Arrowfield Stud announced champion sire Redoute's Choice died the morning of March 25 at the farm near Scone in the Hunter Valley.
The 22-year-old son of Danehill—Shantha's Choice was euthanized after suffering a traumatic loss of mobility that could not be restored despite intensive care by Arrowfield's veterinary and stallion teams.
"Redoute's Choice is such a big part of all our lives, and right now it's hard to imagine Arrowfield without him," Arrowfield's John Messara said. "He has given us so much, Arrowfield has been built on his back and he's allowed all of us and many, many other people to fulfill our dreams and ambitions.
"I thank Muzaffar Yaseen for allowing us to buy into Redoute's Choice almost two decades ago. Our partnership has always been amicable and it has achieved all that we could hope for, and more.
"I'm grateful to all my team, past and present, who are part of his story, especially those who have cared for and worked with Redoute's Choice every day, and have ensured that he's had the long and wonderful life he deserved. There are many tears being shed at Arrowfield today.
"I also thank everyone who helped us launch his stud career, his shareholders, and those who bred to him, and bought, raced, trained, and rode his progeny. He has blessed us all."
Redoute's Choice was the rarest of Thoroughbred horses, who exceeded even the lofty expectations of his glorious physique, powerful pedigree, and brilliant racing career, to become a world-class stallion, a sale-ring sensation, a dominant sire of sires and broodmares, and a major influence for years to come.
His death comes in a season of fresh recognition and achievement, including his 34th group 1 winner Galaxy Star, a trio of million-dollar colts at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, and a spectacular 3-year-old campaign by his best racing son, The Autumn Sun, who won his fifth group 1 race, the March 23 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas.
The Autumn Sun's place on the Arrowfield roster is already reserved, alongside four other Redoute's Choice sons: record-breaking leading sire Snitzel, leading sire Not A Single Doubt, Scissor Kick, whose first yearlings are being offered at 2019 sales, and Pariah, who served his first book in 2018.
Almost 13 years after he earned the first of his three general sires premierships, Redoute's Choice remains a top 5 sire and is likely to secure his first Australian broodmare sires title this season with earnings of $15.2 million and 15 stakes winners to date, among them group 1 winners Extra Brut, Amphitrite, and Arcadia Queen.
Redoute's Choice was bred by Muzaffar Yaseen, foaled on Aug. 15, 1996, and retained to race in the now-famous yellow, red, lime, and orange Teeley Assets colors. Mr Yaseen sent him to Melbourne trainer Rick Hore-Lacy who prepared the strikingly handsome colt throughout his 10-start, 5-win, AU$1.6 million (US$$995,264) racing career.
He made headlines and history immediately, after winning a listed race in his 2-year-old debut and then lining up a mere seven days later in the Blue Diamond Stakes (G1), which he won by two lengths from his great rival Testa Rossa.
His spring 3-year-old campaign began with a victory in the Manikato Stakes (G1) and peaked in the heroic, one-for-the-ages battle with Testa Rossa for the Caulfield Guineas (G1), won by Redoute's Choice only in the final meters.
Redoute's Choice returned in the fall to add a fourth group 1 success in the C.F. Orr Stakes (G1), and retired to Arrowfield soon after.
He served 134 mares in 2000 at a fee of AU$30,000, which did not increase until his fifth season after the appearance of his first stakes winners Not A Single Doubt and Tahni Girl, the 2003-04 leading sire title, and his first million-dollar yearling.
It was in the 2004-05 racing season that Redoute's Choice, with 137 runners from two crops of racing age, emerged as a potential champion stallion. He unleashed a staggering 16 stakes winners, four at group 1 level: 3-year-old filly Lotteria and juveniles Fashions Afield, Stratum, and Undoubtedly. Only Danehill and Zabeel headed him on the Australian general sires list and his 2005 Inglis Easter Sale results included the Tugela colt, sold for a then all-time Australian record price of AU$2.5 million ($1,929,250).
He served a full book of 196 mares in 2005 and continued to serve at least 100 mares each year until the last two seasons when his book was restricted to 74 and 45 mares.
The 2009-10 season marked the arrival of his statistically most notable crop, eventually the source of 21 stakes winners from 107 named foals—a remarkable strike rate of 19.6%. Flag-bearer for that 2009 cohort was Australian Horse of the Year and five-time group 1 winner Lankan Rupee who helped propel Redoute's Choice to his third and final leading sire title in 2014.
Redoute's Choice now has 22 stakes-siring sons, 10 of them also group 1 sires. They are responsible for 279 stakes winners, while his daughters have left 86 stakes winners, including 13 at group 1 level.
International recognition of Redoute's Choice's contribution to the Australian thoroughbred industry has grown steadily in recent years. Last month bloodstock analyst Bill Oppenheim announced the stallion's APEX A Runner index of 3.82 earned him the No. 1 spot among Australasian sires, ahead of Snitzel,I Am Invincible, Savabeel, and Fastnet Rock.
"It is a great consolation to me that Redoute's Choice leaves us at the top of his game, having sustained his greatness as a sire from start to finish, across the full span of his career," Messara said. "His legacy to Australian breeding and racing is immense, through his sire sons, his broodmare daughters, his final crops still to come and all the people he touched over the past two decades.
"Thank you Redoute's, for everything."