Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Friday July 13

When French Emotion came with a barnstorming finish to win the Group II Queen of the South Stakes at Morphettville on May 5 to become Snitzel’s 26th stakes-winner of the season, it seemed just a matter of time before Arrowfield’s champion took sole ownership of the record for individual stakes-winners for a season, a title he currently shares with Danehill.

But we are now in the closing weeks of the season and Snitzel is still anchored on 26.

With stakes races in short supply in the off season, Snitzel may get few better chances than the $700,000 colt Ducimus who lines up in a fascinating renewal of the Group III Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Out of the winner’s circle since capturing the Listed Talindert Stakes at two, Ducimus has tested the patience of Team Hawkes and Mick Price so the irrepressible Darren Weir was given a turn to weave his magic on the 3yo at the start of this preparation.

But Ducimus is not the only Snitzel in the race.

The Ciaron Maher-trained Jukebox can’t add to Snitzel’s stakes-winners for the season as just a few weeks in to the new term he won the Vain Stakes over the same course and distance with Ducimus one and three-quarter lengths back in fourth (photo Grant Courtney)

Following seconds to Catchy in the Group II Danehill Stakes and to Formality in the Group III Blue Sapphire Stakes, Jukebox pulled up lame when finishing down the track in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes won by Merchant Navy.

Secured for half a million less than Ducimus, Jukebox (pictured as a yearling) was sent by Blue Gum Farm to the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale where he was knocked down to Ciaron Maher for $200,000.

Bred by Oakland Park Stud, Jukebox is the fourth winner from as many foals for the Rory’s Jester mare Jestatune a slick sprinter in Western Australia where her four wins included the Listed WATC Gimcrack Stakes and the Magic Million Perth 2yo Classic.

She also placed in the Group II WATC Karrakatta Plate, Group III MRC Thousand Guineas Prelude and Group III WATC Sires’ Produce Stakes.

A half-sister to the Group 1 WATC Kingston Town Stakes winner million-dollar earner Ihtsahymn (Ihtiram), Jestatume is out of the WATC Listed Crystal Slipper Stakes winner Umatune (Umatilla) who is a sister to the stakes-placed Godswaki and to the dam of the Group II QTC Cup winner Catapulted (Catbird) who was runner-up in the Group 1 Goodwood Handicap.

If Jukebox does deny Ducimus the honour of becoming Snitzel’s 27th individual winner of the season, there is one more hope on the day for Snitzel.

He is the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Dark Eyes.

The Darby racing colour-bearer is a $12 chance in the Listed Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens.

The runner-up over 1600 metres on a heavy track at his last start, Dark Eyes has one stakes win on his resume, The Listed Canberra Cup back in March last year.

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