us one of our best moments in the 2017 VRC Myer Classic G1 and she does even better in 2018 with two elite victories, notably the first Group 1 running of the ATC Surround Stakes. Sent out at double-figure odds by the punters, the brilliant filly, bred & raced by Arrowfield in partnership with Jonathan Munz, proves simply too swift and too classy for her rivals.

Two months later Shoals lands the SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1, with another top-flight Arrowfield graduate SECRET AGENDA (Not A Single Doubt-Negotiate) filling the quinella. Thirteen starts, 7 wins (6 in Group & Listed company), 4 placings and $2.4 million prizemoney – Shoals is right up there among the very best horses to race in Arrowfield’s ownership. Best of all, she remains in training for 2019.

GOLDEN SLIPPER GLORY 
24 March 2018 – Rosehill, Sydney
Northern Farm-bred, Arrowfield-sold filly ESTIJAAB (Snitzel-Response by Charge Forward) fills the one serious gap in Snitzel’s CV with a scintillating, all-the-way win in the ATC Golden Slipper G1 for owner Emirates Park & trainers Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes.

Estijaab is the 7th Arrowfield-bred and/or –sold Golden Slipper winner after DANZERO (1994), FLYING SPUR (1995), CATBIRD (1999), BELLE DU JOUR (2000), MISS FINLAND (2006) and FORENSICS (2007).

THE YOUNG GUNS FIRE UP
31 March 2018 – Rosehill, Sydney

Spendthrift Australia’s Hawkes-trained 2YO colt IRUKANDJI (ex Cerberus Gal by General Nediym) wins the ATC The Schweppervescence G3 to give his sire, 6-time Group 1 winner Dundeel that all-important first stakeswinner.

Dundeel has kept up the good work and at year’s end has 22 winners on the board, a second stakeswinner  in New Zealand Derby favourite CUTADEEL, and plenty of rapidly emerging talent in major stables including Lincoln Falls, Dealmaker, The Closer, The Inevitable, 2YO debut winner Yourdeel, Global Exchange, Miss Einstein & Nordicus.

Olympic Glory
has been just as busy building an excellent first-crop record in Europe where he’s posted 21 2YO winners, including his first stakeswinner WATCH ME (ex Watchful by Galileo) in France on 10 November.

TWO MIGHTY SPRINTING CONTESTS
7 April 2018 & 13 October 2018 – Randwick, Sydney
The rivalry of Snitzel’s super sprinting sons delivers two mighty contests, six months apart. The Vieira family-owned & Gerald Ryan-trained TRAPEZE ARTIST (ex Treppes by Domesday) is too strong on Good4 ground in April, racing away from Redzel in the ATC TJC Smith S. G1 and setting a new race record of 1:08.29.

Six months later, the powerhouse, front-running pace of Triple Crown-owned & Snowden-trained REDZEL (ex Millrich by Rubiton) prevails in The Everest on a Heavy9 track, with Trapeze Artist sticking on bravely in second. It’s an unforgettable $8.6 million quinella that once again gives Snitzel early-season control of the General Sires’ premiership.

The $1.8 million Snitzel-Flidais filly at Magic Millions, now racing as Evening Slippers.

Champion 3YO Filly Shoals wins the ATC Surround S. G1.

Arrowfield graduate ESTIJAAB wins the ATC Golden Slipper G1.

IRUKANDJI becomes Dundeel's first stakeswinner in The Schweppervescence G3.

TRAPEZE ARTIST defeats Redzel in a titanic ATC T.J. Smith S. G1.

The top-priced Australian yearling of 2018, Arrowfield's $2.3 million full brother to Shoals.

Season 2017/18 belonged to SNITZEL, crowned Champion Sire for the second consecutive year.

Arrowfield graduate SHOWTIME wins the MRC P.B. Lawrence S. G2 for Katsumi Yoshida.

MAID OF HEAVEN wins a terrific battle with Godolphin's Aramayo to claim the ATC Spring Champion S. G1.

Snitzel's exceptional son REDZEL is again supreme in The Everest at Randwick.

Australia's new star THE AUTUMN SUN races away with the MRC Caulfield Guineas G1.

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A RARE VENDOR ACHIEVEMENT AT INGLIS EASTER
11 April 2018 – Riverside Stables, Warwick Farm, Sydney
The move from Newmarket to Riverside Stables was a major commitment for Inglis, vendors and buyers and Arrowfield honours the privilege of occupying the beautiful new “Big Barn” by heading the inaugural Book 1 Easter Sale vendor list on aggregate for the fourth consecutive year with 31 lots sold for $18,265,000 – that’s 15.7% of total sales from 9.3% of the yearlings sold.

Arrowfield also heads the table by average with $589,194, becoming the first vendor to achieve that rare double for at least a decade.  The Stud’s eight million-dollar lots include the sale-topping full brother to Shoals, knocked down for $2.3 million to Anthony Freedman and now named GROUNDSWELL. In all, Arrowfield & its stallions are responsible for 13 of the Sale’s 22 $1 million+ yearlings. 

SHOWTIME TURNS IT ON AT CAULFIELD
18 August 2018 – Caulfield, Melbourne
Carrying the famous silks of the great Japanese owner-breeder Katsumi Yoshida and trained by Team Hawkes, SHOWTIME (Snitzel-Flidais by Timber Country) is capable of outstanding performances when races unfold to suit him as the MRC P.B. Lawrence S. G2 does. He lands close to the pace and, relishing the contest as the leaders round the turn, fights like a tiger to defeat multiple Group 1 winner (and previous Lawrence Stakes winner) Hartnell.

FIVE WINNERS AT RACEHORSE OF THE YEAR AWARDS
4 October 2018 – The Forum, Melbourne
Winx
’s well-deserved elevation to three-time Horse of the Year status, alongside Sunline & Black Caviar, was easy to predict at the 2018 Australian Racehorse of the Year Awards. Equally newsworthy is Arrowfield’s association with five of the 7 national awards that Winx didn’t win:
SNITZEL – Champion Sire of Australia for the second time with staggering all-time record prizemoney of $29.2 million and a record-equalling 26 individual stakeswinners.
ESTIJAAB – Champion 2YO
TRAPEZE ARTIST – Champion 3YO Colt
REDZEL – Champion Sprinter
SHOALS – Champion 3YO Filly

MAID DELIVERS SPRING CHAMPION MILESTONES 
6 October 2018 – Randwick, Sydney
At her 5th start and backing up a week after an unlucky 6th in the Flight S. G1, Inglis Classic graduate MAID OF HEAVEN (Smart Missile-St. Therese by Dehere) carries the Arrowfield silks to a thrilling last-stride victory in the ATC Spring Champion S. G1, becoming only the second filly to win the race in its 47-year history. It’s also a heart-warming maiden Group 1 victory for trainer Mark Newnham & jockey Rachel King.

A NEW STAR RISES
13 October, 2018 – Caulfield, Melbourne
Going into the MRC Caulfield Guineas G1, the class of THE AUTUMN SUN (Redoute’s Choice-Azmiyna by Galileo) was well-established by his superlative victories in the BRC JJ Atkins S. G1 as a 2YO, and then September’s ATC Golden Rose S. G1.

But there is much more at stake for Arrowfield this time, after buying back into the glorious colt the Stud had sold for $700,000 on behalf of its partnership with HH The Aga Khan to Hermitage Thoroughbreds, trainer Chris Waller & agent Guy Mulcaster at the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale. And The Autumn Sun exceeds all expectations, winning the Guineas by 4.5 lengths in breath-taking style. The colt’s return for a major Autumn campaign is set to be an early highlight of 2019. 

Arrowfield’s best moments in a milestone season

It’s no easy task to choose the 10 – make that 11 – best moments from a milestone season in Arrowfield’s 33-year history, but here’s a spirited attempt…

It’s no easy task to choose the 10 – make that 11 – best moments from a milestone season in Arrowfield’s 33-year history, but here’s a spirited attempt, in chronological order:

Pariah joined General Nediym, Testa Rossa, Charge Forward & Snitzerland on the San Domenico G3 winners’ list. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Pariah at Rosehill, 26 August 2017
Team Arrowfield was busy hosting their annual Stallion Open House, and gathered around the marquee TV to watch star colt Pariah run in the ATC San Domenico S. G3. Arrowfield had bought back into Pariah after his Group-winning 2YO campaign for James Harron & partners, and his sparkling 3YO debut was greeted with jubilation. A year later Pariah has joined the Redoute’s Choice dynasty at Arrowfield and will parade at the Open House, 24-26 August.
Watch the Arrowfield team cheer Pariah home in the San Domenico S. G3.


Triple Crown syndicators Michael & Chris Ward celebrate Redzel’s superlative Everest victory. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Redzel at Randwick, 14 October 2017
The Everest was an instant hit with owners, trainers, punters, media, racegoers and that elusive beast, the general public. Redzel launched the race with a classic demonstration of unyielding powerhouse Aussie speed and sparked exuberant celebrations by his Triple Crown owners, slot-holder James Harron & partners and the Snowden stable. Snitzel had already established a decent lead on the General Sires’ list, but after The Everest he shot clear by $6.6 million and was not sighted by his rivals for the rest of the season.


The Mick Price-trained Mighty Boss gave Teeley Assets a second Caulfield Guineas win, after Redoute’s Choice in 1999. (PHOTO: Darren Tindale)

Not A Single Doubt’s big day, 14 October 2017
Everest Day turned out to be huge for Not A Single Doubt too. Upset Caulfield Guineas G1 winner Mighty Boss, Group 3 winner Cool Passion and Listed winners Qafila and Torvill gave him the first quadruple stakes day of his career – and all four horses were new stakeswinners. Not A Single Doubt ended a tremendous year with a career-high season tally of 16 stakeswinners and 6th spot on the Australian Premiership, his fourth top 10 finish.


Smiles all round from Tom Dabernig, David Hayes & Ben Hayes after Boom Time’s Caulfield Cup victory. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Caulfield Cup quinella, 21 October 2017
He started at 50/1 and she was 30/1 – neither given any serious chance of beating horses like Humidor, Johannes Vermeer, Bonneval and Harlem in  the $3 million Caulfield Cup G1. But no-one conveyed that message to Flying Spur’s son Boom Time or Not A Single Doubt’s daughter Single Gaze, and home they rolled, for the season’s most unexpected Group 1 quinella. It was also the perfect sign-off for Champion Sire Flying Spur, who died at Arrowfield in May, at the age of 25. 


Star filly Shoals held off a quality field of mares in the VRC Myer Classic G1. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Shoals at Flemington, 4 November 2017
Late on 16 August 2014, John Messara shared a photo of the newborn Fastnet Rock-The Broken Shore filly with the prediction that she would be a star. Three years later the filly, named Shoals, fulfilled that prophecy with an exhilarating victory in the VRC Myer Classic G1 for her owner-breeders Arrowfield and Jonathan Munz’s Pinecliff Racing, and trainer Anthony Freedman. Further success in the ATC Surround S. G1 and SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1 stamped Shoals as an exceptional talent worthy of The Star’s slot in this season’s running of The Everest. 


The Snitzel-Flidais filly will race as Evening Slippers from the Waterhouse & Bott stable. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, 10-14 January 2018
Arrowfield ended the record-breaking Sale with its all-time highest Magic Millions aggregate of $14.1 million, heading the Vendor list for the third successive year. Arrowfield’s $1.8 million Snitzel-Flidais filly was the Sale’s and her sire’s top-priced filly, and Snitzel led the Magic Million Sires table for the first time with 33 lots sold at an average price of $483,788. The Stud also sold the 75th million-dollar yearling by Redoute’s Choice and the $600,000 Olympic Glory-Downtown Manhattan colt.


Dr Shalabh Sahu, Hussain Lootah, Tariq Al Shamsi, Saif Al Ketbi and Bryan Carlson celebrate Estijaab’s victory in the 2018 Golden Slipper G1. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

The Golden Slipper, Rosehill, 24 March 2018
Snitzerland was 2nd in 2012, Sweet Idea was 3rd in 2013 and then along came Estijaab to add that precious first Golden Slipper victory to Snitzel’s progeny record – and the 7th by an Arrowfield graduate. Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm, raised and sold by Arrowfield, bought at Inglis Easter by Emirates Park and Bryan Carlson for $1.7 million and trained by Team Hawkes, Estijaab was the perfect poster girl for Arrowfield’s much admired “A Diamond is Forever” marketing campaign.


Dundeel’s 2YO son Irukandji earned Group-winning status at his fourth start. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Irukandji wins for Dundeel, Rosehill, 31 March 2018
A first-crop 2YO Group winner is always on the wish-list for a young sire and Spendthrift Farm’s Hawkes-trained colt Irukandji came through for Dundeel with a convincing victory in the ATC T.L. Baillieu S. G3. Irukandji has been a headliner from the start, as a $240,000 weanling, and $500,000 pin-hook result at Magic Millions, and there may be more headlines to come – he is nominated for the ATC Golden Rose G1 on 22 September.


Trapeze Artist & Redzel finished 6 & 4 lengths clear of their rivals in the ATC T.J. Smith S. G1. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

The T.J. Smith G1 quinella,  Randwick, 7 April 2018
Snitzel posted two Group 1 quinellas in 2017/18 and both were among the season’s most thrilling finishes. Russian Revolution and Snitty Kitty were terrific in the Oakleigh Plate, but 3YO Trapeze Artist’s performance to launch from a wide run and sweep past a top-of-his-game Redzel in the $2.5 million T.J. Smith was of seldom-seen quality. A return match in The Everest this October is something to savour.


The $2.3 million brother to Shoals was 2018’s top-priced yearling sold in Australia. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

Inglis Easter Sale, Sydney,
9-11 April 2018

Arrowfield celebrated the first Easter Sale held at the new Riverside Stables at Warwick Farm with a rarely achieved double: the highest aggregate (just over $20 million) and the highest average ($488,658). Leading vendor status for the fourth consecutive year, the top-priced $2.3 million brother to Shoals and 7 other million-dollar yearlings – including two daughters of Deep Impact – sealed an outstanding sales season for the Stud’s dedicated team and many very happy clients.


The Autumn Sun is out of Azmiyna, a Galileo half-sister to European champion Azamour. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

The Autumn Sun, Doomben,
9 June 2018
A Redoute’s Choice colt opened the best of Arrowfield’s season and a Redoute’s Choice colt closed it when The Autumn Sun drew clear of Zousain in the BRC J.J. Atkins Plate G1, becoming his mighty sire’s 33rd Group 1 winner, and his 9th Group 1 2YO winner. Another exciting prospect for 2018/19, The Autumn Sun capped a fine year for Arrowfield’s joint venture with the Aga Khan Studs, which also sold his three-quarter sister for $1.3 million at Inglis Easter.

Snitzel celebrates a spectacular second Premiership season

Arrowfield’s all-conquering Champion Sire Snitzel has made breaking records his dedicated profession…

Arrowfield’s all-conquering Champion Sire Snitzel has made breaking records his dedicated profession.

He swept past his own Australian season earnings record back in February and is about to claim his second consecutive Australian General Sires’ Premiership with a staggering total of more than $29 million. He also retains the 2YO Sires’ and 3YO Sires’ titles he won last season.

Snitzel’s progeny have won almost twice the prizemoney of his nearest rivals I Am Invincible, and two-time champion sire Fastnet Rock, who have compiled outstanding seasons with career-best earnings in Australia. Despite that, they both fell short of Snitzel’s record 2016/17 prizemoney of $16.2 million.

The sensational son of Redoute’s Choice also tops the 2017/18 table by winners, wins and stakeswinners with 26 horses successful in Group & Listed company.  That repeats his achievement with eight crops of racing age in 2016/17 and again equals Danehill’s record, set with nine crops of racing age in 2001/02.

Redzel dominated The Everest from start to finish, landing the $5.8 million first prize for his Triple Crown owners & slot-holder James Harron and partners. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

However, Snitzel’s tally of 43 Australian stakes victories this season is a record he holds on his own, ahead of the previous mark of 36 stakes wins set by Danehill in 2004/05.

The quality of the performances put up by Snitzel’s best domestic performers this season is impressive. Eighteen (69%) of the 26 are Group winners, with a standout performer in each age category: 2YO Estijaab, 3YO Trapeze Artist, 4YO Russian Revolution & 5YO Redzel.  This quartet  won six Group 1 races, the multiple winner being Trapeze Artist, successful against his own age group in the ATC Golden Rose G1, and then beating the older sprinters at weight-for-age in the ATC TJ Smith S. G1 and ATC All Aged S. G1.

Trapeze Artist & Redzel delivered one of the season’s most thrilling finishes in April’s ATC T.J. Smith S. G1 at The Championships. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Estijaab, Trapeze Artist and Redzel all won more than $2 million during the season, with Redzel’s $7,532,300 prizemoney making him the country’s leading earner. Remove them from Snitzel’s total, and he still wins the Premiership with a new record figure.  

A further eight horses were Group 1-placed in 2017/18, among them the valiant Tangled, runner-up in the Rosehill Guineas & Spring Champion Stakes, and third in the Australian Derby. 

Snitzel’s 26 stakeswinners come from his 2011 to 2015 crops and it is no accident that his remarkable 2014 crop (currently on 14.4% SW/Runners)  has produced 12 of them. Ten of the 35 juvenile winners that last season gave Snitzel another record, exceeding the mark set by Without Fear in 1975/76, have won stakes races this term:  Dracarys, Goodfella, I Am Excited, Jukebox, Menari, Muraaqeb, Perast, Snitzepeg, Snitzkraft & Trapeze Artist. Showtime (MVRC Stutt S. G2) and Eptimum (MVRC Red Anchor S. G3) posted their maiden successes as 3YOs last September.

The Northern Farm-bred, Arrowfield-sold filly Estijaab gave Snitzel his first Golden Slipper victory. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

As that male-dominated cohort shows, it has been a boys’ year at Team Snitzel. Eighteen of his Australian stakeswinners are colts & geldings, but it was Emirates Park’s filly Estijaab who delivered that precious Golden Slipper victory and 4YO mare Snitty Kitty (MRC Caulfield Sprint G2) joined Russian Revolution to give Snitzel a Group 1 quinella in the MRC Oakleigh Plate G1. (Trapeze Artist and Redzel did the same in April’s thrilling ATC TJ Smith S. G1.)

Snitzel’s multitude of stakes runners  most weekends explains why his Australian record since 1 August 2017 includes three same-day stakes trebles (on 19 August, 21 October and 10 March), seven stakes doubles and five Group race quinellas. One treble (I Am Excited, Estijaab & Redzel at Randwick on 10 March) and all but two of the doubles were also achieved at the same track.  

New track records set on firmer-than-usual surfaces were a feature of the season’s racing and Snitzel’s progeny were responsible for four of them: Redzel, 1000m & 1100m at Randwick; Trapeze Artist, 1400m at Randwick; and Lubiton, 1600m at Moonee Valley.  

Snitzel’s 43 stakes wins are distributed across 11 tracks in New South Wales, Victoria & Queensland, with Randwick the most regular scene of success (11 wins inc. the TJ Smith & All Aged), followed by Rosehill  (7 inc. the Golden Slipper & Golden Rose), Caulfield (6 inc. the Oakleigh Plate), Flemington (5 inc. the Darley Classic) and Moonee Valley (5 Group wins).

Stars of Snitzel’s 2013 crop, Russian Revolution & Snitty Kitty (right) quinella-ed the MRC Oakleigh Plate G1 in February. (PHOTO: Darren Tindale)

It’s no surprise that 37 Group & Listed wins have been at distances from 1000-1400 metres, all six Group 1 victories among them. Success beyond 1400 metres by Arbeitsam (2 wins at 1600m & 2000m), French Emotion, Lubiton, Muraaqeb & Showtime (all successful in Group company at 1600 metres) indicate the versatility evident in Snitzel’s lifetime record.

A total of 16 Australian stables can claim at least one Snitzel stakeswinner this season, and six have had more than one: Peter & Paul Snowden (Redzel, Russian Revolution, Dracarys & Calanda – 8 Group & Listed wins in all); Michael, John & Wayne Hawkes (Estijaab, Showtime & Sprightly Lass – 5 wins); David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig (Thronum, Muraaqeb & Nomothaj – 4 wins), Gerald Ryan (Trapeze Artist & Menari – 6 wins); Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott (Arbeitsam & Sweet Redemption – 3 wins); and Bjorn Baker (Lubiton & Goodfella – 3 wins).

Snitzel’s Super 26 are the work of 26 different breeders and groups of breeders headed by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm, responsible for Estijaab and, with Arrowfield, for Showtime & Dracarys; and Bell View Park Stud, breeder of Sweet Redemption and co-breeder of Lubiton. Lee Fleming (breeder of Redzel) and the Vieira Group (owner-breeder of Trapeze Artist) can celebrate their roles in eight Group & Listed victories (four Group 1) and The Everest, and combined season earnings of $10.2 million.

The sire-lines of Mr. Prospector (8 stakeswinners including Group 2 winners French Emotion, Showtime & Thronum) and Roberto (6 stakeswinners including Estijaab and Trapeze Artist) have enjoyed notable success with Snitzel this season. Most-represented damsires among Snitzel’s 26 stakeswinners are: Red Ransom (damsire of Arbeitsam, Goodfella & Sweet Redemption), Elusive Quality (Dracarys & Nomothaj), General Nediym (Menari & I Am Excited) and Zabeel (Lubiton & Perast).

With his second Premiership Snitzel joins an elite group of multiple Champion Sires of Australia headed, of course, by his grandsire Danehill. His campaign to match his sire Redoute’s Choice and win a third title begins early with Showtime nominated for the new season’s first stakes race, the ATC Missile S. G2 on Saturday at Randwick. 
 

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

Magnificent Shoals leads home Arrowfield Group 1 quinella

Sensational at Flemington in the Spring, dominant at Randwick in March and now magnificent at Morphettville in May.

That’s the story of Shoals’ season for her owner-breeders Arrowfield & Jonathan Munz after meeting and beating three Group 1 fields of quality fillies and mares. 

The daughter of Fastnet Rock and The Broken Shore has firmly established herself as Australia’s best 3YO filly and one of the most valuable distaff performers of any age in the country.

Saturday’s  victory in the $1 million SAJC Robert Sangster S. 1200m G1 was made even sweeter for Arrowfield by Secret Agenda’s gallant second placing, sealing a graduate Group 1 quinella for the farm. 

Secret Agenda (Not A Single Doubt-Negotiate) was a $120,000 buy from Arrowfield’s 2014 Magic Millions draft by Blueblood Thoroughbreds. Her sterling 4-season, 7-win, $1.5 million career includes the 2017 Robert Sangster Classic G1.

Watch Shoals win the SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1.

Three Group 1 wins in her first 10 starts stamp Shoals as something special and trainer Anthony Freedman and his team can be proud of preparing her for peak performances at 1600, 1400 and 1200 metres in two campaigns this season.

“What next for Shoals?” is the question that Jonathan Munz and John Messara are now considering.  The Freedman stable reported on Monday evening that Royal Ascot, at least for this year, is off the table, in favour of The Everest at Randwick in October, subject to accessing a slot.

In the meantime, Shoals’ excellent recovery after Saturday keeps open the possibility of a start in the $1 million Goodwood G1, also over 1200m at Morphettville on 19 May.

It has been a remarkable few weeks for The Broken Shore (by Hussonet), whose third foal is last month’s  $2.3 million Inglis Easter sale-topper, a full brother to Shoals. 

The eight year-old mare’s work-in-progress also includes 2YO filly Tides, retained by Arrowfield and Pineciff Racing, a weanling colt by Medaglia d’Oro and a fourth Fastnet Rock foal due this coming Spring.

Hussonet mares are compiling an impressive record with Danehill sons. Shoals and another Arrowfield graduate, dual Group 1 winner Majmu (by Redoute’s Choice), head the nine stakeswinners from 87 runners bred that way.

Fell Swoop set to descend on Everest

“Very, very excited!” That’s how Paul Armstrong, co-breeder and part-owner of Not A Single Doubt’s son Fell Swoop, describes his emotional state in the final countdown towards The Everest at Randwick on Saturday. 

The Canberra-based builder-turned-demolition specialist says, “I was lucky enough to be at the barrier draw on Tuesday, rubbing shoulders with Peter Snowden, Max Whitby and Damion Flower, wondering ‘How did we get here?’

“It’s good that little guys like us get a chance at these big races. It’s quite surreal, we feel very privileged and very grateful.” 

Back in 2003, Paul, Graham Singh and Mark Richards, friends since their schooldays at De La Salle Bankstown, all took shares in the Fasliyev-Crimson Flight yearling filly bought by Lee Curtis at the Magic Millions Sale, and named Touched In Flight. 

Remembers Paul, “She won her debut at Wyong, and we thought ‘How easy is this?’ She was very quick but wasn’t temperamentally sound so she was retired. We stayed in her ownership with Lee and a couple of other people and after we bred Fell Swoop, Mark, Graham and I bought her outright.

“Then Matt Dale bought Fell Swoop at Inglis Classic for $45,000 and we stayed in for 60%, with all of us bringing in other people to race him, so he now has 17 owners in all.”

The 6YO gelding has already given his owners a wonderful ride, winning nine races, including the BRC Victory S. G2, two Listed Races, and more than $1.6 million.  Five Group 1 placings – two of them in successive TJ Smith Stakes, in company with Chautauqua and English – have earned Fell Swoop serious respect, though that’s not reflected in his long odds for The Everest.

Says Paul, “I know the bookies don’t rate his chances highly, but he deserves his place in the field, and it’s a horse race so, as The Everest ads say, expect the unexpected!”

Paul highlights a few specifics in Fell Swoop’s favour. “Matt has had one aim for the last six months, to have him 100% for his Grand Final on Saturday.

“His coat’s come through, he’s thrived on bush walking and beach work at Moruya and Tye [Angland] is very confident and happy with him. And his best runs are usually third up.”

Fell Swoop’s prospects also improve with easing in the ground at Randwick. Untried on Firm conditions, he’s won seven times on Good ground and twice on Soft tracks. 

Paul nominates Fell Swoop’s unflinching will to win, and Matt Dale’s skill and dedication as key factors in their quest for the Everest. 

“Matt has been the most patient of trainers, he thinks about his horses all the time and his focus and attention to detail are second to none. It’s a privilege to share this experience with him and his family.”

It was Matt who negotiated with slot-holder Inglis, confirming Fell Swoop as the fourth Everest contender in June. 

Says Paul, “Our relationship with Inglis is wonderful, I can’t speak highly enough of Mark Webster and Jonathan D’arcy, and the whole Inglis team has been wonderful to deal with.”

Touched In Flight is playing her part too. She produced a “beautiful” full brother to Fell Swoop at Willow Park on 9 September, and visits Not A Single Doubt again this Spring.

And what if Fell Swoop wins The Everest? “I’ll cry like a baby,” says Paul, “then I’ll compose myself and make the speech!”

Clearly Innocent ready for The Everest

Not A Single Doubt has the distinction of putting up two contenders for The Everest from the same 2011 crop, Group 1 winner Clearly Innocent and Fell Swoop, a Group 2 winner and five times Group 1-placed.  

Despite their double-figure odds, both these 6YO geldings boast excellent past performances in the best sprint company. In their best form, both are capable of collecting the Everest winner’s $5.8 million prizemoney and putting Not A Single Doubt on top of the General Sires’ premiership. (He’s currently 7th with $1.6 million). 

Slot-holder Damion Flower of Jadeskye Racing was happy to wait until a fortnight before the race to finalise an agreement with owner-breeder Bruce Neill of Cressfield for Clearly Innocent to contest the $10 million race. 

Damion explains how he approached the business of finding the right horse. “I knew I did not personally have a horse for the race in this first year, but I was looking beyond that to the second and third years when I could provide the race with a Jadeskye-owned horse.

“The process of securing a runner I found enjoyable, as I like following all horses, so searching through the form of our top sprinters and their performances within the form races was second nature for me.

“The business side of it was exactly that, business, and from the outset I had it in my mind that I was going to wait till the very end. Even though I had a few horses in my sights, I still felt my best option was to secure the horse that was in form and Clearly Innocent was that horse.”

Damion believes several factors give Clearly Innocent (ex No Penalty by Zabeel) a strong winning chance in one of the best fields of sprinters ever assembled in Sydney.

“Firstly, he has a better than 50% winning percentage, he’s a Group 1 winner and he’s by a stallion whose statistics show that his progeny perform in high-rating races.

“I think his pattern and his race manners will set him up for a high pressure weight-for-age race. Over the years it’s been proven that you need a tough, strong 1300-1400 metre horse for 1200 metres at Randwick, and that’s what he is.

“He also has the advantages of Hugh Bowman to steer him for the race and Kris Lees, an outstanding trainer and horseman – for me that’s a winning combination.”

For Damion, the decision to run Clearly Innocent in Cressfield’s Silver and Black Diamonds, Yellow Sleeves and Cap was easy. 

“I would not have had it any other way, he has always raced in those prestigious Cressfield silks and that’s the horse’s and Bruce Neill’s identity and I would like that to continue.

“The partnership with Bruce was quite easy as we’ve raced a horse together before, and I always look at every yearling draft Cressfield puts together – they have a great broodmare band and Wayne Bedggood at the helm.

“My dealings with Bruce were simple, we spoke numerous times with ease and it was a professional process that ended with happy mutual agreement.

“I’ve also known Kris Lees for a long time, and the look in his eye when we talked about this horse made the decision quite easy for me.” 

 

Damion hadn’t previously considered what he might do if Clearly Innocent wins The Everest.

“I’m superstitious and don’t like to count my eggs before they hatch, but now that you ask, I think it may take a while to set in, especially being the inaugural Everest, but you can bet on one thing. You will see me at the sales buying a horse for Jadeskye Racing that I think can take me to the race in the next couple of years!”

Clearly Innocent’s Group 1 victory came in the BRC Kingsford-Smith Cup G1 on 27 May, and his last start was an eye-catching third behind In Her Time and Everest rival English in the ATC Premier S. G2 on 30 September.

Redzel's push for The Everest summit

Owners, slot-holders, trainers, jockeys, punters, racing fans and the general sporting public have all been captivated by The Everest, with 12 top-class sprinters lining up on Saturday to chase the $10 million prize.

With the contenders, jockeys and draws now all finalised, excitement increases ahead of what promises to be an intriguing and spectacular race.

Studs and stallion-owners are also excited because the $5.8 million lion’s share of the prizemoney will almost certainly shoot the winner’s sire to the top of the Australian General Sires’ table. Arrowfield’s stallion roster is represented in The Everest by Snitzel’s son Redzel, and Not A Single Doubt’s sons Clearly Innocent & Fell Swoop.

In some cases, the race result will set up a break on the premiership that may be tough to run down, if the stallion has enough firepower to compile significant additional progeny earnings. A final figure close to Snitzel’s record 2016/17 total of $16.2 million will probably be necessary, given the quality of the current top 20 Australian sires.

Snitzel has already commandeered the No. 1 spot on the 2017/18 premiership with $4.3 million and 13 stakeswinners, among them his Everest runner, and major earner last season, the powerhouse sprinter Redzel.

The 5YO gelding has been in red-hot form this Spring, winning both his starts at Randwick, the Concorde 1000m G3 and The Shorts 1100m G2 in record time on 16 September. 

His preparation has been timed perfectly by Peter & Paul Snowden to keep him fresh, which suits him and many of Snitzel’s progeny. He’s also proven at the course and distance and Kerrin McEvoy will give him every chance to use his formidable on-pace brilliance from gate 4. 

Already the winner of almost $1.4 million and nine races including the Doomben 10,000 G1, Redzel was bred by Lee Fleming from Millrich (by Rubiton) and bought from Marquee Stud for $120,000 by Chris & Michael Ward’s Triple Crown Syndications at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale. Redzel is raced by a large band of around 30 owners and takes up the Everest slot held by leading bloodstock agent & buyer James Harron, also closely associated with Snowden Racing.

Chris Ward is full of praise for The Everest concept. “It’s enormous for the industry, the interest has been huge, and Racing New South Wales and the Australian Turf Club have done a great job, considering The Everest was only launched in February.”

After Tuesday morning’s barrier draw, Chris said, “Peter [Snowden] tells us Redzel is the best he’s ever had him. He’s spot on for the race.” 

Chris is clear about the qualities that give Redzel a strong chance of success. “He can race up on the speed and make his own luck, he’s extremely tough and can sustain his sprint. And if he wins, I’ll go bananas!”

Redzel ready to climb Everest

Triple Crown’s rising superstar Redzel gave a clear signal of his readiness for The Everest with a record-setting victory in Saturday’s $200,000 ATC The Shorts 1100m G2.

Four days after the announcement that Redzel will take up James Harron’s Everest slot, The Shorts unfolded in straightforward fashion. Ball Of Muscle took the lead and Redzel sat comfortably outside him before producing a sub 33-second last 600 metres to score by 1.3 lengths from Ball Of Muscle and Nieta in 1:01.83. That bettered Famous Seamus’ five-year-old record by 0.13 second.

Watch Redzel win the ATC The Shorts G2.

Bred by Lee Fleming, Redzel (ex Millrich by Rubiton) was bought for $120,000 by Triple Crown from Marquee Stud’s draft at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale. Like many of Australia’s best sprinters, the son of Snitzel has developed steadily from promising juvenile to top-flight performer as a four- and five-year-old.

He began his career with Group-placed city success at two, and achieved stakes-winning status at three. Four black type successes last season, including the Doomben 10,000 G1, marked his arrival in elite company, but he has found found a whole new level of excellence this Spring. 

The Shorts featured four of the six horses already confirmed for Everest slots and there was plenty to like about the efforts of English (4th), Fell Swoop (6th) and Chautauqua (7th), but with four weeks to go, Redzel is the horse any jockey would love to be on. 

Champion jockey Hugh Bowman did the honours this time and plainly put himself up for piloting duty on 14 October. “I would love to be on him in The Everest if Kerrin is not available.” Kerrin McEvoy rode Redzel to victory in the NSW Tatt’s RC Concorde S. G2 on 2 September, but was committed to Hartnell, second in Saturday’s VRC Makybe Diva S. G1.

Redzel has now put together a sequence of four straight Group wins since April’s Hall Mark S. G3, and completed a run of three Group-winning Saturdays for Snitzel. With eight winners of 10 Group & Listed Races inside the new season’s first 50 days, Snitzel is taking no prisoners in his quest for back-to-back Sires’ Premierships.