Thronum takes Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley

“He has freshened up well. His gallops have been classy. A small but quality field and I can see him running well fresh.”

That was head trainer David Hayes’ assessment of Thronum’s chances before Friday evening’s $200,000 MVRC Australia S. 1200m G2. It turned out to be both accurate and a touch modest as the 4YO entire took early control of the race and stayed there to score by 1.4 lengths from Mr Sneaky and Stellar Collision.

Watch Thronum win the MVRC Australia S. G2.

It was a welcome return to the stakeswinner’s circle for the son of Snitzel who won two of his first three starts in as a late 2YO and then took out the ATC Rosebud H. LR for the Waterhouse & Bott partnership. That was the best seen of him at three and after a long break due to injury, he returned last November to win easily at Bendigo and run third in the MRC Kevin Heffernan S. G3. 

As co-trainer Tom Dabernig said after the race, “He’s a well-bred colt, he’s got a stack of ability and he’s going places….We’ll be aiming at a Group One with him now.” Options include the Newmarket, the Oakleigh and the C.F. Orr.

Thronum is the first foal of Canadian juvenile winner Helena’s Secret (by Mr Prospector’s grandson Five Star Day) from the family of Champion racehorses and sires Street Cry & Shamardal. Bred by Highgrove & Widden Studs and Robert Anderson, Thronum was offered at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale under the Highgrove banner and purchased for $300,000 by Sun Stud.

Helena’s Secret has 2YO and yearling fillies by Sebring, a weanling colt by Snitzel and a positive test to the reigning Champion Sire. 

Thronum is Snitzel’s 19th Australian stakeswinner this season and his 47th lifetime Group winner. 

Snitzel has four yearlings on offer at the upcoming Karaka Book 1 Sale, three at next month’s Inglis Classic Sale, eight colts at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in March and a superb collection of 64 yearlings catalogued for April’s Inglis Easter Sale, including two colts & eight fillies in the Arrowfield draft.

Snitzel takes the early lead

Much like his progeny on the track, Snitzel has shot to an early lead on the 2016/17 Australian General Sires’ table, with 22 winners and more than $870,000 prizemoney.

Four of those winners have been in Group & Listed stakes races on three of the first four weekends of the new season:

3YO colt THRONUM (ex Helena’s Secret by Five Star Day)
ATC The Rosebud H. LR – 6 August
Bred by Highgrove Stud, RMA Bloodstock & Widden Stud
Sold Inglis Easter, $300,000, Highgrove Stud/Sun Bloodstock
Trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott for Sun Bloodstock & Sun Stud

4YO colt SOOBOOG (ex Monte Rosa by Fraar)
VRC Aurie’s Star H. G3 – 6 August
Bred by Arrowfield Stud
Sold Inglis Easter, $1.5 million, Arrowfield/Sheikh Mohammed bon Khalifa al Maktoum
Trained by Darren Weir for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum

3YO colt RUSSIAN REVOLUTION (ex Ballet d’Amour by Stravinsky)
VRC Vain S. G3 – 13 August
Bred by John Stuart Investments
Sold Inglis Easter, $320,000, Vinery/China Horse Club
Trained by Peter & Paul Snowden for Newgate, China Horse Club, John Stuart Investments & D.W. Wallace

4YO gelding REDZEL (ex Millrich by Rubiton)
MRC Heath S. G3 – 27 August
Bred by Lee Fleming
Sold Magic Millions, $120,000, Marquee Stud/Triple Crown Syndications
Trained by Peter & Paul Snowden for Triple Crown Syndications & partners

These headline acts have been supported by the Group-placed 3YO fillies Athena Lass & Elle Lou, and the durable gelding Checkpoint, who added a Listed placing to the five wins and five Group placings he’s notched up over six seasons in Perth.

This is easily the fastest season start of Snitzel’s career. With more than half of his 185-strong 2013 crop yet to race, as well as 175 just-turned 2YOs conceived on a $45,000 fee, it’s a fair bet he’s only warming up.

Snitzel's stakes double starts the season

There was no warm-up required for Snitzel to make an early impact on the new season. One Saturday in and he’s already notched two new stakeswinners, Thronum in Sydney and Sooboog in Melbourne. 

The quick start is an ominous sign for Snitzel’s rivals. Two years ago he posted his first stakeswinner on 9 August and by season-end he’d added a further 11 winners of 16 stakes races, including three Group 1 winners. 

In testing conditions at Randwick, Sun Stud’s 3YO colt Thronum jumped smartly, took control of the pace and under topweight of 58kg, grittily held off his rivals in the $100,000 ATC The Rosebud 1200m LR. 

Staunch finishes by Mediterranean (a new stakes performer for Smart Missile) and Miss Beneteau (ditto for Beneteau) brought them within a half-length of Thronum, and completed an Arrowfield-sired trifecta.

Watch Thronum win the ATC The Rosebud LR.

Thronum is the first winner and the first stakeswinner for the new training partnership of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

Bott said after the race, “We were confident coming here today when we saw the rain throughout the week. The long range plan has always been the Golden Rose.

“He’s a colt that keeps improving. We’ll just see how he comes through the race. He’s done enough to get in so we’ll just take it from there.”

The last three winners of The Rosebud, Sebring Sun, Scissor Kick & Eurozone, all went on to Group 1 form during the Spring.

Thronum is the second foal of the US-bred mare Helena’s Secret (by Five Star Day), from the family of champion sire Street Cry and Shamardal. Bred by Ron & Deb Gilbert’s Highgrove Stud, Robert Anderson and Widden Stud, he was purchased for $300,000 by James Harron from Highgrove’s draft at the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale. 

An hour later at Flemington Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s colt Sooboog decisively won the $150,000 VRC Aurie’s Star H. 1200m G3 by almost two lengths from Dibayani and Tashbeeh. 

Watch Sooboog win the VRC Aurie’s Star H. G3.

Sooboog’s first black type success was one of five wins on the card for champion Melbourne trainer Darren Weir who said, “He’s a really good galloper – he’s shown us that at home and we knew that the day he got things fall his way he’d be winning a good race.

“He’s a Group 3 winner which is important for him as a stallion. We’ll look at targeting another good race with him in the Spring, I can’t see any reason why he can’t get a strong 1400 either.”

Sooboog, Arrowfield’s $1.5 million draft-topper from the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale, is the second of Snitzel’s nine million-dollar yearlings to achieve Group-winning status, after Australian Guineas winner Wandjina. (Five of those nine are just-turned 2YOs.)

Sooboog and his Group 1-winning older sister Snitzerland are the best of seven winners out of Arrowfield gem Monte Rosa (by Fraar), who has a yearling filly by Snitzel and is due to foal to him again this Spring. 

Thronum and Sooboog take Snitzel’s tally of stakeswinners to 40 and his record of same-day stakes race doubles to seven. Expect plenty more of that kind of performance from the son of Redoute’s Choice: his 175-strong Class of 2014, conceived on a fee of $49,500, comes on stream this season, with 171 yearlings right behind them.