Trapeze Artist dominates in 4th Group 1 victory

Two-time Champion Sire Snitzel added a 19th Group 1 prize to the list of major Australian races won by his progeny when his champion son Trapeze Artist won his fourth elite race, the $500,000 ATC Canterbury S. 1300m G1.

Two-time Champion Sire Snitzel added a 19th Group 1 prize to his stud record when last season Champion 3YO Colt Trapeze Artist won his fourth elite race, Saturday’s $500,000 ATC Canterbury S. 1300m G1.

Watch Trapeze Artist win the ATC Canterbury S. G1.

The race unfolded straightforwardly for the imposing 4YO, who was quickly sent forward from gate 6 by Blake Shinn to take up the lead at the 1000-metre point. Trapeze Artist settled beautifully and, relishing the Good4 conditions, he reeled off four sub 11-second sectionals that left all but the brilliant Arrowfield-Pinecliff mare Shoals unable to make ground on him in the final 300 metres. 

It was an excellent campaign opener by Shoals, but Trapeze Artist held a 1.5 length margin at the post and his winning time of 1:14.19 is a new track record.

Shin offered a succinct summary of his race tactics on Trapeze Artist. “He doesn’t like a sit-sprint so we made it a bit of a test. How are they going to beat him? On his best he’s up there with the world’s best sprinters and he proved that today.”

Trainer Gerald Ryan & jockey Blake Shinn after Trapeze Artist’s 4th Group 1 victory. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

The Vieira family home-bred star is trained by Gerald Ryan, whose success with Snitzel himself and with many of his progeny, including 13 stakeswinners, is a special part of the Champion Sire’s story. 

Trapeze Artist (ex Treppes by Domesday) has now won 7 of his 19 starts for prizemoney of $5.5 million, a figure that he looks very capable of increasing if he seeks to win his second $2.5 million T.J. Smith S. G1 on 6 April, the first day of The Championships at Randwick. 

Thanks largely to Trapeze Artist, and excellent Group placings on the same card by Redzel, Exhilarates & Luskintyre Lass, Snitzel’s Australian season earnings now exceed $18.7 million. That’s almost the same figure he’d reached at the same stage of his record-breaking 2017/18 Premiership season.

Snitzel has 37 yearlings catalogued for next month’s Inglis Easter Sale, 10 of them to be offered by Arrowfield, also the source of 7 of Snitzel’s 13 Group 1 winners: Estijaab, Snitzerland, Sweet Idea, Hot Snitzel, Heavenly Blue, Invader & Wandjina.

Arrowfield’s night at Racehorse of the Year Awards

Winx justly filled the headlines when she won her third Australian Racehorse of the Year award, but it was also a very big night for Arrowfield which celebrated Champion Sire Snitzel and four other awards…

World champion Winx was naturally the centre of attention at the 2018 Australian Racehorse of the Year Awards, held at the Forum, Melbourne on 4 October.

No gift for prophecy was required to predict that she would be crowned Racehorse of the Year for the third consecutive season, joining the elite company of Sunline (2000, 2001, 2002) and Black Caviar (2001, 2012, 2013) as a three-time winner of the ultimate accolade.

Winx, unbeaten in her eight starts in 2017/18, six at Group 1 level, also won the awards for Champion Middle Distance Performer and Victorian Horse of the Year.

Outside Winx, though, it was Arrowfield’s night as the Stud celebrated its connections with five of the other seven national awards.

Snitzel claimed the Champion Sire Award for the second consecutive year, with all-time record prizemoney of $29.2 million and a record-equalling tally of 26 individual stakeswinners. It is the sixth time in the past 13 years that an Arrowfield stallion has won the coveted title, after Snitzel’s sire Redoute’s Choice (2006, 2010 & 2014) and Flying Spur (2007).

Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer accepted the award on behalf of the Stud and the Snitzel Syndicate, acknowledging the quality of Snitzel’s competition, “possibly the strongest stallion roster ever assembled in Australia” and thanking all who had supported his stud career.
 
However, Freyer noted that it hadn’t all been plain sailing. “In Snitzel’s fourth year at stud we were cajoling, coercing and downright pleading with breeders to send their mares  to him and fickle as this business can be, he garnered little outside support.

“In fact, a great number of his relatively modest 63 foals in 2010 were bred by Arrowfield – but the crop included the Cox Plate winner Shamus Award and the wonderful mare Sweet Idea, now a resident of Her Majesty the Queen’s broodmare band.

“That crop was conceived on a fee of $20,000 and today’s it’s $200,000. What a ride it’s been and how much we look forward to what’s yet to come with Snitzel.”

Snitzel’s dominance of last season was demonstrated when his progeny collected three of the category awards, which are decided by the votes of racing administrators and media.

It is the first time, in the 14 seasons since 2004/05 when the 3YO Filly & Colt awards were introduced, that progeny of the reigning Champion Sire 

Emirates Park’s filly Estijaab (Snitzel-Response by Charge Forward) was named Champion 2YO after winning three of her four starts last season, including the ATC Golden Slipper G1 and Reisling S. G2 and $2.3 million prizemoney.

The third foal of her dual Group 1-winning dam, Estijaab was bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm and purchased by Emirates Park & Bryan Carlson for $1.7 million from Arrowfield’s draft at the Inglis Easter Sale. She is trained by Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes and is spelling after a setback cut short her 3YO Spring preparation. She is expected to return in the Autumn.

Also an Inglis Easter graduate, though not finding a buyer there, is the Champion 3YO colt Trapeze Artist (Snitzel-Treppes by Domesday). He won four of his 9 starts and $2.7 million in 2017/18, a record headed by three tremendous Group 1 victories, in the ATC T.J. Smith S. & All Aged S. against older horses and the Golden Rose  in his own age-group.

He is the second Snitzel son to be named Champion 3YO Colt, following Cox Plate & Australian Guineas winner Shamus Award in 2013/14.

Trapeze Artist is trained by Gerald Ryan for his owner-breeder Bert Vieira and success in The Everest, for which the colt is joint favourite, would be a timely boost for the Vieira family. Bert’s wife Gai is recovering in hospital from serious injuries suffered in a car crash on 5 September.  

The inaugural Everest winner Redzel (Snitzel-Millrich by Rubiton) won the Champion Sprinter title after a spectacular, five-win, $7.5 million season that also featured the VRC Darley Classic G1 and three other Group race wins. 

Redzel was bred by Lee Fleming and initially sold as a weanling, then offered by Marquee Stud at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale where he was bought for $120,000 by Triple Crown Syndications’ Chris & Michael Ward. He is trained by Peter & Paul Snowden for a large group of Triple Crown owners and is at single-figure odds for this year’s $13 million second running of The Everest on 13 October.

Snitzel, his sire Redoute’s Choice (with Lankan Rupee in 2013/14) and  grand-sire Danehill (with Exceed and Excel in 2003/04 & Fastnet Rock in 2004/05) are the only three stallions in the past 20 years to claim the Champion Sprinter in at least one of their own championship seasons. 

And it is the first time, in the 14 years since 2004/05 when the 3YO title was split by gender, that progeny of the reigning Champion Sire have won the 2YO, 3YO Colt or Filly & Sprinter awards in the same season.

Arrowfield’s trophy haul was completed by Shoals (Fastnet Rock-The Broken Shore by Hussonet), bred and raced in partnership with Jonathan Munz and trained by Anthony Freedman. She was voted Champion 3YO Filly after a stunning season against older mares, winning the Myer Classic G1 at Flemington, Surround Stakes G1 at Randwick and the Sangster Stakes G1 at Morphettville.

She is the second Arrowfield home-bred filly to win the title after Miss Finland in 2006/07.  

In all, Shoals won four of her 7 starts and $1.4 million last season while her full brother – cleverly named Groundswell – was the top-priced Australian yearling of 2018, knocked down for $2.3 million at Inglis Easter. 

Groundswell and another full sibling, 3YO filly Tides join their big sister in the Freedman stable, and The Broken Shore is due to foal again to Fastnet Rock this month. 

Snitzel’s history-making habit

Snitzel has secured his second consecutive Australian General Sires’ Premiership with a staggering all-time prizemoney record of $29.2 million and record totals of winners, wins, stakeswinners and stakes wins…

Snitzel has secured his second consecutive Australian General Sires’ Premiership with a new all-time prizemoney record of $29.2 million, and record totals of winners (173), wins (307), stakeswinners (26) and stakes wins (43).

Redzel was Snitzel’s and Australia’s leading earner in 2017/18 with $7.5 million prizemoney. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy

Worldwide, Snitzel’s progeny earnings topped $31 million and Traces (in South Africa) and Untamed Diamond (in New Zealand) gave him a global tally of 28 stakeswinners and 45 stakes wins. He ends the 2017/18 season at No. 6 on the TRC Global Sires Rankings.

Snitzel has made plenty of history in the seven years since he first appeared among Australia’s top 10 sires in 2011/12.

After his second top 10 appearance in 2012/13, Snitzel rose rapidly to finish second on the 2013/14 Australian General Sires’ Premiership, with $9.8 million, less than $450,000 behind his sire Redoute’s Choice. It was the first time in Australian history that father-and-son sires standing at the same stud have completed a Premiership quinella.  

Snitzel’s 13 stakeswinners that season, including Cox Plate & Australian Guineas winner Shamus Award and dual Group 2 winner Time For War, put Snitzel among the top 5 on the 2YO and 3YO Sires’ tables as well. That pattern of success across age groups is a hallmark of his career.

In 2015/16, on the way to his fifth straight top 10 General Sires’ table finish, Snitzel matched Without Fear’s 40 year-old record of 30 juvenile winners in a season.

Trapeze Artist’s three Group 1 wins in 2017/18 included two defeats of older horses at weight-for-age. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

A year later in 2016/17 he claimed that record for himself with a total of 35 and underlined his dominance with the first single-sire Australian Group 1 2YO trifecta since 1982. That was achieved by Invader, Summer Passage & Trapeze Artist in the ATC Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes.

Most significantly, Snitzel became the first grandson of Danehill to be crowned Australia’s Champion Sire with record prizemoney of $16.2 million – surpassing by $3.2 million Street Cry’s record set the previous season.

That wasn’t all. Snitzel’s 26 Australian stakeswinners equalled Danehill’s record set in 2001/02, and he completed a clean sweep of all the titles he contested by topping the 2YO and 3YO Sires’ Premierships.

Furthermore, he headed every category (earnings, winners, wins, stakeswinners, stakes wins) on all three lists, except overall wins where he was beaten a whisker by I Am Invincible, 274 wins to 273.

Matching such a spectacular season would have been remarkable enough, but Snitzel has left remarkable behind.

He led the 2017/18 General Premiership for almost the entire season, notching up $4.3 million and 15 stakes wins even before Redzel’s blitzkrieg victory in the inaugural $10 million Everest on 14 October.

Snitzel broke his own Australian earnings record in February, strode through $20 million in March, $25 million in April and $28 million in June and cracked $29 million in July. He has also retained his No. 1 position on the 2YO and 3YO Sires’ Premierships.

His final figure of $29.2 million is more than $13 million ahead of I Am Invincible and Fastnet Rock, who both compiled outstanding figures of their own. Even allowing for recent prizemoney increases, that margin is astonishing.

Perhaps of most relevance to owners, breeders and trainers is Snitzel’s representation in Group 1 races. In 2017/18 he had 31 Australian runners (almost 10% of his total) deemed worthy of at least one Group 1 start, and 12 of those horses won or placed in 20 Group 1 races. 

Snitzel’s 2014 crop, 3YOs of 2017/18, was the major contributor to his Australian season, turning out 12 winners of 20 Group & Listed Races and $10.9 million (37% of his total prizemoney).  All up, that crop has now produced 19 stakeswinners and earned $16.1 million, an amount exceeded only by the 2012 crop that produced Everest winner Redzel. 

The closest title race was for the 2YO Sires’ Premiership which Snitzel won with $3,648,965, just over $200,000 ahead of I Am Invincible. Golden Slipper winner Estijaab’s prizemoney made up almost two-thirds of that figure, with Listed winners Nomothaj, Sandbar & Prairie Fire and four other stakes performers in support roles. 

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. 
 

Snitzel stars quinella Expressway Stakes

Any doubts that Snitzel can maintain the ferocious pace he’s setting at the head of the current Australian General Sires’ Premiership were put aside on Saturday after impressive campaign openers by new and returning stars.

3YO colts Trapeze Artist and Showtime resumed with rousing performances to quinella the weight-for-age $200,000 ATC Expressway S. 1200m G2 at Rosehill. Already successful in last Spring’s Golden Rose G1 and Stutt S. G2 respectively, they made clear their readiness for sterner tests to come.

 Watch Trapeze Artist & Showtime quinella the ATC Expressway S. G2

Trapeze Artist’s trainer Gerald Ryan, recording his 32nd stakes win with Snitzel’s progeny, said, “I’ve always thought he’s flown under the radar and I think this Autumn you’re going to see a nice horse. Right from the word go this time in I said to his owner that I reckon this horse is really flying.”

Trapeze Artist was bred by Bert Vieira and his family who paid $190,000 for the Domesday mare Treppes in foal to Snitzel at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. Two years later, the resulting yearling colt was passed in for $300,000 at the Inglis Easter Sale and so Trapeze Artist has earned more than $1 million in the Vieira family’s black and gold colours.  

Arrowfield Magic Millions graduate Showtime, raced by Katsumi Yoshida, Eric Koundouris, Alan Jones, Jonathan Munz, Greg & Barbara Ingham and the Stud, ran the the fastest last 600 metres of the race, and aims now at the VRC Australian Guineas G1 on 3 March.

Snitzel’s support acts at Rosehill were a pair of first-time-out 2YOs, the Snowden-trained colt Stratosphere and Arrowfield’s home-bred filly Adamina, prepared by Gerald Ryan and educated by master horseman Rick Worthington.

Stratosphere pushed the favourite Performer hard to finish a very close second in the Canonbury S. 1100m G3, and there was a similar margin between second-favourite Fiesta and 30/1 debutante Adamina in the Widden S. 1100m G3.

The ATC Sweet Embrace S. G2 at Randwick on 3 March may be Adamina’s next start, while Stratosphere’s price for the Golden Slipper G1 shortened from $51 to $15. His jockey Glyn Schofield believes he’s more than capable of stepping up to Group 1 level. “A bigger field and the pressure that comes with it will really suit him.”

At Caulfield 4YO mare Snitty Kitty (2nd, WJ Adams S. LR), 3YO colt Muraaqeb (3rd, Manfred S. G3) and 2YO debutant Prairie Fire (3rd, Chairman’s S. G3) took Snitzel’s stakes performers for the day to seven. They are all nominated for Group 1 races during Melbourne’s Festival of Racing which starts next weekend. 

The weekend’s racing has also brought Snitzel close to another piece of history. His season earnings of $16,162,616 mean he’s now only $57,520 away from breaking his own Australian prizemoney record, set in 2016/17  – with almost half of this season still to come. 

Snitzel plucks the Golden Rose

In its brief eight-year history as a Group 1 Sydney 3YO feature the Golden Rose had eluded Arrowfield’s stallions. 

But that all changed on Saturday when Trapeze Artist led home Champagne Cuddles and Menari to land a sensational Golden Rose trifecta for Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt. 

Watch Trapeze Artist win the ATC Golden Rose S. G1.

The $1 million race over 1400 metres was a triumph for “Mr. Snitzel”, Gerald Ryan, trainer of both the favourite Menari and Trapeze Artist, who slipped off the punters’ radar and started at 40/1. A Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed at two, Trapeze Artist left no doubt about his class when he overcame barrier 14 and a four-wide run to romp home by 4.3 lengths. 

The Bjorn Baker-trained Champagne Cuddles earned her own round of applause when she sprinted out of the pack to nab second from the valiant Menari. It was the fourth Group placing this season for the tough and talented Not A Single Doubt filly, who backed up after a similar late-dash run for second in last week’s Tea Rose S. G2.

Ryan has now trained 13 stakeswinners by Snitzel, they have won 31 Group & Listed races, and the Golden Rose is his second Group 1 victory with Snitzel’s tribe, after Snitzerland’s 2014 VRC Lightning S. G1 success.

Trapeze Artist is Snitzel’s 12th individual Group 1 winner and the result was the second Arrowfield-sired Group race trifecta in a fortnight, after the ATC Run to the Rose G2 won by Menari from Pariah (by Redoute’s Choice) and Perast (also by Snitzel).

Trapeze Artist is raced by the Vieira family headed by Bert Viera who paid $190,000 for the Domesday mare Treppes in foal to Snitzel from Edinburgh Park at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. Two years later, the yearling Trapeze Artist was passed in for $300,000 at the Inglis Easter Sale – a disappointment that was well and truly forgotten as Bert Vieira celebrated his first Group 1 success after several years of substantial investment. 

Treppes is a non-winning member of a distinguished family that includes the Woodlands Stud graduates Crawl, Marching & Gait, and descends from 1971 Golden Slipper winner Fairy Walk. Go back another four generations and there’s Raphis, one of the several full sisters to Phar Lap that have extended his family’s influence into the 21st century. 

Less than two months after winning his first General Sires’ title, Snitzel is once again leading every Premiership category with $3.1 million prizemoney, 40 winners, 50 wins, 9 stakeswinners and 11 stakes wins. Eight other stallions have broken through the $1 million mark, including Not A Single Doubt, who holds down sixth spot with just over $1.2 million. 

Arrowfield sires dominate Timeform 2YO ranking

The 2016/17 season featured a bumper crop of juveniles by Arrowfield stallions, and two of them head the 2YO rankings on either side of the Tasman.

On Australia’s Timeform rankings, compiled by Gary Crispe of Racing & Sports, six of the top dozen 2YOs are by Snitzel (Invader, Summer Passage, Chauffeur & Trapeze Artist), Redoute’s Choice (Pariah) and Not A Single Doubt (Gunnison).

ATC Inglis Sires’ G1 winner Invader is rated alongside Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign on 119, with Pariah (118) and Summer Passage (117) in close attendance. Chauffeur, Gunnison and Trapeze Artist have all been given a figure of 115.

Invader, Pariah and Gunnison are all Arrowfield sale graduates, while She Will Reign and Property (awarded 116) are by former residents Manhattan Rain and Starcraft. She Will Reign is out of a mare by yet another former Arrowfield sire, Charge Forward, The Mission (116) is from a Redoute’s Choice mare and both Pariah & Gunnison claim Hussonet as their damsire. 

Invader, Pariah and Chauffeur will line up in the next enthralling battle of Sydney’s Spring 3YOs, Saturday’s ATC The Run to the Rose G2 at Rosehill. Their eight rivals also include Tangled, Menari & Perast (all by Snitzel) and Not A Single Doubt’s son Qiji Phoenix.

Summer Passage, trained in New Zealand by Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott for Hong Kong owner Eugene Chuang, is rated on top of the NZ 2YO Free Handicap, released this week by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association. 

The colt was awarded 59.5kg after winning the ARC Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. G1 and Matamata Slipper S. LR, with the leading filly, Melody Belle allotted 57.5kg, and the second top-weighted colt Star Treasure, given 56 kg. 

Summer Passage’s trainers report that he will travel to Melbourne on Sunday and run in the VRC Danehill S. G2 on 16 September, with the VRC Coolmore Stud S. G1 on 4 November his principal target.

Ryan's high hopes for 2017/18

Like his former stable star-turned-Champion Sire, Australia’s “Mr Snitzel”, Gerald Ryan had much to celebrate at the end of 2016/17, and plenty to look forward to in the new season.

Gerald says of Snitzel’s Premiership success, “I am so proud of him. When we bought him as a yearling Damion [Flower] and I agreed that if he can gallop then he would make a stallion, but to get to the heights he has is just unreal, and to be part of his success makes both of us proud of him.”

He adds, “He was a fast two-year-old that got better every preparation and it doesn’t surprise me that he is getting very good older horses too.”

Gerald has now trained 12 winners of 22 Group & six Listed races by Snitzel, three of them successful last season: Group winners Diddums (ex Raheights by Rahy) & Trapeze Artist (ex Treppes by Domesday) and Listed winner Samantha (ex Icedginger by Tale of the Cat).

Gerald says, “They’re all different, Diddums is a gross doer who kept improving and races best when she sits up on the speed and creates a tough race, but Samantha’s the opposite, she used to be a bit delicate and needs to be ridden quietly.”

Trapeze Artist made great progress through his 2YO season, winning the Canberra Black Opal S. G3 then putting up a top performance to round out Snitzel’s trifecta, behind Invader and Summer Passage in the ATC Sires’ Produce S. G1.

“He’s a good, tough on-pace runner who gets 1400, perhaps 1600 metres, and he’s very laid-back and straightforward, just so easy to train.”

Gerald believes all three horses are capable of stepping up a notch or two this season.

“Trapeze Artist can win a Group One, and he might get 1600 metres and be a Guineas horse, or perhaps the Coolmore. He’ll start in the Up and Coming on 19 August, then go to the Run to the Rose and the Golden Rose.

“Samantha and Diddums will be both be competitive in Group company, but they’re limited by the options for mares around 1200 metres.”

Apart from this trio, the Snitzel that Gerald is most excited about this season is 3YO colt Menari (ex Isurava by General Nediym), unlucky not to have more than one win, a Group 3 placing and a relegated Golden Slipper fourth on his five-start juvenile record.

“He’s come back a big, strong horse, and will kick off in the Rosebud or the San Domenico, and then we’ll decide about the Golden Rose.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he got to The Everest, he just needs a dry track.”

Among the stable’s new Snitzel 2YOs, Gerald says, “I can’t wait to get Snitzerland’s full sister in, and we have a nice colt out of One Sweet Day.”

The Arrowfield influence on Ryan Racing doesn’t end with Snitzel. Ryan’s new recruits include a pair of superbly bred Redoute’s Choice colts: “a nice colt that moves really well” out of Group 1 winner Faint Perfume (by Shamardal), and Stealth Sniper, out of Group 2 winner Timbourina (by Timber Country), “more of an Autumn two-year-old.”

Not A Single Doubt is represented by 3YO colt Condor Heroes (ex Gosetgo by More Than Ready), a city winner and Group 3-placed at two who impressed with a sparkling trial win at Rosehill last week and will likely make his season debut in the ATC San Domenico S. G3 on 26 August.  Gerald is also preparing a couple of 2YO Not A Single Doubt colts, King’s Order (ex Pinwin by Pins) and Legend Of Condor (ex Rhodamine by Success Express), both showing early ability.

“I like King’s Order a lot and he’ll be aimed at the Magic Millions Classic, and Legend Of Condor is back in work on Monday. He’s an early goer, he moves really well and everyone who rides him loves him.”

Smart Missile’s 4YO son Damaging (ex Sequinella by Catbird) has taken time to mature but was placed, then won in July. “I quite like him and he’ll now stretch out through his grades to 2000 metres.” The 2YO Smart Missile-Cat By The Tale filly has also joined the stable, and she will probably make her first raceday appearance in the Autumn.

The Ryan stable earned more than $5 million prizemoney nationwide in 2016/17 and closed out the season in 7th spot on the NSW Trainers’ Premiership. It’s a performance Gerald and his team can be proud of, and a target they can confidently aim to exceed with an abundance of proven and emerging talent.

All-Snitzel 2YO trifecta in Group 1 Sires' at Randwick

Arrowfield graduate Invader led home an all-Snitzel trifecta in Saturday’s $1 million ATC Inglis Sires’ 1400m G1 on a spectacular first day of The Championships at Royal Randwick.

New Zealand visitor Summer Passage and Trapeze Artist were gallant placegetters, after racing close to the pace and fighting on staunchly to finish 0.8 and 1.6 lengths behind Invader, who punched out a big final sprint in the space that Hugh Bowman’s wizardry found for him.

Watch Invader win the ATC Inglis Sires’ G1.

Snitzel’s appetite for making history is clearly undiminished. The Sires’ 1-2-3 is the first trifecta achieved in an Australian Group 1 juvenile race by progeny of one sire in the past three decades, and Invader is Snitzel’s third Group 1 winner in a remarkable 17 days, after Summer Passage (ARC Ellerslie Sires’ Produce S. G1, 16 March) and Russian Revolution (ATC The Galaxy G1, 18 March).

Invader is the sixth foal of the stakes-winning mare Flame of Sydney (by Encosta de Lago) and was sold for $475,000 by Arrowfield at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale. He is trained by Peter & Paul Snowden for buyer China Horse Club which races him with Newgate, Aquis Farm, Horse Ventures and Winstar Farm.

Flame of Sydney, also dam of the fine Hong Kong sprinter Not Listenin’tome, was sold for $605,000 to Yu Long Investments at the 2015 Inglis Sydney Broodmare Sale. She has since delivered her new owners a filly and a colt by Snitzel.

Invader’s breeder Michael Pitt said, “There’s a lot of excitement here, it’s a sensational result and a performance very much like his mother’s best run.”

The Sires’ wasn’t the only success on the Championship card for the son of Redoute’s Choice. His 3YO daughter Diddums became the 12th Snitzel stakeswinner prepared by Snitzel’s own trainer, Gerald Ryan when she shot clear in the straight to win the $200,000 ATC P.J. Bell S. 1200m G3.

Prompt Response (by Beneteau) and Smart Amelia (by Smart Missile) completed a trifecta for Arrowfield stallions.

Watch Diddums win the ATC P.J. Bell S. G3.

A home-bred for Torryburn Stud, Diddums is the fourth foal of Raheights (by Rahy) and is one Sydney’s most consistent 3YO fillies this season, winning or placing in all but one of her seven starts.

Gerald Ryan said, “She is a filly who has kept improving. She is as honest as they come…It’s good when a plan comes off. Good for Torryburn Stud and John.

“It’s good for her as a filly who has basically come from nowhere to win a stakes race. I’m rapt for her because she is by Snitzel.”

Snitzel now has 58 stakeswinners, nine of them successful at Group 1 level, and has extended his lead on the 2016/17 Australian General Sires’ premiership with 115 winners, 21 stakeswinners and $11.5 million prizemoney.

Snitzel’s 40-strong consignment is set to make the final Inglis Easter Sale at Newmarket Stables very memorable indeed.

Redoute's Choice dominates Golden Slipper pedigrees

Redoute’s Choice, already the sire of two Golden Slipper winners, appears in the immediate pedigrees of no fewer than 11 of the 19 juveniles in the field for this year’s $3.5 million event, sponsored for the second time by Longines.

Pariah is his 17th Slipper runner, bidding to join the 2006 winner Miss Finland, and Stratum, who defeated Fashions Afield in 2005 to give their champion sire a memorable quinella. 

This year Redoute’s Choice also appears as the damsire of Trekking, Frolic and 3rd emergency The Mission, and as the paternal grandsire of Single Bullet (by Not A Single Doubt), and Trapeze Artist, Invader, Menari, Teaspoon and emergency runners Chauffeur & Showtime (all by Snitzel).

Given that Snitzel heads the 2YO Sires’ premiership by earnings, winners and stakeswinners, it’s not surprising this is his best-ever contingent in the Slipper. He’s already the damsire of a Slipper winner (Mossfun in 2014) and two placegetters, Snitzerland, the gallant runner-up to Pierro in 2012, and Showtime’s sister Sweet Idea, third to Overreach in 2013. 

A fourth Arrowfield stallion, Charge Forward, figures as the damsire of Single Bullet’s stablemate She Will Reign, a daughter of former Arrowfield resident (and half-brother of Redoute’s Choice) Manhattan Rain. Charge Forward, himself a close second to Dance Hero in the record-breaking 2004 Slipper, is also the sire of 2009 runner-up Headway.

Arrowfield is attempting to add a third Golden Slipper to the trophies won by Miss Finland and Flying Spur (in 1995) as the owner-breeder of Teaspoon, the last foal of venerable matron Patronella, now in happy retirement as a nanny mare at the Stud. Trained by Michael Freedman, Teaspoon has won two of her three starts including the ATC Widden S. G3 (pictured, right; PHOTO: Sportpix) and will be ridden by Zac Purton.

Arrowfield bred and sold Inglis Easter graduate Pariah (in partnership with John Leaver, David Paradice & Paul Favretto), and Magic Millions colt Showtime (in partnership with Katsumi Yoshida), and sold Invader on behalf of his breeeder Michael Pitt. Two other breeders have multiple runners: Darley (Veranillo & Trekking) and Corumbene Stud (Single Bullet & Menari).

An interesting aspect of the 16-strong 2017 Golden Slipper field is its exactly even distribution between the sexes, eight colts and eight fillies, though the three emergencies are all colts. History favours colts and geldings with 35 wins, compared with 25 by fillies, but the split by runners (165 male, 146 female), top five finishes (51 male, 49 female) and winners (11 male, 9 female) is a little more evenly balanced over the past two decades, 1997-2016.

Apart from being a thrilling contest that can determine both the season’s best 2YO and the champion sire of juveniles, the Golden Slipper frequently previews other top performers. Subsequent Group 1 winners that ran in, but didn’t win the race include: English, Single Gaze & Speak Fondly (2015), Sweet Idea, Guelph & Criterion (2013), Snitzerland & Epaulette (2012), Mosheen, Foxwedge & Hot Snitzel (2011), Melito, Wanted & More Joyous (2009), Empires Choice, Gold Edition & Casino Prince (2006),  Snitzel (2005), Charge Forward, Alinghi & Fastnet Rock (2004), Shamekha & Exceed and Excel (2003) and Choisir & Yell (2002). 

The Longines Golden Slipper S. 1200m G1, offering winner’s prizemoney of $2 million, will be held for the 61st time at Rosehill this Saturday 18 March at 4.10 pm AEDT.