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Ace High outstays rivals in Spring Champion Stakes

Les Young | 11.10.2017

Australian bred three-year-old stayers are in short supply but Ace High (High Chaparral) is proof there are some of quality after his game, all-the-way triumph in last Saturday’s ATC Spring Champion Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) at Randwick.

On the line Ace High just held off Tangled (Snitzel) to win by a short-head with Sully (Reliable Man) another length and a half back in third place in a time of 2:03.94.

Fourth in last season’s ATC Champagne Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m), Ace High has looked a classic performer in waiting and proved the point at his previous start by taking the Gloaming Stakes (Gr 3, 1800m) in another front running performance. If ridden a little more quietly, he should prove hard to beat in the upcoming VRC Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m).

Trained by David Payne who selected him at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast January Yearling Sale, Ace High races for popular owner John Cordina’s Summertime Thoroughbreds. With current earnings just short of $500,000, Ace High now appears very well bought at $130,000.

The son of High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) as bred in NSW by the late Bruce Reid and was prepared for sale by Bell River Thoroughbreds.

Ace High’s unraced dam Come Sunday (Redoute’s Choice) is now owned by Pastthepost, Queensland, and last year foaled a colt by Hallowed Crown (Street Sense) after producing a sister to Ace High in 2015, a filly since sent to New Zealand .Come Sunday’s earlier foals  are the placegetters Choice Sunday (Duporth), Denny’s Lincoln (Denman) in New Zealand and A New Dawn (New Approach) in South Africa.

With Ace High, Come Sunday has given her three times champion sire Redoute’s Choice (Danehill)  his seventh Group One winner as a broodmare sire following Inference (So You Think) who is bred on similar lines to Ace High, Sacred Falls (O’Reilly), Zoustar (Northern Meteor), Pasadena Girl (Savabeel), The Mission (Choisir) and Stay With Me (Street Cry).

The still active Redoute’s Choice has a total of 60 stakes winners as a broodmare sire and is surely destined for championship honours over the next three or four seasons to set the seal on his wonderful career.His stakes winners -to- starters ratio is close to six per cent which puts him in the top bracket of maternal grandsires.

Closely related to stakes winners That’s a Good Idea (Flying Spur) and Kneeling (Encosta de Lago), Come Sunday has great depth of pedigree as her superbly bred dam Sunday Service (Sunday Silence) won three metropolitan races in Sydney and Brisbane up to 2000m and placed in three black type events.

Sunday Service is not only by breed shaping perennial champion Japanese sire Sunday Silence (Halo) but also is  a daughter of Lady’s Delight (Local Talent), a multiple black type winner in South Africa whose foals also include Australian stakes winner Express Power (Snitzel).

Lady’s Delight’s dam You’re My Lady (Roberto) is a half-sister to Danehill’s mother Razyana (His Majesty) which means Come Sunday is linebred 4f x 4f to Natalma’s (Native Dancer) daughter Spring Adieu (Buckpasser).

Ace High’s sire High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) was a huge loss to international breeding when he died in Ireland in 2014 when aged only 15.

When Bring Me Roses (High Chaparral) captured last Saturday’s VRC Edward Manifold Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m) at Flemington she became her sire’s 104th stakes winner worldwide while Ace High’s victory on the same day at Randwick lifted High Chaparral’s tally of Group One winners to 19, among them two earlier Spring Champion Stakes winners in Dundeel and Monaco Consul, both now at stud in New South Wales (NSW).

Another NSW-based sire, Coolmore’s So You Think, ranks in most minds as High Chaparral’s finest performer but others to star in Australia are Shoot Out and Descarado.

High Chaparral was himself the epitome of a great racehorse with an enormous will to win.Never out of a place in 13 starts, his six Group One victories included  The Derby (Gr 1, 1m4f) and the Irish Derby (Gr 1, 1m4f).

Ace High’s paternal grandsire Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer) is bred along broadly similar lines to his dam Come Sunday with Hail To Reason (Turn-to) featuring prominently along with Northern Dancer (Nearctic). Ace High has four crosses of Northern Dancer, three of Hail To Reason, six doubles of Northern Dancer’s dam Natalma and no fewer than seven duplications of Natalma’s mother Almahmoud (Mahmoud).

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