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Monday, August 28, 2017

Arrowfield was among several Hunter Valley stud farms that opened their gates last weekend to welcome hundreds of clients, guests and other visitors for the annual stallion parades.

Glorious Spring weather, a stunning line-up of stallions, plus the warm hospitality and hard work of Team Arrowfield all helped to make the Stud's 2017 Stallion Open House a resounding success.

Increased numbers of new and returning breeders were a feature of the weekend, so much so that Arrowfield added full parades to the Stud's schedule on Friday and Saturday afternoons.

Described by John Messara as "probably the best collection of stallions we've assembled in Arrowfield's 37-year history", the 2017 roster is shaped around three major themes: the Best of Danehill (Redoute's Choice, Snitzel, Not A Single Doubt, Smart Missile, Panzer Division & Scissor Kick);  Japanese Champions (Maurice, Mikki Isle & Real Impact); and Global Superstars (Animal Kingdom, Dundeel & Shalaa). 

Japanese Horse of the Year Maurice, dual Group 1-winning sprinter-miler Mikki Isle and Champion British & French 2YO Shalaa are the new boys on Arrowfield's 2017 roster and they all attracted plenty of admiration. Mikki Isle and Maurice join the returning Real Impact to complete a powerful triumvirate offering fresh genetic options for Australian mares.

Newly crowned Champion Sire Snitzel is in fine fettle for his upcoming busy season, and required a little more parade time to review his history-making 2016/17, and the rocketing start he's made this season, with five stakeswinners already on the board.

Perfect Spring weather, a beautiful setting, gorgeous stallions and warm hospitality made for a busy & enjoyable weekend at Arrowfield.

John Messara with New Zealand visitors Sarah & Marc Devcich who cared for Dundeel between his racing campaigns.

Scissor Kick, led by Jarryd Stennett, certainly lived up to his tag as “Australia’s top model stallion”…

…and his gorgeous two-week-old son, with his mother Serenade Lily, was an instant hit with the crowd!

Former NSW Premier, now Racing Australia’s Barry O’Farrell & his wife Rosemary, and former NSW Minister for Racing George Souris & his wife Vassy were among the guests at the Arrowfield Stallion Open House.

Origami horse decorations celebrated the three Japanese stallions on the 2017 Arrowfield roster.


With Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt now among Australia's most sought-after stallions, Scissor Kick and Panzer Division represent the next cohort of Redoute's Choice sons poised to make their mark at stud. Panzer Division is very much in his celebrated sire's mould, while the top model looks of Scissor Kick and his two lively, lookalike foals, paraded with their mothers, drew "oohs" and "aahs" from the crowds.

Dundeel, whose first crop are 2YOs this season, was frequently mentioned by guests asked for their pick of the parade, and Animal Kingdom's dynamic presence is evident in his first-crop Australian runners, now 3YOs. 

A couple of race results from the Saturday meeting at Rosehill were duly noted at Arrowfield's final parade on Sunday morning. The John Thompson-trained Special Missile posted his fifth consecutive win in great style, taking Smart Missile to an early lead on the 3rd Season Sires' table, with 15 wins and more than $400,000 prizemoney.

Three sons in last season's top 10 might signal time to ease up for three-time Champion Sire Redoute's Choice, but he's having none of it. He was represented by 18 winners of 22 stakes races in 2016/17, sired the year's top-priced $2.5 million yearling and a rare Group 1 double by full brothers Mustaaqeem & Rafeef in South Africa.

Redoute's Choice colt Pariah drove the point home with a splendid victory in the ATC San Domenico S. G3, cheered on from the farm by the Arrowfield team whose excitement was caught on video by Paul Messara and posted on Twitter. Pariah, bred, sold and once again part-owned by Arrowfield, which bought into him in April, now heads to the Run to the Rose G2 on 9 September and, all going well, the Golden Rose G1 a fortnight later.

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