There aren’t many horses at Arrowfield more deeply connected to the farm than Flying Spur.

He carries the Arrowfield brand because he was born here on 4 November 1992, carried the Arrowfield silks as a racehorse and, apart from brief stints in Victoria and Ireland, spent his stud career here until his retirement in 2012.

Flying Spur

Flying Spur’s very last foal is a chestnut filly from Inchita, born in August this year. His final full crop of yearlings will be sold in 2014.

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Danzig

The four day Flemington carnival is always compelling for any racing fan.  So many great races which in many ways represent the “grand finals” of the Spring.

Victoria Derby day is considered by some to be the finest race day in Australia. Today there are several race days that might challenge it on various levels but years ago it certainly stood alone when the Maribyrnong Plate was the first race on the card and the Craven “A” Stakes (later known as the Gadsden and the Salinger, now named the Yellowglen) was the Group 1 sprint of the carnival.

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Black_Caviar

I never thought I would ever see a sprinter to rival the great Vain. He was a magnificent colt who won the equivalent of the Blue Diamond and the Golden Slipper as a two year old. As a three year old in one week at Flemington in the Spring he won three times at effectively Group 1 level. It started with the 1200m on the Saturday (the Craven “A” Stakes, now the Salinger), 1400m on the Thursday at WFA which was then the Linlithgow Stakes and 1600m on the following Saturday in what is now the Emirates Stakes setting a weight carrying record. His win in the Craven “A” Stakes on the first Saturday was by a staggering 10 lengths beating the older sprinters.  My recollection is that had it been another 100m he would have won by much more such was his dominance at the end of the race.  Imagine Pierro or All Too Hard freshening up after the Caulfield Guineas being able to do that!

Horse_Vain-big

Forty years later and Black Caviar comes along to confuse the issue with a perfect record and seeming invincibility. Is she better? Could she be better – Is it possible?   Her times indicate she probably is, but of course we will never know; however, solace can be found in the fact that at least the great mare is inbred to our hero Vain.  She has clearly inherited some of her speed from the great colt but also her stunning good looks, for Vain was a truly grand individual.

The interesting thing for me is the pattern of the inbreeding to Vain, 3sds x 4ddds, as we designate it.  This is a powerful inbreeding pattern represented by several Champions and many many other high class performers. Her owner need only to look at Big Brown or our own Alverta for confirmation.

I have our theory as to why this pattern is so effective; suffice to say I firmly believe it is. So if one accepts that premise then in my view the ideal mating for Black Caviar would be our stallion Snitzel.

Snitzel-04182012-DSC_6891

Importantly he is a very complementary physical match for her but he also offers a really interesting genetic mix. The resultant offspring would be inbred to Snippets in an identical pattern to that which she herself is inbred to Vain. Snippets of course was a very fast and dominant racehorse who is now great influence in a pedigree.  Like Vain before him, inbreeding to this electric speed may produce a truly special result. It would be hard to imagine Black Caviar’s offspring by any stallion being anything but very fast and very good but a Snitzel might be something again.

Jon Freyer

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Yearling Manager Dennis Griffin looks back at the highlights of Arrowfield’s highly successful Magic Millions Sale:

It was great to sell three yearlings for $400,000 or more, so they were big highlights for us. The Redoute’s Choice-Daralara colt who made $575,000 has such a great attitude, he’s a beautiful, athletic horse and he never put a foot wrong at the sale.  He worked out how to cool down in the heat too: when his water bucket was being filled, he’d grab the hose, clamp down on it and spray himself. Very clever!

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Rockford: Flying Spur x Ready Magic colt

It’s tough selecting yearlings. It’s even tougher to select a yearling at Magic Millions, as it’s the first sale of the season, and young horses can change so much in a few short months. The ideal yearling that every owner wants to buy into at Magic Millions is the 2yo jump and run sort that will give you every chance of banking some money before the following Christmas. A quick return on investment some might say!

Arrowfield is renowned as a stud that breeds very fast and precocious types. That reputation is confirmed by our graduate record from the 2012 Magic Millions Sale. It has barely been twelve months since that sale and this season’s 2yo racing began in Sydney at the start of October – about 3 ½ months ago. Since then, no fewer than eight Arrowfield graduates have hit the racetrack. Five of these have banked significant cheques pre-Christmas and four are stakes performers:

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Manhattan Rain: first yearlings selling at Magic Millions

 

Arrowfield Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer offers his thoughts on first season sire, the talented 2yo G1 winner Manhattan Rain. To see more on Manhattan Rain’s first yearlings, visit www.thewaitisover.com.au:

It’s always exciting when the first progeny of a new stallion hit the sale-ring, and this year we have two new stallions, All American and Manhattan Rain. As a Group 1-performed two-year-old by proven sire of sires Red Ransom, All American will have plenty of admirers. He has stamped his progeny really well, they are big, strong, mature types that look like they will run early.

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All American x Aint Seen Nothin_25 (73) - Copy

It has been a very busy time for the Magic Millions yearlings and staff. The horses are improving a lot each day – both their physique and behaviour.

In the last ten days we’ve been busy x-raying, photographing and filming the yearlings. Yearlings need to be radiographed within six weeks of the sale with shots taken of 34 different joints. Some buyers place a high amount of importance on x-ray results, while other well-known buyers have had fantastic results without checking them at all – each to their own!

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The Bellerive yearling preparation is in full swing and Assistant Farm Manager Jo Monehan offers her thoughts on the All American and Manhattan Rain yearlings:

In the lead up to Christmas and our departure for the Gold Coast early in the New Year, the parades for individual clients are starting to come thick and fast. We are very proud of how the horses are carrying themselves, and their presentation and professionalism during inspection is a credit to the whole Bellerive team.

A number of yearlings in Bellerive’s 2013 Magic Millions draft are certainly catching people’s eyes, but it’s not difficult to say that the All Americans and the Manhattan Rains are going to be on many buyers’ re-inspection lists at the Sales Complex.

Parade preparation

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Jo Monehan is the Assistant Farm Manager of Bellerive Stud, who are preparing 20 yearlings for the 2013 Magic Millions Yearling Sales. Bellerive Stud is located adjacent to Arrowfield Stud and serves as a boutique mare farm providing walk-on facilities and a fully integrated service, including yearling preparation, for Arrowfield clients. Jo will take us through the yearling preparation process, highlighting special yearlings that have caught her eye:

It is one of my pleasures in life to see the results that come from Bellerive, from conception to the fall of the hammer. This crop in particular is very exciting. Having watched the growth and development of these horses from birth, the changes they all go through over this period can be astounding at times.

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Sam Fairgray arrived at Arrowfield in 2000, the same year as Redoute’s Choice, and he’s now the Stud’s Operations Manager. He has worked with more than 1200 Arrowfield yearlings in the past 12 years and selects three whose temperaments, sales and racing careers were all notable:


2003 Redoute’s Choice-Forest Pearl filly, sold in 2005 for $450,000

Miss Finland as a yearling

Miss Finland is the ultimate story of the great filly bred, born, raised, sold and raced, then returned to the farm as a broodmare. A good temperament is a very important attribute for racehorses, because it allows them to cope with all the pressures of racing.  Miss Finland’s personality has never changed, as a yearling she never had a problem and did all that was required of her.

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