Arrowfield graduates honoured in South Africa

Four  Group 1-winning Arrowfield graduates, all purchased from the Inglis Easter Sale, were the only Australian-bred finalists for South Africa’s 2016/17 Equus Awards, and two of them won their respective categories.

Sheikh Hamdan’s brilliant colt Mustaaqeem was named Champion 2YO Colt, and Whisky Baron won the Champion Middle Distance title at the Awards ceremony in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.

Like his sire Redoute’s Choice, Mustaaqeem made only two juvenile appearances, but achieved maximum impact with a runaway debut win, followed by a four-length victory in the Turffontein South African Nursery G1 on 6 May. 

That performance very quickly turned into a rare piece of history when Mustaaqeem’s older full brother Rafeef – now standing at Highlands Stud in South Africa – won the Computaform Sprint G1 on the same Champions Day card. Rafeef was a finalist for the Champion Sprinter award won by Carry On Alice.

Mustaaqeem and Rafeef are sons of South African Horse of the Year National Colour, both of them bred by Arrowfield and Klawervlei Stud, both offered at successive Inglis Easter Sales and both purchased for Shadwell by master buyer Angus Gold. It took $800,000 to buy Rafeef in 2014, and more than twice that amount, $1.75 million, to secure Mustaaqeem two years later. 

National Colour has a 2YO Snitzel filly bought for $675,000 by Paul Messara at Inglis Easter and now part of Arrowfield’s racing team, and a yearling colt by Redoute’s Choice. The mare is in foal to Snitzel.

Whisky Baron (Manhattan Rain-Tazkara by Sinndar), a product of the Aga Khan Studs’ partnership with Arrowfield, was also bought from the 2014 Easter Sale, for just $50,000 by Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden. Trained by Brett Crawford for former international cricketer Craig Kieswetter and his brother Ross, Whisky Baron progressed dramatically from three to four, winning all five of his starts last season, which ended with a stunning success in the R5 million Kenilworth Sun Metropolitan H. G1 over 2000 metres. 

Tazkara is now in France, but has two daughters in Australia including Whisky Baron’s full sister Downtown Manhattan whose first foal is a yearling colt by Olympic Glory. 

The fourth Arrowfield graduate among the Equus Award finalists was 3YO colt Heavenly Blue (Snitzel-Simply Carina by El Prado), bred by the Stud in partnership with Cloros Bloodstock and bought for $200,000 by Jehan Malherbe’s Form Bloodstock.

Winner of both his 2YO starts, Heavenly Blue raced exclusively in Group company at three, winning the Turffontein South African Classic G1, and finishing third in the South African Derby G1.

He also hails from the yard of champion trainer Mike de Kock who received a Special Achievement Award after reaching the milestone of 3,000 career wins in March.

Simply Carina has a 3YO daughter, Play That Song (by Smart Missile), in the Mike Moroney stable, a 2YO filly by Snitzel and a yearling colt by Smart Missile. 

Seven Group 1 winners head Arrowfield's 2016/17 season

The Arrowfield stallion roster has deservedly claimed most attention in 2016/17 season summaries, but the farm’s own graduate and sale results were equally spectacular.

Invader (ATC Inglis Sires’ Produce S. G1) and Secret Agenda (SAJC Robert Sangster S. G1) were only two of the Stud’s seven Group 1 winning-graduates in 2016/17. The other five were successful in South Africa (full brothers Rafeef & Mustaaqeem, Heavenly Blue and Whisky Baron) and Hong Kong (Contentment).

They head a group of 20 stakeswinners of 33 Group & Listed Races last season that were bred and/or sold by Arrowfield. All but two (Group-winning juvenile fillies Shoals & Teaspoon) were offered at Australian yearling sales: seven at Inglis Easter, four at Magic Millions Gold Coast, three at Inglis Melbourne Premier, two at Inglis Classic, one at each of the Magic Millions National and Adelaide Sales. 

Their prices ranged from the $1.75 million paid by Shadwell Stud for Mustaaqeem to the $23,000 trainer Shea Eden gave for dual Group 3 winner Ocean Embers at Magic Millions Adelaide, where she was offered under the banner of Cornerstone Stud. The median price of the 17 horses sold at auction was $210,000, and the average was just over $460,000.

Only Western Australian sprinter Rock Magic, winner of three Group 3 events and a Listed Race last term, failed to sell as a yearling. He was prepared by Paul Messara to win four races before his sale as a 4YO to clients of Perth trainer Chris Gangemi for whom he has now won more than $900,000.

Arrowfield’s Class of 2016 contributed eight stakeswinners: Invader & Mustaaqeem, Group 2 winners Gunnison & Shoals, Group 3 winners Pariah & Teaspoon and Listed winners Ardrossan (in New Zealand) & Azazel. All remain in training, although Gunnison, sold for $1.4 million at the Inglis Chairman’s Sale, is now in Hong Kong, and Ardrossan has been transferred to Mick Price in Melbourne. 

The season’s honour roll was completed by 3YOs Heavenly Blue, Kenedna and Detective, six 4YOs headed by Secret Agenda, Rafeef & Whisky Baron, 5YO mare Wild Rain, 6YO Contentment and 7YO Rock Magic.

Peter & Paul Snowden (trainers of Invader, Gunnison, Pariah & Detective) and James Harron (buyer of Detective, Gunnison & Pariah) enjoyed most success with Arrowfield graduates last season. The famous team of Shadwell Stud and champion South African trainer Mike de Kock earn a special mention for their Group 1 double with Mustaaqeem and Rafeef at Turffontein on 6 May.

Against this background of top-level performance, outstanding sale-ring results were achieved for the Stud and several long-standing clients. By the end of the yearling sales season Arrowfield had sold 138 lots for a total of $34.7 million, among them eight colts and a filly sold for $1 million or more. 

They included the top-priced Australian yearling of 2017, the $2.5 million Redoute’s Choice-Secluded colt bought at Inglis Easter by Tim Stakemire for Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed al Maktoum. 

Arrowfield sold the joint top-priced Redoute’s Choice-Ballet Blue colt at Magic Millions, secured for $1.3 million by James Harron, who also signed for three other colts from Arrowfield’s Magic Millions draft. 

Other buyers who bought multiple yearlings from Arrowfield were: Andrew Williams Bloodstock (6 lots), Darby Racing (5), Australian Bloodstock (4) and Shadwell Stud, Boomer Bloodstock & Cameron Cooke (3 each).

First Group 1 winner for Manhattan Rain

Several boxes were ticked on Saturday when Whisky Baron scored a spectacular victory in South Africa’s richest race, the ~$500,000 Kenwilworth Sun Met 2000m G1.

The 4YO gelding a is a new Group 1 winner for Arrowfield’s Inglis Easter Sale honour roll; he’s the first Group 1winner for the Aga Khan Studs/Arrowfield joint venture; and the first Group 1 winner for his sire Manhattan Rain.

Whisky Baron showed promise as a 3YO when he won and was twice second in Group 3 company, but he has progressed more rapidly as this season as a gelding, winning all four of his starts before the Met, including the Kenilworth Peninsula H. G3 on 7 January.

The big finish he unwound to over-power Horse of the Year Legal Eagle and Group 1 winner Captain America and win the Sun Met by 1.5 lengths in 2:02.71 left no doubt that Whisky Baron, trained by Brett Crawford for brothers Craig & Ross Kieswetter, is South African racing’s newest star.

Watch Whisky Baron win the Sun Met G1.

A $50,000 purchase by Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft, Whisky Baron is the fourth foal of the unraced Sinndar mare Tazkara. Like this season’s debut 2YO stakeswinner Azazel, and a pair of $500,000 yearlings sold at Magic Millions three weeks ago, he is a result of the Aga Khan/Arrowfield joint venture.

He joins the excellent record of the Aga Khan foundation mare Tonnera, herself winner of the 1966 Prix St Alary G1 over 2000 metres, and ancestress of  European Group 1 2YO winners Arcano, Carlotamix and Damson.

Tazkara has a 3YO filly named Pretty Snitzel (by Snitzel) in training with Kelly Doughty on the Gold Coast and, after returning to France in 2014, foaled a second filly by Snitzel. Now a southern hemisphere 2YO, that filly will be prepared by leading French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. Tazkara also has a yearling colt by Excelebration and is foaling to the speedy young Shadwell stallion Muhaarar (by Oasis Dream).

Whisky Baron is Manhattan Rain’s third stakeswinner this season, after Group 2-winning sprinter Wild Rain and brilliant juvenile She Will Reign, an early favourite for the Golden Slipper. His Group 2-winning daughter Scarlet Rain, who returned from a long break to win stylishly at Rosehill on Saturday, must be a fine chance of adding more black type to her record in coming weeks.

The Group 1-winning son of Encosta de Lago has a small number of yearlings catalogued for upcoming sales, including NZ Select, Inglis Classic, Premier & Easter and Magic Millions Adelaide. Manhattan Rain’s top-priced lot at Magic Millions Gold Coast was the $360,000 filly out of Double Ranga, a full sister to Scarlet Rain. Offered by Arrowfield, she was purchased by Wu Jae’s Rifa Mustang Pty Ltd.

Five yearlings by Redoute’s Choice & Animal Kingdom out of Aga Khan broodmares from the families of Vadawina, Azamour, Manighar and Mandistana will be offered by Arrowfield at the Inglis Easter Sale in April.

Fruitful season for Manhattan Rain

The 2016/17 season is certainly proving fruitful for Arrowfield’s quiet achiever Manhattan Rain, sire of quality Melbourne sprinter Wild Rain, Golden Slipper favourite She Will Reign and South African Group winner Whisky Baron.

Whisky Baron, unbeaten in four runs this season, earned himself a start in the ~$500,000 Sun Met 2000m G1 on South Africa’s richest raceday, 28 January, when he won the Kenilworth Peninsula H. 1800m G2 earlier this month.  He’s the ninth stakeswinner and one of 21 stakes performers from Manhattan Rain’s 155 runners.

The 4YO colt was bought for $50,000 by Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft and is trained by Brett Crawford for Craig & Ross Kieswetter whose family has recently purchased the long-established Highlands Stud in the Western Cape.

Like this season’s debut 2YO stakeswinner Azazel, Whisky Baron is a result of the Aga Khan/Arrowfield joint venture, which also sold a colt and a filly for $1 million at last week’s Magic Millions Sale.

His unraced dam Tazkara, by the dual Derby and Arc winner Sinndar, is a grand-daughter of Tashtiya (by Shergar), winner of the 1983 Ascot Princess Royal S. G3 over the equivalent of 2400 metres. All four of Tazkara’s Australian-bred foals to race have won, with Flying Force (by Flying Spur) successful at 2200 metres.

Tazkara has a 3YO filly named Pretty Snitzel (by Snitzel) in training with Kelly Doughty on the Gold Coast and, after returning to France in 2014, foaled a second filly by Snitzel. Now a southern hemisphere 2YO, that filly will be prepared by leading French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. Tazkara also has a yearling colt by Excelebration and is in foal to the young Shadwell stallion Muhaarar (by Oasis Dream).

Other performers by Manhattan Rain this term include Greg & Donna Kolivos’ 3YO filly Gibraltar Girl (two-time winner in Sydney and stakes-placed in Brisbane); Brendan & Jo Lindsay’s 4YO mare Promise To Reign (Group-placed in New Zealand), Teeley Assets’ smart 3YO colt Tango Rain (second in Star Turn’s ATC San Domenico S. G3 ), city winners Mr Manhattan, New Summer Night & Sunny Fame and debut 2YO winner Aunt Liberty.

Arrowfield sold all three of Manhattan Rain’s yearlings at Magic Millions, notably the sister to Group 2 winner Scarlet Rain, bought by RIFA Mustang Pty Ltd for $360,000 – equalling her sire’s top price for a filly.

Manhattan Rain has three fillies and two colts catalogued for February’s Inglis Classic Sale, and a colt and a filly for the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale later that month.

Estelle inspires for Manhattan Rain

Seven stakes performers since 1 January have boosted Manhattan Rain’s profile among Australia’s Third Season Sires, and his pair of city winners last Saturday look capable of joining them.

First up was Inspired Estelle who opened the day at Sandown with a commanding victory in the 2YO fillies’ handicap over 1300 metres.

Drawn widest of the seven runners, Inspired Estelle was pushed forward to settle outside the early leader Montoya’s Secret. Jockey Dwayne Dunn sat quietly on her round the home turn and when he asked her to sprint 200 metres from home, she immediately kicked clear to score by 2.8 lengths from Montoya’s Secret with the favourite Kenedna (a three-quarter sister to Spill The Beans, by Not A Single Doubt) boxing on well from the rear to take third.

Watch Inspired Estelle win at Sandown.

Like her illustrious three-quarter brother Lankan Rupee, Inspired Estelle is trained by Mick Price for owner-breeder Teeley Assets which sold her mother Estelle Collection (by Stravinsky), in foal to Redoute’s Choice, for $1.4 million at the Teeley Dispersal two years ago. The resulting colt was bought for $1.8 million by Gai Waterhouse, Julian Blaxland and Nordic Racing & Breeding from the Coolmore draft at this year’s Inglis Easter Sale. 

Later in the afternoon, 3YO Manhattan Blues delivered the middle leg of a treble for trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig when he defeated older horses over 1250 metres at Morphettville in Adelaide.

It was a strong performance by the gelding, now a more furnished version of the scopey 2YO that won on debut and three starts later stormed home for fourth in Pride of Dubai’s Blue Diamond S. G1.  

Watch Manhattan Blues win at Morphettville.

A $20,000 Inglis Premier purchase by McEvoy Mitchell Racing, Manhattan Blues has now earned almost ten times that amount from three wins and three placings.

Manhattan Rain’s record since the New Year has been headed by his Group 2-winning juvenile daughter Scarlet Rain and six other stakes performers from all three of his active crops: 4YOs Boundary and Right Or Wrong, 3YOs Man Of Choice, Promise To Reign and Whisky Baron and 2YO Speeding Comet.

The South African-based 3YO Whisky Baron (ex Tazkara by dual Derby & Arc winner Sinndar) gets another chance to earn Group-winning status in the Kenilworth Winter Derby G3 on 25 June.

He finished second, beaten a half-length in both the Winter Guineas and the Winter Classic, and is likely to relish both the 2400 metres of the Derby and the absence of star 3YO Marinaresco, who will bypass the third leg in favour of the Durban July G1 on 2 July.

Breeders have recognised Manhattan Rain’s Danehill-free status and so, not surprisingly, five of his 16 stakes performers are from mares by Danehill sons Exceed and Excel (Scarlet Rain), Flying Spur (Moonovermanhattan & Right Or Wrong), Redoute’s Choice (Man Of Choice) and Danzero (Manhattan Avenue).

Manhattan Rain's new Group performer

3YO colt Whisky Baron joined Manhattan Rain’s steadily growing list of stakes performers when he was runner-up, beaten less than a half-length, in Saturday’s Kenilworth Winter Guineas 1600m G3 in South Africa.

The race is the first leg of the Cape Winter Series that has unveiled several outstanding horses over the past decade, notably champion Pocket Power who won all three legs in 2006, the great miler Variety Club, and Power King, who progressed to win last year’s Durban July Handicap G1.

In this year’s Guineas, Whisky Baron launched what looked like a late winning challenge, but he was caught by the favourite Marinaresco, whose previous third in the 2000-metre Kenilworth Cape Derby G1 suggests he’ll relish the remaining two legs of the R1 million Series. Those races are the Winter Classic 1800m G3 on 21 May and the Winter Derby 2400m G3 on 25 June.

Whisky Baron, a $50,000 Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden purchase from Arrowfield’s 2014 Inglis Easter draft, broke his maiden in January and has been placed in his other five starts (all at Kenilworth) this season. He hasn’t raced beyond 1600 metres yet, but his pedigree offers good evidence that he’ll also be effective at longer distances.

His unraced dam Tazkara, by the dual Derby and Arc winner Sinndar, is a grand-daughter of Tashtiya (by Shergar), winner of the 1983 Ascot Princess Royal S. G3 over the equivalent of 2400 metres. All four of Tazkara’s Australian-bred foals to race have won, with Flying Force (by Flying Spur) already successful at 2200 metres.

Manhattan Rain’s own versatility as a racehorse is showing up in his stud record too. This season alone he has been represented by smart juveniles Scarlet Rain (3 wins inc. the ATC Sweet Embrace S. G2) & Speeding Comet (a stakes-placed winner in Perth), stakes-winning 4YO sprinter Wild Rain, Brisbane miler Right Or Wrong and 3YOs Man Of Choice & Promise To Reign, placed in Group 1 & Group 2 company over 2000 metres.

The son of Encosta De Lago now claims six stakeswinners and 10 other stakes performers from his first three crops, with nine of them successful or competitive at Group level.