Black-type breakthrough for sons of Snitzel

5 min read

By Bren O'Brien

While much of the thoroughbred world's attention was understandably on Randwick on Saturday, elsewhere, two sons of Champion sire Snitzel, Sizzling and Shamus Award, secured their first stakes winners at Caulfield and Morphettville respectively.

Sizzling, who stands at Newgate, got his breakthrough when Secret Blaze won the Listed Galilee Final at Caulfield over 2425m, while Shamus Award's black-type success was via Classic Weiwei in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m).

Secret Blaze

Both 3-year-olds are from the first crop of their respective sires and both are trained by Tony McEvoy.

Sizzling himself was sharp enough to win on debut over 1000m by six lengths, before stretching out to win the G1 The TJ Smith over 1600m later in his 2-year-old season.

He then trained on to win twice in black-type company as a 3-year-old, including the G2 Queensland Guineas.

Newgate's General Manager Bruce Slade said it is pleasing to see Sizzling’s progeny show the same versatility as racehorses.

"He's had a number of stakes horses but couldn't crack that stakes win. It’s been nice to see him do it with that horse." - Bruce Slade

"He's had a number of stakes horses but couldn't crack that stakes win. It’s been nice to see him do it with that horse. He's been an amazing stallion, he's had Golden Slipper runners, VRC Oaks runners. He's leaving all different types," Slade told TDN AusNZ.


"He's got some horses that get up and run early and he's got ones that have trained on. The ones that are bred to train-on are doing that, and over a bit more distance."

Having finished third on last year's first-season sires table with nine 2-year-old winners, Sizzling has had 27 individual winners this season, 23 of them from his first crop and four from his second crop.

In what has been a hot crop of stallions, including Zoustar and Spirit of Boom, he has found his place in the market, according to Slade.

"He gets his fair share of 2-year-old winners and it’s nice to see them train on. He has his place in the market and we'll stand him at $10,000 plus GST this season and he just has some really strong, loyal supporters which support him every year," he said.

"They get good results in the sales ring, good results on the racetrack and at that money, they are happy to keep coming back."

"He's the sort of horse that serves his 100-120 every year and breeders are happy to use him at the price."

In a competitive market, it’s not easy for young stallions to secure stakes success. Shamus Award and Sizzling are two of just 12 from that crop of stallions to have their progeny win a black-type race as yet.

Even their superstar sire Snitzel only had one stakes winner in his first season and three in his second, before success flowed in his third season for his progeny on the track, with Sizzling his first Group 1 winner.

Award for Widden's Shamus

Shamus Award was his second Group 1 winner and has been progressing through his stallion career well, prior to Classic Weiwei's win at Morphettville, according to Ryan McEvoy, Widden's Marketing and Stallion Nominations Manager.

"He's been knocking on the door. He's had (stakes-placed) Causeway Girl and a few others. I know speaking to Tony (McEvoy), they’ve always had a good opinion of this horse," he said.

"He looks a really progressive middle distance horse of the future. We were rapt to see him get on board, first stakes winner for the stallion."

Shamus Award

Shamus Award had six 2-year-old winners from his first crop and has had 27 winners in total so far in his second season, three from his 2-year-olds and 24 from his 3-year-olds.

McEvoy feels that with his first crop now approaching the back end of their 3-year-old year, that Shamus Award is starting to find his place.

"I think he's a young stallion that is going to make a bit of a name for himself, particularly around that sort of 3-year-old mile range. That's where he might find his niche," he said.

As a racehorse, Shamus Award defied his pedigree somewhat to be a 2040m Group 1 winner and McEvoy said that versatility was also present in his progeny.

"He was a horse that was best suited at that mile-2000m range and so it’s no surprise to see his progeny come into their own at that level." - Ryan McEvoy

"It was a great training effort by Danny O'Brien and his team to identify (his best distance). A son of Snitzel out of a Success Express mare, you’d think he would be all speed, but after he ran a slashing race in the Caulfield Guineas, he was able to win a Cox Plate and backed up to win the Australian Guineas in the autumn," he said.

"He was a horse that was best suited at that mile-2000m range and so it’s no surprise to see his progeny come into their own at that level."

The other stallion to have his first stakeswinner over the weekend was Unencumbered, who stood at Three Bridges for four seasons before his death early last year.

Mirette's victory in the G2 Auraria S. provided the breakthrough stakes win for the son of Testa Rossa.