A fascinating fact once highlighted on the Australian Stud Book website was that, of the 760 stallions which covered mares in Australia in 2009, 176, or 23%, were male line descendants of Danehill, including 101 of his sons. Between them these stallions covered 35% of the broodmare population.

Redoute's Choice, by Danehill, is an exciting reverse-shuttler

Of course this dominance by the Danehill male line reflects the extraordinary success that the son of Danzig enjoyed on his shuttle missions to Coolmore Australia. Nine times champion sire in the space of 11 years, he was also leading sire of two-year-olds six times. Since his last championship in 2004-05 his dominance has been reinforced by his stallion sons, with Redoute’s Choice, Flying Spur and Fastnet Rock all succeeding him as champion sire.

Redoute’s Choice has been champion sire on two occasions and has consistently ranked among the top three stallions, his latest third place coming behind Fastnet Rock on the 2011-12 table, which featured four sons of Danehill in the top eight.

There is no sign of this Danehill line dominance coming to an end. The 2011-12 leading sires’ list also featured two of Redoute’s Choice’s second-crop sons in the top 12, with Snitzel in ninth and the 2005 Golden Slipper Stakes winner Stratum in 11th. This may just be the tip of the iceberg, as the number of Redoute’s Choice stallions which have sired at least one Australian Group 1 winner already stands at five, the others being Bradbury’s Luck, Fast ‘n’ Famous and Duelled, none of whom were themselves Group 1 winners.

It can be regarded only as good news that Redoute’s Choice will shuttle to Europe for the first time

In view of this widespread success, it can be only good news that Redoute’s Choice is going to shuttle to Europe for the first time. He is going to be based at the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval for the 2013 northern hemisphere season and will stand at €70,000. While €70,000 is a very substantial fee for the French breeding industry, it is worth adding that Redoute’s Choice’s 2012 fee in Australia is AUS$137,500, which equates to around €112,000.

As a fast four-time Group 1 winner by Danehill, Redoute’s Choice has never stood for less than $30,000, but he proved so successful with his first two crops that his fee soared from $40,000 in 2004 to $220,000 in 2005. As his reputation continued to grow, so did his fee, which climbed to $275,000 in 2006 and then to $330,000 in both 2007 and 2008.

These increases were also fueled by some spectacular results in the sales ring, with 14 of his yearlings achieving prices of $2,000,000 or more, with a top price of $3,000,000 in 2006. Even in the comparatively depressed markets of 2012 a Redoute’s Choice yearling made $2,600,000. But that filly, out of Helsinge, is a half-sister to the unbeaten Black Caviar.
Needless to say, the 16.2-hands Redoute’s Choice is capable of siring very eye-catching youngsters.

Northern hemisphere runners
Although Redoute’s Choice is new to the shuttle concept, Europe has enjoyed a sneak preview of his talents, thanks to Arrowfield’s previous policy of making him available to cover mares to northern hemisphere time. His British-trained representatives include those smart colts Tazahum and Elzaam, and the useful miler Maraheb. We have also seen a series of very smart northern hemisphere performances from Musir, an Australian-bred who arrived in the UAE and Europe by way of South Africa.

It is also encouraging that a sizeable portion of his Australian success has come with mares whose backgrounds are either European or American. The broodmare sires of his 21 Group 1 winners include Caerleon, Catrail, El Gran Senor, Kingmambo, Last Tycoon, Nureyev, Wild Again and Woodman. There are also Group 2 winners with dams by Rainbow Quest, Riverman and Sunday Silence.

This is no surprise because Redoute’s Choice’s pedigree is largely a blend of top American and European bloodlines. Although his dam, the outstanding broodmare Shantha’s Dream, is by Canny Lad, a champion Australian two-year-old, his next dam is Dancing Show, an American-bred daughter of Nijinsky. Two of Danehill’s other champion stallion sons, Dansili and Fastnet Rock, also have Nijinsky blood on their dam’s side. Another famous name in Redoute’s Choice’s pedigree is his fourth dam, Best In Show. This means that his third dam, the Sir Ivor mare Show Lady, was a sister to very good Irish performers Malinowski, Giuelgud and Monroe.

This is also the family of El Gran Senor, Try My Best, Spinning World, Xaar, Rags To Riches and Danehill’s Classic-winning daughter Peeping Fawn. The Monroe branch of this family has been ably represented over the last few years by Cityscape and Bated Breath – the latter a son of Dansili.

The announcement that Redoute’s Choice is coming to France included a quote from Georges Rimaud, manager of the Aga Khan Studs in France, that the stallion will be sent at least 15 of the Aga’s mares. No doubt a large part of the stallion’s appeal to the Aga Khan is that he was fast and precocious.

Redoute’s Choice gained his Group 1 victories from six furlongs to a mile, including the Blue Diamond Stakes at two, so he is significantly different from most of the other stallions at the Aga’s studs. Although Sea The Stars, Dalakhani, Azamour and Sinndar were all Group winners at two, they all went on to win major Group 1 races over a mile and a half. Redoute’s Choice’s speed is sure to come in very useful, but don’t expect him to be a one-dimensional speed sire. Like Danehill and many of Danehill’s stallion sons, he has proved capable of siring leading winners over a wide range of distances.

At the sprint end of the distance scale are two winners each of the Blue Diamond Stakes, Golden Slipper Stakes and the TJ Smith Stakes. At the other end are winners of such races as the AJC Australian Oaks, Queensland Derby, VRC Oaks and New Zealand Derby. Clearly, much depends on the type of mare he’s given.