Meanwhile from the same 2016 Magic Millions Arrowfield Stud draft that has already produced stakes-winners Snitzkraft (see above), Invader, Dracarys, Showtime and Pretty Fast, an Animal Kingdom debutante I Am Queen (Animal Kingdom-Cat by The Tale, by Tale of the Cat) has made a mess of her rivals over 1000m at Taupo in New Zealand. Singled out by champion Animal Kingdom's trainer Graham Motion and jockey John Velazquez at the Gold Coast Sale as a promising type, the $310,000 yearling has been patiently held back by connections but there was no hiding what she'd shown at home, consequently starting a strong favourite before surging away to a facile 4.3-lengths victory. Trainer Stephen Marsh suggested post-race that I Am Queen, who made most of the running, is not a 1000m metre type which augurs well for what she might show in the autumn over a longer trip. With 13 individual winners from his first Australian crop, champion Animal Kingdom will be represented by 11 yearlings at next week's Gold Coast Sale, among them 9 in the Arrowfield Stud draft. Also in the consignment is a Redoute's Choice half-brother to I am Queen, whose elder siblings include Group-placed city winners Raphael's Cat and Tale of Choice.
Meanwhile, with strong sales ring representation at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale (see above), Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt are assembling a strong team for the $10 million Magic Millions Raceday on 13 January. Among their likely protagonists are 2YO Classic prospects Bondi, Orcein & Nomothaj (by Snitzel) and Legislation, Singular Sensation & Granny Red Shoes (by Not A Single Doubt). Meanwhile, the duo also holds 3YO Guineas entries for Debonairly, Goodfella, Chauffeur & Dinnigan (by Snitzel) and Pretty Fast, From Within & Single Bullet (by Not A Single Doubt).
Not A Single Doubt's daughter Pretty Fast rewarded the patience & management of her owner Sheikh Khalifa and trainers Peter & Paul Snowden with victory in Saturday's $100,000 Listed BRC Mode Plate (1200m) at Doomben. Her win was Not A Single Doubt's seventh stakes winner for the season and improved his career tally to 49. Pretty Fast will now head to the paddock for a brief break before the $2 million Magic Millions 3YO Guineas at the Gold Coast on 13 January. Purchased for $650,000 by Tim Stakemire for Sheikh Khalifa, Pretty Fast is a three-quarter sister to Group winner Villa Verde, and the first foal bred by Arrowfield and GSA Bloodstock from Group-placed winner Miss Sharapova (Ustinov). Miss Sharapova has since delivered two colts by Not A Single Doubt, 2YO Newstead (in training with Bjorn Baker) and a foal born this spring. She also has a yearling colt by Snitzel to be offered in Arrowfield's 2018 Inglis Easter consignment. The mare has maintained her perfect record in the breeding barn and is in foal to Champion European 2YO colt Shalaa (Invincible Spirit). Not A Single Doubt, currently fifth on the Australian General Sires' Premiership, has 35 yearlings on offer at the 2018 Magic Millions Sale, including two colts and a filly in the Arrowfield consignment. Click here to view Arrowfield's upcoming sales drafts.
At Doomben in Brisbane, Arrowfield Stud's multiple stakes-winning stallion Not A Single Doubt (Redoute's Choice-Single's Bar, by Rory's Jester) added a black-type success when 3YO Australian-bred filly Pretty Fast (Not A Single Doubt-Miss Sharapova, by Ustinov) lived up to her name with a brilliant display of sustained speed to lead throughout in the first leg of the Summer Crown series for 3YOs, the $100,000 Listed Bobby Clarke Mode Plate (1200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Winter Bride & Dream Kisses. Purchased by Tim Stakemire on behalf of owner Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum for $650,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Arrowfield Stud, Pretty Fast improved her record to 4 wins and 1 placing from 7 starts for $191,335 in earnings. Pretty Fast is out of the talented mare Miss Sharapova (3rd in the Gr3 Lowland Stakes & 4th in the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks) and is a direct descendent of the good producer Rory's Rocket, dam of Gr1 Golden Slipper winner and successful sire Rory's Jester. "She's a valuable broodmare now she's won Black-Type and she's a Magic Millions filly," co-trainer Paul Snowden said. "We think 1200 metres is probably her best distance and there's a similar race for her in two weeks." He added: "The Magic Millions Guineas is over 1400 metres so we'll just wait and see." Pretty Fast is the 49th stakes winner for her prolific sire Not A Single Doubt.
American Cleopatra, a full sister to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, made the perfect start to her career when winning on debut at Del Mar on Sunday, reports Blood Horse. The 2YO daughter of Pioneerof the Nile and Littleprincessemma (Yankee Gentleman) stalked the early leader War Factor before asserting her class and drawing clear in the stretch to score by 2-lengths in a maiden special weight event over 5.5 furlongs. A homebred for Zayat Stables', American Cleopatra is prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, the same man who guided American Pharoah's illustrious career. "Those are good genes, there," Baffert said. "She's got a beautiful way of moving and she's got a pretty good mind." He added: "She's a sweetheart at the barn. She's very sweet and he [American Pharoah] was sweet. It was a good step forward. She ran pretty fast." American Pharoah, who commenced stud duties at Coolmore's Ashford Stud this year, sealed his greatness when ending a 37-year drought by becoming the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the coveted Triple Crown. He retired after scoring a memorable win in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Classic last November, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in history to win a Breeders' Cup race. The champion colt cemented his place in the pantheon of North Americas greatest racehorses when named US Horse of the Year last year as well as claiming the crown of World's Best Racehorse.
Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs (Halling-Swain's Gold, by Swain) is one of the star names among 15 horses confirmed for the Gr1 Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, reports Sky Sports. Runner-up to his Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winning stable-mate Golden Horn in both the Gr2 Dante Stakes and Epsom Derby earlier this year, the Godolphin-owned Jack Hobbs secured his own Classic glory when routing his rivals at the Curragh in late June. Jack Hobbs was then an impressive winner of the Gr3 September Stakes at Kempton on 5 September before side stepping the Arc. He drops to a mile and a quarter on Saturday in what is the showpiece event on British Champions Day. "I think the key thing is the draw," trainer John Gosden said. "If you've ever stood at the mile and a quarter start at Ascot, if you get drawn wide, you hit that bend in Swinley Bottom pretty fast, so we'll all be hoping to be drawn one to about eight." He added: "There won't be room for all of us there, so let's hope nobody feels hard done by with the draw. He should handle the ground." Among Jack Hobbs' rivals will be Dermot Weld's Fascinating Rock, a son of Australian sire Fastnet Rock, Ballydoyle filly Found, 2011 Champion Stakes winner Cirrus Des Aigles, The Corsican, Elm Park, Ribbons, and promising Godolphin colt Racing History, a winner of 3 of his 4 starts to date.
Favourite American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile-Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentlemen) has drawn barrier 18 for Saturday's US$2 million Gr1 Kentucky Derby (10 furlongs) at Churchill Downs, reports bloodhorse.com. American Pharoah, last year's champion 2YO male, is prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who is bidding for his fourth Derby success and his first since War Emblem saluted in 2002. American Pharoah comes into Saturday's Run for the Roses in outstanding form, having won the Gr1 Arkansas Derby by 8-lengths after taking Oaklawn Park's Gr2 Rebel Stakes by 6.25-lengths. He will be ridden by Victor Espinoza, who incidentally won last year's Derby aboard California Chrome, and will start a 5-2 favourite in the 20 horse field. The only Derby winner to come from barrier 18 since 1930 was Gato Del Sol in 1982, but Baffert says he is not concerned by the wide starting position. "Outside doesn't really bother me," Baffert said. "As long as he breaks well, he'll be in a good spot." He added, "He's out there a ways but it's not a bad spot. He's quick, he can maneuver from wherever he is and Dortmund, he is pretty fast himself. I'm sure if he breaks well he's going to be in a good spot. They're fast horses. I'm just glad the draw's over with." Baffert also has second favourite Dortmund (Big Brown-Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat), who is unbeaten in three starts this campaign and coming off an impressive 4.25-length victory in the Gr1 Santa Anita Derby four weeks ago. Meanwhile, Mubtaahij, who is attempting to become the first Derby winner based in Dubai, drew barrier six. The winner of the UAE Derby is trained by South African master Mike de Kock and has won four of seven starts. The son of Dubawi is quoted at 20-1. Some statistics: Since 1930, barriers 5 and 10 have produced the most winners with nine apiece. Barriers 1 and 8 have had eight winners each, but the horse drawn the inside has not won since Ferdinand in 1986. Barrier 2 has seven winners. The only gate not have a winner is 17. The final field for Saturday's Kentucky Derby is:
Co-trainer Peter Morgan is looking forward to running top sprinting filly Eloping (Choisir-Runaway Jesse, by Rory's Jester) in Saturday's Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m), but admits the straight six at Flemington does hold some concerns, reports racing.com. "We're drawn in barrier 12 which is where we want to be but I don't think we can be too confident because it's a great field," Morgan said. "I think if it was around a turn we'd be saying 'we're going forward and catch us if you can' but down the straight it's a little bit trickier, she's been there once and over-raced so I'm really not sure how she's going to handle it. She'll be somewhere on the pace anyway." He added, "She has surprised us with the way she keeps running better times over her last 400 and she's lengthening her stride as she gets to the winning post." The daughter of Choisir brings some terrific form into the Coolmore having won two of her past three starts including the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on 15 October. "We've won a million dollars with her so she deserves her shot against the better horses, I just wish it (the Coolmore Stud Stakes) was around Caulfield and not at Flemington," Morgan said. "She worked at Seymour on Tuesday morning and we're very happy with her, I don't want to be over-confident but they'll have to run pretty fast to beat her." Highlighting the strength and depth of the Coolmore Stud Stakes field is the fact that Eloping is rated a $26 chance for the race. Caulfield Guineas runner-up Rich Enuff is favourite at $3.10 ahead of Sydney colts Kuro at $5.50 and Rubick at $6.50.
Two-time Gr1 Hong Kong winner California Memory (Highest Honor-Kalpita, by Spinning World) may be retired after injuring his right foreleg last Sunday, reports scmp.com. The talented 7YO's stellar racing career may be over after scans of his injured leg revealed a significant issue that will rule him out of the Longines Hong Kong International Races next month. The 4-time Gr1 winner returned to scale after his fast-finishing fourth in the Gr2 Jockey Club Cup at Sha Tin last Sunday with soreness in his right front fetlock, which left trainer Tony Cruz fearing the worst. "It's a very significant injury to his suspensory and his future is certainly in doubt," Cruz said. "He's a horse who has always had problems with his joints, right from the time he came into the yard, and the Jockey Club vets did a great job to keep him coming up but this could be the end." Cruz said that what California Memory now required was plenty of rest and that he would adopt a wait-and-see approach, but he was realistic about his prospects of returning to the track. "I couldn't rule out the possibility of racing again but for that to happen he would need to show some good improvement and pretty fast," Cruz said. "He'll be turning eight-years-old on January 1, so he isn't a young horse anyway. If he is going to take a long time to get back to the shape where we could look at racing him again, then it might be a better idea to retire him."
In the US, "now that some horses race on synthetic tracks or are sold at juvenile auctions after working over synthetic surfaces", The Blood-Horse magazine asked 16 leading buyers whether they have "changed how they make their selections" at thoroughbred sales? Andrew Cary from Thoroughbred Futures noted: "A synthetic surface allows horses that have less than ideal action to still work at a pretty fast clip. On dirt, those imperfections are magnified & they'll work slower as a result. The workout times are a little less separated on synthetics. You have to throw the times out the window & evaluate the horses more on how they move & how they look at the barn." (To read the full report "Sale Forum: The Effect Of Synthetic Tracks", click on the link in The Great Debate panel on the right-hand-side of this page.)