Redoute's Choice keeps building the legend

No-one can accuse Redoute’s Choice of slacking off while his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt went about their spectacular, history-making business in 2016/17.

Redoute’s Choice kept relentlessly busy, compiling stakes wins in every month of the season, from Great Esteem’s Heatherlie S. LR at Caulfield on 28 August, to the Prix Chloe G3 in France on 9 July, won by his 149th lifetime stakeswinner, 3YO filly Ibiza.

His progeny have won at least 20 stakes races in all but two seasons of his career, and in 2016/17 eighteen of them won 22 stakes races worldwide – 13 in Australia, 4 in South Africa, two in France, two in New Zealand and one in Hong Kong.  Sixteen of these victories were at Group level.

They included a new piece of history for his own record, a rare Group 1 double on the same 6 May card at Turffontein by Sheikh Hamdan’s full brothers 4YO Rafeef (now retired to stud) and scintillating 2YO Mustaaqeem. This sibling double took their Champion Sire’s tally of Group 1 winners to 32 and his superlative record in South Africa to five Group 1 winners from only 29 runners.

Group 3 successes by Ibiza and Gold Luck opened the stakes account of Redoute’s Choice’s first European-conceived crop. Back home, Pariah (in Australia) & Ardrossan (in New Zealand) joined Mustaaqeem to give him a lifetime total of 36 juvenile stakeswinners. All three colts remain in training this season.

Near the end of the season smart 5YO sprinter Thewizardoz became the second Hong Kong stakeswinner for Redoute’s Choice when he won the Premier Cup G3 over 1400 metres.

And in Western Australia, the sterling 7YO sprinter Rock Magic won many fans with a Listed win, three Group wins and third & fourth placings in Group 1 company. Also in the West, two daughters of Redoute’s Choice, Royal Star and Very Tempting, claimed the Natasha S. LR and WA Oaks G3 for owner-breeders Bob & Sandra Peters.

Racetrack results, his sons’ stud success and a quality offering fuelled a powerful demand for yearlings by Redoute’s Choice. The $1.3 million Ballet Blue colt shared top billing at Magic Millions, and three months later the full brother to Pariah commanded the year’s top price of $2.5 million at Inglis Easter.

Along with the $1.8 million half-sister to English and the $1 million half-brother to Dundeel, they took Redoute’s Choice’s career total of million-dollar yearlings to 74, a group that has already produced three Group 1 winners: Samantha Miss, Master Of Design & Mustaaqeem.

Redoute’s Choice finished in 12th spot on the Australian General Sires’ Premiership, leaving it to Snitzel (1st), Not A Single Doubt (5th) and the deceased Stratum (10th) to give him a dominant presence in the top ten.

Most significantly, Snitzel’s first Premiership, following those of Redoute’s Choice (2006, 2010 & 2014) and Danehill’s nine titles, completed a three-generation sequence of Champion Sires that is without precedent in Australian thoroughbred history.

Daughters of Redoute’s Choice secured his fifth-place finish on the Broodmare Sires’ list with $12.1 million prizemoney and 10 stakeswinners. They included his fifth and sixth Group 1 winners as a damsire, Inference (ATC Randwick Guineas G1) and The Mission (ATC Champagne S. G1). 

Snitzel’s first stallion Premiership and his new fee of $176,000 inc. GST mark a generational shift on the Arrowfield roster, initiated more than a decade ago by John Messara’s prescient decision to stand two sons from the first two crops of Redoute’s Choice.

However, as the Millennials are discovering in the human world, generational shifts are gradual rather than abrupt and, like the Baby Boomers, Redoute’s Choice remains a potent force in Australian breeding & racing.

Fully booked at a fee of $110,000 inc. GST and with around 330 Australian 2YOs, yearlings and 2017 foals to come, Danehill’s greatest sire son has many stories yet to add to his remarkable legend. 

300th stakes win for Redoute's Choice

Hong Kong’s Champion Griffin of 2014/15 has taken a little while to fulfil his undoubted promise, but on Sunday evening Thewizardoz turned promise into dazzling reality.

His victory in the 1400-metre HKJC Premier Cup G3 was notable on three counts: his 3.5 length winning margin, his winning time of 1:20.86 and the 6 kg he conceded to runner-up and hot favourite Winner’s Way.

Watch Thewizardofoz win the HKJC Premier Cup G3.

The 5YO gelding brought up a couple of important milestones for two legends of global racing. It was the 92nd win this season, an all-time Hong Kong record, for champion trainer John Size, and the 300th stakes win on the astonishing record of champion sire Redoute’s Choice.

Bred by Tony Bott’s Evergreen Stud, Thewizardofoz is the second foal of four-time Group 1 winner Princess Coup, by Encosta de Lago whose daughters have produced eight stakeswinners from 50 foals by Redoute’s Choice, including Group 1 winners Peeping & Musir.

Redoute’s Choice now has 148 lifetime stakeswinners, with 17 of them successful in 21 stakes races this season – very close to his standard season performance since 2003/04.

Sun Jewellery seals a sparkling Hong Kong season

Snitzel’s 4YO son Sun Jewellery sealed a super Hong Kong season for Arrowfield stallions & graduates when he took out the last of the Club’s feature races, the Premier Cup 1400m HK-3, on Sunday evening.

Already winner of the HK-1 Classic Mile & Classic Cup earlier this year,  Sun Jewellery scored with panache if not dominance, after jumping well to take up the inside running while Dashing Fellow pressed on from his wide gate towards the lead where was soon joined by Dundonnell.

Joao Moreira angled Sun Jewellery out at the 350-metre mark and he wound up to tackle Dashing Fellow just as Dundonnell began to fade. Dashing Fellow would not concede and Sun Jewellery had to produce all of his superior finishing speed to get the better of him by a short head, with Rewarding Hero 2.5 lengths away in third place.

Watch Sun Jewellery’s Hong Kong Premier Cup HK-3 win.

Dashing Fellow’s jockey Chad Schofield was in a good position to assess the quality of Sun Jewellery’s performance.

He said, “We had a very easy time up front, and with his light weight he sprinted hard. I thought the way he quickened we would be hard to beat, but that winner is very good. Even though we had another picnic out front, he still ran us down.”

Sun Jewellery’s trainer John Size agreed. “The pace suited the leader, but to get past him, he really had to sprint and work hard and sustain the run.

“He’s aimed at a race like the Hong Kong Mile in December, so we’ll ask him to do a little bit more in the new season and see if he shapes up for it.”

Not that Sun Jewellery (ex Tan Tat Star by Umatilla), with nine wins and $3.2 million from 13 starts, has to do any more to delight his owner-breeder Tung Moon Fai. Tan Tat Star has an unraced 3YO son Tan Tat Nova (by Not A Single Doubt), a weanling filly by Bel Esprit and is in foal to Manhattan Rain.

Sun Jewellery and Arrowfield graduates Contentment (Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup G1 & Sha Tin Trophy G2) & Not Listenin’tome (Bauhini Sprint Trophy G3) have won five Hong Kong feature races this season.

Contentment and Not Listenin’tome, both rated on 125, are among Hong Kong’s leading performers, while Sun Jewellery (110), Redoute’s Choice’s son Thewizardofoz (111) & Arrowfield-sold Blizzard (105) all look capable of improving their figures next season.

It’s been a busy month for Snitzel’s tribe with 22 wins around the world in 19 days, including the QTC Cup G2 victory by his newest stallion son Spill The Beans, bred & raced by Arrowfield and now standing at Aquis Farm in Queensland. 

Snitzel has also taken his season tally of Australian 2YO winners to 25 (26 including the South African-owned Heavenly Blue). With 42 days to go until the end of the 2015/16 season, he has a great chance to better the 32-year record of 26 Australian 2YO winners, set by Rory’s Jester in 1997/98.

Arrowfield graduate treble at Sha Tin & Kranji

October began with notable wins in Hong Kong & Singapore by Arrowfield & Inglis sale graduates, and it’s ended the same way, with successes by Stepitup, Contentment & Blizzard on Sunday evening. 

Stepitup has book-ended the month with the first two legs of the Singapore Triple Crown, adding the $500,000 Raffles Cup to his Kranji Mile win on 4 October.

Hope of a Raffles Cup victory seemed forlorn until the very end of the 1800-metre contest when Stepitup and jockey Michael Rodd found clear air and went after the leader Fastnet Dragon. They caught him in the final 20 metres, winning by a half-length with Quechua more than two lengths back in third place. 

Watch Stepitup win the Raffles Cup Sgp-1.

Stepitup’s trainer Laurie Laxon said, “He didn’t look like he could win. He sure was in a major spot of bother, he was all jammed up, but he just has this amazing mindset, he just has to get the win.

“He’s only a small horse and is the quietest in the stable, you wouldn’t notice him, but what a motor he has. He will now go for the Gold Cup and I guess he would get the top weight of 58 or 59kg now, but he will be a big chance.”

The son of Hussonet and Ain’t Seen Nothin’ was  has now won 15 races, ten of them at domestic Group level, and well over $S$2 million for his owner the Tivic Stable.

Bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver, Stepitup was purchased by Cliff Brown for $90,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. Ain’t Seen Nothin’ has a 3YO colt by Starcraft, a yearling filly by All American and a filly foal by Dundeel.

At Sha Tin another son of Hussonet, 5YO Contentment, turned in a sub-1.34 time to win the 1600 metres HK$4 million Sha Tin Trophy HK-2, showing he’s right on target for December’s Hong Kong Mile G1. 

Watch Contentment’s Sha Tin Trophy HK-2 win.

A $65,000 John Foote purchase from the Arrowfield consignment at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale, Contentment has now won eight of his 11 starts and the equivalent of $1.7 million for owner Benson Lo Tak Wing.

Contentment’s trainer John Size said, “He has always shown me that he was a very good horse, from the first day that he walked into the stable. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I thought he was a good horse before he raced. He always did everything correctly – he’s always presented like a good horse.”

Bred by Paul Favretto, Tony & Judy Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn, Contentment is from the Commands mare Jemison, also the dam of 3YO and yearling colts by Charge Forward, a 2YO filly by Gio Ponti and a 2015 filly by Animal Kingdom.

Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year Able Friend scored a brilliant victory in the next race, the Premier Bowl HK-2, and a quinella by Blizzard and Thewizardofoz in the last race, a Class 2 event over 1400 metres, signed off a big night for Australian-breds. 

Thewizardofoz (by Redoute’s Choice) was impressive at his season debut and first try beyond 1200 metres, but Blizzard (by Starcraft) was sensational, carrying a kilogram more than his rival, sitting wide for much of the race and rocketing down the centre of the track to win in 1:21.96. He ran the last 400 metres in 22.26, faster than any other winner on the ten-race program. 

Watch Blizzard & Thewizardofoz quinella the Zenith Excellent H.

A son of the Redoute’s Choice mare Stormy Choice, Blizzard was bred by Jonathan Munz’s GSA Bloodstock and offered by Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale where his trainer Ricky Yiu bought him for $75,000.  He’s now won six of his 10 starts and returned HK$5.3 million (~$960,000) to his owner, the Infinitude Syndicate.

Horses to Follow in Hong Kong

Arrowfield graduates notched up a valuable treble, including both Hong Kong Group 3 features, at Sha Tin on Thursday evening, but there’s plenty of Arrowfield-sired talent in Hong Kong too. Australian racing journalist Michael Cox, based since 2011 at the South China Morning Post where he writes a popular blog, Happy Lucky Dragon Win, selects six Arrowfield-sired runners to follow in Hong Kong this season: 

4YO THEWIZARDOFOZ (Redoute’s Choice-Princess Coup by Encosta de Lago)
Bred by Evergreen Rich Pty Ltd, raced by Martin Siu Kim Sun & trained by John Size

From the moment this horse stepped off the plane and into the stables of John Size he hasn’t put a hoof wrong. Bombproof is perhaps the best way to describe him, and his best is almost certainly yet to come. Nominal favourite for the Hong Kong Derby next March off the back of a perfect three-from-three record in his three-year-old season. Ticks all the boxes: excellent gate speed, relaxes beautifully in the run, has a lovely flowing action and an electric turn of foot – all attributes that will stand him in good stead when he is forced to step up in trip through the four-year-old series. Silent Witness reached demigod status in Hong Kong, and Thewizardofoz’s progression through the grades is as close as any horse of recent times has got to matching the great sprinter numbers-wise. Silent Witness rose 43 ratings points to 95 in his first three victories; Thewizardofoz has jumped 37 to sit on 89, all against open age competition.

4YO TIANHUANG (All American-Miss Victoria by Viscount)
Bought by George Moore Bloodstock, $290,000, from Arrowfield Stud, 2013 Inglis Easter Sale; trained by John Moore for Paul Kan Man Lok.

Tianhuang is the name of a valuable stone, used for sculptures, and found in the mountains of Fujian Province. Tianhuang, the horse, is a lovely looking type and he has been as solid as a rock so far: it took just two starts for him to break through with a convincing victory on the dirt. John Moore is adamant his sprinter isn’t a one-track wonder, though that is where he is likely to race when he next returns.

3YO GREEN CARD (All American-Cristallo by Testa Rossa)
Sold privately after two juvenile wins in Victoria for owner-breeders Bruce & Jill Mathieson & trainers Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison; trained by John Moore for
Brian Leung Hung Tak & Sophie Leung Lau Yau Fun.
Still in quarantine at Sha Tin, but John Moore is looking forward to getting hold of this three-year-old that notched two dominant four-length victories before buyers swooped. The last of those came at Caulfield, with the filly that finished third behind him, Jalan Jalan, franking Green Card’s form with a subsequent dominant win of her own and placing behind Petits Filous in the MRC Quezette S. LR. Green Card wasn’t stretched beyond 1100 metres, but former co-trainer Craig Widdison believed the gelding would handle further and that the mild-mannered sprinter has the right temperament to thrive in Hong Kong. He may still be subject to a name change – his brand number is V126, which is searchable on the HKJC website.

4YO SUN JEWELLERY (Snitzel-Tan Tat Star by Umatilla)
Bred & raced by Tung Moon Fai and trained by John Size; raced as Tan Tat Star in Victoria where he won twice as an early 3YO from the Peter Moody stable.

Last season’s John Size-trained Griffin of the Year Thewizardofoz might be hogging the headlines, but his stablemate Sun Jewellery will resume off a higher rating and will offer plenty of competition in the four-year-old category. The former Peter Moody-trained galloper won three-from-three after arriving in Class Three and has already hit triple figures. Like his barn mate, looks like he will have no trouble getting over a mile or further and is in the right hands with his ultra-patient trainer.

5YO HARBOUR PUNK (Not A Single Doubt-Marblue by Marscay)
Bred by Swell Investments; bought by Regal Farm, $50,000 from Arrowfield, 2011 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale; trained by Derek Cruz for the Fragrant Harbour Racing Syndicate.

Doesn’t have much room to move from a ratings perspective after two wins took him into Class Two last season and a handicapper’s assessment of 91 – but he absolutely flies around Happy Valley, where his opportunities now become more scarce. Lightly raced with just 12 lifetime starts, he  should return slightly stronger at five and could transfer his best form to the bigger track. He looks to have attracted the services of superstar jockey Joao Moreira, who rode him in a recent trial for trainer Derek Cruz.

3YO FORTUNE GALORE (Not A Single Doubt-Evening Pleasures by Dehere)
Bred & sold by Kooringal Stud; bought by John Foote, $30,000, 2014 Inglis Classic Sale; trained by Caspar Fownes for Lillian Lee Lai Man

Unraced three-year-old, previously named Wan Chai Warrior in tribute to Hong Kong’s colourful red light district. Purchased by renowned bloodstock agent David Price, he trialled twice impressively at Cranbourne and has been setting the track alight in the mornings for new trainer Caspar Fownes. He is sure to be competitive when he first lines up and certain to see plenty of Happy Valley, where the speed of Not A Single Doubt’s progeny is invaluable.

 

Thewizardofoz & Contentment win Hong Kong awards

The classy John Size-trained & Arrowfield-connected pair Thewizardofoz and Contentment featured on the list of 2014/15 Hong Kong award winners announced at last week’s end-of-season ceremony.

Brilliant 3YO Thewizardofoz was named Hong Kong’s Champion Griffin of 2014/15 after Sunday’s season finale at Sha Tin.

The son of Redoute’s Choice and multiple Group 1 winner Princess Coup (by Encosta de Lago) burst on the scene with three dominant wins over 1200 metres in May and June for owner Martin Siu Kim Sun.

The gelding’s progress through the ratings to a figure of 89 allows a comparison with champion Silent Witness, rated 95 after his first three wins in 2002/03.  The two-time Horse of the Year won a Hong Kong Group 2 event at his fifth start – a path that Thewizardofoz may well follow in the new season, which opens on 3 September.

Watch Thewizardofoz’s third Hong Kong win on 21 June here.

Redoute’s Choice has had 16 winners in Hong Kong, the best of them being dual domestic Group 3 winner Packing Ok, also third to Ambitious Dragon & Glorious Days in the 2012 Hong Kong Mile G1. In addition, his Mike de Kock-trained son Musir was third in Xtension’s 2011 Champions Mile G1.

The Most Improved Horse was 4YO gelding Contentment (Hussonet-Jemison by Commands), a $65,000 John Foote purchase from Arrowfield Stud at the 2012 Inglis Classic Sale and raced by Benson Lo Tak Wing.

Bred by Paul Favretto, Tony & Judy Hodgson, Paul Rowe and David & Peter Sinn, Contentment improved his rating during the season by 49 points to 101 with five wins from nine starts. He franked the award with a really brave win in Sunday’s Sha Tin Mile Trophy, taking up an early lead and defying the challenges of Beauty Only and Fantastic Kaka to win by a neck in 1:33.62. Previous winners of the race include subsequent multiple Group 1 winners Dan Excel & Designs On Rome, named Champion Middle Distance Horse of 2014/15.

Watch Contentment’s Sha Tin Mile Trophy win here.

Jemison has a rising 3YO half-brother to Contentment, named Alabama Charge (by Charge Forward) in the Robbie Laing stable, a rising 2YO filly by Gio Ponti and a Charge Forward weanling colt. The mare, from the family of Champion 2YO Colt Align, is in foal to Animal Kingdom.

Australian-bred horses took out five awards for the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s 130th anniversary season, including the Horse of the Year trophy won by four-time Group 1 winner Able Friend.

Third win by Thewizardofoz in Hong Kong

Thewizardofoz continues to make magic in Hong Kong and maintained his unbeaten record with a third impressive win at Sha Tin on Sunday evening.

The 3YO son of Redoute’s Choice carried his 60.5 kg topweight with ease to score by 3.5 lengths from Healthy Joyful and Excel Oneself in 1:10.04 on the dead-rated track.

His jockey Joao Moreira missed the ride on Brazen Beau at Royal Ascot to ride at Sha Tin on Sunday, but the decision was justified by his three wins for John Size, John Moore & David Hall in races worth a total of $A2.6 million, more than twice the Diamond Jubilee Stakes prizemoney.

Thewizardofoz’s success took Size’s season tally of wins to 57, behind Moore (60 wins) and just ahead of Caspar Fownes (56 wins), in a tight contest for the 2014/15 Hong Kong Trainer’s Premiership.

Size, already a 7-time champion trainer in Hong Kong, says of Thewizardofoz, “He is a good horse, and he will be one of my better horses next season. He keeps on improving and at the time being, I will stick to 1200m for him.”

Thewizardofoz was bred by Tony Bott and the Siu family at Evergreen Stud, and is raced by Martin Siu Kim-sum who paid $3 million in 2009 for his dam, the top-class racemare Princess Coup (by Encosta de Lago), winner of four New Zealand Group 1 races from 1600 to 2400 metres.  The Redoute’s Choice/Encosta de Lago cross is so far responsible for five stakeswinners (Musir, Beneteau, Burnstone, Peeping & Essington) among 24 runners.

Princess Coup, also dam of Sydney winner Vanilla Princess, has a 2YO filly by Redoute’s Choice, a yearling colt and a weanling filly by Fastnet Rock and is in foal to Snitzel.

An Arrowfield treble at Sha Tin

John Messara was at Sha Tin to witness Able Friend’s majestic Champions Mile victory, and enjoyed the bonus of three Arrowfield-sired winners on the card.

Thewizardofoz, a 3YO son of Redoute’s Choice and multiple Group 1 winner Princess Coup, made an eye-catching debut over 1200 metres, powering clear in the straight to win by 3 lengths under a hold for Joao Moreira. Thewizardofoz, whose dam is in foal to Snitzel, is trained by John Size for owner Martin Siu Kim Sun.

Moreira also did the honours on Manhattan Rain’s 3YO son Bear-Pop, who broke his maiden over 1400 metres for owner Au Ping Lam and trainer John Moore.

Bear-Pop, from Valadon, a Woodman half-sister to Group winners Valourina & Media, was a $260,000 buy for George Moore Bloodstock from Highgrove Stud at the 2013 Magic Millions Sale. Valadon is due to foal to Redoute’s Choice this Spring.

The Autumn has been very fruitful for Manhattan Rain, also represented by stakeswinners Manapine (Flemington), Ondina (Morphettville), impressive Sydney winner Mr Manhattan and 2YO winner New Summer Night, as well as the $700,000 La Bamba colt sold at the Inglis Easter Sale.

Charge Forward completed the treble with a 1600-metre win, courtesy of his 4YO son Charity Kingdom, who raced in Australia as Seguidilla for Matthew Sandblom, James Harron & Henry Field and was sold after a strong maiden win at Wyong in November 2013.

Charity Kingdom, bred by Newhaven Park, has now won twice this year for trainer Manfred Man and owner Lee Yuk Lun. His dam, Jig Time Lady (by Zeditave) has a weanling colt by Smart Missile.

The trio of Arrowfield-sired winners were part of an outstanding day at Sha Tin for Australian-breds. All but one of the 11 winners on the programme, including the sensational Able Friend, carry the Australian suffix.