Best On Breeding
Mark Smith - Thursday April 18

It has been quite a season for the 21-year-old mare St Therese.

Last October the daughter of Dehere (USA) provided the now Twin Hills resident Smart Missile with his first Group 1 winner when Maid Of Heaven defeated the males in the Spring Champion Stakes.

Maid Of Heaven is the tenth foal of St Therese and she may have to share the Group 1 honours with her year younger brother Castelvecchio who has been installed as the $3.60 second favourite behind Loving Gabby (I AM Invincible) in Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick. (image Steve Hart)

After an impressive winning debut in a Canterbury maiden over 1200 metres on January 18, the son of Dundeel (image below Mark Smith)  made everyone sit up and take notice when he came with a barnstorming finish to win the inaugural running of the $2 million Inglis Millennium (1200m) at Warwick Farm.

At his next start in the Group II Skyline Stakes at Randwick, Castelvecchio got a long way out of his ground but was doing his best work late when third behind Microphone and Cosmic Force.

Microphone was too good for him again in the Group I Inglis ATC Sire’s Produce Stakes at Randwick when beaten less than a length into third with Loving Gaby splitting the pair.

Trained by Richard Litt, Castelvecchio was purchased by Ottavio Galletta of Galletta Constructions for $150,000 at the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, where he was consigned by Arrowfield Stud.

Besides Maid Of Heaven, he is also a half-brother to the Group III winning Redoute’s Choice mare Mirrasalo who was a $700,000 purchase at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Two unraced daughters of St Therese, Precious Moment (Charge Forward and Little Flower (Redoute’s Choice) have produced the stakes-winners Precious Memories (Stratum) and Hussy By Choice (Hussonet) respectively.

Mill Park Stud consigned a Not A Single Doubt filly out of Hussy By Choice to this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale where she made $725,000 to the bid of Graham and Linda Huddy’s Peachester Lodge.

A half-sister to five-time Group 1 winner Planet Ruler, St Therese was a very smart racemare in her own right.

Bred by Segenhoe Stud, she won a pair of Listed races in New Zealand and placed in numerous Group 1 and Group II raced on both sides of the Tasman.

She was purchased out of the Arrowfield draft at the 1999 Magic Millions sale by Rob McAnulty.

Her sire Dehere (USA) (image below Mark Smith) had his ups and downs in an adventurous 13 seasons in Australia but he certainly left his mark. Bought out to Australia by Coolmore he had a stint at Arrowfield interspersed with his shuttling to America and Japan.

In Australia, he left the Golden Slipper Stakes and Newmarket Handicap winner Belle Du Jour, Coolmore Classic winner Bollinger, SAJC Schweppes Oaks winner Invest, VRC Oaks winner Dear Demi and the triple Group 1 winner Defier who was the winner of St Therese’s final start in the 2002 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick

A son of the champion American stallion Deputy Minister out of the Secretariat mare Little Dot, Dehere (USA) has made his mark as a broodmare stallion with his daughters producing triple Group 1 winner Forensics, the VRC Derby and SAJC Derby winner Rebel Raider, the Epsom Handicap winner Hauraki, the SAJC South Australian Derby winner Kidnapped, and of course Maid Of Heaven.

St Therese’s 13th foal is a yearling colt by Panzer Division and she was bred back to that stallion after missing to Scissor Kick in 2017.

Perhaps it should not come as such a surprise that St Therese is enjoying such phenomenal success in her twilight years. She was herself the 14th foal of her dam Moon Scent (Aloe).

With just two crops on the track, Castelvecchio’s sire Dundeel is shaping as another important sire for Arrowfield.

His 2yo son Yourdeel has won twice at the highest level in NZ, while in South Africa Atyaab captured the Cape Derby Stakes and China Horse Club’s Global Exchange won the Group II Caulfield Autumn Classic and Group II Alister Clark Stakes earlier this autumn.

Dundeel also has any number of promising young types such as the undefeated Super Seth so I guess there will be plenty of breeders anxiously waiting to see the fee Arrowfield put on the champion son of High Chaparral (IRE) for the forthcoming breeding season.

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