Redoute's Choice Hottest Sire in Australia

Not only will the second wave by Redoute's Choice smash the 2-year-old earnings record for an Australian season, they could double the current mark before the season ends July 31.

Redoute's Choice is the hottest sire in Australia right now, and that includes the shuttlers. The second crop of last season's leading freshman sire by earnings, led by eight individual group winners, have gone gangbusters.

Six of them, unprecedented for a sire in this race, lined up in the $3 million (Australian funds) Golden Slipper Stakes (Aust-I) at Rosehill March 19.

Such numerical superiority brings added pressure to gain a result, even though his 2-year-olds appeared capable of making him just the third sire in 28 years to take the title without the assistance of a Slipper success.

We need not have worried on his behalf as Stratum (9-1) led from wire-to-wire in 1:09.67 for the 1,200 meters on a damp oval. As the colt and Len Beasley pulled clear in mid-stretch, the only serious pursuer was another by the same sire. The Gai Waterhouse barn had to settle for second in the Tancred with Grand Armee and a similar fate befell the previously unbeaten Fashions Afield (9-1).

Gilded Time filly Media (14-1) finished her race off strongly to get within a nose of Fashions Afield at the line, the pair a length from glory. A 1-2-3 result for Redoute's Choice was missed when Arrowfield entry Opportunity drew the outside of 16 runners. She stayed with the lead pack most of the way, goging down fighting in sixth, just behind Red Ransom son Domesday.

Stratum was bred by western Sydney outfit Reavill Farm and sold for $320,000 as a yearling to her trainer Paul Perry at the 2004 Magic Millions. He bought her for the Wallace family, for whom he trained Australian and English group I winner Choisir. The Danehill Dancer son won $2.1 million before his sale to Coolmore for many more millions. For Terry, Diane, John, and Helen Wallace, and Paul and Chlorene Perry, Stratum has contributed more than $1.9 million, earning $121,300 from three starts before the Slipper.

Redoute's Choice is the third Danehill son rostered at Arrowfield, the former controlling owner of their sire. The others, Danzero and Flying Spur, from his first two crops, are among the Great Dane's five Golden Slipper winners. The five delivered champion 2-year-old sire titles, the other achieved without it--a rare occurence.

Raced by his breeder, Muzaffar Yaseen, Redoute's Choice won four group Is including the Caulfield Guineas, and $1.5 million. He was a race-morning scratching from the 1999 Golden Slipper, due to an elevated temperature, when a heavy favorite. Another Danehill, Catbird, duly stepped up. Arrowfield paid Yaseen $5 million for a 50% equity in Redoute's Choice less than a year later.

The Redoute's Choice haul from the 49th Slipper was $2.5 million, which takes his juvenile earnings past $5.4 million. Closest to him are a group on $700,000. Gilded Time is pressing them.

Led by Lotteria, supplier of the first group I success for Redoute's Choice last spring, in the Flight Stakes, his first two crops have amassed $6.8 million this season.

That figure places him third behind Danehill ($8.5 million) and Zabeel ($7.5 million). But he perhaps lacks the runners, so far 97, to be able to maintain a top three general sires' finish. Danehill did it in 1995.

Dance Hero's three group I wins last season enabled Danzero to earn $3,569,455 and break Danehill's mark of $3,473,444. Both of those amounts are already in the shade with a third of the season remaining.

Redoute's Choice dutifully covered 213 mares on a $40,000 last spring, but could carry the highest fee in this part of the world in 2005.

Arrowfield head John Messara will announce it after the Easter yearling sale later this month. It should take the breath away for many breeders. His current crop of 2-year-olds certainly has.