Odyssey Moon

published: 01 Sep 2018 in Stallion profiles

FOR those who like to tick all the boxes, Odyssey Moon looks a lay down misere to succeed at stud. He is by a champion sire from the Danehill male line, his imported dam is from a top class family, he was an early and very good two year-old who trained on to be a Group-winning sprinter and 
his fee is attractive, both for sale vendors and those breeding to race.


SNITZEL’S back-to-back wins in the sires’ premiership and his deserved fee rise to $220,000 this season has naturally made breeders with a more modest budget turn their attention to his sons. One of the most talented is Odyssey Moon, a Gr.3 winner and Gr.1 runner-up who stands at Olly Tait’s Twin Hills Stud, Cootamundra. 

In the first three in 12 of 22 starts, the best of his four wins for earnings of $723,275 came in the Standish Handicap-Gr.3 down the straight 1200m at Flemington at four at his final Australian start when he led all the way. He started his career by winning the rich Inglis Nursery-RL (1000m) at Randwick on debut. He was also a close second (dead-heat with Rageese) to Pride of Dubai (fee $44,000) in the ATC Sires’ Produce-Gr.1, runner-up to Exosphere in the Skyline-Gr.2 and third in the Pago Pago-Gr.2 in seven outings against the best in the land at two. He won city races at 1100m and 1300m at three when he was also runner-up in the Carbine-Gr.3 and third in the Listed Straight Six, Bendigo Guineas, Mitchell McKenzie Stakes and Creswick Stakes.
  Odyssey Moon, who hails from a very good American family, being out of the imported Run to the Moon (USA) (Arch-Moon Drone by Drone), was yet another astute purchase by successful bloodstock agent James Harron at the Inglis Ready To Run Race Sale, acting for the late Dr Edmund Bateman and his wife Belinda. 

He is covering his second book of mares at a fee of just $8800 after looking after 44 mares last season. Bred by the very successful partnership of John Messara’s Arrowfield Group and Katsumi Yoshida’s Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd, Odyssey Moon belongs to a branch of family 23 tracing to the Doncaster Cup winner Whim and including the Kentucky Derby hero Ponder (Pensive).

  But there is no need to delve into ancient history to find excellence in this family as Run to the Moon, by the Roberto grandson and Gr.1 winner Arch (Kris S), was placed in Japan and is the dam of three winners including Odyssey Moon. She is a three-quarter sister to the dual Gr.1 winner Jostle (Brocco (USA)), successful in eight races (8f-12f) including the Belmont CCA Oaks-Gr.1 and Saratoga Alabama Stakes-Gr.1 and dam of the stakes-winning sprinter-miler Adirondack King (Lawyer Ron). Their stakes placed dam Moon Drone, by the Sir Gaylord son Drone, won seven races and produced five winners, the others including stakes placed Fire Assay (Medaglia d’Oro (USA)) and Nobrag Justfact (The Factor (USA)).

  Odyssey Moon’s third dam, Cute Little Moon, a daughter of the tough Ack Ack (Battle Joined-Fast Turn by Turn-to), a sire who counted the Hollywood Gold Cup-Gr.1 among his 19 wins before leaving more than 200 winners, the best of his 48SW being French Derby winner and sire Youth and champion US Sire Broad Brush, was also stakes placed, as was her dam Sun Reality, by In Reality, the Man o’War line sire who also features as the sire of A Realgirl, third dam of Snitzel and so appears 5fx5f in the pedigree of Odyssey Moon. Fifth dam Double Sun (Sunglow-Sun Hera by Sun Teddy) was also a stakes placed winner and left 10 winners, notably stakes horses Night Invader (Misty Flight, sire), Chairman Oth’Board (Diplomat Way), Gadget Man (Decathlon) and Fabulous Prospect (Mr. Prospector, stakes producer). Double Sun is inbred to Teddy’s son Sun Teddy 3mx2f and has another line of Teddy via Sir Galahad.

  In addition to his double of In Reality, Odyssey Moon features a double of Danzig 4mx4f in his five generation pedigree, the male line coming through his son Danehill (USA) and the female line coming through Aurora (ex Althea by Alydar), dam of his broodmare sire Arch, one of her two Gr.1 winners, the other being $1m earner Acoma (Empire Maker). Tapping into the Roberto link, perhaps using descendants of Red Ransom (USA) and At Talaq (USA); or Sir Gaylord, via his son Sir Ivor (already in this pedigree as the sire of Show Lady, third dam of Snitzel’s sire Redoute’s Choice), could be winning tactics with Odyssey Moon. Roberto is a son of Hail to Reason, as is Halo, whose dam Cosmah is a half-sister to Natalma, dam of Northern Dancer (5m,5mx5m here) and third dam of Danehill, so he is another sire worth exploring, especially as Halo’s grandson More Than Ready, is such a good foil for Danehill. Medaglia d’Oro has also worked with Odyssey Moon’s family and with Danehill, so his descendants also look promising for this Twin Hills-based sire.

  Few breeders could have imagined the impact Danzig (Northern Dancer-Pas de Nom by Admiral’s Voyage) would have on the breed when the first of his sons made it to Australasia, but all that changed after Danehill (USA) (Danzig-Razyana by His Majesty) covered his first book in 1990. Winner of the Sprint Cup-Gr.1 (6f) at Haydock Park and inbred 3mx3f to Northern Dancer’s dam Natalma, the bay would rewrite the record books in both hemispheres. He was Champion Sire here nine times, four times Champion Sire of GB/IRE and three times Champion Sire in France. If that was not enough he is also a seven-time Champion Sire of Broodmares in Australia and won the GB/IRE title in 2015. Oh, and did I mention he was a multiple Champion Sire of 2YO in both hemispheres.

  Almost 2100 of Danehill’s progeny got to the track, 1622 won (77%) and among his 347 stakes winners were 89 Gr.1 winners. His progeny earnings topped $649m and he became a major sire of sires including Danehill Dancer, Fastnet Rock, Exceed and Excel, Tiger Hill, Desert King, Flying Spur, Rock of Gibraltar, Danewin, Commands and Darci Brahma. One of his very best sons on the track and at stud is Redoute’s Choice (ex Shantha’s Choice by Canny Lad) who won five of his 10 starts, four at Gr.1 level, the Blue Diamond, C.F. Orr, Caulfield Guineas and Manikato, before heading to Arrowfield Stud in 2000. 

  He would win three Champion Sire titles (2005-06, 2009-10 and 2013-14), the best record of any Danehill son here, and, like his sire, would also be a multiple Champion Sire of 2YO. Still active and commanding a fee of $137,500 at Arrowfield in 2018, he is a grandson of influential mare Dancing Show (Nijinsky-Show Lady by Sir Ivor) and his fourth dam is another wonderful mare in Best in Show. His dam, who is a half-sister to the Gr.1 winners and sires Hurricane Sky (Star Watch) and Umatilla (Miswaki), left nine winners including three at Gr.1 level, the others being Platinum Scissors (Danehill) and Manhattan Rain (Encosta de Lago). Her daughters are breeding on too, their descendants including the likes of Gr.2 winner Rubick (Encosta de Lago) and Gr.1 winner Shoals (Fastnet Rock). Shantha’s Choice is by Golden Slipper winner Canny Lad and the latest sire sensation from the Danzig male line, Yarraman Park’s I Am Invincible is similarly blessed. His sire Invincible Spirit is by Green Desert (Danzig/Sir Ivor) and his dam is by a son of Sharpen Up, a horse who 
is also dam sire of Danehill Dancer (whose son Choisir is from a mare bred on the Lunchtime/Biscay cross). The Invincible Spirit/Green Desert line could prove a good foil for Odyssey Moon, ditto Choisir.

  Redoute’s Choice has left more than 980 winners (74%) and his 32 Gr.1 winners include Golden Slipper winner and sires Stratum (Luskin Star), Nadeem (Sound Reason), Undoubtedly (Don’t Say Halo), God’s Own (Sky Chase) and of course Snitzel (ex Snippets’ Lass by Snippets), who is the jewel in his sire’s crown. Racing only at two and three, Snitzel won seven of his 15 starts including the Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 (1100m), a race also won by his broodmare sire, the Challenge Stakes-Gr.2 (1000m) and the Skyline Stakes-Gr.3 (1200m) and he was runner-up to champion Takeover Target (a horse he relegated to third in the Oakleigh Plate) in the VRC Newmarket-Gr.1. He won four of his six starts at two, coming to hand early enough to with the historic Breeders’ Plate-LR (1000m) on debut.

  He carries a 5fx3m cross of the Dewhurst Stakes-Gr.1 winner Lunchtime (GB) (Silly Season-Great Occasion by Hornbeam) via Canny Lad’s dam Jesmond Lass and Snippets. Lunchtime carries Selene 5mx4m through her sons Pharamond and Hyperion. Snitzel also has four lines of Northern Dancer (Selene 4mx6m) and an additional line of Natalma (whose sire Native Dancer traces in male line to another Selene son Sickle) in his five-generation pedigree. Snitzel also has the closely bred Nijinsky and Storm Bird 4x3, the latter sire of his second dam Snow Finch (IRE). Snippets’ Lass was a Listed winner of seven races (1200m-1300m) and she also produced the stakes winners Viennese (Redoute’s Choice) and Hinchinbook (Fastnet Rock), the latter, who died recently, was a multiple Gr.1 placegetter and a successful young sire for Yarraman Park.

  Snitzel covered his first book at Arrowfield in 2006, getting 130 mares at his $33,000 fee and although this dipped to $22,000 in 2009 and then $27,500 for the next two seasons, it was full steam ahead from there, hitting $110,000 in 2016 and $176,000 in 2017 when he won his first sires’ premiership. It’s not surprising Snitzel is commanding $220,000 this year on the back of a remarkable season where his runners amassed $29m, including almost $10m won by Everest hero Redzel (Rubiton) and Golden Slipper heroine Estijaab (Charge Forward). He had more than 170 winners of more than 300 races and his 26SW had 43 stakes wins. Another by Redoute’s Choice also figured in the top 10 sires by earnings in 2017-18 and that was Listed winner and Group placed Not a Single Doubt (ex Singles Bar by Rory’s Jester) in sixth spot, whose dam is a half-sister to Snippets and who also stands alongside his sire at Arrowfield ($99,000).

  His career stats give Snitzel more than 620 winners (72%) and earnings topping $110m, with 83SW (13 Gr.1). There are some interesting pedigree points among his best runners with multiple Gr.1 winners Trapeze Artist being out of a mare by Domesday (third dam Monroe a sister to Show Lady, giving the siblings 5x5). He also has Bletchingly (Biscay) 5mx3f and Storm Bird 4fx5f, Cox Plate winner Shamus Award has Nijinsky 5fx5m and his second dam is by Golden Slipper winner Luskin Star (Kaoru Star), who is also dam sire of Stratum, while Wandjina (Last Tycoon) has Lunchtime 4mx3f and his dam sire is by Try My Best, a grandson of Best in Show (6fx5f). Estijaab (Charge Forward) is another to double Bletchingly 5mx4f, plus she has another line of Biscay via another son in King Hadrian. Charge Forward is by Red Ransom (Roberto), sire of earlier-mentioned Domesday and also dam sire of Snitzel-sired Group winners Chance Bye, Sweet Redemption and Arbeitsam.

 Like many from the Danehill line though Snitzel works with a variety of bloodlines, perhaps one of the reasons it has been so successful here. You would expect the Selene-rich Sir Tristram line to work well with Odyssey Moon, while Woodman and his sons, mares from the Encosta de Lago line and those by General Nediym, who have worked so well with his sire, could also be worth trying. Tapping into Lunchtime, especially using daughters of Pins (Snippets/Kaoru Star) looks a good option too.

  To recap, Odyssey Moon came to hand early and was among the best juvenile colts of his year, winning on debut, placing several times at Group level includinga second in a Gr.1 and was not far away (2.2 lengths) when eighth of 16 in the Golden Slipper and he was also sixth in the Champagne-Gr.1.

  At three he was a close fourth in the Zeditave-Gr.3 behind Santa Ana Lane and was beaten a half-length by He’s Our Rokkii when second in the Carbine Club-Gr.3 over the 1600m at Randwick. He showed his versatility next time out with a third behind Nautical in the Straight Six-LR (1200m) at Flemington, beaten under a length and then won his next two, over 1300m and 1100m in Melbourne. The following season he franked this form by winning the VRC Standish-Gr.3 (1200m) on January 1, 2017, retiring after an unplaced run in The Telegraph-Gr.1 in NZ later that month.

  An attractive brown standing a tick over 16 hands, Odyssey Moon represents Australia’s most commercial sire line at a fee that looks real value for money. His female line is a strong one too, his wins came from 1000m-1300m and this focus on early maturing speed should also win him support from breeders.

  “Odyssey Moon danced every dance as a two year-old and was still winning top class races at four,” Olly Tait said. “That shows how willing and tough he was. He’s a great looking horse who is athletic and strong and we are delighted he is at Twin Hills.” n