19 for Air Force Blue
New first season sire winners
Air Force Blue
One season shuttler Air Force Blue (War Front) got off the mark in Australia on Friday when Roxy Blue (2 f ex Rock Out by Rock Of Gibraltar) emphatically took out a 1000-metre maiden on debut at Port Lincoln. The Travis Doudle-trained filly put four lengths between herself and closest rival Brohare (Rebel Raider), becoming Air Force Blue’s 19th individual winner. The Brind family homebred is the first foal out of Rock Out (Rock Of Gibraltar), who won four and placed in a further seven of her 40 starts on the track. Rock Out hails from the family of Group winner Al Akbar (Success Express), who is the sire of Winx’s (Street Cry) dam Vegas Showgirl. A three-time Group 1 winner, Air Force Blue left 59 live foals from the 119 mares covered during his lone Australian season at Coolmore Stud in 2017.
Capitalist (pictured above)
The Kris Lees-trained Mystic Gem (2 f ex Fine Mist by Good Journey) gave Newgate Farm first season sire Capitalist (Written Tycoon) his third individual winner on Saturday. Sent north to Brisbane by the Newcastle-based Lees, Mystic Gem was third favourite for the 1050-metre QTIS handicap. Put into the box seat by Andrew Mallyon, the filly came with a late flourish to score by a half-length over Rubiquitous (Rubick), with Hamlet Von Snitzel (Snitzel) a further neck away in third. The first foal to race out of the stakes-placed multiple winner Fine Mist (Good Journey), Mystic Gem was a $100,000 purchase out of the Inglis Great Southern Sale in June, 2019, before she was sold to Lees for $125,000 at last year’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. Capitalist served a full book at $44,000 (inc GST) at Newgate Farm in 2020.
Newgate Farm’s first season sire Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt) brought up his fourth individual winner, his third in Australia, when Stay Inside (2 c ex Nothin Leica Storm by Anabaa) scored an impressive debut win at Randwick on Saturday. Sent out as the $7 fourth favourite in the 1000-metre handicap, the Richard and Michael Freedman-trained Stay Inside raced up powerfully under Robbie Dolan, scoring a two and three-quarter length victory over Headliner (Star Turn), with favourite Ashema (I Am Invincible) a further nose away in third. A $60,000 purchase from the Kingstar Farm draft at the 2019 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale, the son of Cessnock winner Nothin Leica Storm (Anabaa) was then sold to the Freedmans and Rick Connolly Bloodstock for $200,000 at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. Extreme Choice stood at Newgate Farm for $22,000 (inc GST) in 2020.
Artorius (2 c ex Gracie’s Lass by Redoute’s Choice) ensured a Newgate Farm first season sire treble on Saturday as Flying Artie (Artie Schiller) joined Capitalist and Extreme Choice with his fourth winner, becoming the first of the freshmen stallions to reach four individual Australian winners this season. The Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Artorius, second at Geelong on debut, was heavily backed and justified that support with a tremendous victory at Sandown over 1300 metres. Ridden by Mark Zahra, the colt was untouched but scored by four and a half lengths over El Rocko (Fastnet Rock) with Picarones (Shooting To Win) a further nose away in third. The win saw Artorius firm into $15 for the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m), a race in which his sire finished second to his Newgate Farm barnmate Extreme Choice. Artorius, a $120,000 purchase at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, is the second winner out of Gracie’s Lass (Redoute’s Choice), an unraced half-sister to Darley Classic (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Delectation (Shamardal). Flying Artie stood for $16,500 (inc GST) at Newgate Farm last year.
Kitchwin Hills’ first season sire Sooboog (Snitzel) produced his second individual winner on Sunday when Emma Rosa (2 f ex Sister Emma by Falvelon) made a successful debut over 1000 metres at Grafton. Trained by Matthew Dunn and ridden by Andrew Mallyon, Emma Rosa came out on top in a thrilling finish, downing fellow newcomer Buck Pharoah (American Pharoah) by a short-head. Angel Like (Divine Prophet) was a further length and a half away in third to complete a trifecta for first season sires in what is set to prove an informative race. A Group 3 winner on the track, Sooboog was runner-up to Vancouver (Medaglia D’Oro) in the Breeders’ Plate (Listed, 1000m) on debut as well as occupying the same position in the Euclase Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) at three. He has stood for a fee of $13,200 in each of his first four breeding seasons, covering 98 mares last year. One of 111 live foals to come from his first crop, Emma Rosa joined the Annabel Neasham-trained Jessica Rabbit as winners for their sire.
New Group/Grade 1 winners
Twin Hills Stud stallion Denman (Lonhro) sired his first top-flight winner on Sunday when Hot King Prawn (6 g ex De Chorus by Unbridled’s Song) gained a deserved Group 1 breakthrough in the Centenary Sprint Cup (Gr 1, 1200m) at Sha Tin. Regency Legend (Pins) charged from well back in the field to snatch second, a length and three-quarters behind the easy winner and just a head in front of Big Party (Exceed And Excel), who filled third spot. Australian-bred Hot King Prawn was winning for the 12th time to provide a timely update ahead of next month’s Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, where his Torryburn Stud-consigned brother will go through the ring as Lot 561. Hot King Prawn was purchased from the Torryburn draft at the corresponding auction in 2016, realising $90,000 to Aquanita Racing. Denman, who stands at Twin Hills for a fee of $8,800, has sired 16 individual stakes winners worldwide.
Rapidly progressive four-year-old Colonel Liam (4 c ex Amazement by Bernardini) continued on his upward curve when producing a devastating turn of foot to land the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (Gr 1, 9.5f) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. A taking winner of the Tropical Park Derby (Listed, 8.5f) on his reappearance at the same track last month, Colonel Liam was forced to negate a wide path on the turn for home, but he quickened on by his stablemate Largent (Into Mischief) in the hands of Irad Ortiz jr, winning by a neck to complete a quinella for Todd Pletcher. Cross Border (English Channel) was a further two lengths back in third. Bought for US$1.2 million during the OBS Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training in 2019, Colonel Liam became the third top-flight winner for Lane’s End Farm stallion Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song) when securing Saturday’s near-US$1 million first prize. Standing for a fee of US$30,000 this year, Liam’s Map has also produced Grade 1 winners Basin and Wicked Whisper.
New stakes winners
Coolmore shuttler American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) sired his 14th individual stakes winner when Thankful (4 f ex Beholden by Cat Thief) took out the Ladies Handicap (Listed, 9f) at Aqueduct on Sunday, January 17. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the four-year-old was winning for the third time in six starts as she beat Miss Marissa (He’s Had Enough) and Ujjayi (Smarty Jones). Bred in Kentucky by Profoal Partners 3 out of the Cat Thief (Storm Cat) mare Beholden, Thankful is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Brazen Persuasion (Indian Charlie) and stakes winner Behold de Buy (E Dubai). Steve Young purchased her for $625,000 in 2018 from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment to The Saratoga Sale in New York. Beholden has since produced Miami Chrome (California Chrome), an unraced three-year-old colt, Improper (Into Mischief), a two-year-old colt, and was reported bred to Mitole (Eskendereya) for the current foaling season. Triple Crown hero American Pharoah stood at Coolmore Australia for a fee of $55,000 in 2020.
Darley stallion Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible) registered his tenth individual stakes winner on Saturday as On The Bubbles (2 g ex More Bubbles by Sebring) took out the Karaka Million 2YO (RL, 1200m) at Ellerslie. Jamie Richards trained the first four home, with Sneaky Shark (Capitalist) finishing one and three-quarter lengths back in second and Avonallo (Belardo) a further length away in third. Brazen Beau stood for $49,500 (inc GST) at Darley’s Northwood Park in Victoria last year.
The ever-reliable Casino Prince (Flying Spur) brought up his 20th individual stakes winner as Bandersnatch (4 g ex Divine Faith by Falbrav) justified favouritism to take out the Carrington Stakes (Listed, 1400m) at Randwick on Saturday. Trained by Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes and ridden by Tommy Berry, Bandersnatch chased down a resurgent Quackerjack (Not A Single Doubt) to win by three-quarters of a length, with Thy Kingdom Come (Lope De Vega) a further half-length away in third. A $42,000 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale purchase by original trainer Gerald Ryan, Bandersnatch has now earned $397,430 in prize-money. His dam Divine Faith (Falbrav) was not served in 2017 or 2018 but produced a Charge Forward (Red Ransom) filly in 2020, while she was served by Brutal (O’Reilly) in December. Casino Prince stood at Vinery Stud for $5,500 (inc GST) in 2020.
Michael Maker continued his recent domination of the William L. McKnight Stakes (Gr 3, 12f) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday when Tide Of The Sea (5 h ex Routine by Empire Maker) proved three-quarters of a length too strong for his stable companion Temple (Temple City). Favourite Doswell (Giant’s Causeway) was a further half-length adrift in third. Maker was winning the turf Group 3 for the fourth time in five years, while Tide Of The Sea was winning his fourth race from ten starts, having run sixth on his black-type debut in the Lauderdale Stakes (Gr 2, 9f) at Gulfstream on December 12. By saluting on Saturday, Tide Of The Sea became the 55th individual stakes winner for Calumet Farm stallion English Channel (Smart Strike), who is standing for a fee of US$55,000 this year.
Shadai Stallion Station resident Epiphaneia (Symboli Kris S) sired his third individual stakes winner on Sunday when Aristoteles (4 c ex Blue Diamond by Deep Impact) landed the American Jockey Club Cup (Gr 2, 2200m) at Nakayama. Weltreisende (Dream Journey) finished second, beaten half a length, with a further neck back to Last Draft (Novellist) in third. Runner-up in the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) (Gr 1, 3000m) at Kyoto when last sighted on October 25, the Hidetaka Otonashi-trained Aristoteles was winning for the fourth time in ten starts when making a deserved stakes breakthrough at the weekend. He joins Daring Tact and Orthoclase as stakes winners for Epiphaneia, himself the winner of the Kikuka Sho in 2013, prior to taking out the Japan Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) the following year.
Exceed And Excel
Excellent Proposal (4 g ex Procrastination by Pivotal) took out the Hong Kong Classic Mile (Listed, 1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday to provide Darley flagbearer Exceed And Excel (Danehill) with his 180th individual stakes winner. In coming home three-quarters of a length to the good of stable companion Lucky Express (Toronado), Excellent Proposal completed a quinella for trainer John Size. Tourbillon Diamond (Olympic Glory) was a further neck away in third. Excellent Proposal is now the winner of seven of his ten outings and is a serious contender for the remaining two legs of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series, while Exceed And Excel’s dual hemisphere dominance shows no signs of relenting, despite the son of Danehill (Danzig) now being 20. He covered 102 mares at a fee of $132,000 in 2020.
Second Base (4 g ex Passionate Kiss ex Fort Wood) scored on his first attempt at stakes level on Saturday, taking out the Sea Cottage Stakes (Gr 3, 1800m) at Turffontein to earn Gimmethegreenlight (More Than Ready) his 29th individual stakes winner. The Johan Janse Van Vuuren-trained gelding lined up having won four of his previous five races and he made the step up to Group company with relative ease, defeating Nartjie (Vercingetorix) by one and three-quarter lengths, with Gimmethegoahead (Gimmethegreenlight) a further three lengths behind in third. Gimmethegreenlight, a former champion three-year-old in South Africa, is the sire of last year’s Cantala Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) winner Yulong Prince. He has two other top-level winners to his name, Got The Greenlight and Gunner, and stood at Varsfontein Stud for a fee of R75,000 (approx. AUD$6,400) last year.
Darley’s Iffraaj (Zafonic) sired his 73rd individual stakes winner when Land Of Legends (5 g Homily by Singspiel) ran on well to land the Al Fahidi Fort (Gr 2, 1400m) on the Meydan turf on Thursday. Ridden by Frankie Dettori and trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, the five-year-old returned from a 320-day absence to beat D’bai (Dubawi) by three-quarters of a length. Favourite Glorious Journey (Dubawi) was the same margin away in third. The lightly-raced gelding was winning for the fourth time in ten starts. Land Of Legends is out of the Singspiel (In The Wings) mare Homily, herself a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Rebellion (Mozart). Iffraaj, sire of dual champion miler and first-season sire Ribchester and leading young sire Wootton Bassett, stands at Newmarket’s Dalham Hall Stud for a fee of £20,000 (approx. AUD$35,400).
Former shuttler Invincible Spirit (Green Desert) sired his 131st individual stakes winner when his son Blown By Wind (5 g ex Discourse by Street Cry) took out Friday’s Jebel Ali Mile (Gr 3, 1600m). Formerly trained in the UK by Mark Johnston, the five-year-old was having his second start for Salem Bin Ghadayer as he defeated favourite Secret Ambition (Exceed And Excel) by four lengths, with Canvassed (Shamardal) another three and a half lengths away in third. Now the winner of six of his 27 starts, Blown By Wind is a half-brother to the Listed winners Discursus (Dubawi) and Hadith (New Approach). His dam, Discourse (Street Cry), is a Group 3-winning half-sister to the Grade 1 winner Bandini (Fusaichi Pegasus). Invincible Spirit stands at the Irish National Stud for a fee of €80,000 (approx. AUD$126,140).
Quick (5 m ex The Giving Tree by Rock Of Gibraltar) provided former shuttler Olympic Glory (Choisir) with his first US Graded winner when landing the Astra Stakes (Gr 3, 12f) on Santa Anita’s turf on Sunday, January 17. The five-year-old, who was previously trained in Britain by Richard Hannon, beat Hermaphrodite (Le Havre) by a nose with Altea (Siyouni) two and a quarter lengths away in third to become the sixth individual stakes winner for her sire. Four-time Group 1 winner Olympic Glory stands at Al Shaqab’s Haras de Bouquetot for a fee of €5,000 (approx. AUD$7,865) in 2021.
Turk Warrior (2 g ex Ehor by Val Royal) maintained his unbeaten record in fine style when he justified hot favouritism to land the Elwick Stakes (Listed, 1100m) at Hobart on Sunday. In doing so, the promising juvenile became the first stakes winner for Widden Stud’s young sire Outreach (Exceed And Excel). A three-length winner at the same track on debut in November, the Glenn Stevenson-trained Turk Warrior was sent off at $1.45 to account for his six rivals and he did so with the minimum of fuss, coming a length and three quarters clear of runner-up Miss Charlie Brown (Myboycharlie). Geegee Lucky Jess (Wordsmith) was a further two and a quarter lengths back in third. Bred and consigned by Grenville Stud, Turk Warrior was passed in for $24,000 at the Tasmanian Magic Millions Yearling Sale. He is the first stakes winner from five victors out of Ehor (Val Royal), who won the Elwick Stakes in 2007 prior to taking out the Gold Sovereign Stakes (Listed, 1200m). Her Zululand (Fastnet Rock) yearling colt will be offered at next month’s Magic Millions Tasmanian auction as Lot 106, while she was covered by Grenville Stud’s Stratosphere (Snitzel) in September, having slipped to the same sire the previous year. Turk Warrior’s second dam is Group 1 winner Love To Dance (Citidancer). Outreach has so far sired 16 winners from 45 starters and he stood for a fee of $5,500 in 2020.
Former Haunui Farm shuttler Showcasing (Oasis Dream) recorded a half-century of individual stakes winners worldwide on Saturday. The feat was reached when Showemhowitsdone (3 f ex Jaffari by Iffraaj) took out the Gore Guineas (Listed, 1335m) under Terry Moseley, defeating The Gift (Power) by a head, with two and a half lengths to Chokito (Vespa) in third. Trained by Shane Kennedy and Anna Furlong, Showemhowitsdone ducked out sharply in the closing stages but was just able to prevail under a masterful ride by Moseley. Showcasing, who shuttled to New Zealand for seven seasons, is standing at Whitsbury Manor Stud in Hampshire for £45,000 (approx NZD$85,500) in 2021.
Late Cambridge Stud stallion Tavistock (Montjeu) brought up his 26th individual stakes winner on Saturday when Te Akau Racing’s Entriviere (4 m ex Marcey’s Belt by Golan) took out the Concorde Handicap (Gr 3, 1200m) at Ellerslie, her fourth win from five starts. Sent out an odds-on favourite after only gaining a start on Thursday, the Jamie Richards-trained Entriviere lived up to the hype, never looking in any doubt whatsoever. She scored by a length and a quarter over outsider Justacanta (Per Incanto), with a head to Pretty To Sea (Ocean Park) in third. It was a fitting win for Entriviere given her dam Marcey’s Belt (Golan) is a half-sister to Xiong Feng (Iffraaj), who won the Karaka Million 2YO in 2016. Tavistock died in December 2019.