While Gr.1 success on the track doesn’t always ensure success in the breeding barn, Aquis’ Champion 2YO Colt and winner of the Gr.1 Champagne Stakes, The Mission, has all the right credentials to prove himself as a stallion of the future.
Trained throughout his racing career by Paul Perry, who is the man behind successful Gr.1-winning colts Fastnet Rock, Stratum and The Mission’s very own sire Choisir, all of which have been successful as stallions, siring numerous Gr.1 winners in their own right.
Proving too good in the Gr.3 Schweppervescence Handicap two runs before his elite level score in the Champagne Stakes, The Mission thrived throughout his juvenile campaign; precocious enough to contest the early trials before making his debut in the opening black type race of the season for the two-year-old’s, the time-honoured Breeders’ Plate.
With eight runs at two highlighted by two group victories, The Mission’s defining moment came in the final Gr.1 for the juveniles during the Sydney Autumn carnival, the Champagne Stakes (1600m). The Mission’s two and a quarter length victory over a host of quality stakes performers including the winners of the Gr.1 Sires’ Produce Stakes, Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes and Gr.1 Victoria Derby – highlights the sheer class of the race.
Since 1980, there have been 15 colts to win the Gr.1 Champagne Stakes, with 14 producing stakes winners at stud, with arguably the most impressive being the last two colts, the Gr.1 producing sires Pierro and Helmet.
Going on to finish fifth behind Trapeze Artist in both the Gr.1 TJ Smith Stakes and the Gr.1 All Aged Stakes, two of the highest rating races of the season, in race record and track record time respectively, The Mission retired after a further two starts to commence his stud career at Aquis’ Queensland base at Canungra.
Covering a quality first book which included mares that were closely related to 39 individual Gr.1 winners, coupled with the fact that the only two Gr.1-winning sons of Choisir to have gone to stud and have had runners, have both produce Gr.1 winners; has breeders very excited about the first crop of foals arriving this season.
From the sire line of Danehill, Danehill Dancer and Choisir, all Champions either on or off the track, reports from breeders have indicated that The Mission’s first crop foals have the same well-balanced walk as their sire, with plenty of quality.
One of the first foaled at Aquis this season was the filly out of the winning Elusive Quality mare Smarty Jane, a half-sister to Gr.3 SAJC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Cute Emily and to the dam of Gr.3 Blue Diamond Prelude (F) winner Psychologist and HK-Gr.1 Hong Kong Derby winner Luger – all by Choisir, clearly indicating that the cross with this family works.
Described by Aquis’ Queensland Stud Manager Jonathan Davies as being, “A very well-balanced filly with a terrific top, and has a great walk, just like her sire.”
“Athletic, well balanced with plenty of bone, a lovely shoulder and a big hip. Mission accomplished,” enthused Davies.
One of two sons of Choisir on Aquis’ 2019 Stallion Roster, the other being the Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet, whose first crop weanlings sold for over $200,000 off a service fee of $22,000 (inc. GST), Aquis is confidant in the future success of The Mission, and will once again be supporting the young stallion in the breeding barn.
It’s fantastic to see that many breeders who used the only Gr.1-winning, Champion 2YO Colt standing in Queensland in his first season, are sending mares again in his second season off the back of the outstanding foals he is leaving on the ground.