It’s A Dundeel Retired to Arrowfield Stud

The retirement of It’s A Dundeel to Arrowfield Stud was announced today by Arrowfield Chairman John Messara.

He will be known at stud by his original New Zealand-registered name of Dundeel and his 2014 service fee will be announced shortly.

The son of High Chaparral and Stareel (by Zabeel), signed off on his brilliant racing career by carrying Arrowfield’s silks to a dominant championship victory in Saturday’s $4 million ATC Queen Elizabeth S. 2000m G1.

That was his sixth Group 1 win following his history-making sequence as a 3YO in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), Randwick Guineas (1600m), Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and the Australian Derby (2400m), and his conquest of the previously unbeaten Atlantic Jewel in the MRC Underwood S. 1800m G1 last Spring.

Dundeel’s 19-start record features 10 wins from two to four, a total of ten Group 1 performances and earnings of $5.3 million.

John Messara says, “Dundeel was a racehorse of the highest class, effective at Group 1 level from 1600 to 2400 metres, with immense natural athleticism, a high cruising speed and a devastating turn of foot.

“These attributes, combined with his undaunted toughness and courage, make him this year’s most exciting stallion prospect. We are delighted to offer him to Australian and New Zealand breeders.”

Gai’s Cup runneth Offer

Less than six months after winning her first Emirates Melbourne Cup, champion trainer Gai Waterhouse believes she has the horse to provide her with another.

That horse is Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) winner The Offer, who today recorded his third-straight Group win in the $1million feature.

Following the victory, an excited Waterhouse said she was already turning her attention to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with the five-year-old import.

“What a stayer! Look at the rest of them, he just donkey-licked them!” Waterhouse said.

“I love the way in a muddling run race, where he just couldn’t quite get into his rhythm, he still was able to pick up.

“Melbourne Cup 2014 here we come!”

Settling in a midfield position, jockey Tommy Berry didn’t panic when The Offer ($3.30F) was shuffled back towards the rear of the field approaching the home turn.

Patiently waiting for the gap to appear, once Berry angled the son of Montjeu to the outside in the home straight he quickly raced to the leader Opinion ($26) at the 200m mark, before sprinting away to win by just under four lengths from Opinion, with Sertorius ($8.50) a further length-and-a-half away in third.

Winning owner Robert McLure, who was also involved with last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, said there was no reason why The Offer couldn’t line up in the race that stops a nation.

“It’s been a sad time losing Fiorente from racing but it looks like we’ve got another one,” McLure said.

“He could easily go to the Melbourne Cup.”

The Offer’s win provided Waterhouse and Berry with a treble on Day 2 of The Championships following the wins of outsider Diamond Drille in the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) and Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m).

The day’s main event, the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), was taken out by Kiwi entire It’s A Dundeel ($4.40), completing a Group 1 double for jockey James McDonald.

The four-year-old proved too strong in the home straight for the Gai Waterhouse-trained Carlton House ($8) before holding off the late challenge of last week’s Doncaster Mile (1600m) winner Sacred Falls ($11).

2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon ($15) could only manage seventh place, 12 lengths away from the winner, with jockey Hugh Bowman saying the horse was simply ran off his legs.

Story by Ben Asgari


Diamond Crowned The Queen At The Championships

Inglis graduate Diamond Drille came with a well-timed run to nab the $1 million Group 1 ATC Queen of the Turf Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The win ensured Inglis’ position as the leading sales source of Group 1 winners during The Championships in Sydney.

Owner Greg Kolivos was ecstatic with the victory, congratulating his trainer Gai Waterhouse who selected Diamond Drille out of the Easter Yearling Sale and has brought the mare along slowly to win today’s prize.

“Gai has brought her [Diamond Drille] along so perfectly. We are over the moon. This mare had a year off, this was always the plan to get her to this race,” said Greg Kolivos, who races Diamond Drille with his wife Donna.

Diamond Drille (Al Maher x Damzelle Pedrille) was purchased as a yearling by Gai Waterhouse for $200,000 from the draft of Emirates Park Stud at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

“The most underrated mare in Australia,” Waterhouse declared after today’s win.

“She’s by Al Maher bred at Emirates Park, one of the great breeding grounds of Australia and Tommy just rated her a treat as she was really able to attack the line,” said Waterhouse.

The Queen of the Turf winner hails from breeder Ray Gall’s amazing Pedrille family of I Am Invincible, Mamzelle Pedrille and O’Lonhro. Diamond Drille is the third stakes winner of her dam joining Madame Pedrille and M’Lady Pedrille.

The victory was an emotional one for jockey Tommy Berry who blew a kiss to the heavens after the winning post before dedicating the victory to his late twin brother Nathan.

“Nathan never got to ride a Group 1 winner – that was his there,” Berry said.

“I can’t explain how it feels. I have to thank Gai and Greg and Donna [Kolivos], they have been supporters of the stable for a long time,” added Berry.

Diamond Drille’s short neck victory over Gypsy Diamond and Red Tracer was the mare’s fifth win from just 10 starts for $907,430 in earnings plus trophies. Her breeding value has also skyrocketed as she joins the likes of previous Queen of the Turf winners Appearance, More Joyous, Typhoon Tracy and fellow Inglis Easter graduates Forensics and Mnemosyne.

Other Inglis graduates successful on Day Two of The Championships in Sydney were Veuvelicious and Cosmic Endeavour.

Veuvelicious (Northern Meteor x Debutante) will be out to make it an Inglis clean sweep of the Sydney Two-Year-Old Triple Crown when she steps up to the Group 1 ATC Champagne Stakes (1600m) over the same course and distance next Saturday following her win in the Listed ATC Fernhill Handicap today.

“I can’t see why not, she is the right horse to back up. I have a funny feeling she will be better next week,” said trainer Brent Stanley, who purchased the filly for $20,000 from Widden Stud’s draft at the 2013 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

The previous two legs of the triple crown have been won by Inglis fillies Mossfun (Golden Slipper) and Peggy Jean (Sires’ Produce).

Cosmic Endeavour (Northern Meteor x Crevette), a $230,000 purchase by owners DC & JR Kelly from Willow Park Stud’s draft at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, later closed out The Championships with a strong all the way win in the Group 2 ATC Sapphire Stakes for the dominant trainer/jockey partnership of Gai Waterhouse and Tommy Berry.

The win was the fifth victory for an Inglis Yearling Sale graduate during the two days of The Championships, making Inglis the leading sales source of stakes winners on both of Sydney’s biggest racedays of the year.

Chris Waller left amazed by dream result

For Chris Waller, watching the Doncaster Mile was like a dream.

A perfect dream as Sacred Falls went back to back in Australia’s most famous mile but also led home a first four for the stable. Royal Descent, Weary and Hawkspur followed him in, leaving Waller amazed.

‘‘Quite unbelievable, first four,’’ Waller said. ‘‘I guess it will sink in tomorrow. You honestly don’t think about that happening. It is just about getting the horses there at their best and hoping they can run to it, but that was enjoyable.’’

Back to back: Sacred Falls wins for Zac Purton. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Waller will look back on the last 200metres with pleasure in years to come. ‘‘As I remember it, Weary was in front and I could see Royal Descent had his measure and Sacred Falls was coming along the inside. He was just too strong at the line.’’

Sacred Falls almost came from the same place from where he made his winning charge to beat Pierro a year ago and had a half-length to spare on the line from Royal Descent with Weary 2 lengths back in third.

It could be the same this week in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes as Sacred Falls, Royal Descent, Hawkspur and My Kingdom Of Fife, which finished midfield, will back up and join Boban and Junoob.

While Waller was counting his sizeable percentage, Team Hawkes found out something about favourite Messene. ‘‘He’s hopeless in the wet. Never went a yard in it,’’ co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said. ‘‘We still have a very good horse.’’

Team Hawkes had the first non-Waller horse home in Ninth Legion. ‘‘He wasn’t happy in the ground, either but he did a great job.’’

The Doncaster has been a special race for Waller. Before he was the premier trainer in Sydney, it was the race that ‘‘changed his career’’ with Triple Honour in 2008.

Waller said Sacred Falls was an underrated miler. ‘‘A very good colt has won the race. He won it last year and beat Pierro,’’ Waller said. ‘‘I guess there could have been a bit of doubt about his class with the lighter weight but to come back close to the topweight this year, it really shows how good he is.

‘‘He’s an outstanding colt. Talk about $20m horses, this horse has been forgotten, he’s the next one don’t worry about that.’’

Waller had made some tough decisions before the races, scratching three-time group1 winner Boban from the Doncaster and star colt Zoustar from the T.J. Smith. ‘‘In my gut I knew that they were the right decisions to make but it doesn’t make it easier,’’ Waller said. ‘‘Everyone has been looking forward to this day and we get a wet track, which those two horses just don’t handle.’’

Sacred Falls failed to measure up during the spring being a couple of lengths off Boban in the Epsom and Emirates Stakes but Waller went back to basics, sending him back to New Zealand for a spell.

‘‘I just didn’t panic. That was the main thing, not just with this horse but any horse,’’ he said. ‘‘He’s a very good horse and just went a bit pear-shaped in the spring. We gave him a longer spell just to make sure he could be right for this race.’’

Zac Purton was a big part of the success with the the owners booking Hong Kong’s leading jockey because they wanted a rider who would commit for all three runs this preparation. ‘‘Zac was the owners’ call. He is owned by Asian connections who speak very highly of him,’’ Waller said.

Story by Chris Roots


Rupee reigns supreme at Randwick

He couldn’t win his trainer the Mazda that was up for grabs in the 55 Second Challenge, but a bigger prize could await for Lankan Rupee after the rejuvenated sprinter continued his fairytale season in today’s T.J. Smith Stakes at Randwick.

The Victorian four-year-old made it six wins in a row when he completed a Group 1 hat-trick in the $2.5 million event that was one of four Group 1s on the opening day of The Championships.

The son of Redoute’s Choice upped the ante in his quest for Horse of the Year honours with a victory that came just days after he was officially declared the world’s best sprinter.

“I tried to win the car at Moonee Valley one night and he got beaten, so I wouldn’t have thought then that this horse would turn into the world’s best sprinter,” Price said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a world-class-rated horse, so he’s obviously the best horse I’ve trained.”

The T.J. Smith victory capped a remarkable transformation for Lankan Rupee since being gelded late last season.

Since his third placing in a heat of the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge on Night 1 of the Sportingbet Cox Plate Carnival, which followed a victory in the same series at his first run as a gelding, Lankan Rupee has not been beaten.

After wins at Flemington and Caulfield to round out his spring campaign, he resumed with Group 2 Rubiton Stakes success before landing the Oakleigh Plate-Newmarket Handicap double.

He produced yet another dominant display to win the world’s richest sprint race. After jumping well jockey Craig Newitt led, which was not the preferred scenario, but it didn’t prevent him from exploding away from his rivals shortly after topping the famous Randwick rise.

The $3.80 favourite scored by two lengths from Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes winner Rebel Dane with another Horse of the Year contender, Manikato Stakes and VRC Sprint Classic champion Buffering, close up third.

“When he landed a length, two lengths in front out of the gate I just let him cruise to where he wanted to be and that was in front,” Newitt said.

“He was happy and he was comfortable. He wasn’t all that happy in the ground, but he was too good.”

It was a satisfying victory for Newitt, who gave up the ride on Lankan Rupee in the Newmarket Handicap to ride stablemate Samaready but was reinstated for the Sydney race.

Coincidentally, in one of the other features – the Doncaster Mile – Newitt gave up the ride on Weary to Tommy Berry after connections wished to give Berry the opportunity to ride Weary in honour of his late brother Nathan, with whom they had experienced previous success.

“If ever there was going to be a race for Karma it was going to be today after I let Tommy take the ride on Weary,” Newitt said.

“There’s not a lot of loyalty left in the racing industry, but for these owners to put me back on, it’s unbelievable and I can’t thank them enough.”

If Lankan Rupee is to win the Horse of the Year, it will be on the deeds the judges have before them now, with Price confirming the winner of $2,781,260 was paddock-bound.

“He has the spring in front of him and we might have him for five or six years if he’s handled properly,” Price said. “I certainly don’t intend to go any further with him this prep.”

Lankan Rupee’s win was one of four victories across three states for Price – who also had a double at his home track of Caulfield and won a Stakes race in Adelaide with Tango’s Daughter – and was the standout Victorian performance at Randwick.

Shamexpress and Bel Sprinter were the other Victorians in the race, but never looked winning chances, finishing seventh and 14th respectively.

Lankan Rupee’s stablemate Cornrow was the other Victorian to fill a top-three placing in a Group 1, turning in an improved effort off his Golden Slipper flop to claim third behind Peggy Jean and Scratch Me Lucky in the $1 million Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

Speediness (11th) was the first Victorian home in a Doncaster Mile that saw Chris Waller train the first four horses over the line. Last year’s winner Sacred Falls defeated Royal Descent and Weary with Hawkspur third.

The other Group 1 on the card was the Australian Derby, which went the way of Australian Guineas placegetter Criterion. The three Victorians in the race occupied positions nine through 11, David Hayes’ Surging Wave flanked by Moody pair Cadillac Mountain (ninth) and Crime Fighter (11th).

Lankan Rupee wasn’t the only Victorian success on the day, however, with Robert Smerdon’s Politeness, scoring a brilliant win in the $200,000 Group 3 P.J. Bell Stakes (1200m).

Story by Brad Bishop