Spectacular season for Arrowfield roster

Monday, August 1, 2016

From every angle, the 2015/16 Australian season has been spectacular for Arrowfield's powerhouse stallion roster.

Redoute's Choice and his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt all end the year in the top 10 on the Australian General Sires' Premiership with collective earnings of $29.6 million and 390 winners of 638 races.

The trio also achieved top 10 finishes on the 2YO and 3YO Sires' lists.

Not A Single Doubt, who began his career with six seasons at a $12,500 fee, tops multiple categories. He is Australia's leading active sire, headed off only by the deceased Premiership winner Street Cry.  He also heads the table on Winners (154), Wins (257), matches Street Cry and Fastnet Rock with 12 stakeswinners and is the nation's leading sire of 3YOs.

Most significantly though, Not A Single Doubt is the Leading Australian Sire by Worldwide Earnings (SH-bred progeny only) with a remarkable total of $14.8 million - almost $1 million ahead of Fastnet Rock.

Redoute's Choice bests both of them, and Street Cry when it comes to Southern Hemisphere stakeswinners with 15, headed by his three latest Group 1 winners Abbey Marie, Howard Be Thy Name and Peeping. 

Snitzel's flagship performer Sun Jewellery broke new ground for him in Hong Kong as a dual Group 1 winner and recipient of the Champion Miler Award.

 At home Snitzel equalled Without Fear's 40-year-old record of 30 individual 2YO winners in a single season and provided the top lots at all three major sales, including the season's highest-priced yearling, the $2.3 million half-brother to Winx.

The tally of seven-figure yearlings by Redoute's Choice rose to 70, thanks to a trio of Inglis Easter colts, plus a colt and a filly from his first European crop sold at Arqana last August and Tattersalls in October 2015.

In all, Redoute's Choice & Snitzel sired eight of the 15 million-dollar yearlings sold in Australia during 2016.

Not A Single Doubt's brilliant season, headlined by Group 1 winners Extreme Choice, Single Gaze and Good Project, took his yearling prices to record levels. Tim Stakemire, acting for Sheikh Khalifa, paid $650,000 for the Miss Sharapova filly at Magic Millions, and the Colorado Claire colt was knocked down for $850,000 to James Harron at Inglis Easter.

Smart Missile has won Arrowfield its third First Season Sires' title in the past dozen years, following Redoute's Choice (2004) and Charge Forward (2009). One of the most popular young stallions in recent Australian history, Smart Missile was represented by eight first-crop winners, including New Zealand Listed winner Sassy 'N' Smart. Four other stakes performers rounded out the season for the son of Fastnet Rock.

His yearlings have been keenly sought again in 2016, selling up to the $500,000 paid by Little Hung & Bahen Bloodstock for Arrowfield's colt out of Pyrography at Magic Millions 1 - where Smart Missile had 26 lots sell for an average price of $147,308.

Arrowfield's third season sire Manhattan Rain continued his excellent progress with the impressive 2YOs Scarlet Rain & Manhattan Street, smart Melbourne sprinter Wild Rain and six other stakes performers. The sale-ring highlight for the son of Encosta de Lago came in Hong Kong where the 2YO colt out of La Bamba made just under $1.2 million.

Back in Australia, buyers paid up to $230,000 for his yearlings and leading trainers Gai Waterhouse, David Hayes & Tom Dabernig, Darren Weir, Ciaron Maher & Tony McEvoy all added at least one Manhattan Rain to their stable.

Yearlings by Group 1 sire Charge Forward also found an appreciative market, especially at Magic Millions Book 1 where seven of his 8 lots sold, averaging almost $143,000. However, his top price this year was paid at Inglis Melbourne where the Hong Kong Jockey Club's bid of $210,000 secured Glentree's colt out of Emanday.

Dubai World Cup champion Animal Kingdom's first yearlings went through the ring in 2016, selling up to the $310,000 paid for the striking Cat by the Tale filly at Magic Millions. Look out for his first runners this season from the stables of Godolphin, Chris Waller, Team Hawkes, Mike Moroney, Nigel Blackiston, John Sargent and David Payne.

Dundeel was the Leading First Season Sire at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale where all six of his foals sold for an average of $143,333. The six-time Group 1 winner's top price of $240,000 was paid by Musk Creek Farm for the Cerberus Gal colt consigned by Riversdale. 

It's easy to think that after three decades in the stallion-making business, Arrowfield's Chairman John Messara might be blase about such an extraordinary year, but he isn't. 

He says, "What experience gives you is a deeper appreciation of just how hard it is to build a strong stallion roster, and breed and sell successfully at any level, so the highs seem even bigger to me now than they did thirty years ago.

"Kris, Paul, Alice and I are very proud of our whole team at the farm, the training centre and in Sydney, everyone contributes enormously to our results and there's great satisfaction for me, and I hope all our staff, in achieving special things together."

Messara adds, "It's difficult to pick out just a few highlights but the flourishing of the Redoute's Choice dynasty, while he's still expanding his own record,  here and in Europe, is something I'm privileged to witness. 

"Sharing success with breeder friends and partners always means a lot, and for that reason the performances of Contentment in Hong Kong, Sassy 'N' Smart in New Zealand and Stay With Me and Weatherly in Australia stand out for me.

"I'm also grateful for the immense support we receive from breeders, owners, trainers, agents and syndicators.  We start each stallion's story, but their investment, skill and hard work completes it."

Fresh Arrowfield stallion stories are already being written. Coming up in 2016/17 are Smart Missile's first 3YOs, Animal Kingdom's first 2YOs, Dundeel's first yearlings, the first Australian foals by four-time European Group 1 winner Olympic Glory and the launch of Arrowfield's new boys, Real Impact, Panzer Division and Scissor Kick.

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