published: 05 Sep 2018 in Freshman 2018

THRONUM who is new to Sun Stud in Victoria in 2018, has a pedigree that is the height of fashion. He is by our current champion sire Snitzel, a member of the all-conquering Danehill (USA) tribe, and his third dam is the Irish Oaks-Gr.1 winner Helen Street (Troy), famous as the dam of Street Cry (IRE) and second dam of Shamardal (USA).

  Add to that a race record that saw him match strides with some of Australia’s best sprinters while winning five races and a narrow defeat when second in a Gr.1 at 1200m, and it’s easy to see why Thronum is already proving mighty popular with breeders at his $17,600 fee.
  Sun International chairman Cheng Ting Kong, who already raced horses in Asia, has become a major force in the breeding industry internationally since purchasing the former Eliza Park, Victoria property in 2013 and he’s spared no expense in purchasing the best bloodstock available. The stud has 10 stallions on the roster this year including proven sires like Bel Esprit and Magnus and exciting young horses such as Palentino and Ready for Victory. 
  It’s a mighty shame that National Defense (GB) (Invincible Spirit-Angel Falls by Kingmambo), a horse Sun International purchased for 280,000 euros at the 2015 Arquana Yearling Sale in Deauville and who went on to a Gr.1 victory in France at two, will now not shuttle in 2018 after being injured. 
The young horse, who has just covered a strong book at the Irish National Stud, is one for breeders to look forward to in 2019.
  But the Sun Stud operation has a very worthy newcomer in Thronum and picking up some extra mares from those who were to visit National Defense will only strengthen his chances of first crop success. Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice-Snippets’ Lass by Snippets), Australia’s Champion Sire for the past two seasons, has thrown some pretty smart sprinters and Thronum must rate among the best of them. He won five races (1000m-1200m) up to Gr.2 level and was just caught on the post by Hellbent when runner-up in the William Reid Stakes-Gr.1 earlier this year.
  Thronum, who led the race until the final strides, set a fast pace around the Moonee Valley 1200m and they ran 1:09.36 (600m in 34.98) that day. He led all the way at the same track three starts earlier, beginning 2018 with a Gr.2 win in the Australia Stakes on January 26 and running the 1200m in 1:10.48, coming home the final 600m in 34.46 to beat Mr Sneaky by 1.25 lengths.
  That run was followed by a close fourth behind Hartnell in the C.F. Orr-Gr.1 (1400m in 1:24.79) as again Thronum set a blistering pace up front. 
He was beaten just a quarter of a length on the line.
  A $300,000 Sun Stud buy from the Highgrove draft at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Thronum (ex Helena’s Secret (USA) by Five Star Day) began his career with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and won on debut at Kembla Grange in late June 2016. The two year-old followed that 1000m win on a soft track with an easy win at Randwick on July 9. 
He made light work of the heavy (9) track, leading all the way of the 1200m to beat Morton’s Fork by three lengths. Later that month he again faced a heavy (8) track at Canterbury when runner-up to Tango Rain over 1200m, beaten 1.25 lengths after being fifth of 10 at the 400m.
  He won black type next time out on August 6 at Randwick, taking the Listed Rosebud Handicap (1200m) from Mediterranean, again leading all the way on a heavy (10) track. The three year-old was beaten under half a length when third next time out, behind Divine Prophet and Derryn in the Up & Coming-Gr.3 (1300m) after being in control for most of the journey and was then unplaced in the Golden Rose-Gr.1 (1400m) and Stan Fox-Gr.2 (1500m). The latter race on September 24, 2016 was his seventh race in his first campaign, which began with his debut on June 25.
  The colt had a 740m trial at Randwick in late January 2017, when fourth of nine, but did not race until the following November when he was in the care of the Hayes/Dabernig team at Lindsay Park. Finally striking a good track for a 1000m scamper at Bendigo, Thronum completely dominated his rivals, leading all the way to beat Go Down by five lengths in 1:04.56, the final 600m in 33.25. He was out again later that November when a close third in the Heffernan-Gr.3 (1300m, soft 5) at Sandown behind Jungle Edge and was put away until January 26 when he landed the Australia Stakes-Gr.2 (1200m) with favourite Brave Smash (JPN) unplaced.
  Co-trainer Tom Dabernig wasn’t surprised by the win, saying Thronum possessed Gr.1 ability and had been kept in work since his first two runs for the stable with this race in mind. “He’s a well bred colt with a stack of ability who is really going places and he’s been flying at home,” he said. Jockey Mark Zahra was equally enamoured with the handsome bay’s effort. “He’s a nice horse and I was able to use his gate speed, I was confident a long way out.” 
  That Gr.1 prediction was confirmed by his fourth in the Orr and second in the William Reid at his penultimate start, but sadly Thronum was injured when last of 20 in the Goodwood-Gr.1 on May 19 after being second at the 400m and was retired. 
He won five races, was twice second, twice third and once fourth (Gr.1) for earnings of $441,750.
  There has been so much said already about Snitzel but it’s worth remembering that he was a precocious juvenile, winning the Breeders’ Plate-LR on debut and then other good races at two, who trained on to win an Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 and finish second in a Newmarket-Gr.1. He’s been a champion Australian sire by earnings and wins, a champion sire of juveniles and three year-olds and in 2017-18 his progeny have won a staggering $28.66m (to mid-July), his 171 winners (26SW) of 295 races include the Everest hero Redzel ($7.53m) and Golden Slipper heroine Estijaab ($2.33m). His progeny earnings well clear of  I Am Invincible (15.36m) and Fastnet Rock ($15.10m) who sit second and third on the table and he’s also way out in front by winners and wins and ahead in the 2YO table. His record earnings to win the sires’ title in 2017-18 comes on top of his first champion sire win the previous season when his 159 winners (26SW) won 273 races and $16.22m.
  Snitzel has made a promising start as a sire of sires too with his sons Sizzling (six winners) and Shamus Award (four winners) sitting third and ninth on the first crop sires’ list by earnings at mid-July. His dam sire Snippets (Lunchtime) was also a precocious juvenile, winning a Gr.1 at that age before also training on to take an Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 and Galaxy-Gr.1 (both 1100m), while his next dam is Snow Finch (IRE) by Storm Bird, the latter also a champion juvenile and winner of the Dewhurst-Gr.1.
  Snitzel has thrown winners to mares by a wide variety of sires and has worked well with speed lines like Rubiton and Bletchingly (he already appears in his pedigree via Canny Lad) and Lunchtime (ditto). Red Ransom and his sons Domesday and Charge Forward are also favourites, while the Sir Tristram sons Zabeel (dam by Nureyev) and Marauding (dam by Biscay), Stravinsky, Last Tycoon, Tale of the Cat (doubling Storm Bird), Success Express and Woodman (Mr. Prospector) are also prominent. Encosta de Lago, whose fourth dam Fanfreluche has a similar pedigree pattern (Northern Dancer/Chop Chop) to Storm Bird, is dam sire of Gr.1 winners Summer Passage and Invader. These are all lines worth considering with Thronum.
  Thronum’s dam Helena’s Secret (USA) won at two in Canada and is a daughter of Gr.2-winner and Gr.1 runner-up Five Star Day (Mr. Prospector-Blushing Promise by Blushing Groom) and the British juvenile winner Mount Helena (Petition 4fx4m), a royally bred daughter of champion sire Danzig and the Irish Oaks-Gr.1 winner Helen Street (Troy-Waterway by Riverman). Mount Helena’s eight winners include US stakes winner Tears I Cry (by the Mr. Prospector son Chester House) and she is a half-sister to 10 winners, notably Dubai World Cup-Gr.1 winner and sire Street Cry (IRE) (Machiavellian) and his stakes placed sister Helsinki, dam of multiple Gr.1 winner and champion sire Shamardal (USA) (by Storm Bird’s grandson Giant’s Causeway). Daughters of Shamardal’s inbred, classic-winning son Lope de Vega (IRE) could be dynamite with Thronum.
  Despite his 4mx3f of Danzig, mares tracing to Danzig’s champion sire son Danehill (USA) could also be considered, perhaps using daughters of Choisir, whose first two dams are by Lunchtime and Biscay and so echo Snitzel’s sire Redoute’s Choice to a degree. Daughters of Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock), whose first two dams are by sons of Red Ransom and Mr. Prospector, are another option as their sire has already worked with Danehill/Danzig line mares.
  Thronum’s fourth dam Waterway won a Gr.3 in France as a juvenile and her dam Boulevard (Pall Mall-Costa Sola by Worden II) won a Gr.3 in England at two, while Costa Sola, whose sire is a half-brother to Newhaven Park’s great sire Wilkes (FR), is out of the Park Hill Stakes winner Sunny Cove (Nearco). This is family 1l and other members include English Oaks-Gr.1 winner Sun Princess, Gr.1 winner and sire Sun Prince and VRC Derby-Gr.1 winner and sire King’s High.
  “I believe he has a great chance at stud,” David Hayes said of his former charge. “Thronum really did take on and beat some of the best. He has that magnificent front-running style about him as well as the ability and heart to stick to his guns when challenged.”
  Sun Stud’s senior sales and nominations manager Mark Lindsay is also a fan of the sprinter who stands 15.3 hands. “He is quality all the way through, type, performance and pedigree and we have already received a flood of enquires for the horse,” he said. n