Redoute's Choice Still Has The Magic


A$1.3-million Redoute's Choice colt | Katrina Partridge


The early part of the third session of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale on Friday featured a strong showing by the progeny of Snitzel (Aus). That one's own sire–the three-time champion sire and now 21-year-old Redoute's Choice (Aus)–showed he still has the magic in him, however, when coming through late in the afternoon with a seven-figure colt in the form of lot 651, Arrowfield's son of Ballet Blue (Aus) (Stravinsky) who was hammered down to James Harron Bloodstock for A$1.3-million. That sum was good enough to tie the sale's top price achieved on Thursday for the full-brother to Sebring (Aus) (More Than Ready).

Trade took a little longer to heat up on Friday than it had the previous two days, but in the end cumulative figures were slightly up on last year. With 720 thus far catalogued compared to 648 last year, 574 (87%) have been sold for A$119,865,000, compared to 515 (88%) sold for A$102,760,000 up to this point last year. The average is up 4.2% at A$208,824, while the median has climbed 6.7% to A$160,000.

“I said [on Thursday] if the figures stayed the same we'd be delighted, and that's what's happened,” said Magic Millions Managing Director Vin Cox, who also acknowledged the sticky start to the day. “It's a massive sale and it just didn't have the zing in it as it did [on Thursday]. It wasn't a tough start, just a little tougher getting going than it was all day [on Thursday]. That was the hole in today's sale.”

“We're above total gross already for last year's sale, which is astounding, really,” Cox added. “That's a huge number in itself. To be well above A$100-million with a half-session to go is phenomenal.”

Redoute's Choice has been a prolific servant to the Australian breeding and racing industries, with 28 Group 1 winners and now 71 million-dollar plus yearlings to his credit. He also boasts a steady stream of sire sons that appear poised to carry on his legacy, including the likes of Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt (Aus) as well as the late Stratum (Aus). As such, the appeal of Arrowfield's colt out of Ballet Blue (lot 651) for James Harron's colts syndicate was understandable.

“If you're trying to buy colts to be future stallions there's no better sireline at the minute, so we're delighted to get him,” Harron said. “We knew we'd have to be strong. He's a nice neat type with a great head, a medium size and a really good mover. He's out of a Stravinsky mare, who has been fantastic, so he's the whole package.”

While Ballet Blue was herself unraced, she hails from a productive family as a half-sister to four stakes winners, including G2 Maribyrnong Plate winner The Heavyweight (Aus) (Zeditave {Aus}). Ballet Blue has just one foal of racing age, the three-time winner Three Votes (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), but the signs from her family are good, with three of her sisters having produced stakes horses.

Harron was acting on behalf of the same syndicate for which he bought G1 Golden Slipper winner Capitalist (Aus) (Written Tycoon {Aus}) and, like Capitalist, the Redoute's Choice colt will go into training with Peter and Paul Snowden.

Another son of Redoute's Choice was among the top sellers earlier in the session. That was lot 554, who was picked up by New Zealand-based agent David Ellis for A$560,000.

Global Group Teams For Snitzel Colt…

Friday's session featured the now-customary teaming of global powerhouse buyers when China Horse Club, Stonestreet Stables, WinStar Farm and Newgate Farm teamed to purchase lot 549, a son of Snitzel (Aus), for A$925,000. Consigned by Luskin Park, the bay is out of the stakes winning Ultimate Fever (Aus) (Gold Fever) and is a full-brother to Le Cordon Bleu (Aus), a stakes winner since the catalogue was printed.

“He's a beautiful colt,” said China Horse Club's Michael Wallace, noting that the colt would go into training with Peter and Paul Snowden. “We spoke to John [Moynihan from Stonestreet] and Elliott Walden from WinStar, and Henry Field from Newgate, and we all agreed that this was a colt we didn't want to leave behind. The physical attributes he has are the things we were spending so much time looking for during the week.”

The colt's new ownership group have all partnered together in the past with success.

“There's a large amount of risk going on here, so if we can share that amongst ourselves it's fantastic,” Wallace said. “It's a global game, Australia's got a buoyant stallion market and if you get the right Snitzel colt you get really well paid at the end of it.”

The colt was offered by Luskin Park, who enjoyed a productive session having also sold a Foxwedge (Aus) (lot 546) filly for A$475,000 earlier in the day. Luskin Park bred Foxwedge as well as his stakes-winning daughter Kentucky Miss (Aus), a full-sister to Lot 546, and last year's G1 Coolmore Stud S. winner Flying Artie (Aus) (Artie Schiller), who will join the Newgate stallion roster upon his retirement from racing.

Not So Secret Admirer…

Trainer Tony McEvoy wound up as underbidder at this sale six years ago on a Snitzel colt of Admirelle (Aus) (General Nediym {Aus}) at A$260,000. Later named Sizzling (Aus), that colt went on to win the G1 TJ Smith S. and now stands at Newgate Farm. His accomplishments ensured his younger half-brother by I Am Invincible (Aus) would be much more expensive, but this time McEvoy wouldn't be denied, going to A$900,000 for lot 607 from Milburn Creek at Magic Millions on Friday.

“I love Sizzling and just missed him and I didn't want to miss this colt, so we were strong, and I'm so excited about him,” McEvoy said. “He's a beautiful, beautiful colt.”

“I've seen him more this week than I've seen my wife,” McEvoy laughed.

McEvoy explained that he'd give the dark bay time to recuperate from the stresses of the sale before putting him into pre-training.

“My horses are going to stay up here for the week,” he said. “It's been a really tough sale on these horses; it's been extremely hot, so I won't travel him for a week. He'll go out to Aquis Farm and get his head down and get over the stresses of the sale, and then I'll take him home and we'll give him a month off.”

“He did handle the sale very, very well,” McEvoy said. “It's been so tough on these young horses and he just kept stepping out of his box and showing himself off. It's a very good quality.”

McEvoy revealed he didn't have an ownership group for the colt yet, but said, “We won't have much trouble there. Before dinner tonight it'll be done.”

The trainer said the final price was around where he valued the colt.

“I wanted to stay under a million,” he said. “I just thought if I could get him between A$600,00 and A$800,000 he'd be the buy of the sale, but he was always likely to be more than that.”

I Am Invincible (Aus) enjoyed a productive day, with a pair of yearlings also sold for A$600,000. I Am Invincible was Australia's leading first-season sire by winners in 2013/14, and is the sire of Group 1 winners Brazen Beau (Aus) and I Am A Star (Aus) and eight other group winners.

Teeley Family In Style…

Newgate Farm turned heads when making a big splash on daughters of Monsoon Wedding (Aus) (Danehill) from the Teeley dispersal at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale in 2014. In all, it spent A$6.2-million on five daughters of Monsoon Wedding as well as one of her half-sisters. Newgate has sold the progeny of two of those mares on the Gold Coast this week: Lot 348, a Snitzel colt out of the A$1.5-million Quench The Thirst (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}), made A$750,000 on Thursday, while on Friday a Snitzel filly out of the A$1.2-million Your Life Style (Aus) (Hussonet) (lot 583) fetched A$850,000 from trainer Rick Worthington.

The family is one that has gained merit internationally. Monsoon Wedding is a five-time stakes producing daughter of Shantha's Choice (Aus) (Canny Lad {Aus}), the dam of Redoute's Choice; Group 1 winners Platinum Scissors (Aus) (Danehill) and Manhattan Rain (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}); and Sliding Cube (Aus) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), the dam of the speedy young Coolmore sire Rubick (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}). The global popularity of the family was advertised last year when a War Front colt out of Drifting Cube (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}), a granddaughter of Shantha's Choice, was the highest-priced weanling at Keeneland November when bought by MV Magnier for $1.45-million.

“It doesn't matter what country in the world you go to, it's considered globally the world's best family,” said Newgate's Henry Field. “Whether in North America, Europe or Australia, it is the family.”

“We paid a lot of money for the mares,” Field added. “We believed in what we were doing. We won't be selling too many fillies out of the family. Obviously cash flow requires you to sell some, and this was a really good filly here today. She's gone to a really good home. Rick Worthington is an outstanding judge of a horse and he'll look after her very well. I couldn't be more pleased with where she's going. We're very happy with the result.”

The daughter of Your Life Style and son of Quench The Thirst were the first two Newgate has sold out of the Teeley mares, and it will offer two more later in the season: a Fastnet Rock (Aus) colt out of Cafe Scientific (Aus) (More Than Ready) at Karaka and a Frankel (GB) colt out of Precious Lorraine (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}) at Easter.

“Our model is to put the colts for the most part on the market,” Field explained. “We'll try to keep as many fillies as we can afford but you can't always afford to keep them.”

Worthington noted that he was acting on behalf of the same ownership group for which he bought subsequent G3 Widden S. winner Honesty Prevails (Aus) (Redoute's Choice {Aus}) for A$720,000 at this sale two years ago.

“As you know, you need an athlete but you've got to have the pedigree,” Worthington said. “We thought she fit the bill. Have a look at her, she's awesome. She's an athlete, she just looks like a runner but she's got a pedigree as well. Ideally it'd be nice for her to be here for this race [the Magic Millions 2YO Classic] next year, but failing that, the autumn carnival.”

Bell Pounces For Fastnet Filly…

Another Australian champion sire to feature among the top lots on Friday was Coolmore's Fastnet Rock (Aus), whose lot 703 fetched A$700,000 from prominent owner Alan Bell late in the session. The bay filly, consigned by Coolmore, is the fifth foal for Cat's Whisker (Aus) (Fusaichi Pegasus), a dual Group 2 winner who was second in the G1 Thousand Guineas. Cat's Whisker has been mated exclusively to Fastnet Rock and her three to race are all winners.

“She's a gorgeous filly and she's out of a mare I admired a lot as a race filly,” said Bell, a former trainer himself and a student of the great Bobby Frankel. The former Racing NSW Chairman has also campaigned the likes of Deep Field, Grand Armee and Schillaci. “I've tracked all [Cat's Whisker's] foals through the sales over the years, and she's got some good fillies out there so I hope she does us both well.”

“She looks like a reasonably smart one and she's a mare that's capable of throwing a good filly,” Bell added. “We really liked the look of this filly, she has a lot of quality about her and a lot of scope, which I like, so I just thought, 'why not?'”

Another Snitzel For Flower…

When a son of Snitzel comes up to the ring at Magic Millions, there is always a chance Damion Flower of Jadeskye Racing is going to be involved in the bidding. That proved to be the case early in the sale's third session on Friday, when Flower–who raced Snitzel during a career in which he won the G1 Oakleigh Plate–had the final say at A$650,000 for lot 510 from Strawberry Hill Stud.

The bay colt is the fourth produce of Tallow (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}), winner of the G3 Vanity S. and second in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas. Flower, seated alongside trainer Gerald Ryan, said the colt was right around where he'd valued him.

“The way the colts are selling, especially the good colts, we probably thought we were around the mark there,” he said.

Flower starts Chauffeur (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}), last year's A$1.6-million sale topper, in Saturday's Magic Millions 2YO Classic, and the owner said his latest acquisition reminded him of that colt.

“In our eyes he's a nice, small, compact horse; looking at him he's a smaller version of Chauffeur,” Flower said. “That's what we liked about him. Gerald loved the way he moved and his attitude. We had him out a lot of times out there and he was the one we wanted.”

Flower was bullish of his chance in taking home the top pot on Saturday's Magic Millions raceday.

“The colt is terrific,” he said of Chauffeur. “He's come in really, really well. The trackwork rider said he's settled in like he's been here 10 times, so everyone is really happy with him. [Jockey Joshua Parr] is happy with him, he rode him Tuesday morning and he's ready to go, and Gerald's the main one who is happy with him, so we're looking for the six furlongs. He'll be midfield, there looks like a lot of pace in the race and I'll tell you what, he'll be hitting the line harder than anyone else.”

Flower later added lot 581, a son of I Am Invincible (Aus) from Yarraman Park Stud, to his list of buys for A$600,000. The colt is the first foal out of six-time winner You Can Dance (Aus) (Redoute's Choice {Aus}).

The final session of Book 1 of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday upon the conclusion of the Magic Millions Raceday at the Gold Coast Turf Club.


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