It’s that time of year when the breeding season is almost done, the first yearling sale catalogues – for Magic Millions, Inglis Classic & Karaka – are out and buyers start tweeting photos from farms throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Right on cue, a bunch of weekend performances in three states and two countries turn the lights up on the success that Arrowfield graduates accumulate all year round.
The highlight came at Ascot in Perth where Rock Magic (Redoute’s Choice-Rockabubble by Bubble Gum Fellow) stormed home for third in the $1 million WATC Winterbottom S. 1200m G1.
There was plenty of drama behind Rock Magic’s career-best effort, because he’d sliced his near-fore hoof in the days leading up to the race. Trainer Chris Gangemi, his staff, farrier and vets were determined not to repeat the gelding’s 2015 scratching from the race and called on stable mentor, leading Hong Kong trainer Caspar Fownes, for advice.
Rock Magic passed the official RWWA veterinary examination on Friday morning and, with the addition of bar plates, took his place in the field. However, his troubles weren’t over, because the 7YO gelding ended up being shuffled backwards before the turn and when a gap finally appeared, he was bumped on the way through it. To make third, less than a length from the winner Takedown, was outstanding.
As described on the Gangemi stable website, “There were a lot of tears and hugs with the realisation among the group of what Rocky had just done…No matter what Rocky does from here, he has provided his group of owners some of the greatest moments in their life.”
Bred by Arrowfield & John Leaver’s Planette Thoroughbred, Rock Magic didn’t find a buyer at the 2011 Inglis Easter Sale, so began his career for his breeders from the Paul Messara stable. He won three of his first four starts as an Autumn 3YO and added a fourth success a year later before his sale as a rising 5YO to a large group of owners led by Gangemi Thoroughbreds. Since then he’s earned more than $700,000 from eight wins (five at Group 3 and Listed level) and nine placings from 24 starts in the West.
In South Africa, 3YO Snitzel colt Heavenly Blue continued his progress with a second placing in the Turffontein Dingaans H. 1600m G2, won by another promising colt, Singapore Sling.
A $200,000 Form Bloodstock buy from the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale, Heavenly Blue has won two of his four starts for trainer & part-owner Mike de Kock, who commented last week, “Heavenly Blue is your typical Classic horse. I haven’t got to bottom of him yet. I thought he ran a cracker last time. It was too short and he raced too green. He’s a big runner but if he does have a shortcoming, it’s his inexperience.”
Heavenly Blue was bred by Arrowfield & Cloros Bloodstock from the El Prado mare Simply Carina, who has a Snitzel filly entered in the 2017 Inglis Easter Sale.
Back in Australia, Snitzel’s 2YO daughter Zinzi’s toughness prevailed in a tight battle over 1200 metres at Eagle Farm. The win at her third start confirmed co-trainer Gillian Heinrich’s good opinion of the filly who will be set for January’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (R) LR.
Zinzi, out of Group 1 winner Clean Sweep (by End Sweep), was a $47,500 Magic Millions Gold Coast purchase from Arrowfield.
A fourth Arrowfield graduate, 3YO colt Canny Rocket closed out the weekend with an easy win as hot favourite over 975 metres at the Swan Hill meeting on Sunday. He’d posted three thirds in strong New South Wales company before a transfer to Darren Weir and his first Good4 track which he appeared to relish.
Canny Rocket, the 35th winner for Australia’s current leading sophomore sire Smart Missile, is out of Cannarelle (by Canny Lad), making him a half-brother to I Am Invincible. He was bought for $150,000 by Ian MacPherson at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale.