‘Big three’ prove their worth
The big three of Justify (Scat Daddy), Trapeze Artist (Snitzel) and The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice), all current first–season sires, haven’t done anything to dampen enthusiasm for the trio’s long-term prospects at stud in my book.
Last weekend it was The Autumn Sun’s turn, when his exciting daughter Autumn Ballet backed up her seven and three-quarter length barrier trial victory by taking out the Black Opal (Gr 3, 1200m) at Canberra on Sunday at her first start.
She almost certainly has bigger things in store while another The Autumn Sun filly in New Zealand, Tulsi, was placed in the Sistema Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m).
The emergence of his progeny in recent months – he’s had six runners with two winners and two stakes horses – had me looking back through “the Bible” (Arion) looking for comparisons to his own sire, the late, great Redoute’s Choice, and how he compares at the same stage.
Redoute’s Choice had sired 16 runners for five individual winners and two stakes winners: Not A Single Doubt and Tahni Girl. He’d also had four other stakes-placed horses.
Arrowfield’s four-time champion Snitzel had sired 15 runners for six winners and one stakes horse: Silver Slipper Stakes’ winner Chance Bye.
John Messara, Arrowfield’s founder, has unwavering belief in The Autumn Sun and he was delighted by Autumn Ballet’s performance at Canberra.
“We thought it might start to happen for him in the autumn and into the winter and that is what is starting to happen. This has been a turning point,” Messara told us.
“There will be others to come and he, himself, was the same. There will be earlier ones; the great stallions can throw anything, but it is not that late to have them coming through in March.
“All the breakers have told us they have good minds. That is the one thing they all have in common. A bit like Redoute’s himself, he also had a good mind.”
Widden’s Trapeze Artist (Facile) and Coolmore’s Justify (Learning To Fly) are both represented in tomorrow’s Golden Slipper.
*Statistics from August 1 to March 16 of corresponding seasons
Any agent who regularly sells horses into the lucrative Hong Kong market will tell you there’s a lot of knockbacks, by owners, trainers and the vets, before a suitable horse finally gets on the plane.
The skyrocketing prize-money in Australia in recent years has made it increasingly difficult to source the right horses for the Asian jurisdiction, particularly sprinters, but agent George Moore says Hong Kong Derby (Listed, 2000m) prospects for next season will soon be on his radar.
Last year, Moore purchased South Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) winner Jungle Magnate (Tarzino) who now races in Hong Kong as Beautyverse for trainer Tony Cruz.
“The Derbies are coming up, so we’ll be able to pick nice horses like we did with Beautyverse … who won first-up in Hong Kong,” Moore told us this week.
“We should be able to pick up horses for $1.8 to $2.8 million for Derby winners or Derby-placed horses. The demand is still very high for Hong Kong, but it’s very hard to find them.”
While Moore will be targeting the tried horse market in the coming months, he will also be in attendance at the Inglis Easter sale on behalf of Hong Kong clients.
The Hong Kong-based agent has been racking up the frequent flyer points, jetting from Melbourne to Thailand, the Maldives and Adelaide over the past ten days prior to returning home.
“I am going to go back to Hong Kong and we’re trying to get some money together (for Easter),” he said.
“We’re talking to a couple of investors and hopefully we can get one investor who will put in $3 million.”
The prospects of Moore being active at Easter would be enhanced if Gustosisimo (Exceed And Excel), who is trained by Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou, can show up second-up in the Kindergarten Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) at Randwick on April 1.
“We’ve got a couple of good horses running including Gustosisimo, who ran sixth in the Pago Pago [Stakes]. We bought him for $300,000 [last year] and if he does well, I am sure the client will want to come back and buy at Easter, a top sale which we always do well out of.
“But when you’re going to that sale, where the average is around $400,000 to $500,000 (for colts), you need to have the money.”
Racing’s relationship with governments is imperative for its long-term health – and it’s something the South Australian industry hasn’t enjoyed relative to other Australian states – so it was encouraging to see SA opposition racing minister Vincent Tarzia at the Magic Millions sale in Adelaide on Sunday.
Liberal MP Tarzia saw first–hand the dedicated horse people tending to the yearlings’ every need and that equine welfare is at the forefront of participants’ minds, while it wouldn’t have been hard to comprehend the economic benefit of the Magic Millions sale to Adelaide and the SA racing industry as a whole.
Racing, of course, is one of the nation’s biggest employers and governments receive significant wagering tax revenue derived from the sport, something its detractors often conveniently overlook.
Western Australian Wally Daly has ridden the ups and downs of racing and unfortunately for the owner, who raced Group 1 winner Vega Magic (Lope De Vega) and currently has top juvenile Brave Halo (Brave Smash) sporting his silks, he has experienced a down couple of weeks.
Brave Halo, who won his first three starts in Perth, before being sent to Melbourne, is under veterinary care in Victoria after being galloped on when fourth in the Blue Diamond three weeks ago.
He is likely to be sidelined for at least six months.
“We’ve got a few problems with him. He was galloped on 100 metres out in the Diamond by Barber I think,” Daly revealed this week.
“Our horse was shifting in a bit and then (jockey) Mark Zahra pushed Barber out onto us and [Brave Halo] got a little [injury].”
Brave Halo is currently at the Ballarat Veterinary Practice. If that wasn’t bad enough, Daly sadly lost his unraced two-year-old True Heroes (Merchant Navy), who died unexpectedly last Sunday.
True Heroes, a $160,000 purchase by Daly’s Yenrise Pty Ltd at last year’s Perth yearling sale, is the half-brother to breeder Peter Walsh’s star filly Amelia’s Jewel (Siyouni).
Daly is hopeful of things taking a turn for the better after paying $110,000 for Brave Halo’s Bellevue Hill (Pierro) half-brother in Adelaide on Tuesday.
“Wally has got great respect for Brave Smash because he had a very good horse called Vega Magic and I think they ran second and third in The Everest (in 2017), with both of them being a bit unlucky,” said Magic Millions’ Adrian Hancock who acts as Daly’s agent.
“So, that’s why we tried to find one by him and we found a weanling out of Danish Bingo who we bought for $135,000 [in 2021].
“He’s come out as Brave Halo and done a remarkable job. He ran a huge race in the Blue Diamond, he got galloped on and it certainly cost him a place, if not winning, so he’s got the half-brother now and let’s hope he’s half as good.”
Wattle Bloodstock’s Peter Twomey celebrated his 40th birthday yesterday and he celebrated it in style, by cheering home Extreme Choice filly Pretty Extreme to a big first-up win in his hometown of Wagga Wagga in southern New South Wales.
Twomey may not have bought the best Extreme Choice, but for $5,000 from Bowness Stud, Pretty Extreme’s been a hell of a lot of fun for the all-female syndicate who own her.
Darrell Burnet, a young trainer and breaker who is making a name for himself, certainly made the women happy with the mare’s well-backed victory and top jockey Danny Beasley, who has also made the City Of Good Sports his home after a long and successful stint in Singapore, did is part as well.