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The promise shown by the up-and-coming star Maurice three year-old, Mazu, during the recent Sydney Autumn Carnival was fulfilled by his brilliant win in the G1 Doomben 10,000 in May, his sixth win from six starts that preparation.
Timing is everything they say and it is more than fitting that Mazu now leads to the first of this series of articles, which will delve back a few generations to highlight many a good racemare often just off the catalogue page so to speak. In Mazu’s case, it is his 4th dam, the flying filly of the mid-sixties, Cendrillon.
There have been few better named racehorses than Cendrillon, which is the French term for Cinderella, being by the imported stallion Landau, a horse-drawn carriage (you know, the Fairy Godmother bit turning the pumpkin into a carriage, a landau in fact), from Pantoufle, French for slipper.
By the standards of the day Landau was a major acquisition for Victorian breeding when purchased for £40,000 to stand his first season in 1955 at E.A. Underwood’s Warlaby Stud at Oaklands Junction. The near black stallion was as close a thing to equine royalty as you can get. Not only did he race in the colours of Queen Elizabeth II, he came with a stunning pedigree given his sire was the outstanding Derby winner Dante and his dam the exceptional Sun Chariot, one of only a handful to have won the so called English Fillies Triple Crown – the 1000 Guineas, Oaks and St. Leger. This combined with high class form on the track which saw Landau win six races including the prestigious Sussex Stakes at Goodwood made him a most exciting prospect.
Landau was a fine stallion, getting stakes winners over a variety of distances from brilliant two year-olds such as Impulsive, the dam of Reckless, to the outstanding milers Nicopolis and Anonyme, as well as a number of major two mile Cup winners including Campo, Zarook and Phar Ace. Twice Landau was a Top Ten stallion on the General Sires List and three times among the leading sires of broodmares.
Before leaving Landau, it is a point of interest that the horse, who later moved to the fledging Stockwell Stud, was like his own sire, Dante, blind for the last years of his life.
Cendrillon’s dam, Pantoufle, was a smart racemare on Melbourne tracks winning a couple of sprints around Moonee Valley in her time while the origins of the female line in Australia trace back to Mazu’s seventh dam, the imported Grey Port. Shipped Down Under by legendary St. Aubins studmaster, W.J.“Knockout” Smith, Grey Port produced the outstanding two and three year-old Mayfowl to a 1939 mating with Smith’s great stallion, Beau Pere. The grey Mayfowl was a worthy rival of the champion mare Flight, defeating her in the 1943 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes and also winning the AJC St. Leger in the next season. Mayfowl’s year older brother, Beau Port, did not reach the same heights but made his mark as the sire of the dam of the brilliant Wiggle.
When Cendrillon made her debut in the Dingley Stakes over 5f at Sandown on 4 December, 1965, she was no match for the more experienced Vienna, another of the star Melbourne fillies that year, which having won her two previous starts added a fourth after Sandown.
But Cendrillon then lit her fire, blazing across the turf at Caulfield a fortnight later in course record time ahead of a 6 length win as the 1/4 favourite nine days on in even quicker time. Within a week, Cendrillon returned to Sandown to set an Australian record when as the 1/8 favourite, the Landau – Pantoufle filly had an 8 length victory over her opposition. You have to love the symmetry of that. All wins so far came at 5f.
In hindsight, Victoria’s feature two year-old race, the Merson Cooper Stakes at the end of February, looked an obvious target but her connections, trainer Kelly Chapman and owner R. Schneider, decided to rest their flying filly until her classic year.
The 1966 Merson Cooper Stakes was won by Bart’s champion filly, Storm Queen, an 8/1 chance on the back of four wins on the trot in Adelaide while the more fancied Vienna was beaten for the first time when down the track. Storm Queen, who always left her run late, would then win the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, the Golden Slipper and Champagne Stakes, achieving a quartet of major two year-old races only equalled by the mercurial Vain.
On the Free Handicap that season, unsurprisingly Storm Queen topped the charts when weighted on 9st 5lb with Cendrillon the sixth highest rated filly on 8st 4lb, 2lb below the only horse to defeat her that season, Vienna. The Cinderella girl and the Queen were now locked into a date with destiny.
In those days, black type options for three year-old fillies in Melbourne among their own age group and sex were rare and non-existent under a mile. And so, Cendrillon resumed against the older sprinters on 3 September finishing a close 3rd to the older Maritana over 6f for the first time in the Whittier Hcp, an open class race named after one of the greats of the 1920s.
Just when you had forgotten all about the Cinderella fable, the Australian Turf Registers, the Blue Books, would record a win anywhere at any time in brackets, so that Cendrillon’s win in R1 at her next start in the Chandos Hcp at Moonee Valley, listed as race meeting 477 that season, was in no doubt except that the index, while recording the race, missed the brackets. Just shows that looking up the answers in the back of the book as in my schoolboy days did not always work. The stepsisters may have been behind this canard but more proof is needed.
Back to the Chandos Hcp. Winning for the first time over the short six at the Valley, Cendrillon clocked in 1.5 seconds quicker than the other division of the race. On the same card, Storm Queen bolted way with the Moonee Valley Stakes over a mile defeating the colts and geldings with her usual ease.
Just a week later, the two glamour fillies met for the first time in the Edward Manifold Stakes over the Flemington mile. It was indeed a brave call by Cendrillon’s connections to go to the distance off a sprinting preparation particularly when Storm Queen was looking invincible against her age group and already a winner at the trip, as it proved on the day. Storm Queen, starting the 1/3 favourite, won the contest by a length from the Landau filly with the rest of the field, which included some very good fillies, six lengths behind the runner-up.
Cendrillon may have been beaten but the filly was by no means disgraced. A week later, Storm Queen annihilated her opposition winning the Caulfield Guineas by a staggering 5 lengths. Bart’s filly really did look invincible but another week later even Storm Queen met her match. It was time for Cinders to shine at the big dance, the Thousand Guineas.
Over many years the Caulfield mile has been regarded as a ‘sprinter’s mile’, a less taxing affair than, say, Randwick or Flemington. Cendrillon, ridden by Jim Johnson, (who had ridden Storm Queen the week before as her usual rider Roy Higgins was out injured) proved the point and although Storm Queen was also a sprinter/miler par excellence, Cendrillon dictated from the front and safely held the favourite’s challenge in the straight, winning by a length. Storm Queen started at 1/3 and while Cendrillon had solid support as the 11/4 second elect the result was certainly an upset. In third place was the 100/1 chance, Farmer’s Daughter, the subsequent winner of the AJC Oaks that season. Galilee won the 1966 Caulfield Cup one race later on his way to the Hall of Fame.
Both fillies competed during Cup Week while going their separate ways. Cendrillon went sprinting again finishing a good 4th of 17 runners in the Craven “A” Stakes down Flemington’s Straight Six against a top line field, the race being won by a wonderful horse of the time in Marmion, whose name will come up again. Bart, being Bart, abandoned plans to aim Storm Queen towards the VRC Oaks and instead saddled her up for the George Adams Hcp (Cantala Stakes) over a mile on the final day of the carnival. With 3 weeks between runs, Storm Queen, as a 3/1 chance, bounced back to winning form to defeat the older horses comfortably enough. In 4th place was the 2/1 favourite, the NZ mare Chantal, who had defeated Galilee by 5 lengths in the Epsom Hcp a month earlier.
Just when you would think enough was enough, both Storm Queen and Cendrillon went head-to-head one more time that spring in the Sandown Guineas, but on a bottomless track, the race was won easily by the 14/1 shot, Hialeah, with Storm Queen 3rd and Cendrillon 5th. The pedestrian time for the mile, 1.43.5, tells the story. Earlier that day, Light Fingers won the Sandown Cup having finished 2nd to Galilee in the 1966 Melbourne Cup. Hialeah was the dam of the great miler and leading NZ stallion, Imposing, the sire of Super Impose. Oh for the halcyon days of my youth.
Cendrillon resumed in January in the Barton Hcp, a race which would take on black type status in the ‘80s, which was for her a familiar 5f dash around Caulfield against the open class sprinters and as the odds-on favourite the filly bolted in by 3 lengths in the lickety-split time of 57.1 seconds. Three weeks later, Cendrillon was sent out the 6/4 favourite for the Lightning Stakes but could do no better than 7th in a high-class field, with Storm Queen finishing over the top of established speedsters Redcap, Marmion, Citius, Bowl King and Gay Gauntlet for yet another of that filly’s famous victories.
No rest for Cendrillon, who was saddled up again a week later weighing-in 3rd in the Oakleigh Plate which was won in style by Marmion from the Sydney mare, Winged Beauty, who just might be another Bluebloods ‘Off The Page’ subject mare in time. But then, only another week later, Cendrillon went barrier-to-box in the Futurity Stakes just as quickly as Cinderella fled the Ball while setting a weight-carrying record for a 3yo filly which has not been bettered. Group One sprinters were simply left in her wake.
Storm Queen predictably went to the Newmarket and ran well under 8st 11lb but was 4th over the line to the brilliant Sydney sprinter, Nebo Road, who won by 4 lengths from Marmion, who conceded the winner 24lbs. Spare a thought also for Marmion, a top-class, long-forgotten sprinter of the day.
Meanwhile, Cendrillon shipped to Sydney with the Doncaster her mission. Feature sprints nowadays of the ATC Autumn Carnival such as The Galaxy and the T. J. Smith Stakes were still some way off and after being 4th to Time and Tide in the Railway Quality at Rosehill, the Melbourne filly finished among the tailenders in the famous Randwick mile, which was won in spectacular fashion by the great Tobin Bronze. Storm Queen, the 3/1 favourite, was midfield after a torrid run and did not race again.
But Cendrillon did and from six starts as a 4yo, recorded her eighth win when once again winning over her favourite 5f course at Caulfield before time was called on her stellar 24:8-2-2 career after being unplaced in the 1968 Futurity Stakes.
If Cendrillon’s racing career was quite brilliant, her stud record was the opposite in general and a disappointment overall, although a lovely mother she certainly would have been. The mare produced 10 foals, two of which, colts by the Prince Charmings of the day, Todman and Showdown, were never named, two others did not race, while the remaining six were only minor winners. The best of these was her 1984 Showdown filly, Midnight Slipper, a two time winner in Sydney and the 3rd dam of Mazu, just to get us back on track.
Midnight Slipper carried the red jacket, black band, white sleeves and cap of the Schneider family as had her dam and indeed most of the descendants of Pantoufle. Twice a winner from 10 starts in Sydney when trained by Neville Begg, Midnight Slipper’s own career at stud mirrored Cendrillon’s, and while her six foals to race were six minor winners, it was her daughter, Midnight Renegade, a daughter of the middle-order Noholme stallion Brigand, which re-ignited the fire. From 10 starts, Midnight Renegade’s only win came in a Stawell Maiden Hcp over 1200m and yet of her 14 foals, 11 were winners including many city performers and two mares which gained black type, Late Night Fun and Chatelaine, the dam of Mazu.
From 30 starts, Chatelaine won three races but was stakes-placed five times in prestigious races such as the G2 Silver Shadow Stakes when trained by Ron Quinton mainly and Peter Moody afterwards. The spark was about to flame again.
Chatelaine’s stud career got off to a red hot start when producing the G1 winning filly Headway as her first foal to a mating with the Arrowfield stallion Charge Forward. Bred by Stuart Ramsey at Turangga Farm, Headway was the Australian Champion Two year-old Filly of the 2008/09 racing year, highlighted by victory in the G3 Sweet Embrace Stakes and a gallant second to Phelan Ready in the G1 Golden Slipper on a Heavy 10. But, Headway topped that the following season when defeating the colts and geldings in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.
Chatelaine changed hands for $54,000 in 2017 when Stuart Ramsey cut back on his breeding operation and when once again in-foal to Charge Forward, the resultant foal being the 4-time winner, The Cruiser. The mare’s new owners, Marc and Lindy De Stoop, were in the process of establishing their Parsons Creek property at Milbrodale and their decision to send Chatelaine to the Japanese superstar, Maurice, standing his first season at Arrowfield was certainly an inspired one.
As indeed was the $180,000 winning bid by Triple Crown Syndications for Lot 52 at the 2020 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, the ninth living foal of Chatelaine and the horse we now know as the G1 winner Mazu, whose record today stands at 11:7-0-1 with over $1.75m in the bank. Not forgetting he has a slot in The Everest for the next two seasons.
Cendrillon’s Ball is not over just yet!
Stallions Weekly Bulletin
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