The Arrowfield team took time out to reflect on an unprecedented season of success in 2009-10 before getting back to the business of breeding winners last weekend.
And it was business as usual at Randwick on Saturday with Arrowfield stallions Redoute’s Choice (Dystopia), Danzero (Hidden Wonder) and Hussonet (Slow The Flow) completing a winning treble at the Missile Stakes meeting.
Dystopia is a sister to 2005 Golden Slipper Stakes winner Stratum (Redoute’s Choice) who sired this year’s winner Crystal Lily. Another Golden Slipper trophy for the most successful branch of the Danehill sireline must have been immensely gratifying for John Messara.
The Arrowfield chairman imported Danehill to Australia in 1990 and he personally bred Group 1 winners Danzero, Danewin and Joie Denise in that first southern crop.
Redoute’s Choice arrived five years later and he was targeted by Messara as the horse to take Arrowfield into the 21st century. A G1 winner of the Blue Diamond Stakes at two, he returned the following spring to defeat Testa Rossa and Commands in a truly vintage edition of the Caulfield Guineas.
Since retiring to stud in 2000, Redoute’s Choice has responded with a galaxy of Group 1 winners (18) and stakes winners (63) and now he’s making an impact as a sire of sires with 15 of his sons now credited with winners.
To August 10, he had sired 435 winners of 1094 races at a monumental 75% winners-to-runners strike-rate.
Redoute’s Choice regained the mantle as Australian champion sire last Saturday week with earnings of $9.03 million to deny Encosta de Lago a hat-trick of premierships. It was his second title after winning it for the first time in 2006 with just three crops racing!
Redoute’s Choice and his Arrowfield associates Flying Spur and Starcraft were responsible for four category leaders on the 2009-10 Australia and NZ Classifications.
MELITO (Redoute’s Choice) was Champion 3YO Sprinter / Mile Filly with a rating of 115. She was a G1 winner of the AJC T.J. Smith Stakes and Qld Tatt’s Winter Stakes.
DARIANA (Redoute’s Choice) was Champion 3YO Long Distance Filly with a rating of 112. She was a G1 winner of the Queensland Derby and shared top spot with G1 AJC Oaks winner Once Were Wild.
STAR WITNESS (Starcraft) was co-Champion 2YO Colt with a rating of 112 after winning the G1 MRC Arrowfield Stud Blue Diamond Stakes. BENETEAU (Redoute’s Choice) finished a point behind him on 111. Star Witness led a group of 9 winners from the first southern crop of Starcraft. The Arrowfield stallion finished in the Top 10 on the Australian first-season sires’ premiership.
ALVERTA (Flying Spur) was Leading Older Sprinter Mare with a rating of 115. The Arrowfield homebred was a G1 winner of the STC Coolmore Classic prior to a splendid third in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket.
MANHATTAN RAIN (Encosta de Lago) was 2nd in the 3YO Intermediate category with a rating of 116. He was runner-up in the G1 MVRC Cox Plate and will begin stud duties at Arrowfield this spring. Manhattan Rain is a half-brother to Redoute’s Choice and was G1 winner of the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes at two.
ALL AMERICAN (Red Ransom) is also gearing up for his first season at Arrowfield. He was given a rating of 112 after defeating So You Think in the G1 VRC Emirates Stakes in the fastest time ever run by a colt in the history of the race.
Redoute’s Choice was also the leading sire of stakes winners (14) and 3YO winners (57) in 2009-10. He will stand for a $176,000 (inc gst) service fee at Arrowfield in 2010.