Snitzel turns up the heat with another bumper weekend
Arrowfield Stud resident supplied 12 stakes performers
It was a weekend in which several young stallions, primarily Frankel, So You Think, Dialed In and Stay Thirsty, clamoured for attention through the exploits of various stakes winners worldwide. But Snitzel, it seems, is never far away from the furnace and despite not striking at Group 1 level, the Arrowfield Stud stallion came out of the weekend with his reputation enhanced thanks to no fewer than 12 individual stakes performers.
As the accompanying table shows, the headline acts were Elle Lou, winner of the Aspiration Quality Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, and Trapeze Artist, winner of the Black Opal Stakes at Canberra on Sunday.
Much of Snitzel’s success stems from his ability to sire forward two-year-olds and in Trapeze Artist, his fourth juvenile stakes winner of the season, he has a representative who is maintaining that theme. In addition, another juvenile, Invader, came close to adding his name to the scoresheet when going down by only a head to Gunnison in Saturday’s Todman Stakes at Randwick, a race in which Snitzel also provided the fourth (Showtime), fifth (Menari, who went off favourite) and sixth (Perast).
Such southern hemisphere prominence coincided with a promising week in Europe for his sire Redoute’s Choice, who shuttled from Arrowfield Stud to Haras de Bonneval in 2013 and 2014. That first crop, now three, contains the Wertheimer brothers’ Spotify, the winner of a Chantilly conditions race by three lengths on Wednesday, Friday’s easy Newcastle debut winner Eyes On Asha and Wajnah, who made it two out of two for Francois Rohaut at Bordeaux Le Bouscat on Sunday.
Another filly, LNJ Foxwoods’ Golden Attitude, was the recent winner of her maiden for Freddy Head at Chantilly.
Snitzel retired to Arrowfield Stud in 2006 in the aftermath of Redoute’s Choice’s first Australian sires’ championship. Bred by Francois Naude out of the Snippets mare Snippets’ Lass, also the dam of Hinchinbrook, Snitzel had been one of the highlights of his sire’s excellent second crop, winning the Group 3 Skyline Stakes at two and the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate and Group 2 AJC Challenge Stakes at three. Best over five to six furlongs, he retired to Arrowfield at a fee of A$33,000 (£20,500/€23,700) as the winner of seven of his 15 starts for Gerald Ryan.
Snitzel’s rise to within Australia’s elite stallions has been rapid. He was the second leading first-crop sire of 2010 and the second leading second-crop sire of 2011, in each instance behind Stratum.
His second crop yielded Group 1-winning sprinter Hot Snitzel while out of his third emerged fellow Group 1 winners Sizzling, who landed the TJ Smith Stakes at two, and Snitzerland, a Group 1-placed two-year-old who later won the Lightning Stakes.
Since then, there has been an Australian Guineas winner in Wandjina, top Hong Kong runner Sun Jewellery and a Cox Plate winner in Shamus Award. Another representative, Sweet Idea, won the 2015 Group 1 Galaxy Handicap and is now a member of the Queen’s broodmare band.
With that, Snitzel has been a top ten Australian sire in every season since 2011 - 2012, and in 2014 he finished just behind Redoute’s Choice in second.
Yet despite the record behind him, which comprises 56 stakes winners overall, the current season has raised the bar again.
Snitzel leads this year’s Australian sires’ championship in terms of both prize-money (approximately A$8.9 million) and winners (111), in each instance ahead of Fastnet Rock.
Those snapping at their heels include I Am Invincible, who has the unbeaten Golden Slipper Stakes favourite Houtzen among others to bat for him, and Street Cry, the sire of Winx. With that in mind, it remains to be seen whether Snitzel can hang on to his lead in terms of prize-money. However, not one of his rivals comes close to matching his seasonal tally of 19 stakes winners; in fact, not one behind him has yet broken into double figures.
Then there is his status as one of the nation’s leading sire of two-year-olds. With 24 juvenile winners, Snitzel is flying towards breaking the Australian record of 30 two-year-old winners in a season, a record he holds jointly with Without Fear (born 1967; set in 1976). Next best is I Am Invincible on ten winners.
In addition to Trapeze Artist and Invader, the list of current high-performing juveniles includes Ducimus, last year’s A$700,000 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale top lot who recently remained unbeaten in the Listed Talindert Stakes, Group 3 Widden Stakes winner Teaspoon, Sweet Idea’s Group 2-placed brother Showtime and the stakes-placed Azazel, Bowerman, Exceeds, Goodfella, Menari, Muraaqeb, Snitzkraft and Spoils.
Outside of Australia, Snitzel is also the sire of Summer Passage, a Listed winner in New Zealand last month, as well as Japanese Group 3 winner Young Man Power, one of the resulting highlights of his shuttle trips to Shadai Farm. Five-year-old Young Man Power is among those to lend weight to the argument that Snitzel’s progeny invariably improve as they get older; indeed, of his six Group 1 winners, all bar Sizzling struck at the top level at three years or older.
Snitzel’s popularity in Australia has never been higher. He has had 13 yearlings sell for A$500,000 (£312,000/€360,000) or more in the past 12 months led by Winx’s half-brother, who topped the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale at A$2.3 million (£1,430,000/€1,650,000).
Last season, he covered 169 mares at a fee of A$110,000 (£68,500/€79,000) and now breeders are flocking to his sons: Wandjina and Group 2 winner Spill The Beans were particularly popular at Newgate Farm and Aquis Farm in 2016, covering 165 and 201 mares respectively.
Snitzel blood has yet to make its mark in Europe although that is slowly starting to change. Jean-Claude Rouget, for instance, trains a two-year-old half-sister to recent South African Group 1 winner Whisky Baron bred to northern hemisphere time by the Aga Khan.
On a wider scale, the current appetite for reverse shuttlers in these parts suggests that perhaps it won’t be long until European breeders have access to one of his sons - or even Snitzel himself.
ELLE LOU (5 m ex Snipify by Snippets) won Aspiration Quality - Gr.3
TRAPEZE ARTIST (2 c ex Treppes by Domesday) won Black Opal Stakes - Gr.3
DARK EYES (4 g ex Cinnamon Dove by Gulch) won Canberra Cup - Listed
SAMANTHA (3 f ex Icedginger by Tale Of The Cat) won Fireball Stakes - Listed
Snitzson (3 x ex Shock Pak by Blackfriars) 3rd Australian Guineas - Gr.1
Invader (2 c ex Flame Of Sydney by Encosta De Lago) 2nd Todman Stakes - Gr.2
Redzel (4 g ex Millrich by Rubiton) 2nd Challenge Stakes - Gr.2
Heavenly Blue (3 c ex Simply Carina by El Prado) 3rd Gauteng Guineas - Gr.2
Royal Fashion (3 f ex Zephyria by Zabeel) 2nd Mr Tiz Trophy - Gr.3
Muraaqeb (2 c ex Tafseel by Starcraft) 3rd Black Opal Stakes - Gr.3
Wimbledon (5 h ex Ditas by Don Eduardo) 3rd Merlion Trophy - Gr.3
Spoils (2 f ex Fortune Of War by General Nediym) 2nd Cinderella Stakes - Listed
Other Group winners this season: Farson (Gr.2), French Emotion (Gr.2), Odyssey Moon (Gr.3), Redzel (Gr.3), Russian Revolution (Gr.2), Sooboog (Gr.3), Sweet Redemption (Gr.3), Teaspoon (Gr.3)
Iffraaj dominates NZ Derby
Well known as a source of juvenile talent as well as milers of the ilk of Ribchester and Rizeena, Iffraaj added another dimension to his stud record on Saturday when supplying the first and third, Gingernuts and Jon Snow, in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie. Gingernuts, a mere NZ$5,000 (£2,900/€3,300) weanling purchase by agent Phill Cataldo, landed the 1m4f event by a length from Rising Red (from the first crop of the former Charlie Hills-trained Redwood). Nor did success for Iffraaj end there on Saturday. Over at Meydan in Dubai, speedster Jungle Cat set himself up for an assault on the Al Quoz Sprint later this month when taking the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint.
So You Think rolling in Aus
So You Think’s purple patch continued in Australia on Saturday when Inference edged out Invincible Gem to take the Group 1 Randwick Guineas. The colt was So You Think’s first ever winner in May last year and in victory on Saturday, became his first Australian Group 1 winner. Inference was also his second Group winner in as many weeks following La Bella Diosa’s win in the Group 2 Surround Stakes at Randwick on February 25. So You Think was one of Australia’s busiest stallions last season, covering 188 mares at Coolmore at a fee of A$49,500 (£30,700/€35,400).
Brothers rule Auteuil
Brothers So French and Device did their connections proud at Auteuil on Sunday by scoring in their respective assignments. Grade 1 winner So French made light of the Prix Jean Doumen while his year younger sibling Device struck in the Grade 3 Prix Juigne, his eighth Graded success overall. The pair, both of whom are by Poliglote, are trained by Guillaume Macaire on behalf of Magalen Bryant and were bred by veterinarians Marie-Christine and Benoit Gabeur out of Westonne, a Grade 3-winning daughter of Mansonnien.
Bellamy gaining momentum
Black Sam Bellamy’s oldest British-bred crop are now seven so it stands to reason that we are seeing more of his progeny come to prominence. In the past three months alone, Galileo’s brother has sired 13 winners in Britain and Ireland, among them unbeaten bumper winner Sweetlittlemystery, Sam Spinner, successful in three of his last four starts, and Leopardstown bumper scorer Someday. On Saturday at Newbury, the streak continued when Sam Brown defied a penalty to retain his unbeaten record in the concluding bumper. Black Sam Bellamy stands at Shade Oak Stud for £3,000.
$16,000 yearling to million dollar earner
The Kentucky Derby has a distinct Mineshaft flavour to it following various Classic trials from the weekend. The stallion himself, who has long been a fixture of Lane’s End Farm, appears to have a legitimate candidate in J Boys Echo, who ran away with the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. Particularly impressive, however, was the win of his grandson Gunnevera over a loaded field in the Grade 2 Fountain Of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. One of four stakes winners by the Mineshaft stallion Dialed In, a surprise package of the American first-crop sires who stood his early years for $7,500 at Darby Dan Farm, Gunnevera cost trainer Antonio Sano just $16,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September Sale. He now has $1,075,000 in earnings.