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Melito wins in Sydney, Australia

Melito: the Group 1 Winter Stakes winner is by champion Redoute's Choice

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Redoute's Choice regains Australasian sire crown

A BRILLIANT season, which yielded three Group 1 winners, has helped propel Redoute's Choice back to the head of the leading Australian sires' list and foil Encosta De Lago's attempt at a third consecutive championship.

The final standings - released after the end of the Australasian racing season on Saturday - credit Redoute's Choice with nearly A$9 million in earnings (excluding trophies and bonuses), thereby handing him a second sires' championship following the 2005-2006 season.

He is also the season's joint leading sire of stakes winners alongside Zabeel with a total of 14.

Allez Wonder and Melito contributed to a fine start for Redoute's Choice when scoring at Group 1 level earlier in the year but it wasn't until Melito and Dariana took Group 1 races during the Brisbane winter carnival that the stallion sealed the championship.

Although he has never shuttled, his reputation is becoming increasingly international, as recently proven by the exploits of UAE Derby winner Musir and narrow Coventry Stakes runner-up Elzaam, one of a handful of juveniles bred to northern hemisphere time.

Encosta De Lago relinquishes his title following a two-year stint as champion sire yet, as the figures show, he did not go down without a fight.

The stallion's clutch of 12 Australian stakes winners was led by the dual Group 1 winner Road To Rock while another runner, the two-year-old Sasa, was denied by just a head in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes. In common with Redoute's Choice, Encosta De Lago has a batch of northern hemisphere-bred two-year-olds in training this year.

High Chaparral, who swaps New Zealand for Coolmore Australia this season, leads the way in terms of stakes winners to runners.

The past season saw nearly eight per cent of his runners score in stakes company headed by the Group 1 winners Monaco Consul, Shoot Out and So You Think.

It's a drop down to Darley's exciting third crop sire Lonhro on 6.6 per cent. With the promise of a greater number of runners to represent him in the future, his chances of entering the top five again are strong.

Redoute's Choice was also on the mark as the sire of the top two Australian first-crop sires Stratum and Snitzel.

Widden Stud's Stratum became the first freshman stallion in Australian history to break the A$3 million barrier, thanks primarily to the win of Crystal Lily in the Golden Slipper Stakes. In taking the prestigious juvenile event - worth A$2 million to the winner - the filly emulated her sire, who won the 2004 renewal.

General sires list in Australia and New Zealand 2009/10 (A$*)
stallion stud runners winners sw earnings
Redoute's Choice Arrowfield, Au 281 146 14 8,691,335
Encosta De Lago Coolmore, Au 335 146 12 8,592,395
Zabeel Cambridge, NZ 231 121 14 7,238,462
Street Cry Darley, Au 139 77 4 7,191,087
Lonhro Darley, Au 183 104 12 6,949,210
Commands Darley, Au 297 147 6 5,990,563
High Chaparral Coolmore, Au 64 27 5 5,625,188
General Nediym dead 259 118 5 5,587,640
More Than Ready Vinery, Au 254 121 9 5,577,599
Testa Rossa Vinery, Au 269 134 6 5,540,679

courtesy of
*A$1 = £0.57 = €0.70





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