Two for Belardo
Haunui Farm shuttle stallion Belardo (Lope De Vega) sired his second individual southern hemisphere winner on Wednesday when Midnight Rocket (2 c ex Midnight Breaker by Housebuster) made a successful debut at Te Aroha. The Stephen Marsh-trained juvenile showed ability in a number of trials prior to his first racecourse outing and he justified his position as the odds-on market leader with a long-neck success over La Dolce Vita (Per Incanto). Danger Strykes (Astern) was another length and a quarter adrift in third. Midnight Rocket was bought at Book 2 of the NZB National Yearling Sale at Karaka last year, realising $50,000 to Todd Pollard and his trainer having been sold through the Haunui draft. His yearling brother was offered by Woburn Farm at the same auction last month, being passed in on a reserve of $80,000. Midnight Rocket is a half-brother to the 2015 Karaka Million 2YO (RL, 1200m) winner Hardline (Showcasing), while he joins Avonallo as southern hemisphere winners for Belardo, with the latter having opened his account in the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) at Riccarton in November. Belardo has sired five individual stakes winners worldwide, headlined by Group 2 winner Isabella Giles, while he stood at Haunui for a fee of $10,000 (plus GST) last year.
Newgate Farm’s Flying Artie (Artie Schiller) took the lead in the sought after first season sire title (by winners) after the courageous first-start victory of Bourbon Flyer (2 c ex Kentucky Miss by Foxwedge) on the Kensington track in Sydney on Wednesday. The fifth individual winner for the Coolmore Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) hero, Bourbon Flyer defeated Syracuse (Sebring) and Trifaccia (I Am Invincible) in the Stud & Stable Staff Awards Plate (1100m). Trained by John Thompson, Bourbon Flyer was a $50,000 purchase from the 2020 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. He is raced by a syndicate which includes Wilf Mula, who raced Flying Artie with the late Paul Whelan, John Whelan and Newgate Farm’s Henry Field. John O’Shea paid $52,500 for Bourbon Flyer’s sister at the 2020 Inglis Australian Weanling Sale while Kentucky Miss, who was bought by Mula for $250,000 at the Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale last year, has a weanling sister to the pair and she was covered in December by I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit). Flying Artie, who stood for a fee of $16,500 (inc GST) in 2020, leads the first season sire title over barnmate Capitalist (Written Tycoon) (four in Australia), Sooboog (Snitzel) (four) and Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt) (three in Australia).
Kiss And Make Up
General Phelps (2 c ex Rose General by General Nediym) won the Year Of The Ox 2YO Handicap (1006m) at Grafton on Thursday to provide Aquis Farm’s first season stallion Kiss And Make Up (More Than Ready) with his first winner. Bred and trained by Steven Phelps at Ballina, the Matt McGuren-ridden colt overhauled the favourite Buck Pharoah (American Pharoah) who was posted wide for the trip. Baronial (Dream Ahead) ran third. Having his first start, General Phelps keeps up the perfect record for his dam, seven-time winner Rose General, who has now had four foals to race for four winners. Kiss And Make Up stood for a fee of $8,800 (inc GST) at Aquis Farm’s Canungra base in 2020.
Pixie Chix (2 f ex Snow Pixie by Snitzel) broke her maiden at the fourth attempt in the Peoplestart 2YO Plate (1000m) at Ascot on Saturday to earn first season sire Rommel (Commands) his second winner from four runners. Trained by David Harrison, Pixie Chix scooted clear of her rivals to win by one and a half lengths over Featherweight (Snippetson), with Safety Fuse (Safeguard) another three-quarters of a length back in third. On Friday, Pixie Chix’s brother topped day two of the Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale for a Book 2 record of $180,000, selling to Neville Parnham. Pixie Chix is the first foal out of Snow Pixie (Snitzel) and was bought from last year’s Perth Yearling Sale for $20,000. Western Australian Guineas (Gr 2, 1600m) winner Rommel stood at Mogumber Park for a $4,400 (inc GST) service fee in 2020.
New Group/Grade 1 winners
Coolmore’s American Pharoah (Pioneerof The Nile) notched his third elite–level winner, and first on dirt, when his son Cafe Pharoah (4 c ex Mary’s Follies by More Than Ready) landed the February Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) at Tokyo on Sunday. Bred by Paul P Pompa, Cafe Pharoah is the fifth foal produced by Grade 2 winner Mary’s Follies (More Than Ready). Cafe Pharoah was purchased for current connections, owner Koichi Nishikawa and trainer Noriyuki Hori, by Emmanuel de Seroux’s Narvick International at $475,000 when offered by Eddie Woods at the 2019 Ocala Breeders’ Sales March Two-Year-Olds in Training event. Shuttler American Pharoah will stand at Ashford Stud for a fee of US$100,000 (approx. AUD$127,000) in 2021.
Deep Field (Northern Meteor) capped a remarkable day for Newgate’s stallions on Saturday when Portland Sky (3 c ex Sky Rumba by Shrewd Rhythm) dead-heated with Celebrity Queen (Redoute’s Choice) in Caulfield’s Oakleigh Plate (Gr 1, 1100m) to earn the son of Northern Meteor (Encosta De Lago) his first elite-level winner. The Matt Laurie-trained colt took the lead with 200 metres to run but was joined on the line by Celebrity Queen, with the pair unable to be separated in a photo. Kemalpasa (Magnus) was a head behind in third. Deep Field, the sire of seven stakes winners including Cosmic Force, Dig Deep and Xilong, stood for a service fee of $55,000 (inc GST) in 2020.
The Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Artorius (2 c ex Gracie’s Lass by Redoute’s Choice) flew home at Caulfield on Saturday to take out the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m), earning Newgate’s Flying Artie (Artie Schiller) his first stakes winner at the highest level. Sent off at $13, Artorius defeated Ingratiating (Frosted) by three-quarters of a length, with Anamoe (Street Boss) one and three-quarter lengths further behind in third. First season sire Flying Artie has had five winners from 21 runners to date.
Celebrity Queen (4 m ex Celebrity Miss by More Than Ready) joined Portland Sky on the finishing line in the Oakleigh Plate to earn the late Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) his 39th individual elite-level winner. Trained by Grant and Alana Williams, Celebrity Queen produced a late run up the inside to finish level with Portland Sky and split the Group 1 honours. Redoute’s Choice, who has 177 individual stakes winners to his name, died at Arrowfield Stud aged 22 in March 2019.
New stakes winners
Last Of The Line (4 g ex Catch The Cat by Royal Abjar) produced an explosive finish to take out the Detonator Stakes (Listed, 1800m) at Ascot on Saturday, earning the late Blackfriars (Danehill) his 42nd individual stakes winner. Trained by Stephen Miller, the four-year-old impressively defeated $2.70 favourite Montelena (Rubick) by three-quarters of a length, with the pair well clear of Paddy’s Shadow (Dane Shadow) who finished over five lengths behind the winner in third. Last Of The Line was making his first start in stakes company on Saturday and now has six wins from just nine starts. He is a brother to Listed winner Black Felix, who was the first foal out of Catch The Cat (Royal Adjar). Blackfriars was euthanised in late 2017 after he broke a leg following surgery for colic. He was Champion WA stallion for the seven consecutive seasons prior to his death.
Exceed And Excel
The Peter Moody-trained Oxley Road (3 c ex Bonnie Mac by Thorn Park) impressively took out the Zeditave Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday to bring up Exceed And Excel’s (Danehill) 182nd individual stakes winner. Oxley Road – who was ANZ Bloodstock News’ Saturday Spotlight runner – led all the way to defeat It’sourtime (Time For War) by one and three-quarter lengths, with Valaquenta (Street Boss) the same distance behind in third. Darley stallion Exceed And Excel has 16 top-level winners to his name including Oxley Road’s brother, Exceedance.
Mnasek (3 f ex Washington Bridge by Yankee Gentleman) proved to be in a different class to her six rivals as she stretched clear to take out the UAE Oaks (Gr 3, 1900m) in effortless fashion on Thursday and in the process become the 65th individual stakes winner for the late Empire Maker (Unbridled). Away smarter than on her previous start when second in the UAE 1,000 Guineas (Listed, 1600m), the Doug Watson-trained filly made it two wins in three starts as she came home six and a half lengths clear of the running-on Nayefah (Super Saver). Last Sunset (Teofilo) was another two and a half lengths away in third. Mnasek is the sixth foal out of the US Grade 2 winner Washington Bridge. Empire Maker, the sire of 13 individual elite-level winners, including the likes of Royal Delta and Pioneerof The Nile, died last year at the age of 20.
Parure (3 f ex Fontein Ruby by Turffontein) thrived on her first start in stakes company at Caulfield on Saturday, taking out the Autumn Classic (Gr 2, 1800m) to earn Coolmore’s Fastnet Rock (Danehill) his 168th individual stakes winner. The Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes-trained filly defeated Butter Chicken (Savabeel) by a long neck, with Khoekhoe (Turffontein) another one and a quarter lengths behind in third. A day later, Chequerboard (3 f ex Chi by Zabeel) comfortably took out the Tasmanian Oaks (Listed, 2100m) at Launceston to provide Fastnet Rock (Danehill) with his 169th stakes winner. The Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes-trained Chequerboard was sent off the $1.55 favourite and justified those odds with a one and a half-length defeat of Queen Adele (Adelaide). My Squeeze Louise (Mongolian Khan) finished five lengths behind the winner in third. Chequerboard always looked in control of the race under Brendon McCoull, who eased her to the front rounding the home turn. She maintained a comfortable distance over Queen Adele down the straight, with the Cindy Alderson-trained filly battling on to finish well clear of the chasing pack. Shuttle stallion Fastnet Rock stood in Australia for a 2020 service fee of $165,000.
I Am Invincible
Home Affairs (2 c ex Miss Interiors by Flying Spur) built on his Canonbury Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) second last month to take out the Silver Slipper Stakes (Gr 2, 1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday and become I Am Invincible’s (Invincible Spirit) 63rd individual stakes winner. Trained by Chris Waller, Home Affairs defeated Rocket Tiger (Cluster) by a head, with Direct (Siyouni) finishing another one and a quarter lengths back in third. I Am Invincible stood at Yarraman Park for a service fee of $209,000 in 2020.
Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday) sired his 87th individual stakes winner when Hibiscus Punch (6 m ex Bellini Sunrise by Machiavellian) landed the Barbara Fritchie Stakes (Gr 3, 7f) at Laurel Park on Saturday night. The Justin Nixon-trained six-year-old was winning for the third time in eight starts as she beat Estilo Talentoso (Maclean’s Music) by two and a half lengths. Club Car (Malibu Moon) was another three and a half lengths away in third. Bred in Kentucky by her owners Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson, Hibiscus Punch is the first stakes winner from her dam, the Machiavellian (Mr. Prospector) mare Bellini Sunrise. All eight of the dam’s foals to race are winners. Into Mischief stands at Spendthrift’s Kentucky farm for a fee of $225,000 (approx. AUD$286,000) in 2021.
Medaglia D’Oro (El Prado) edged closer to another significant milestone when New Trails (7g – Issaqueena by Mr. Prospector) returned from a 12-month absence to provide the Darley stallion with his 149th individual stakes winner courtesy of a two-length success in the Curlin Stakes (Listed, 2000m) at Meydan on Thursday. Trained by Ahmad Bin Harmash, the seven-year-old emerged from deep in the pack to get up late and register a first win since taking out a handicap at the same track back in January 2019. Now the winner of four of his 15 starts, New Trails ran on to defeat the Godolphin pair Dubai Icon (New Approach) and Real World (Dark Angel), who were split by a short head crossing the line. New Trails is out of the winning Mr. Prospector (Raise A Native) mare Issaqueena, who herself is a half-sister to US Listed winner Charley Tango (Maria’s Mon). He is a half-brother to four winners including US Grade 2 victor Tizaqueena (Tiznow). Former shuttler Medaglia D’Oro stands for US$150,000 (approx. AUD$193,800) at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky this year.
Cryptic Love (5 m ex Abitcryptic by Bletchley Park) caused an upset in the Pinjarra Classic (Listed, 1300m) on Sunday to provide Westbury Park stallion My Admiration (Encosta de Lago) with his second individual stakes winner. The David Harrison-trained mare grabbed the inside rail down the home straight and just got up in a photo finish under Jason Whiting, with the first five horses finishing within half a length of the winner. Western Temple (Dream Ahead), like the winner sent off a $31 chance, finished a nose behind in second, with Son Of A God (Playing God) a short head further behind in third. My Admiration, winner of the 2012 Chairman’s Trophy (Listed, 1600m) in Hong Kong, is also the sire of last year’s Magic Millions WA 3YO Trophy (RL, 1200m) winner Cryptic Wonder. Both his stakes winners are out of Bletchley Park (Caerleon) mare Abitcryptic, who foaled an unnamed colt out of My Admiration in 2019.
Grandiose (6 h ex Cherir by Sunday Silence) took out the Diamond Stakes (Gr 3, 3400m) at Tokyo on Saturday to earn Rulership (King Kamehameha) his 17th individual stakes winner. Trained by Yasuhito Tamura, the six-year-old defeated Authority (Orfevre) by a neck with
Pont Des Arts (Heart’s Cry) a further five lengths back in third. Rulership, the sire of Group 1 winners Mer De Glace and Kiseki, stood at Shadai Stallion Station for 6,000,000 JPY (approx. AUD$72,300) in 2020.
Chokito (3 f ex Pretty Woman by Pins) got off the mark in stakes company when taking out the Southland Guineas (Listed, 1600m) at Invercargill on Saturday, earning Vespa (Elusive City) his first stakes winner. The Mel and Warwick Coles-trained filly led all the way to defeat Milford Sound (Ocean Park) by a short head, with Gone With The Wind (Sebring) a further one and a quarter lengths back in third. Vespa began his stud career at Wellfield Lodge, where his first three seasons saw him cover a total of 209 mares, before moving to Valachi Downs for the 2020 season. Vespa, who has eight winners from 25 runners, stood for a 2020 service fee of $5,000.