Stunning Speed Display Wins Railway Stakes For Scales Of Justice
Given a masterful ride by 13-time champion Hong Kong jockey Douglas Whyte, Scales Of Justice passed the post two and three quarter lengths clear of last year’s Railway Stakes winner Good Project (Not A Single Doubt) with WA-trained mare Perfect Reflection (More Than Ready) only a head further back in third place. Time was 1:36.13 with the last 600 metres covered in 35.54 seconds.
Arrowfield Stud’s prolific winner getter Not A Single Doubt (Redoute’s Choice) thus provided the quinella with Scales of Justice becoming his fifth Group One winner among a career tally of 35 stakes winners.
For Scales Of Justice this was his seventh and most important win from 13 starts and only his second at stakes level following his victory in the R J Peters Stakes (Gr 3, 1500m) only a week before his Railway triumph. Scales Of Justice has now earned connections $945,250, a nice return on his purchase cost of $180,000 when offered at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne by Millford Thoroughbreds on behalf of Victorian breeders Gerard and Kathy Hammond. Buyer, as agent, was Craig Rounsefell’s Boomer Bloodstock.
The emergence of Scales Of Justice as a leading sprinter highlights the growing status of his sire Not A Single Doubt as a source of top grade performers as well as a huge number of winners. Last season the now 15-year-old stallion finished a good second to Street Cry (Machiavellian) on the Australian general sires’ list and led all sires in terms of winners (154) and races won (257) and he looks set for another big season in 2016/17.
As a dual Listed sprint stakes winner with an impeccable pedigree, Not A Single Doubt earned his chance at stud but did not attract the best mares when he started off at an official $13,500 (inc GST) fee in the 2005 season. As his winners began appearing his fee began to rise, going to $24,750 (inc GST) in 2011, then to $33,000 (inc GST) and in 2016 it more than doubled again to $71,500 (inc GST), reflecting the track deeds of star two-year-olds Extreme Choice, Miracles Of Life and Karuta Queen not to mention a long list of other high quality runners such as Single Gaze, Good Project, Fell Swoop, Gypsy Diamond, Doubtful Jack, Villa Verde and Don’t Doubt Mamma. Major winners in South Africa, New Zealand and Singapore have also given Not A Single Doubt a growing international profile.
It is understood an injury prevented Scales Of Justice’s dam Beymatilla (Umatilla) from racing and although she has produced three other winners, best of them stakes-placed Cruyfforme (Johan Cruyff), her stud record is best described as patchy.
Beymatilla’s sire Umatilla (Miswaki) was born in New Zealand but conceived in the United States and did his racing in Australia before retiring to stud at Blue Gum Farm in Victoria.
He was a sprinter of some class, going to Perth as a two-year-old to win the Karrakatta Plate (then Gr 1, 1200m) and also taking out two other stakes races in Melbourne and Adelaide. He left 33 stakes winners as a sire, among them Group One-winning stayers Bohemiath and Streak and Group One-winning sprinters Sincero, Umah, Umrum and Valedictum so was a versatile sire. He has also proved more than useful as a maternal grandsire.
Umatilla’s American dam Dancing Show (Nijinsky) has made a notable contribution to breeding in Australia as she is also dam of Group One winner and successful sire Hurricane Sky (Star Watch), the now famous producer Shantha’s Choice (Canny Lad) and of Show Dancing (Don’t Say Halo), winning dam of Al Maher (Danehill), a Group One winner and prominent sire.
As Scales Of Justice’s sire Not A Single Doubt is a son of Redoute’s Choice (Danehill), the three-time champion sire son of Shantha’s Choice, it means the 2016 Railway Stakes winner is linebred 4f x 3m to Dancing Show. Scales Of Justice also carries four crosses of the great Northern Dancer (Nearctic) and more remote multiples of such revered names as Sir Gaylord (Turn-to), Buckpasser (Tom Fool), Ribot (Tenerani), Nasrullah (Nearco), Native Dancer (Polynesian) and others.
The dam, second dam and third dam of Beymatilla were all metropolitan winners in Melbourne but for me the most interesting aspect of the pedigree of Scales Of Justice is that his fifth dam is Dual Choice (Showdown), one of the greatest sprinting mares in Australia in the 1970s.
Dual Choice (1967) raced before the Pattern system of graded stakes races was introduced but between 1969 and 1972 this wonderful filly/mare won 14 black type races, nine regarded as of Group One standard.
As a two-year-old she came out in the early spring to win the Debutante Stakes (Listed, 5f) and the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (Listed, 5f) while in the following autumn Dual Choice added to her tally by taking the Merson Cooper Stakes (Gr 3, 6f) and the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (then Gr 1, 7f).
After a busy juvenile campaign Dual Choice bounced back better than before as a spring three-year-old to win the Freeway Stakes (now Manikato Stakes) (then Gr 2, 6f) against older opposition at Moonee Valley, the Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1m), the VRC Craven A Stakes (now VRC Classic) (then Gr 1, 6f) against older sprinters and the Edward Manifold Stakes (then Gr 2, 1m) against fillies of her own age.
Dual Choice went on to win a second Freeway Stakes in 1971, the 1971 and 1972 renewals of the Oakleigh Plate (then Gr 1, 5.5f), the 1971 VRC Lightning Stakes (then Gr 1, 5f) and the 1972 MVRC William Reid Stakes (then Gr 1, 6f).
Despite such an exceptional record on the track, Dual Choice, like so many of the truly outstanding race mares, failed to leave among her nine named foals even one of remotely similar ability.