Another Redoute's star for Peters

6 min read

By Robert Edwards

Owner-breeders Bob and Sandra Peters created history at Ascot when, Dark Choice (Redoute’s Choice) claimed the couple’s fifth straight win in the City Of Belmont WA Oaks.

Dark Choice (Redoute's Choice) was ridden to perfection by jockey Chris Parnham, in third place on the rail running into the home turn, behind her stable-mate and leader Adornment (Medaglia D’Oro {USA}).

Parnham accelerated the handsome filly along the fence to pass Adornment, kicking away at 100m, before being reeled in by a strong finishing Ping Me Another (Musket), who reduced the winning margin to a long-neck.

Mackenzie Brooke (Blackfriars) ran home well to finish a solid third - a long-head behind - in a busy finish to the 2400m classic.

Dark Choice’s win comes only four days after the death of champion sire Redoute’s Choice at 22 years-of-age at Arrowfield Stud.

Peters was happy to have claimed his 10th WA Oaks with Dark Choice, who is from Dark Miss (More Than Ready) a daughter of the unraced mare Dark Amber (Marscay), who was one of Peters’ foundation mares and produced Belmont Guineas winner Cohort and Red Amber, the dam of VRC Bobbie Lewis Stakes winner Churchill Dancer.

Redoute’s Choice was also the sire of his 2017 WA Oaks winner Very Tempting, from the More Than Ready mare Fit and Ready. Dark Choice was having only her fourth start in the WA Oaks and it was her first win.

“This is her first preparation and this is her first start over a distance,” Peters said. “Redoute’s Choice has been a wonderful sire and I have a lot of his mares at home. I am looking forward to them going on to be good broodmares.

“Dark Choice goes back to Dark Amber, who was a very good broodmare to us.”

Peters said Dark Choice - and Adornment (William Pike), who was forced to lead because of no pacemaker and finished a credible sixth - were likely to run in next Saturday week’s WATC Derby (2400m).

Peters other Oaks runner Vinaceous (ninth) would not push forward into the Derby. Kemp rushed up to shake the hand of Parnham on equaling his record.

“This is more special to me than my past two wins in the WA Oaks,” Parnham said. I’m not too sure why but it is. She has always given me a good feel. She has improved since they put the blinkers on her.”

Regal Power gives Peters a vice-like grip on the $400,000 WATC Derby, after his demolition of the colts and geldings in the Melvista Stakes (2200m).

Regal Power, a full-brother to last year’s WATC Derby winner Action (from Broadway Belle, by Redoute’s Choice), pulled away to an easy 2 ¼ length win in the Listed feature.

Cockney Crew (Maschino), who led for most of the journey, held on to finish second, while Platoon (Playing God), who had a cosy run on the pace weakened to finish third a further ¾ of a length away. Without Reason (Dash For Cash) gave a nice Derby trial to finish from 10th to snatch fourth place – beaten 3.3 lens. The remainder of the 12 runners made no headway.

Bookmakers immediately firmed Regal Power from $3.20 into a red hot $1.80 favourite for the Derby. Cocknet Crew was firmed from $11 into $7 second favouritism with Mackenzie Brooke tightened from $17 into $7.50 and Dark Choice from $11 into $8.50.

“Action got beaten in this race last year, but then we won the race we wanted,” Peters said. “I thought early on this bloke had a bit more toe, but really there is not a lot between them. I picked him as our best three-year-old male and so far he has delivered."

Broadway Belle has a filly and a colt by Doomsday and is in foal to Pierro.

The WA Oaks was marred by the fall of the heavily backed ($4.20 into $3.90) Assetro (Blackfriars) at the 250m. Jockey Mitchell Pateman was put into a brace and taken to hospital for observation. Pateman maintained consciousness and was complaining of a sore back. Assetro is believed to have died from a heart attack.

Trainer Adam Durrant’s other two runners Mackenzie Brooke and Jedaffair (Trade Fair {GB}) ran third and fifth respectively.

The WA Oaks was first run in 1953 and won by Copper Beech. Jockey Frank “Tiger” Moore won a record eight WA Oaks on Craghill (1955), Dawdie (1956), La Lisse (1959), Queen Of The Nile (1960), Muette (1966), Baywana (1969), Paper Honey (1973) and Our Pocket (1974).

The Peters family today won their 10th WA Oaks after claiming their first Oaks with Natasha (1990), Reflected Image (1999), Old Money (2000), Fatal Attraction (2004), Dreamaway (2011), and the past five Oaks with Delicacy (2015), First Impression (2016), Very Tempting (2017), Special Alert (2018) and Dark Choice.

Peters has bred eight of their 10 WA Oaks winners – only Fatal Attraction and Very Tempting were bought at yearling sales.

Parnham equaled the record of champion WA rider Rod Kemp (True Devotion, Contwig and Cologne 1984-86) to win three successive WA Oaks on Very Tempting, Special Alert and Dark Choice.

Trainer Grant Williams has won three Oaks outright (Dreamaway, Delicacy and First Impressions) and the past three runnings of the $250,000 classic in partnership with his wife Alana.

Lou Luciani gained minor compensation for Prim And Proper (Alfred Noble {IRE}) missing next Saturday’s Group 2 Karrakatta Plate (1200m), when Pretty Style (Oratorio) led through-out for a one length win in the TABtouch Better Your Bet Plate.

Prim And Proper is on the fifth line of betting at $7.50 behind $4.35 favourite Rio Del Mar for WA’s $500,000 signature two-year-old feature, following her brilliant win in the Listed Supremacy Stakes (1000m) and brave half-head second to Rio Del Mar in last Saturday’s Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes (1100m).

Pretty Style underlined her toughness to butter up off a debut 1008m maiden win at Bunbury on March 24 and notch another impressive victory crossing from gate nine for jockey Jason Whiting in the 1000m dash.

Pretty Style is at $41 in the Karrakatta Plate, but Luciani said she was unlikely to back up again.

“There is a 1000m race for her a week after the Karrakatta and I think we will keep her to the softer races,” Luciani said. “Originally it was part of our plan to have her run in the Karrakatta, but we ran out of time to qualify her.

“She is a pretty smart horse and when the blinkers go on she is pretty chilled. She could be a chance in the WA Sires Stakes (run Good Friday).

“Prim And Proper got galloped on last week and right now the vet is probably with her changing her bandages. At this stage, she won’t be running next Saturday.”