Filed on 17 Jul 2006 @ 10:27
David Bay, the editor of Australian Bloodhorse Review and a renowned pedigree consultant, writes for the-racehorse about the rapid rise of Redoute's Choice.
It seems inconceivable that Danehill's replacement should come along so soon after his untimely demise, but his son Redoute's Choice holds out that promise for Australian breeders.
Third on the sires' list by earnings behind his sire Danehill last season (2004-05), Redoute's Choice will be a clear-cut winner in 2005-06 with 87 winners of $AUS10.84m (£4.44m) to early July, well clear of Coolmore's non-shuttler Encosta de Lago (AUS) (by Fairy King) with 123 winners of $9.18m and New Zealand-based Zabeel (Sir Tristram) with 103 winners of $8.2m.
Redoute's Choice (Danehill (USA)-Shantha's Choice by Canny Lad) only went to stud in 2000 after a ten-start career of five wins (four at Grade One level) and three places, worth $1.56m to connections.
He covered 134 mares during his first season and has subsequently had books of 170, 133, 114, 213. He covered 196 mares at a record $275,000 fee (including 10% GST) at Arrowfield Stud, Scone in 2005.
Bred by owner Muzaffar Ali Yaseen and trained by Rick Hore-Lacy in Melbourne, this 1996 foal is superbly related, being by Danehill (USA) (Danzig-Razyana by His Majesty), the nine-time champion sire in Australia who also won the UK and French titles and numerous juvenile sire titles before his death in May 2003. The sire of more than 70 Grade/Group One winners, his sons include Danehill Dancer (IRE), Desert King (IRE), and the Golden Slipper winners Danzero, Flying Spur and Catbird, not to mention the younger Rock Of Gibraltar, Exceed And Excel and Fastnet Rock.
Shantha's Choice showed promise in a limited racing career, but her value was always going to be via her bloodlines as she hails from one of the world's best damlines with close family members including Xaar, Spinning World, Good Journey, Denon, Aldebaran and El Gran Senor.
She is a daughter of the Group One Golden Slipper winner Canny Lad, who is by Bletchingly (Biscay) and from Jesmond Lass by the Group One Dewhurst Stakes winner Lunchtime (GB). This Biscay-Lunchtime cross also appears on the damline of Choisir, the son of Danehill Dancer who took Great Britain by storm when completing the Golden Jubilee/King's Stand Stakes double at Royal Ascot in 2003.
Influential on both sides
The sire of winners of more than $30m from his base at Woodlands Stud in the Hunter Valley, Canny Lad is also making a name as a broodmare sire, with twenty stakes winners including top class filly Mnemosyne, outstanding miler Desert War and Grade One winner Platinum Scissors (a brother to Redoute's Choice) also out of his daughters.
Dancing Show (USA) (Nijinsky-Show Lady by Sir Ivor), a winning grandaughter of 1982 US Broodmare of the Year, Best In Show (Traffic Judge-Stolen Hour by Mr Busher), the dam of Shantha's Choice, is also the dam of Grade/Group One winners and sires Hurricane Sky (by the short-lived Bletchingly Golden Slipper winner Star Watch) and Umatilla (NZ) (by Miswaki). A daughter, Show Dancing (Don't Say Halo (USA)), is the dam of Group One-winning sire Al Maher (Danehill).
Class and courage
Redoute's Choice began his racing career with a win in the Listed Veuve Cliquot Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on 20 February 1999 and backed up just one week later to tackle some of the nation's best juveniles in the Group One Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), also at Caulfield. It's very rare for a juvenile to tackle this level of company on only his second start and to overcome a wide draw (15) as well.
As on his debut, it was a romp and he had two lengths to spare at the line, with subsequent six-time Group One winner Testa Rossa in second and Dangerous back in third. third. Sensationally withdrawn on the eve of the nation's biggest event for juveniles, the $3m Golden Slipper, Redoute's Choice was not seen again that season. He made his comeback 14 August in the Group One Manikato Stakes-(1200m) at Moonee Valley.
He proved his class and courage in this his third start by thrashing a field of talented older sprinters, beating Marstic and Flavour by one and a half and three and three-quarter lengths respectively. He was fourth against his own age in the Group Two Ascot Vale Stakes, behind shock winner Spargo, and third to Testa Rossa and Nina Haraka in the Group One Invitational Stakes (1400m) during September, but was back in the winners' enclosure on 9 October when taking the Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m in 1:33.87) from Testa Rossa and Commands.
He was then fifth to Sunline in Australia's weight-for-age championship, the Group One WS Cox Plate (2040m), on his next start and was then spelled.
He returned to the racecourse on 25 January 2000 with a second to the talented Miss Pennymoney in the Australia Stakes and then reversed those placings in the Group CF Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 19 at Caulfield. Redoute's Choice had his final start on 4 March when third, two and a quarter lengths behind Testa Ross and Miss Pennymoney in the Group One Futurity Stakes at Caulfield.
John Messara, who had joined forces with Coolmore to purchase Danehill, the winner of Haydock's Group One Sprint Cup, in late 1989 and stand him at his then Arrowfield property from 1990, stepped in to secure Redoute's Choice 10 years later.
Messara, who had sold the Jerry Plains property to Coolmore and then leased it back, had been forced to regroup after a disagreement with Coolmore over "resting" Danehill from his shuttle duties for a season. A subsequent bidding duel to settle sole ownership of Danehill saw the Irish-based Coolmore operation secure the horse for $12m.
Messara overcame these setbacks and purchased a new property at Scone. This new Arrowfield became the home of two of Danehill's best sons, the Golden Slipper winners Flying Spur (ex Rolls (USA) by Mr. Prospector) and Danzero (ex Confidentially by Kaoru Star), both highly successful sires in Australia.
Messara's faith in Danehill remained unshaken in 2000 and his determination saw him secure a major share in Redoute's Choice for the stud and some of his clients also retained a large interest in a deal reported to be worth $AUS10m.
Danehill covered 1480 mares from 1990-2002 for almost 1200 live foals in Australia with 41 of the mares covered to southern time in Ireland in 2002 (and subsequently imported) when the 16-year-old was deemed too valuable to shuttle any longer.
While there have been many overtures to shuttle Redoute's Choice, the insurance costs and the risks to the horse will make this unlikely to happen. But even without representation in the northern hemisphere, this young sire is well on the way to breaking many of the records set by his sire.
To early July 2006, his 214 runners included 135 winners (63.1%), 23SW (10.7%) and 23 stakes-placed (10.7%) of more than $21.5m, including eight Group/Grade One winners. His runners have won 20 stakes events in 2005-06, six of them at the very highest level.
The roll call is headed by two-time Group One winner Lotteria (dam by Sir Tristram), winner of the Flight Stakes and Empire Rose Stakes, while another filly, Fashion's Afield (dam by Wild Again) is also a dual Group One winner of the Flight Stakes and the AJC Sires' Produce Stakes. The 2006 Golden Slipper was also won by a Redoute's Choice filly in the shape of Miss Finland (dam by Woodman), the second year in succession that a Redoute's Choice juvenile has won the race.
The rush is on
The 2006 stud season will see a raft of his Group/Grade One winning sons begin covering, including Oakleigh Plate hero Snitzel (dam by Snippets, a son of Lunchtime) at Arrowfield (also the home of Listed winner Not A Single Doubt, who retired in 2005); Golden Slipper winner Stratum (dam by Golden Slipper winner Luskin Star) at Widden Stud; Blue Diamond Stakes winner Undoubtedly (dam by Don't Say Halo) at Paringa Park; and Caulfield Guineas winner God's Own (dam by Sky Chase) at Yallambee Stud.
Other sons at stud include the Group Three winner Al Samer (Key To The Mint) at Emirates Park Victoria and Magic Millions-RL winner Bradbury's Luck (At Talaq) at Glenlogan Park. Breeders are rushing to secure sons of Redoute's Choice and there will be about 15 standing in Australia and New Zealand in 2006.
Rated the Champion 3-y-o Miler in Australasia in 1999-2000, it's hard to believe that this remarkable young stallion will only be ten-years-old as he enters the new season on 1 August.
He is covering the best mares in Australia and it seems that this decade is there for him to dominate, just as the previous decade was by his sire. For John Messara and Arrowfield, a huge gamble is looking like a very sound investment indeed.
© 2005 Bloodhound ®. All Rights Reserved.
Filed on 17 Jul 2006 @ 10:27