Snitzel's spectacular season – so far

Four stakes wins in a day, a Group 1 2YO trifecta, a Group 1 quinella, the season record for 2YO winners, the No. 1 spot on the General, 2YO & 3YO premierships, a new prizemoney record – and it’s only the middle of May. Let’s review Snitzel’s astonishing season so far:

  • This weekend his progeny have set a new all-time Australian prizemoney record of $13.8 million, smashing Street Cry’s record of $12.9 million set in 2015/16 – with 11 weeks of the season to go. It should be noted that the historical figures are not adjusted for inflation, so a hat-tip is respectfully made to Australia’s past champion sires, notably Zabeel whose $11.2 million prizemoney in 1998/99 is equivalent to around $18 million today.
  • Snitzel’s current 24 winners of 29 domestic Group & Listed Races isn’t a record, but he may yet surpass the 26 stakeswinners & 33 stakes wins Danehill accumulated in 2001/02, and his 7.8 per cent Stakeswinners/Runners for the season is among leading sires’ best figures of the past two decades.
  • He also leads the 2YO & 3YO Sires’ premierships by earnings, winners and stakeswinners and if he can stay on top of all three lists until 31 July, he will match the 2005/06 clean sweep of his sire Redoute’s Choice.
  • Snitzel’s trio of offshore stakeswinners (Group 1 winners Summer Passage in New Zealand & Heavenly Blue in South Africa, and dual Group 3 winner Young Man Power in Japan) take his global 2016/17 statistics to 27 winners of 34 black type races, and earnings of $14.4 million.
  • He has already posted 30 winners (eight stakeswinners) from 70 juvenile runners worldwide for the season, equalling his 2015/16 total and the record set by Lindsay Park’s great stallion Without Fear in 1975/76. The larger stallion books and multiple markets of the 21st century industry give Snitzel a significant advantage, but it can also be argued that the modern stallion business is much more competitive than 40 years ago.
  • Russian Revolution and Redzel supplied Snitzel’s first Group 1 quinella in The Galaxy on 18 March and two weeks later Invader, Summer Passage & Trapeze Artist ran 1-2-3 in the ATC Sires’ Produce S. G1. That was the first Australian Group 1 2YO trifecta since Grosvenor, Cossak Price & Sir Trout (all by Sir Tristram) led the field home in the 1982 VRC Sires’ Produce S. G1.
  • In less than three hours on Saturday, Redzel & Tangled (in Brisbane, Queensland), Debonairly (at Scone, NSW) and Vienna Miss (in Adelaide, South Australia) added four stakes victories to Snitzel’s record. A quick check of recent champion sires’ data reveals it’s an uncommon feat achieved, for example, by the great New Zealand sire Zabeel in November 1998 and two-time Australian champion sire Encosta de Lago in March 2008 & March 2009. Then there’s the stallion with four stakes wins on 9 September 2006; five on 10 May 1998; and finally, six in Australia & England on 23 September 2006 – that was Snitzel’s magnificent paternal grand-sire Danehill.

There are 79 Group & Listed Races yet to be run in Australia this season and plenty of surprises remain possible before 31 July. Nevertheless, one thing can be said with confidence, as international bloodstock analyst Bill Oppenheim wrote recently in Thoroughbred Daily News, “Snitzel…is now a world-class sire by anybody’s standards.”

Data sources: Arion Pedigrees & Bloodhound.

Snitzel can exceed 2YO winners' record

Snitzel equalled Without Fear’s 40-year-old season record of thirty juvenile winners in 2015/16 and now he’s on target to claim it for himself.

Remarkably, he could set a new mark well before the end of this season, because he’s already posted 16 winners – eleven more than he’d compiled by this time last year. 

So it’s perfectly apt that the latest Snitzel 2YO winner is Think Big Stud’s filly Exceeds, successful at her second start at Randwick on Saturday when she beat the favourite Eden Roc, with Kristensen and Pandemonium dead-heating for third.

Her performance franked the quality of the 2YO race at Canterbury on 31 December won by the exciting Not A Single Doubt filly From Within, from Snitzel colts Invader & Chauffeur (fifth & second respectively in the Magic Millions Classic), with Exceeds fourth.  

Watch Exceeds win at Randwick

Trainer James Cummings said of Exceeds’ win, “She had the race experience from one of Sydney’s best Saturday two-year-old races over the past few months. She was able to produce late like a really promising filly in the making.”

“It might pave the way for a nice little fillies race in the coming months. There is a race I’ve got my eye on but she’s got up over 1000m there so I’ll have to keep thinking about it. She has got a bit of style about her and pretty of improvement still to come.”

Exceeds was bred by Musk Creek Farm from Exceedingly Happy (Exceed and Excel) and purchased for $250,000 by Duncan Ramage’s DGR  Thoroughbred Services at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

Exceeds is one of 12 city victors among Snitzel’s 16 2YO winners since 1 August, a group headed by Listed Inglis Banner winner Azazel, Group-placed Goodfella, and stake-placed Chauffeur & Snitzkraft.

Yet to win and good chances to do so in coming weeks are stakes-placed fillies Dinnigan & Spoils and the colt Bowerman, Friday’s impressive Rosehill trial winner Showtime, Invader and city-placed Epic Rant & Milanese Girl.   Nor is the Australian 2YO Sires’ earnings premiership beyond Snitzel’s reach. Houtzen’s Magic Millions defeat of Chauffeur gave I Am Invincible a lead, but he currently holds it by less than $130,000.

Snitzel has 10 lots catalogued for next month’s Inglis Classic Sale, including Arrowfield’s filly out of Miss Victoria and 13 lots for Inglis Melbourne Premier.

Snitzel equals 40-year-old record

On 28 July 1976, Lindsay Park’s great sire Without Fear set an Australian and world record of 30 2YO winners in a season when the filly Point Blank scored at Gawler in South Australia.

The world record endured until 1998 when End Sweep, who subsequently stood at Arrowfield, posted 33 individual winners from his first US-bred crop.

The Australian record has been much harder to crack but, almost exactly 40 years later, Snitzel has equalled it.

The critical victory was finally achieved on Saturday 23 July by the filly Bukzel, who scored on debut at Newcastle for trainers Peter & Paul Snowden and apprentice jockey Nick Heywood.

It’s fitting that Bukzel delivered the milestone win because her breeder and owners spotted Snitzel early in his career, before seven Group 1 winners and nine million-dollar yearlings made him Australia’s hottest young sire. 

Bukzel is out of the unraced Jeune mare Bukhoor from the celebrated Easy Date family and was bred by Stuart Ramsey’s Turangga Farm which has used Snitzel regularly since his second season at stud. Sent to the 2015 Magic Millions Sale, Bukzel was bought for $135,000 by Chris & Michael Ward of Triple Crown Syndications.

Said Chris after Bukzel’s win, “We’re thrilled to provide Snitzel’s milestone two-year-old winner today with Bukzel. She’s a promising filly we have plenty of time for.

“She was sent to the races today to get race experience before going to the paddock and we thought she would be tough to beat. This will stand her in good stead for next prep when she returns late in the Spring. There is plenty of upside with her.”

Chris added, “Snitzel has been so good to us. He’s a stallion we identified early and he’s repaid us many times over. Not only does he produce fast and precocious horses, but tough horses too.

“Hot Snitzel typified everything that he’s about: winning as a pre-Christmas two-year-old before winning stakes races every season right through to his Group 1 win as a six-year-old. They don’t come much better.”

Triple Crown bought Hot Snitzel for $60,000 from Arrowfield’s draft at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. The ebullient chestnut colt matured into the classy, professional sprinter who ended his career with the 2015 BTC Cup G1 and earnings of $1.3 million.

Chris & Michael returned to Arrowfield’s draft at the 2011 Melbourne Sale to pick up Flying Snitzel for just $25,000. Three years, two Group wins and $340,000 prizemoney later, she was sold to Widden Stud as a broodmare for $410,000.

Triple Crown syndicates have enjoyed success with other Snitzel progeny, including El Sasso (six wins, most recently at Rosehill on 2 July) and Listed winner Redzel who also won on Saturday, over 1100 metres at Canterbury.

Snitzel’s 30 winners of forty races from his 2013 crop include his 17th & 18th juvenile stakeswinners, El Divino and Modern Wonder, and another 13 city winners. Queensland filly Spot The Diff gets the award for Most Wins with five, ahead of six two-time winners: El Divino, Russian Revolution & Thronum (Sydney), The Seductress (Melbourne), High Conviction (Perth) and the South African-owned colt Simply Blue (Turffontein).

With eight days left of the 2015/16 season, Snitzel has time to claim exclusive ownership of the 2YO winners record.  Three first starters at Hawkesbury on Sunday are his next chances of getting winner No. 31: America & Samantha (both trained by Gerald Ryan) and another Snowden runner, Calanda.

The making of juvenile sire history is only part of Snitzel’s story this season. He’s about to complete his fifth consecutive top 10 finish on the Australian General Sires’ premiership, and his lifetime record of stakeswinners has increased to thirty-eight. New stars for him this season include Hong Kong Champion Miler Sun Jewellery, Group-winning 3YOs Spill The Beans (now at stud) & Perignon and his 17th & 18th juvenile stakeswinners El Divino and Modern Wonder.

The good news continued in the sale-ring too. A trio of Snitzel colts topped each of the three major Australian yearling sales (Magic Millions Gold Coast, Inglis Easter & Inglis Melbourne), and his Easter 1 average was $438,000.

In all, five colts by Snitzel made $1 million or more this year, among them Australia’s top-priced yearling of 2016, the brother to El Divino & half-brother to Winx offered by Segenhoe Stud for breeder Fairway Thoroughbreds. He was knocked down for $2.3 million to Gai Waterhouse & Julian Blaxland at Inglis Easter.

Racetrack results and sale-ring demand have firmly established Snitzel’s quality as a sire, and he has the numbers to maintain the momentum. Breeders have sent him an average of 225 mares for each of the past four seasons, and he is once again fully booked in 2016.