Redoute’s Choice leads sires’ ladder after Winter Stakes

Star filly Melito rounded out her winter campaign in style on Saturday when she cruised home for a deserved win in the Group 1 Winter Stakes (1600m) at Eagle Farm.

Since beating Hot Danish, Mic Mac and Wanted in the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes at Randwick in April, Melito had been G1 placed in the All Aged Stakes, BTC Cup, Stradbroke Handicap and Doomben 10,000.

The Winter Stakes sent her earnings past $1.57 million after her second win at the elite level.  She was offered at the 2008 Gold Coast Magic Millions and was sold for $600,000 but was retained by John Rippon of Reavill Stud when the buyer reneged.

The Winter Stakes also set up a thrilling finale for the Australia sires’ premiership between her sire Redoute’s Choice (Arrowfield) and reigning champion Encosta de Lago (Coolmore).

Redoute’s Choice was $200,000 behind the Coolmore champ heading into the weekend but he took the lead after Melito and Mirrasalo (G3 Tattersalls Cup) completed a feature double at Eagle Farm.

Melito (3f Redoute’s Choice – Cloister by Marauding) was sent to the front from an outside barrier and was never headed.  “Surely she’s done enough to win the 3YO Filly of the Year award,” trainer Gerald Ryan claimed.  “She will have a light spring campaign running in either the Schillaci or Moir Stakes and then in the Patinack Farm Stakes.”

Melito is one of four winners produced by Melbourne Debutante Stakes winner Cloister.  She hails from the family of Zeditave, Alannon, Jet Spur and this year’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Military Rose.

Cloister has a yearling filly by Hussonet and was bred back to Redoute’s Choice last year.