Redoute's Choice filly wins French Classic trial

One of the most valuable mares to visit Redoute’s Choice at HH The Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in 2013 was the Wertheimers’ marvellous matron 22-year-old Born Gold (by Blushing Groom).

Born Gold achieved international fame as the dam of the 2010 European Horse of the Year Goldikova (by Anabaa) whose 17 wins included fourteen at Group 1 level.

But Goldikova is only the brightest of Born Gold’s stars. As at 2013 her dozen winning progeny also included Group 1-winning filly Galikova (by Galileo) and Group 3 winners Gold Round (also a very successful broodmare), Gold Sound and Goldikova’s full brother Anodin – a stunning record for any mare.

On Sunday the result of Born Gold’s mating with Redoute’s Choice, 3YO filly Gold Luck joined that wonderful list when she prevailed in a highly competitive battle for the  Prix Vanteaux 1800m G3 at Chantilly. The Freddy Head-trained filly worked hard for her short head victory, but found enough under pressure to defeat last-start winner Monroe Bay and Hebah.

Watch Gold Luck win the Chantilly Prix Vanteaux G3.

The form-line is strong: Gold Luck split the Al Shaqab colt Al Wukair and Hebah in last October’s Deauville Prix Isonomy LR, and Al Wukair, who is 2000 Guineas-bound, extended his unbeaten record on Sunday in the Mainsons -Laffitte Prix Djebel G3.

Gold Luck’s win was more than usually special, as the Wertheimer brothers’ racing manager Pierre-Yves Bureau explained.

“As breeders it is an immense joy for us because Born Gold was 22 years old when covered by Redoute’s Choice. It was a difficult gestation so to have the mare still with us, and enjoying a happy retirement on the farm, is already a win. And now for this filly to have already won at Group level, it is a dream.

“She fought hard there today to come out on top of what looked a decent group of fillies. The Prix Saint-Alary is a logical next step and in theory the extra distance should be no problem to her.”

Gold Luck is the first Group or Listed winner among 14 winners from the first European crop of Redoute’s Choice. Another exciting 3YO prospect is Gold Luck’s stablemate and close relation, the Roth family’s filly Golden Attitude (ex Gold Round by Caerleon) who won at Chantilly in February and was third over 2100 metres at Saint-Cloud on 2 April.

Gold Luck’s milestone win concluded an outstanding week for the great son of Danehill who dominated the Inglis Easter sale-ring along with his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt.

The father-and-sons dynasty claimed all of the Sale’s major stallion honours: Top Price ($2.5 million Redoute’s Choice-Secluded colt), Highest Aggregate (Snitzel, 38 lots sold for a total $20,425,000) and Highest Average (Not A Single Doubt, 3 lots sold for an average price of $750,000).

The trio sired eight of the Sale’s 17 $1 million-plus yearlings, including four of the top five lots, an achievement both explained and supported by their collective 47 winners of 57 Group & Listed Races in five countries since 1 August 2016.

Strong start for Redoute's Choice in Europe

A quick-fire sequence of four 3YO winners in three weeks has given champion sire Redoute’s Choice a strong start to the 2017 season in Europe.

Al Shaqab Racing’s filly Wajnah (ex Benzolina by Second Empire) is the latest of the quartet to salute, when she returned on Sundayto Bordeaux-Le Bouscat, where she won on debut over 1600 metres last September, to score again over the same distance. Settled in second place by jockey Greogry Benoist, Wajnah made her run round the turn and sustained a solid effort up the straight to defeat La Sardane and Silver Storm.

Wajnah is a half-sister to Listed winners Bassamba and Baine (also runner-up in the French 1000 Guineas G1) from the family of champion sprinter and leading sire Anabaa. Bred by her trainer Francois Rohaut and Haras de Saint Pair, she was bought for €260,000 at the 2015 Arqana October Sale by agent Nicolas de Watrigant. Along with several other Redoute’s Choice fillies, including last season’s winners Astronomy’s Choice, Gold Luck & Deep Inside, Wajnah is nominated for the French 1000 Guineas G1 at Deauville on 13 May.

Close relatives Eyes On Asha and Spotify supplied wins within 24 hours of each other last week. Eyes On Asha won by 2.5 lengths over 6 furlongs at her Newcastle UK debut on Friday, an eye-catching effort after missing the kick and racing near the back of the field.

Watch Eyes On Asha win at Newcastle

The Kevin Ryan-trained daughter of Redoute’s Choice fetched a near-record €775,000 after a fast breeze-up at last year’s Arqana May 2YO Sale. She is out of the Italian stakeswinner Sunday Nectar (by Footstepsinthesand) and shares her grand-dam with Spotify, who saluted at Chantilly last Thursday.

A home-bred for the Wertheimers, Spotify (ex Gwenseb by Green Tune) also kept his unbeaten record when he won powered home in fine style to win a 1900-metre event by three lengths at Chantilly last Thursday. A half-brother to Group winners Attendu and Impassable, Spotify is prepared by Christophe Ferland.

Watch Spotify win at Chantilly – video replay courtesy of TDN and Fasig-Tipton

It was also at Chantilly that the Roth family’s filly Golden Attitude gave Redoute’s Choice his first European winner of 2017 when she won a 1900-metre event on 14 February.

Fourth at her debut last November, Golden Attitude is among the first European runners for American owner-breeders Larry, Nanci and Jaime Roth whose horses campaign under the name of  LNJ Foxwoods. They bought her dam Gold Round (by Caerleon) in 2012, sent her to Redoute’s Choice at Haras de Bonneval and then to the United States where she foaled Golden Attitude in 2014.

Gold Round’s major claim to fame is that she’s a half-sister to champion Goldikova, but she was a Group 3 winner herself and has done a wonderful job at stud, leaving three stakeswinners among 10 winners, most recently the filly Golden Valentine, who won last year’s Deauville Prix Minerve G3 for the Roths.

Like her older half-sister and Goldikova, Golden Attitude is trained by Freddie Head. Head also prepares the Wertheimer filly Gold Luck, Goldikova’s 3YO half-sister by Redoute’s Choice, who won her debut last September and was then stakes-placed at Deauville.
 
Watch replays of these races at France-Galop:
Wajnah – 5 March, Bordeaux-Le Bouscat, Prix de la Societe d’Encouragement de Bordeaux
Golden Attitude – 14 February, Chantilly, Prix de la Croix Vaillant

First French stakes performer for Redoute's Choice

Redoute’s Choice posted his first stakes performer in France on Thursday when the Wertheimers’ home-bred filly Gold Luck was second in the Prix Isonomy LR at Deauville.

A debut winner at Maisons-Laffitte last month, Gold Luck’s effort to pick up from the rear of a strong field and finish within two lengths of the promising colt Al Wukair was full of merit. Sheikh Hamdan’s filly Hebah, the eight-length winner of her previous start, was three-quarters of a length away in third place.  

The result was a distant echo of the 2011 Prix de la Foret where Al Wukair’s sire Dream Ahead beat Gold Luck’s champion half-sister Goldikova.

It has been a good week in Europe for Redoute’s Choice, also represented by the colt Pivoine, a winner at Kempton on Wednesday at his second start. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute for owner-breeder Ballymacoll Stud, Pivoine is the first foal of Fleur de Cactus (by Montjeu) from a wonderful family the Stud has nurtured for almost 80 years. Pivoine’s fourth dam is the outstanding broodmare Hellenic, dam of Group 1 winners Islington, Mountain High & Greek Dance and grand-dam of Champion Australian Stayer Fiorente.

In the Ballymacoll tradition, Pivoine has been thoughtfully named in honour of the famous French botanical artist Pierre-Joesph Redoute: “pivoine” is the French word for “peony”.

Pivoine is the 7th European winner in the past month for Redoute’s Choice, following Celestial Spheres (Goodwood, 21 September), Gold Luck (Maisons-Laffitte, 26 September), Wajnah & Spotify (Bordeaux-Le Bouscat, 27 September), Astronomy’s Choice (Newmarket, 7 October) & Normandie (Maisons-Laffitte, 14 October). In all he has now compiled eleven 2YO winners from the first of his two European crops.

Earlier in the week, a filly from the champion sire’s second French crop sold for €150,000 at the Arqana October Yearling Sale. A daughter of Border Bloom (by Selkirk), she was consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux and bought by Blandford Bloodstock and new Chinese investor Zhiqiang An whose horses race under the name Golden East Horse.

French debut double for Redoute's Choice 2YOs

The day after his daughter Gold Luck won on debut at Maisons-Laffitte, Redoute’s Choice posted a double at Bordeaux, courtesy of the filly Wajnah and the colt Spotify, both having their first starts.

Al Shaqab’s Wajnah claimed the 1600-metre Prix Didier Vezia narrowly but well from Silver Storm and the fast-finishing Maelia (Redoute’s Choice-Mantilla by Gone West).

Bred by her trainer Francois Rohaut & Haras de Saint Pair, Wajnah (ex Benzolina by Second Empire) is a half-sister to Listed winners Baine & Bassamba, from the family of Group 1 winner and leading sire Anabaa. She was purchased by Al Shaqab at last year’s Arqana October Sale for €260,000.

Three races later, Spotify took out the Prix du Four a Chaux, also over 1600 metres, from the Al Shaqab-owned pair Ajjlan and Ekftaa.

Like Gold Luck, the Christophe Ferland-trained Spotify is a Wertheimer home-bred. His stakes-winning dam Gwenseb has already left Group winners Impassable and Attendu, and Listed winner Foreign Tune.

These latest three European 2YO winners for Redoute’s Choice take his crop tally to eight – one more than his first Australian crop produced back in 2003/04.

Gold Luck wins on debut in France

When a great champion’s half-sister by a multiple champion sire makes her debut, expectations are naturally high.

2YO filly Gold Luck proved up to the task of meeting them when she won the Prix Tenebreuse over 1600 metres at Maisons-Laffitte in France on Monday.

Watch Gold Luck win at Maisons-Laffitte (courtesy of Thoroughbred Daily News).

It was a tidy performance by Gold Luck who is trained by Freddy Head for her breeders, Alain & Gerard Wertheimer.

Maxime Guyon settled the filly in third position, where she raced comfortably until asked to to extend in the final stages. She respnded generously to catch Ifiandra in the final 50 metres and score by a head, with Orerry 2.5 lengths back in third.

Head said, “I’m very happy with her. She wasn’t fully tuned-up today and I think she can make plenty of progress from this.

“Next year will be for her and we’ll leave her through the winter now in the hope she turns into a good filly. She handled herself very well and it looked a nice race. The runner-up pushed her hard at the end and overall they looked a nice bunch.”

Gold Luck is the 13th winner out of the remarkable broodmare Born Gold (by Blushing Groom), celebrated as the dam of five Group winners, chief among them Goldikova whose 17 wins included 14 at Group 1 level, notably three Breeders’ Cup Mile victories.

Redoute’s Choice has now notched up six winners from the first of two crops conceived during his stint at HH the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval. His other successful 2YOs in Europe this season are the colts Celestial Spheres and Colibri, and the fillies Deep Inside, Greshnitsia & Kazaroza.

Meanwhile, as the new season gains pace in Australia, the champion sire and his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt have already compiled 11 stakeswinners and almost $4 million prizemoney. Snitzel heads the current General Sires’ list with Redoute’s Choice 7th and Not A Single Doubt eighth.