Raise a glass to a Champion

John Berry celebrates the life of Champion racehorse and stallion, Redoute's Choice, who will be remembered as much for his character and class as the incredible legacy he has left behind.

During his very successful training career, Rick Hore-Lacy built up a reputation as ‘the stallion-maker’. Many of the good colts who passed through his hands at Epsom and then at Caulfield went on to enjoy excellent stud careers.

He must have thought that he’d reached the pinnacle in this respect when the 1990 G1 Golden Slipper S. winner Canny Lad (Bletchingly) became an extremely successful stallion at Woodlands. However, it turned out that Canny Lad was only the warm-up act: Redoute’s Choice (Danehill {USA}) came along nine years later and went on to prove himself one of the most special horses, both on the racecourse and at stud, of the modern era.

His death this week at Arrowfield at the age of 22 leaves a big hole in the bloodstock landscape.

Dundeel colt spectacular in Inglis Millennium

The $2 million ATC Inglis Millennium 1200m RL was introduced to Sydney racegoers in the most spectacular fashion when Ottavio & Wendy Galletta’s Arrowfield-bred colt Castelvecchio rocketed to victory from the back of the field at Warwick Farm on Saturday afternoon. 

Watch Castelvecchio win the ATC Inglis Millennium RL.

It was a performance previewed by the Dundeel colt’s startling debut win at Canterbury last month but even so, it surprised his young Warwick Farm-based trainer Richard Litt.

“This horse is the real deal. He just does everything so easy. We never push him.

“He came here today not even revved up for this. He’s had two gallops, and they weren’t big gallops, coming into this.

“I knew coming here today there was going to be speed. I knew he was going to be finishing hard but I didn’t think he’d be doing that.”

The 11th foal of his dam St. Therese, Castelvecchio was sold at the 2018 Inglis Classic Sale. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

For Litt and the Gallettas, the win and the $1,194,000 prizemoney is a classic racing fairytale.

The trio selected the Dundeel-St. Therese colt from Arrowfield’s 2018 Inglis Classic draft and paid $150,000 for him. Named Castelvecchio (Italian for “old castle”) after a famous museum in Verona, he showed early ability and trialled in September but was given time to develop further before his 18 January debut. 

First Group 1 winner caps Dundeel’s big weekend

Sheikh Hamdan’s colt Atyaab capped an action-packed 36 hours for Arrowfield’s young sire Dundeel when he won the R1 million Cape Derby 2000m G1 in South Africa on 26 January.

Bred by Arrowfield & John Leaver, Atyaab was bought for $260,000 by Shadwell Stud from the Stud’s 2017 Inglis Easter draft and is trained by Mike de Kock. He is Dundeel’s fourth stakeswinner and the fourth Group 1 winner to emerge – so far – from Arrowfield’s Class of 2017, after The Autumn Sun, Estijaab & Maid Of Heaven. 


Dundeel’s first Group 1 winner, Sheikh Hamdan’s colt Atyaab, pictured as a yearling at Arrowfield. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

 Atyaab is also the fifth Group 1 winner found by Shadwell’s master buyer Angus Gold in Arrowfield’s Easter consignments, joining Mustaaqeem (2016), Rafeef (2014), Majmu (2013) and Reaan (2007).

 The colt’s dam is the now 21 year-old multiple Group 2 winner Sylvaner (by Danasinga), whose late-career fertility and success, following her early stakeswinner Vesper, can be credited to both the care and the opportunities she’s received at Arrowfield. Sylvaner has a 2YO Dundeel filly (a $100,000 Inglis Easter purchase for the Bulla Thoroughbreds Trust), a 2018 Dundeel colt and a positive test to the six-time Group 1 winner. 




The Autumn Sun Gets The Job Done in Hobartville

It may not have been the dominant win fans were hoping for, however, The Autumn Sun made a successful return to racing in Saturday's Group II Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.

Given plenty of time to find his feet under Kerrin McEvoy, The Autumn Sun came from the tail of the six-horse field to run down a defiant Vegadaze by a long-neck, handing the Lope de Vega gelding his first defeat in four starts. (image Steve Hart) .

John Messara's Arrowfield Stud had acquired a 50 per cent interest in the Redoute's Choice colt on the eve of the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last October, which he won by four and a half lengths, his third win at the highest level.

Arrowfield bred and sold the handsome colt in partnership with The Aga Khan Studs.

"It's hard to make up ground today on the soft track and he has done what he had to do," Waller told AAP.

Booker wins the G1 Oakleigh Plate

Melbourne Premier star Booker (Writte Tycoon ex Noondie) became the sixth individual Inglis graduate to win a Group 1 race in 2019 when successful in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield.

Inglis Premier graduate Booker won the G1 Oakleigh Plate

The 4YO mare secured her maiden Group 1, having won two other Stakes races previously, defying a wide barrier and little luck in running to win first-up from a spell.

Booker joins In Her Time (Oakleigh Plate), Manuel (Orr Stakes), Beat The Block (Centenary Sprint Cup), Enzo's lad (Telegraph Hcp) and Atyaab (Cape Derby) as Inglis graduates to win at the top level this year.

She also becomes the second consecutive Inglis graduate to win the Oakleigh Plate following Russian Revolution's success in 2018.

Booker, trained by Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra, was a $230,000 buy for Barry Griffiths from the 2016 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, where she was offered by Mill Park Stud.

"It's a fantastic result for the farm and a fantastic result for loyal clients of ours in Liz and Tony Freebairn and Bill Rigg,'' Mill Park's Chris Watson said.

"Booker was always an absolute powerhouse of a filly from day one. She was always going to be an early-running type, which she turned out to be, and to win a Group 1 so early in her career is amazing.''

Inglis Premier  graduate Booker won the G1 Oakleigh Plate



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