Arrowfield is Australia's leading Group 1 breeder of 2014/15

Arrowfield closed out the 2014/15 season as Australia’s leading breeder of Group 1 winners with four horses successful at that level.

As the Stud celebrates thirty years of operation, they bring Arrowfield’s tally of Group 1-winning graduates to 54 – forty of them also Arrowfield-bred.

Sweet Idea, Hot Snitzel & Wandjina (all by Snitzel) won a total of six Australian Group races last season with their Group 1 victories coming in the ATC Galaxy Handicap, the BRC BTC Cup and the VRC Australian Guineas.

Champion South African filly Majmu (Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous by Hussonet) progressed from her unbeaten 2YO season to claim the Kenilworth Cape Fillies Guineas & Turffontein Empress Club Stakes at Group 1 level for Sheikh Hamdan & Mike de Kock. She also made up a Group 1 quinella for Redoute’s Choice in the Turffontein President’s Champions Challenge won by Wylie Hall.

Sweet Idea (ex Flidais by Timber Country) & Hot Snitzel (ex Flames of Paris by Blushing Groom) were bred & sold by Arrowfield & Katsumi Yoshida, a partnership also responsible for 2008 Horse of the Year Weekend Hussler and 2008 Blue Diamond winner Reaan.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Sweet Idea was retired after her Galaxy win which capped a stellar $2.4 million career of eight wins (five in Group company) and eight placings (four of them in Group 1 races) from 19 starts.

Sweet Idea’s indomitable character and consistency in top company gave her owners a tremendous ride and one of them, Nick Vass, paid $1.6 million for her at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. That completed a $4 million return on the $240,000 that Waterhouse & James Harron paid for her at the same venue three years ago.

Harron also bought Wandjina (ex La Bamba by Last Tycoon), but had to pay $1 million for him at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale on behalf of Edmund & Belinda Bateman. The handsome bay colt more than fulfilled the expectations attached to such a price with his powerhouse, all-the-way Guineas win and two Group 1 placings, most notably a valiant second, splitting Dissident & Chautauqua in the weight-for-age ATC All Aged S. G1.   

Sent to Royal Ascot before retiring to Newgate Farm, Wandjina signed off with a fine effort for sixth in Undrafted’s Golden Jubilee Stakes, over a distance short of his preferred 1600 metres.

Hot Snitzel saved his best until the Brisbane Winter Carnival for his Triple Crown-managed band of owners and proved too strong in the 1200-metre BTC Cup at Doomben.

That was the 6YO gelding’s sixth Group success among the 8 wins & eight placings that have returned $1.2 million on the $60,000 that Chris & Michael Ward paid for him at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.  Trained by Gerald Ryan for most of his career, Hot Snitzel was transferred to Peter & Paul Snowden before his Group 1 win and remains in training for 2015/16.

This quartet heads a collection of 16 Arrowfield-bred winners of 26 Group & Listed Races in 2014/15. All were offered for sale at auction and 15 of them sold for prices ranging from the $20,000 paid for the weanling Lady Jivago to the seven-figure bid Wandjina attracted.  Perth stakeswinner Rock Magic was sold out of training after four wins with Paul Messara.

The list doesn’t include champion sprinter Lankan Rupee (by Redoute’s Choice; MVRC Manikato Stakes & VRC Lightning Stakes) & Miracles of Life (by Not A Single Doubt; SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes), both born & raised at Arrowfield for Teeley Assets; nor does it include Listed winners Bouzy Rouge & Modello (both by Snitzel), both offered for sale by Arrowfield on behalf of their private breeders.

The full list of Arrowfield’s stakes-winning graduates last season is:

2014/15 STAKESWINNER
& Co-Breeder

SIRE-DAM

STAKES WINS
Trainer(s)

SALE & PRICE
Prizemoney

HOT SNITZEL
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Flames of Paris

G1
Peter & Paul Snowden

Inglis Melbourne
$60,000
$1.2 million

MAJMU

Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous

G1 x2, G3
Mike de Kock

Inglis Easter
$300,000
2.2m Rand

SWEET IDEA
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel- Flidais

G1, G2 x2
Gai Waterhouse

Magic Millions
$240,000
$2.4 million

WANDJINA

Snitzel-La Bamba

G1, G3
Gai Waterhouse

Inglis Easter
$1 million
$653,000

MOONOVERMANHATTAN
with Planette & Belford

Manhattan Rain-Lunaspur

G2
Mick Price

Inglis Easter
$100,000
$279,000

STEPITUP
with Planette

Hussonet-Ain’t Seen Nothin’

Sgp-2 x2, Sgp-3
Laurie Laxon

Inglis Melbourne
$90,000
$S1.9 million

AMORINO
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Steal My Love

G3, LR x2
Archie Alexand
er

Magic Millions
$70,000
$763,000

BURNSTONE
with Klawervlei Stud

Redoute’s Choice-Merlene de Lago

LR
Robbie Griffiths

Inglis Melbourne
$40,000
$72,000
Died after his debut

HIJACK HUSSY
with Planette & Belford

Hussonet-Joy Ride

LR
Tony Gollan

Magic Millions
$62,000
$218,000

MANAPINE
with Jungle Pocket

Manhattan Rain-Anapine

LR
Nigel Blackiston

Inglis Easter
$200,000
$113,000

ROCK MAGIC
with Planette

Redoute’s Choice-Rockabubble

LR x2
Chris Gangemi

Inglis Easter
Passed
$358,000

SMOKO
with Planette
Snitzel-London Lights LR
Ross Price
 Inglis Melbourne
$75,000
$251,000

WILD RAIN
with Planette

Manhattan Rain-North Flower

LR
Mark Kavanagh

Magic Millions
$150,000
$220,000

YGRITTE
with Planette & Belford, Maldale, Michael & Lucy Messara & Tim Noonan

Snitzel-Deputy Lil

LR
Gerald Ryan

Inglis Classic
$135,000
$314,000

LADY JIVAGO
with International Equities

Beneteau-Hussterics

R-LR
Jeff Englebrecht

Magic Millions Weanling
$20,000
$192,000

ODYSSEY MOON
with Jungle Pocket

Snitzel-Run to the Moon

R-LR
Rod Northam

Inglis Classic
$25,000
$435,000

Wandjina a gallant sixth at Royal Ascot

Almost exactly 12 years after Choisir began the antipodean invasion of Royal Ascot, 3YO colts Brazen Beau & Wandjina carried the Australian flag with distinction in Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes, held over six furlongs on the Straight Course.

Brazen Beau, trained by Chris Waller and ridden by Craig Williams for 38 owners managed by Grant Morgan’s Ontrack Thoroughbreds, raced alone on the near side for much of the race and found plenty to withstand every challenge except that of Undrafted who caught him only in the final strides.

Wandjina, trained by Gai Waterhouse and ridden by Damien Oliver for Edmund & Belinda Bateman, sat just behind the leaders and when the pressure came on up up the rise, he responded generously to finish sixth.

Wandjina (Snitzel-La Bamba by Last Tycoon) was a $1 million purchase from Arrowfield for the Batemans by bloodstock agent James Harron at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale.

Sent to champion trainer Gai Waterhouse, the bay colt named for spirits of the Aboriginal Dreamtime won the second of his four juvenile starts in Sydney. He has raced only in stakes company ever since, but did not earn black type until last Spring when he was an eye-catching third in the MRC Caulfield Guineas 1600m G1, only 1.3 lengths from Shooting to Win.

Wandjina returned in February to dominate the pace and defy all his rivals in both the VRC CS Hayes S. G3 and the VRC Australian Guineas G1. He signed off on his Australian career with a fighting second in Dissident’s ATC All Aged S. G1 on 18 April, and will stand at Newgate Farm this Spring.

Snitzel joined his sire on the Arrowfield roster in 2006 and is now the sire of 31 stakeswinners, six of them successful at Group 1 level: Shamus Award (Cox Plate & Australian Guineas), Snitzerland (Lightning Stakes), Sweet Idea (The Galaxy), Hot Snitzel (BTC Cup), Sizzling (TJ Smith Stakes) and Wandjina.

In 2013/14 Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel completed an historic 1-2 finish on the Australian General Sires’ Premiership – the first time that has been achieved by a father-son combination.

This year in April Snitzel topped the Inglis Easter Sale for the first time, with not one, but two colts, sold for $2.2 million and $1.8 million.

Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel and his second Arrowfield-based son Not A Single Doubt are all among Australia’s top 10 sires this season, with combined totals of 26 stakeswinners and more than $21 million prizemoney.

 

Wandjina's breeder in expansion mode

As Wandjina prepares for the Royal Ascot Diamond Jubilee Stakes, the Hunter Valley farm that bred him is getting ready to expand its business off the back of a spectacular season.

Arrowfield Stud has completed the construction of an additional 40 yearling runs at its Sales Centre to create one of the best yearling preparation units in the southern hemisphere.  Further work is being undertaken to improve internal roads and paddock layouts, and enable the Stud to stand up to 16 stallions. Arrowfield currently stands ten stallions, headed by Redoute’s Choice and his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt.

Paul Messara, who took up the Stud Manager’s role a year ago, says, “We achieved record fertility on the farm last Spring and we’ve had a wonderful run with the stallions on the track and in the ring this season. Stallion-making is our core business and we plan to keep investing in it.”

Arrowfield, selling in its own right and on behalf of clients, was the leading yearling vendor in Australasia this season, grossing more than $18 million at the major sessions of the Magic Millions Gold Coast, Inglis Melbourne Premier & Inglis Easter Sales. Yearlings by stallions on the Stud’s current roster have returned almost $70 million to their vendors in 2015.

Wandjina was purchased from Arrowfield by James Harron for Edmund & Belinda Bateman at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale for $1 million, making him Snitzel’s first seven-figure yearling.  Paul says, “He was an outstanding colt, as good as you’d ever see at a sale.”

The Australian Guineas winner is one of four Arrowfield-bred and -sold Group 1 stars this season, alongside Hot Snitzel & Sweet Idea (also by Snitzel), and brilliant South African filly Majmu (by Redoute’s Choice). Arrowfield’s thirty-year record of Group 1-winning graduates now stands at 54 – forty of them bred by the Stud.

La Bamba, dam of Wandjina, Inspiration (Hong Kong Sprint G1) and stakeswinners Lucky Unicorn and Provence, is the fourth Arrowfield mare to leave two Group 1 winners, after Eloquent Edition (dam of Daney Boy & Magic Of Sydney), Lady Giselle (Baryshnikov & Zabeel) and Urge To Merge (Suntagonal & Master Of Design). Now rising 21, La Bamba has a lovely weanling filly by Snitzel that will be retained by Arrowfield.

Messara is very familiar with what’s required to compete in major UK races, as the trainer of Ortensia (2012 York Nunthorpe S. G1 & Goodwood King George S. G2) and Alverta (3rd, 2010 July Cup G1).

He says, “It’s important for Australian horses to keep competing in England, but it’s a very tough task to win any of their big sprints.

“The main challenges are the tracks and their style of racing, because the pressure comes on very early and doesn’t let up, and the undulating tracks make it difficult for horses to maintain their balance. Wandjina’s ability to lead and win over 1600 metres is a plus for him and Gai has kept him fresh, so he’s set to produce his best effort.”

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes will be shown on Sky Racing 1 & Sky Thoroughbred Central at 1.20 am AEST on Sunday morning.

Beneteau & Wandjina win HTBA awards

Arrowfield Stud was delighted to accept two trophies at the 2015 Hunter Valley Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s Annual Awards Dinner, held at Scone Racecourse on Wednesday evening.

The Stud’s young home-bred sire Beneteau was named Champion First Season Sire, inevitably a bittersweet achievement given that he died in January 2013, after only two seasons at stud. The award was sponsored by Kentucky Equine Research & Barastoc.

Beneteau (Redoute’s Choice-Slice of Paradise by Encosta de Lago), a juvenile Group 3 winner and third in the Blue Diamond S. G1, has produced seven individual winners from his first crop including Prompt Return (VRC Maribyrnong P. G3), Lady Jivago  (ATC Inglis 2YO Classic (R) LR), Voilier (City winner & 2nd, ATC Silver Slipper S. G2), impressive Sydney winner Aegean Sea and the stakes-placed It’s Vegas Baby.

Beneteau took the lead on the 2014/15 Australian First Season Sires’ list last November and remains on top with prizemoney of $666,235. The rise and rise of Arrowfield’s other two sons of Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt, only enlarges the gap Beneteau’s early death has left in the ranks of Australia’s young stallions.

Another Arrowfield-bred colt, Wandjina (Snitzel-La Bamba by Last Tycoon) was named Champion 3YO Colt on the strength of his VRC Australian Guineas G1 victory and Group 1 placings in the ATC All Aged S. G1 and MRC Caulfield Guineas G1. The award was sponsored by Equilaw.

Purchased by James Harron for $1 million at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale, and trained by Gai Waterhouse for Edmund & Belinda Bateman, Wandjina now has Royal Ascot in his sights before retiring to stud at Newgate Farm this coming Spring.

Wandjina is one of four Arrowfield-bred Group 1 winners this season, along with Sweet Idea (ATC The Galaxy H. G1), Hot Snitzel (BRC BTC Cup G1), both by Snitzel, and Majmu (Turffontein Empress Club S. G1), by Redoute’s Choice. As Arrowfield celebrates its 30th year of operation, they have taken the total of Group 1 winners bred by the Stud to forty.

An additional 14 Group 1 winners, including Lankan Rupee and Miracles of Life, have been raised and/or sold by Arrowfield during those three decades.

 

Bumper black type day for Arrowfield graduates

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Wandjina spearheaded Arrowfield graduates’ attack upon feature races at Flemington & Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The high-class 3YO son of Snitzel made all in the $500,000 VRC Australian Guineas 1600m G1 and showed plenty of courage to defy his rapidly closing rivals down the long Flemington straight. Alpine Eagle finished second, a half-neck away, and Stratum Star was a long neck further back in third.

Wandjina’s jockey Brett Prebble said, “He gave me a good feeling and he dug deep. I knew the others were there, but the more they came at him, the more he gave me.”

Wandjina is the leading earner among nine stakeswinners this season for Snitzel and the 30th individual Group 1 winner sold at auction by Arrowfield since 1994. He was offered by Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale where agent James Harron bought him for $1 million on behalf of his owners Dr Edmund & Belinda Bateman.

Wandjina is the second Group 1 winner from Arrowfield’s outstanding broodmare La Bamba (by Last Tycoon), also the dam of Inspiration (Hong Kong Sprint G1) and Listed stakeswinners Lucky Unicorn and Provence. He is Snitzel’s fourth Group 1 winner after Sizzling, Snitzerland, and Shamus Award who won last year’s Australian Guineas and the 2013 Cox Plate.

Arrowfield’s 2015 Inglis Easter draft includes Wandjina’s half-brother by Manhattan Rain. La Bamba also has a 2YO colt, Battle Of Troy (by Flying Spur), in the Hawkes Racing stable for Tony Pistikakis, and a weanling filly by Snitzel.

The Guineas win completed a Flemington Group double for Snitzel and Arrowfield, following the victory of 5YO gelding Amorino (ex Steal My Love by Marauding) in the $150,000 VRC Shaftesbury Avenue H. 1400m G3.

Amorino, who gave Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander his first Group success, has won eight races from three stables in three States, and more than $600,000 for owner Elio Galante and his family. Amorino’s original trainer Gerald Ryan bid $70,000 secure him from the Arrowfield draft at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Arrowfield signed off a very good day when Not A Single Doubt’s daughter Miracles of Life (ex Dazzling Gazelle by More Than Ready) bounced clear to take out the $400,000 ATC Challenge S. 1000m G2 by more than two lengths from Va Pensiero & Rubick. 

It was the second Group success the popular 4YO mare has given her celebrated American owner Stonestreet Stables since they purchased her for $900,000 from last year’s Teeley Dispersal and sent her to Peter & Paul Snowden. Her record now reads 7 wins, including the 2013 Blue Diamond S. G1, and $1.2 million from 15 starts.

Miracles of Life was foaled and raised at Arrowfield for her breeder Teeley Assets, while Amorino was bred by Arrowfield in partnership with Katsumi Yoshida’s Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd, and Wandjina was bred by Arrowfield alone.  

Arrowfield’s consignment for the 2015 Inglis Easter Sale can be viewed here.

Four success stories, one Easter draft

Ever wanted a Listed Race winner?  Hoped for a Group 3 winner?

Longed for a Group 2 winner?  Fantasised about owning a Group 1 winner?

At the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale, buyers needed to visit only one draft to find all four kinds of success stories.

You guessed right, it was the Arrowfield draft.

The latest star to emerge from the 32 yearlings the Stud offered at Easter that year is Saturday’s heroic VRC C.S. Hayes S. G3 winner Wandjina (Snitzel-La Bamba by Last Tycoon). He was one of the most popular Arrowfield yearlings in 2013 and sold for $1 million to James Harron, acting for leading owners Edmund & Belinda Bateman.

Champion South African 2YO filly Majmu (Redoute’s Choice-Spontaneous by Hussonet) was a $300,000 purchase by Angus Gold for Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stud. She has raced only in black type company, winning all three of her juvenile starts, and achieving elite status with a dominant victory in December’s Kenilworth Cape Fillies Guineas G1.  Champion trainer Mike de Kock already rates her one of the best fillies he’s trained.

Well-known bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington was the successful bidder at $100,000 for the Manhattan Rain colt from Lunaspur (by Flying Spur). Sent to Mick Price by his owners Peter Anastasiou & Ken Biddick, he was named Moonovermanhattan and  made a dream debut, winning the SAJC National S. G3 and most of his purchase price in May 2014.

He progressed steadily to win the MVRC Moonee Valley Vase G2 as a Spring 3YO and has recently returned with Group 1 glory in his sights this Autumn.

Qatar Bloodstock’s agent David Redvers bought Crafty (Moonovermanhattan-Spirited Dancer by Sadler’s Wells) for $150,000. Sent to Robert Smerdon, she made her debut 10 months later, placing twice before a 3-length debut win at Sandown.

Two starts later she was a 2YO Listed Race winner and then, as a Spring 3YO, earned Oaks favouritism with placings in the VRC Edward Manifold S. G2 and MRC Caulfield Classic G3. Sadly, injury prematurely ended her racing career, but Crafty had already done enough to warrant the first-class stud opportunities she will now receive in the northern hemisphere.

Of these four Arrowfield graduates, only Wandjina has a sibling in this year’s Easter consignment from the Stud. That’s Lot 8, the Manhattan Rain colt from La Bamba.

However, buyers need not fear any disappointment when they arrive in a few weeks’ time at the historic Big Barn where Arrowfield’s yearlings are housed at the Inglis Easter Sale. Thirty-five yearlings await them, including colts from Miss Finland, Alinghi, Brazilian Pulse, Hollow Bullet & US grade 1 winner Miss Match, Alverta’s first daughter, Weekend Hussler’s half-sister by Redoute’s Choice, Sweet Idea’s full sister, Smart Missile’s full brother & the half-brother to Dundeel.

 

Wandjina wonderful in Group 3 victory

Halfway down the big Flemington straight in Saturday’s $150,000 VRC C.S. Hayes S. 1400m G3 a brave placing seemed the most likely outcome for Dr Edmund & Belinda Bateman’s 3YO Snitzel colt Wandjina.

He had jumped smartly from gate 5 to take up the lead, but over-raced in the early stages and was given no peace in front by San Nicasio and Western Australian star Disposition on either side of him. Coming into the straight Wandjina held a narrow advantage until Disposition headed him at the 200-metre mark, while Stratum Star attacked down the outside.

However, Wandjina and his jockey Damien Oliver dug in for the fight and the handsome colt showed deep courage to regain the lead 50 metres from the post and go on to win in 1:22.27 by a short neck from the gallant Disposition. Stratum Star was a length away in third place.

Adrian Bott, representing trainer Gai Waterhouse, said, “Gai has always had a very good opinion of this horse and he has always competed at a high level. It was very good to see him win a race like that.

“He did go a bit strong but to his credit he fought it out all the way to the line.

“Towards the end of the spring he started to get it all together and he stayed in Victoria and has been prepared in the Melbourne stable.”

Also third in the Caulfield Guineas G1, Wandjina has raced exclusively  in Group & Listed company since his maiden win last February. His next target is the $500,000 VRC Australian Guineas G1 on 7 March with a Sydney Autumn campaign likely after that.

Wandjina is the 28th stakeswinner (and the 7th this season) for sensational young sire Snitzel. He was bred and sold by Arrowfield at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale where agent James Harron bought him for $1 million on behalf of his owners Dr Edmund & Belinda Bateman.

Wandjina is the fourth stakeswinner from Arrowfield’s marvellous broodmare La Bamba (by Last Tycoon), also the dam of Inspiration (Hong Kong Sprint G1) and Listed stakeswinners Lucky Unicorn and Provence. Arrowfield’s 2015 Inglis Easter draft includes Wandjina’s half-brother by Manhattan Rain colt and La Bamba has since produced a filly by Snitzel.

Arrowfield’s 2013 Inglis Easter consignment has produced Group 1 winner Majmu (Redoute’s Choice), Group 2 winner Moonovermanhattan (Manhattan Rain) and Group-placed Listed stakeswinner Crafty (Manhattan Rain), as well as Wandjina.
View Arrowfield’s 35 yearlings for the   2013 Easter Sale here.

Royal Descent, Wandjina & Cox Plate history

As if to echo their historic Australian Sires’ Premiership quinella, Redoute’s Choice and his son Snitzel each has a runner in Saturday’s $3 million MVRC W.S. Cox Plate G1.

Redoute’s Choice is represented by Gerry Harvey’s magnificent home-bred mare, Royal Descent (ex Mulan Princess by Kaapstad), four times Group 1-placed over 1600 metres in Sydney since her 2013 Australian Oaks G1 victory.  She has ventured to Melbourne for only two previous starts, both of them last Spring when she was unplaced in Happy Trails’ Turnbull S. G1, and a gallant fifth in Fawkner’s Caulfield Cup G1.

Trained by Chris Waller, her form this season could hardly be better, or more frustrating: four runner-up finishes at Randwick, mostly recently beaten a very skinny nose by her stablemate He’s Your Man in the Epsom H. G1.

That performance earned Royal Descent a Timeform figure of 125, though with a ?, indicating some doubt about its accuracy. Only Sacred Falls (127) goes into this year’s Cox Plate with a higher figure.

Gary Crispe at Racing & Sports, who compiles the Timeform ratings, explains, “In the case of Royal Descent she has a well-defined Timeform ratings profile of 121 established over several runs. This campaign her form has been faultless and her ratings have gone 112, 118, 119 and 125.

“We seldom see a jump like this at this level in older horses but having said that, being a quality mare, it is possible she has improved beyond her previous 121 master figure. We have cautioned the run because at WFA it makes her the one to beat with the 2kg allowance mares receive.”

Royal Descent and Lankan Rupee, favourite for the Manikato Stakes on Friday evening, give Redoute’s Choice a chance to achieve an unprecedented double, by siring the winners of both races with two different horses in the same year. Sunline (2000), Rubiton (1987) and Strawberry Road (1983) have won both races in the same year, a feat no longer possible because they are now held on consecutive days.

Snitzel, the sire of last year’s sensational winner Shamus Award, has the Gai Waterhouse-trained Arrowfield graduate Wandjina (ex La Bamba by Last Tycoon) in the field after his owners Edmund & Belinda Bateman paid the $130,000 late entry fee and he received the nod from the MVRC committee.

Wandjina’s last-start third in the Caulfield Guineas G1 earned him a Timeform figure of 121, again with a modifying ?. The other two Australian 3YO colts in the field, Almalad and Sweynesse, are rated 119 and 116 respectively.

Gary Crispe says, “In the case of Wandjina his established Timeform ratings profile is around 105. He has five ratings around that mark, so when he suddenly jumps to 121 at 100/1, alarm bells ring for us. Hence the ? as we are not at all sure about him being at that level just yet.”

In the TAB Fixed Odds betting for the Cox Plate Fawkner is now a clear favourite ahead of Northern Hemisphere 3YO Adelaide (considered a 4YO in Australia), Sacred Falls and Criterion, with the rest of the field at double-figure odds, including Royal Descent ($11) and Wandjina ($41).

A review of Cox Plate results achieved by 3YO colts and fillies & mares over the past decade casts light on their chances in this year’s race.

Eleven 3YO colts have started in the Cox Plate from 2004 to 2013 and three have won: Shamus Award (2014), So You Think (2009) and Savabeel (2004).  Another three colts have placed in the Cox Plate: Manhattan Rain (2nd in 2009) and All Too Hard & Pierro who filled the placings behind Ocean Park in 2012. 

Of those six 3YO male Cox Plate winners and placegetters, four brought a top three Caulfield Guineas finish into the Cox Plate. All Too Hard won the Guineas, while Pierro was second and, like Wandjina, Shamus Award & Manhattan Rain were third.

So You Think was fifth in the 2009 Guineas behind Starspangledbanner, Carrara, Manhattan Rain and Extra Zero. Savabeel had not started in Melbourne before the Cox Plate and came into the race off a Spring Champion S. G1 win.

A total of three wins and three placings from 11 starters gives an excellent 2004-13 Cox Plate top-three strike rate of 54.5% for 3YO colts.

Incidentally, the only two 3YO fillies that have run in the Cox Plate over the last ten years are both by Redoute’s Choice: Samantha Miss (3rd, 2008) and Miss Finland (6th, 2006) – she also ran as a 4YO in El Segundo’s 2007 Cox Plate, finishing fourth.

In all, twenty-one fillies and mares have started a total of 24 times in the Cox Plate since 2004. (Avienus, Miss Finland & More Joyous each started twice.)

Makybe Diva (2005) and Pinker Pinker (2011) have won the race during that period, while Samantha Miss and a third daughter of Redoute’s Choice, Lotteria (2nd, 2005) have both placed. One other Redoute’s Choice mare, King’s Rose, finished 7th as a 4YO in the 2011 Cox Plate.

A total of two wins and two placings from 24 starts gives a strike rate of 16.7% for fillies and mares in the Cox Plate.

What can be concluded from this examination of recent Cox Plate history?  With rose-coloured spectacles firmly in place, and one eye slightly closed, the obvious bets are surely the 3YO colt with Caulfield Guineas form, and the mare by Redoute’s Choice!

Arrowfield graduates place in Group 1 Guineas

Trainers Gai Waterhouse and Tony Gollan were spot on with their assessments of Arrowfield graduates Wandjina and Traveston Girl ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 Guineas races at Caulfield.

In the $1 million MRC Caulfield Guineas G1, Wandjina made up several lengths in the straight to run into third place, only a neck and a length from the winner Shooting To Win. He was the only runner to break 47 seconds for the final 800 metres, and also posted the fastest last 600m, 400m and 200m of the race.

Jockey Dwayne Dunn’s summary backed up the evidence of the sectional times. “Huge run. He was finishing off very strongly.”

Waterhouse had instructed punters to forget about Wandjina’s unplaced previous start. “He has a good barrier, a big time jockey aboard and all the talent required to run well…Each way chance.”

Wandjina was a $1 million purchase by James Harron Bloodstock for Edmund & Belinda Bateman from the Arrowfield draft at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale.

By Snitzel from La Bamba (by Last Tycoon), Wandjina is a half-brother to Group 1 winner Inspiration and three-quarter brother to stakeswinners Lucky Unicorn & Provence (both by Redoute’s Choice). La Bamba has a 2YO colt by Flying Spur, a yearling colt by Manhattan Rain and foaled a precious sister to Wandjina for Arrowfield on 30 September.

Wandjina is the 8th Group 1 performer by Snitzel, also represented on Saturday by Estonian Princess, a long head second in the ATC Angst S. G3.

In the $500,000 MRC Thousand Guineas G1 Traveston Girl began with her customary speed from gate 10, crossed to set a strong pace and fought on bravely to hold off all her rivals except Amicus who by three-quarters of a length.

Jockey Damien Browne said, “She ran super. I was able to put a bit of pressure a fair way out and got them chasing her. She gave 100 percent.”

Gollan said of Traveston Girl on Friday, “I think she’s closing the gap on the other fillies. I’ve always thought she’s a real miler, and she’ll enjoy the mile as long as she’s allowed to roll along at her tempo.”

The daughter of retired champion sire Flying Spur and Milande (by Dehere) was bred by Arrowfield and John Leaver in partnership with Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones. As it happened, Jones led in Spring Champion Stakes G1 winner Hampton Court at Randwick less than an hour before the Thousand Guineas.  

Traveston Girl was purchased for $60,000 from Arrowfield’s 2013 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale draft for Troy Schmidt, also a part-owner of talented colt Looks Like The Cat.

Juveniles anchor Snitzel's brilliant record

Several new lines of emphasis have been drawn this week beneath Snitzel’s burgeoning reputation as a major sire of high-class juveniles. 

On Wednesday Edmund & Belinda Bateman’s powerfully built colt Wandjina sharpened up his Golden Slipper prospects with a 3.5 length defeat of a quality field at Warwick Farm.

Four days earlier at Randwick Ygritte (2nd, ATC Widden S. G3) and Mr Cha Cha (3rd, ATC Canonbury S. LR) took Snitzel’s career tally of 2YO stakes performers to 27.

Ygritte completed an unusual quinella for Snitzel in the Widden, won by Mossfun, the only runner to date from a daughter of Snitzel, and the first hint that Snitzel’s influence as a source of precocious class won’t be limited to one generation.  

Wandjina, Ygritte (both Arrowfield sale graduates) and Mr Cha Cha all look capable of enlarging the significant patch Snitzel is stamping as a sire of 2YOs. He already has a lifetime 35% 2YO winners/runners strike rate, with more than $51,000 average prizemoney per 2YO runner, and 7.4% 2YO SW/runners.

That is giving Snitzel a valuable edge in his current battle for the Australian General Sires’ premiership, where 15% of his total prizemoney has been earned by his 2011 crop, compared with 2% for his nearest rival Fastnet Rock.

Yet Snitzel cannot be pigeon-holed as a specialist 2YO sire, when six of his 12 juvenile stakeswinners, including last Saturday’s Lightning S. G1 winner Snitzerland, have added to their black type records as older horses, and his eight current season stakeswinners come from four crops. 

Shamus Award illustrates what makes Snitzel’s progeny so desirable in the sale-ring and so effective on the track. He was precocious enough to place in four Group & Listed races at two and run fifth in the Blue Diamond S. G1, then stepped up immediately at three to finish third in the Caulfield Guineas G1, and win the Cox Plate G1.

Like Danehill and Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel’s success is firmly founded on early maturing class, but also like them, his impact on Australian racing goes beyond juvenile competition. That’s why, despite fewer runners and fewer crops than most of his main rivals, Snitzel became  Australia’s leading sire in October and why, four months later, he’s still there.