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.”