Howard Be Thy Name completed an historic Oaks-Derby double for Redoute’s Choice & Arrowfield when he outstayed his rivals in Saturday’s $500,000 SAJC South Australian Derby 2500m G1.
It was a polished performance by the imposing 3YO colt who came into the race after four consecutive wins, including Listed & Group 3 successes at Morphettville. Coolly directed by jockey John Allen, Howard Be Thy Name settled midfield off the fence, and coped easily when Arcadia Dream lifted the pace around 1200 metres from home.
He swept unimpeded around the home turn and joined a determined Etymology to fight out the finish, eventually forging clear to score by a half-length with Cool Chap 2.3 lengths away in third place.
A week earlier the champion sire’s daughter Abbey Marie won the Australasian Oaks G1 at Morphettville. It’s the first time since 1983, when the Oaks was granted Group 1 status, that the same sire has been responsible for individual winners of both races in the same year. ( Two fillies have also completed the Oaks-Derby double: Delicacy in 2015 and Zarita in 2008).
But it gets better. Howard Be Thy Name and Abbey Marie were both offered by Arrowfield at the 2014 Inglis Easter Sale, where they entered the ring as Lots 339 & 362.
Abbey Marie found a buyer, well-known bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington, at $300,000, but Howard Be Thy Name was passed in, and so is raced by his breeder Eric Watson, Howard & Lisa Aldridge and his trainer Darren Weir.
Never out of the first three in his 11-start career, and with more than $520,000 in the bank, Howard Be Thy Name will now head to the $600,000 Queensland Derby G1 on 11 June. That race is already on Redoute’s Choice’s stud record, thanks to Empires Choice (2007) and Dariana (2010).
In all, the great son of Danehill has sired the winners of 7 Oaks, six Guineas and five Derbys; and, according to Arion Pedigrees, he is the leading active Australasian-based sire of individual Group 1 winners with a total of thirty.
Howard Be Thy Name, Abbey Marie and Group 1-winning mare Peeping head Redoute’s Choice’s 14 winners of 20 Group & Listed Races this season.