[Published: January 2019]
NOT every Melbourne Cup winner makes a mark in the breeding barn, but a tough as teak mare who claimed the race more than 70 years ago has founded a family of mainly sprinters who are still winning at the highest level today. One of those descendants is Sooboog who stands at Kitchwin Hills in the Hunter Valley and has just covered his second book at $13,200.
WHEN master jockey Bill Cook steered lightweight Rainbird to a 2.5 length win
in the 1945 Melbourne Cup few could have imagined the lasting impact this four year-old mare would have on the Australian thoroughbred. But far from being a stamina influence, as one would expect from the winner of our big ‘two miler’, her modern day descendants are a byword for speed.
The Gr.3 winner Sooboog (Snitzel-Monte Rosa by Fraar (USA)), who has just completed covering his second book at Kitchwin Hills in 2018 and his Gr.1-winning sister Snitzerland are among those sprinters and descend from Rain Mist, a 5f (1000m) winner by Helios (GB) and from Rainbird (The Buzzard (GB)), the Cup winner being Sooboog’s eighth dam.
Rain Mist’s daughters Rain Again (Empyrean (GB)), the fifth dam of Sooboog, and Rain Shadow (Todman), both inbred to Derby winner and breed shaper Hyperion, proved to be wonderful broodmares and their descendants include the Gr.1 winners Centaine (sire), Laisserfaire, Aloha, Lone Rock (now at stud in the UK), Malaguerra, Seabrook and Snitzerland, along with the flying Tennessee Vain (and a host of descendants bearing the Tennessee prefix), Rainbeam, Rain Affair, My Emotion, Nina Haraka, Mirror Mirror, No Looking Back, the Golden Slipper-Gr.1 runner-up and sire Been There and sires Foreplay and Time Thief. Rain Mist’s third daughter, Ripping Time (Carbon Copy), inbred 2mx2f to Helios (Hyperion) left just two named foals and her daughter Kaye Denise (Althrey Don (IRE)) left just two winners.
Rain Mist is one of Rainbird’s six named foals, all fillies, the others being the SAJC Oaks-Gr.1 winner Raindear (Orgoglio), Rain Belle (Sun Storm), Rain Queen (Landau (IRE)), Silver Rain (Billet (GB)) and Rainsari (Dhoti (GB)). Rainbird (ex Sequoia by Heroic), who was bred by Malcolm Reid and raced by his brother Clifford, who would also breed and race dual Cup winner Rain Lover, now has more than 1000 winning descendants (64% winners to runners), 65 of them stakes winners.
The additional Gr.1 winners Allez Wonder and Tivaci are from the Rainburst (Latin Lover) branch of the family as she is a daughter of Raindear, the South Australian Oaks winner, who was also runner-up in the VRC Oaks. Rainburst won the Edward Manifold-Gr.2 and was third in the VRC Oaks-Gr.1. Tivaci’s second dam Luna Tudor (Military Plume) won 10 races including the Perth Cup-Gr.2 (3200m) and is also the dam of Allez Wonder.
Rainbird’s half-brother Peter (by dual Cup winner Peter Pan) was also bred by Malcolm Reid and was runner-up in the 1944 Melbourne Cup. Rainbird won eight of her 47 starts including the SAJC St Leger-Gr.3 and Port Adelaide Cup and her seven seconds included being runner-up in the 1944 VRC Oaks-Gr.1, 1945 Caulfield Cup-Gr.1 and 1947 Sydney Cup-Gr.1. Peter and Rainbird are descendants of the Sydney Cup winner Lady Trenton (Trenton-Black Swan by Yattendon), foaled in 1889. Her second dam, Maid of the Lake, is listed as being “of unknown pedigree” and is the foundation mare for the C7 family.
As one would expect of youngsters sired by the Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 winner Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice-Snippets’ Lass by Snippets), Sooboog and his sister Snitzerland came to hand early, the former placed in the Breeders’ Plate-LR and the latter running second in the Golden Slipper-Gr.1 (to Pierro).
Show/Hide Sibling Identifiers
Five x Five Enhanced Pedigree Grid for
SOOBOOG (AUS) 2012 Chestnut colt
by Snitzel - Monte Rosa, by Fraar
GW 7 wins
f:1327 r:1094 w:828 SW:99
GW 5 wins
f:1815 r:1458 w:1124 SW:172
GW 4 wins
f:2414 r:2083 w:1631 SW:347
|Pas de Nom||7|
Wnr 1 win
f:13 r:10 w:10 SW:5
SW 7 wins
f:6 r:6 w:6 SW:3
GW 9 wins
f:828 r:739 w:602 SW:57
|Easy Date||Grand Chaudiere||19|
SW 2 wins
f:14 r:13 w:10 SW:2
|Storm Bird||1||Northern Dancer||2|
|A Realgirl||In Reality||21|
|MONTE ROSA (AUS)|
f:8 r:8 w:8 SW:2
GW 7 wins
f:475 r:406 w:267 SW:7
SW 8 wins
f:474 r:310 w:271 SW:58
Blk. or Br 1983
f:7 r:7 w:7 SW:1
|Seattle Slew||Bold Reasoning||1|
|Fine Prospect||Mr. Prospector||13|
f:10 r:7 w:4 SW:1
GW 9 wins
f:237 r:181 w:141 SW:22
|Heavenly Wind||Pan II||2|
|Hit it Misty|
Wnr 3 wins
f:10 r:9 w:5
|Hit it Benny||Baguette||6|
Northern Dancer (CAN) 1961 : 5m 5m x 4m
Her major win among eight victories (1000m-1200m) would come in the Lightning Stakes-Gr.1 and Snitzerland would also take the Challenge Stakes-Gr.2, Danehill Stakes-Gr.2 and San Domenico-Gr.3, as well as running second in the ATC The Galaxy-Gr.1 (to Bel Sprinter) on her way to earning $1.97m. Now at stud, she had a filly and then a colt by All Too Hard in 2016 and 2017 and was covered by I Am Invincible late last season, producing a colt on November 18.
Champion Sire for the past two seasons and on track to take the title again in 2018-19 (71 winners of $12.66m to early December) after son Redzel took out The Everest ($13m) for the second time during October, Snitzel won seven races to 1200m and more than $1m and stands alongside his champion sire Redoute’s Choice (Danehill (USA)-Shantha’s Choice by Canny Lad) at Arrowfield. Snitzel’s fee in 2018 was $220,000, fitting for a sire whose progeny won more than $29.2m last season (173 winners of 307 races, 26SW) and whose Gr.1 stars include Trapeze Artist (Domesday), last season’s $7.5m earner Redzel (Rubiton), already winner of $6.67m this season to take his total tally to $15.39m from 14 wins in 29 starts, Russian Revolution (Stravinsky), Shamus Award (Success Express) Hot Snitzel (Blushing Groom), Sweet Idea (Timber Country), Sizzling (General Nediym), Wandjina (Last Tycoon) and Golden Slipper heroine Estijaab (Charge Forward). Redzel and Trapeze Artist (1.25 lengths) ran the quinella in the 2018 The Everest (1200m) at Randwick.
The Australian Stud Book lists 16 of Snitzel’s sons at stud this season and his young Gr.1 stars Sizzling (third) and Shamus Award (ninth) both featured among the top 10 freshmen sires last season. Deceased Time For War and Wandjina are well placed on the first crop sires’ table already this season.
A grandson of the all-conquering Danehill (USA) (Danzig), a nine-times champion sire here, Snitzel is out of the very fast mare Snippets’ Lass, a winner of seven races to 1300m, two at Listed level, a daughter of another Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 (1100m) hero in Snippets (Lunchtime (GB)-Easy Date by Grand Chaudiere (CAN)), who made history as the first winner of the Magic Millions 2YO Classic-RL at the Gold Coast on his way to winning the AJC Sires’ Produce-Gr.1 at two and then going on to win The Galaxy-Gr.1 and the Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 at three.
A tremendously successful sire, for the most part based at Arrowfield Stud, Snippets has been an exceptional sire of broodmares too, his daughters leaving the Golden Slipper winners Crystal Lily and Overreach, plus Gr.1 stars like Merchant Navy, Bel Sprinter, Wanted and Red Tracer.
Snippets’ Lass is one of these exceptional daughters as her five winners also include the multiple Gr.1 placegetter and successful sire Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock), who sadly died in 2018 after just seven seasons at stud, along with Gr.3 winner and stakes producer Viennese (Redoute’s Choice).
Snippets’ Lass is a sister to the stakes winner Captain Bax and their dam Snow Finch (IRE) is a daughter of Storm Bird (Northern Dancer-South Ocean by New Providence), bred by E.P. Taylor and a $1m Keeneland yearling who went on to win the Dewhurst Stakes-Gr.1 for Robert Sangster and be crowned the Champion 2YO Colt of England and Ireland before a stellar stud career, where he left his mark by siring champion US sire Storm Cat.
Another to win the Dewhurst-Gr.1 (7f) was Lunchtime (GB) (Silly Season-Great Occasion by Hornbeam), who carries the Rasmussen Factor, being 5mx4m to Selene, and who appears 5fx3m in the pedigree of Snitzel. Snitzel’s fifth dam Scotch Verdict (Alsab-Glen Arvis by Attention), family 2c, is the second dam of multiple US Gr.1 winner Desert Vixen (In Reality), bred on a similar cross to Snow Finch’s dam A Realgirl (by In Reality from a daughter of Scotch Verdict).
|At 2 :||2d ATC (Randwick) Breeders' P., L (1000m to Vancouver and beating Wolf Cry)|
|At 3 :||
ATC (Canterbury) Tab.com.au Maiden H. (1100m)|
ATC (Rosehill) Cellarbrations H. (1100m)
2d SAJC Euclase S., Gr.2 (1200m to Faatinah and beating Demonstrate)
VRC Goodwood Racecourse Trophy H., L (1100m to Super Cash and beating Stellar Collision)
4th VRC AR Creswick Series Final S., L (1200m)
City Tatt's RC Brian Crowley S., L (1200m)
|At 4 :||VRC Aurie's Star H., Gr.3 (1200m beating Dibayani and Tashbeeh)|
Desert Vixen found fame as the dam of Japanese sire Real Shadai (Roberto), sire of the second dam of recent Manikato Stakes-Gr.1 winner Brave Smash (JPN). (The Brave Smash/daughters of Snitzel cross will give ¾ siblings Desert Vixen and Secret Verdict 5×5) A $1.5m Easter 2014 yearling buy, Sooboog (ex Monte Rosa by Fraar (USA)) and his sister Snitzerland are among eight named foals (seven winners) from their unraced dam, a sister to the Adelaide Guineas-Gr.3 winner and Toorak Handicap-Gr.1 and Vic Health Cup-Gr.1 runner-up Nina Haraka.
They are by Caulfield Cup-Gr.1 winner Fraar (USA) (Northfields-Alchaasibiyeh by Seattle Slew), sire of more than 260 winners (7SW) and dam sire of more than 100 winners (5SW, two Gr.1). His sire, Topsider (Northern Dancer-Drumtop by Round Table), who ran a track record 1:14.40 for 6.5f at Saratoga, has Rough Shod (Gold Bridge) as his fourth dam.
Her descendants also include Nureyev, Sadler’s Wells and Fairy King. His third dam Gambetta (My Babu) is a half-sister to Ridan, Lt Stevens, Ridan, Moccasin and Thong, their descendants present some interesting line breeding possibilities with Sooboog, perhaps using daughters of Northern Meteor who is inbred to this family. Fraar’s second dam is Fine Prospect, a daughter of Mr. Prospector and First Nominee by Rough’n Tumble.
Monte Rosa and Nina Haraka are from the placed La Nebbia, a daughter of the brilliant sprinter Zephyr Bay (Biscay-Heavenly Wind by Pan II (FR)). Nicknamed the Black Flash, Zephyr Bay set course records in 1975 when winning the AJC Challenge Stakes, AJC Expressway Stakes (1100m) and VRC Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 (1100m). His Randwick course (and then Australasian) record in the Challenge Stakes (1000m) of 56.02 would last for 35 years until broken by De Lightning Ridge (55.92) in 2010.
Sooboog carries a 6mx3m double of Biscay (Star Kingdom) via two of his fastest sons Bletchingly, the sire of Redoute’s Choice’s dam sire Canny Lad (Golden Slipper-Gr.1), and Zephyr Bay. He has another line of Star Kingdom via Sooboog’s third dam Hit it Misty, a daughter of Hit it Benny, whose Golden Slipper-winning sire Baguette (Rego (IRE)) is out of the brilliant producer Dark Jewel (Star Kingdom).
For good measure fourth dam, Listed winner Misty Vain, brings in another speed line, as she is a daughter of Golden Slipper winner and champion sire Vain (Wilkes (FR)). Misty Vain was also third in the VRC Newmarket-Gr.1 and her 10 winners included the Gr.2 winners Tennessee Jack (Whiskey Road) and noted producer Tennessee Vain. Inbreeding to Rainbird’s family using the Rain Shadow descendants could also prove a winning combination, particularly via Centaine (Century-Rainbeam by Vain). Rarcamba, second dam of Vain, is by Helios (GB), the Hyperion son who is also dam of Rain Mist, dam of Rain Shadow.
Sooboog, a brilliant 5.5 length 840m trial winner (49.15) two weeks before his first start, was in the first four in eight of his 17 starts from age two to four and was runner-up to subsequent Golden Slipper-Gr.1 winner and champion juvenile Vancouver on debut for team Hawkes in the 2014 Breeders’ Plate-LR on October 4, beaten 1.25 lengths and with Wolf Cry third. He was unplaced on a heavy (9) track in the Kindergarten-Gr.3 at his only other start at two.
He beat Deploy (who would go on to set the Randwick 1200m record of 1:08.06 on August 19, 2017) when he broke his maiden over 1100m at Canterbury as an early three year-old and then beat Eminent Duke by 1.25 lengths next time out over 1100m at Rosehill in 1:03.65, before a fourth in the Listed Brian Crowley (1200m) at Randwick on October 17, 2015 behind Counterattack (who stood at Kitchwin Hills in 2017 before shuttling to Germany).
Sooboog was sent to Victoria in early 2016 and was third over 955m at Moonee Valley and a half-length runner-up behind Super Cash in the Listed Moomba Plate (1100m) in three runs there. Mid-field in the Manihi-LR at Morphettville on April 9 and then freshened for another four weeks, he was a narrow second behind Faatinah in the Euclase-Gr.2 (1200m) and then got a long way back early when 10th of 18 in the Goodwood-Gr.1. Back in Melbourne he was fifth over 1300m on a heavy (8) track at Sandown on June 4 and then fourth on a soft (7) surface at Flemington in the Listed Creswick Stakes, just over a length behind Lord Von Costa on July 9.
His big pay day came at Flemington on August 6 when he was up with the lead throughout to land the Aurie’s Star-Gr.3 (1200m), running 1:10.6 (33.82) down the Flemington straight, with import Dibayani 1.75 lengths back second and Tashbeeh third, for trainer Darren Weir who had been conditioning the horse since April.
“He’s a Gr.3 winner now which is important because he’s still an entire,” Weir said after the race of the handsome chestnut who stands 16.1 hands. “When he gets in a rhythm he’s got a great turn of foot, he’s a really good galloper.”
Off the scene for 34 weeks, Sooboog was unplaced in two runs at Morphettville in April 2017 before heading to Queensland for the big winter carnival for Weir. Unfortunately the horse had a bout of travel sickness and was withdrawn from the Doomben 10,000-Gr.1 and retired to stud.
John Hawkes was full of praise for the colt he trained early in his career. “Sooboog was early favourite for the Golden Slipper for good reason, but after injuring himself when looming up to Vancouver in the Breeders’ Plate, we never really got to see how good he was at two. He was certainly up there with some of the better two year-olds I’ve trained,” he said.
“Breeders who are held in very high regard have really got behind Sooboog in his first season and the level of interest in him has been significant,” Michael Malone of Kitchwin Hills said soon after the horse retired. “It’s actually really encouraging to see this support.”
The young stallion looked after 151 mares at $13,200 in his first season including Bella Sunday, dam of Ohood, and remains on that fee in 2018 when he was just as busy on the strength of a bumper crop of foals. His ownership group and breeding rights holders include James Bester, Peter Moody, the Mitchell family and James Harron, all great judges and a very encouraging sign for the stud prospects of this young son of champion sire Snitzel. n