Monday 10 March 2014
They've had plenty of news to work with this season. After neatly taking turns in the spotlight over the last five weeks, Snitzel has cracked the $7 million mark at the head of the Australian General Sires' list, and REDOUTE'S CHOICE is only $4000 off second spot with $5.9 million.
Here's how this fascinating two-generation rivalry has played out over the past five weekends:
8 February - REDOUTE'S CHOICE gets a Group race double at Caulfield with Lankan Rupee & A Time For Julia; Snitzel answers with his 19th stakeswinner, Amorino who wins the WATC Cyril Flower S. LR in Perth.
15 February - Snitzerland's magnificent VRC Lightning Stakes triumph gives Snitzel his 3rd Group 1 winner. He also celebrates his first Group winner (and only runner to date) as a broodmare sire, when 2YO filly Mossfun wins the ATC Widden S. G3 - beating Snitzel's daughter Ygritte.
22 February - Snitzel's classy daughter Sweet Idea wins the ATC Light Fingers S. G2, but REDOUTE'S CHOICE tops that with his 24th Group 1 winner, Lankan Rupee in the VRC Oakleigh Plate, and throws in a couple of Group 3 winners for good measure, Bonaria in Melbourne and his 110th stakeswinner, Lilliburlero in Sydney.
1 March - Snitzel says, "Beat this, Dad" when Shamus Award becomes the first horse in history to complete the Cox Plate-Australian Guineas double. Snitzel adds his 20th stakeswinner, My Sister Lil, who takes out the WATC Ascot 1000 Guineas LR in Perth.
8 March - REDOUTE'S CHOICE comes back with his third Melbourne Group double in a month, Lankan Rupee (VRC Newmarket H. G1) & Bonaria (VRC Matron S. G3). He also notches up Stakeswinner No. 111, and his 28th 2YO stakeswinner when Majmu wins the Turffontein Ruffian S. LR in South Africa. But he doesn't stop there - Messene (Canberra National Sprint S. LR) and Banaadeer (Turffontein Storm Bird S. LR) take his tally of stakeswinners as a damsire to 28. Snitzel waits until late on Sunday to make his response, but it's emphatic, when Amorino races away with the $100,000 Bunbury S. LR.
By worldwide stakes performers since 1 January, Snitzel (12) and REDOUTE'S CHOICE (13) are neck-and-neck. They have six stakeswinners apiece and even on Group winners can barely be separated. REDOUTE'S CHOICE has Lankan Rupee's two Group 1 victories, plus a trio of Group 3 winners; but Snitzel has two individual Group 1 winners, Shamus Award & Snitzerland, plus Group 2 winner Sweet Idea.
The last time a champion sire and his son dominated Australia's major sires' table was when REDOUTE'S CHOICE, with only two crops of racing age, finished third in 2004/05, Danehill's final premiership season in Australia.
A premiership lead of $1 million or so means little with 23 Group 1 races between now and the end of April. That includes the eight Grand Final contests offering more than $15 million prizemoney on the two days of The Championships, 12 & 19 April at Randwick.
This is a family saga set to keep everyone in suspense for some time yet. Now, whose turn is it next weekend...?
Text courtesy of Arrowfield Stud.
Updated on 10/03/2014.