Freedman stablemates fire as sires

Redoute’s Choice regained the title as Australia’s champion sire last week and boosted his burgeoning reputation as a sire of sires when former stablemates Coats Choice and Marmottan opened their accounts on Friday.

Coats Choice gelding Flash Hapi started a short-priced favourite second time out at Ruakaka and lived up to that rating with a convincing victory in the Cowley’s Hire Centre Maiden (1200m) on the far north-east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

Two hours later Walnarring Stud sire Marmottan was off the mark when the Darren Weir trained filly Spartini won the Rex Gorell Volkswagon Maiden (1100m) at Geelong.

The trans-Tasman double means Redoute’s Choice now has 15 sire sons who have been represented by a winner but none have had to overcome the obstacles encountered by Coats Choice.

A three-quarter brother to Catbird, Coats Choice was trained by Lee Freedman and was runner-up to Picket Fence in the Listed Debutant Stakes at Caulfield in October 2003.  He sported the Slade Bloodstock silks but injured a sesamoid and was sidelined after just five starts as a two year-old.

Coats Choice was retired to a stud in Queensland but an initial book of just 21 mares resulted in only one named foal.  Even worse were the alarming rumours about the condition of stock on the property that came to the attention of Queensland Racing stewards and the RSPCA.  

There was no evidence to suggest Coats Choice had been neglected but he was sold and exported to New Zealand where he found a good home with Edwina Morris and Alan Jones at Berkley Stud in Christchurch.

Coats Choice is one of four sons of Redoute’s Choice to stand at stud in New Zealand, but is the only one based in the South Island.  He has averaged over a 100 mares a season at a $3,500 fee since arriving at Berkley Stud in September 2006.  

“We had been trying to buy a stallion by Redoute’s Choice for 18 months,” Morris explained.  “His sire sons are the hottest property on the Australasian stallion market.”

Marmottan filly Spartini was also racing second-up on the Geelong synthetic track on Friday.  She shadowed front-runner Defying Gravity and shot to a winning lead at the top of the straight.  Apart from the prizemoney, the winner also picked up a Super VOBIS bonus for her owner-breeders Royce and Julie Ritchie.

The Ritchies bought shares in Marmottan when he retired to Sean Dingwall’s Walnarring Stud at Kilmore in 2006.  The Toorak couple had also supported Redoute’s Choice in 2002 with their Whiskey Road mare Voltage and were rewarded with a beautiful filly named Anamato

Trained by David Hayes, she was a G1 winner of the South Australian Oaks but had to misfortune to be part of the same Redoute’s Choice crop as Lindsay Park’s champion filly Miss Finland!

A homebred for Arrowfield chairman John Messara, Miss Finland won five Group 1 events including the 2006 Victorian Oaks when Tuesday Joy and Anamato filled the placings.

Marmottan was prepared by Lee Freedman, like Coats Choice, and raced just seven times for on-pace victories at Sandown (2) and Cranbourne.

Marmottan had already been credited by black-type youngster Corvidae before Spartini broke through.  The Rick Worthington trained colt is also raced by the Ritchies and was runner-up Hinchinbrook in the Listed Canonbury Stakes earlier this year.

Marmottan stands at Walnaring Stud for a $3,300 (inc gst) service fee.  For further information, Sean Dingwall can be contacted on 03 5783 1904  

Champion 2YO sire Stratum (Widden) heads the running total of Redoute’s Choice winner-getters that also includes:  Not A Single Doubt (Arrowfield), Legion (Larneuk), Stromberg Carlson (Raheen), Masterofceremonies (Jelle-Jac Farms), Snitzel (Arrowfield), Bradbury’s Luck (Glenlogan Park), Al Samer (Emirates Park), God’s Own (Eliza Park), Keffelstein (Spring Valley), Break The Vault (Oaklands), Duelled (Dormello – NZ), Undoubtedly (ex Three Bridges), Coats Choice (Berkley – NZ) and Marmottan (Walnarring).