Absolutely Fabulass

Miss Fabulass wins the Group Two Tea Rose Stakes

Regally-bred Miss Fabulass wins the Gr.2 Darley Tea Rose Stakes (Lisa Grimm)


John Singleton has been a force of nature for decades – certainly as far as the Australian thoroughbred industry is concerned – and there’s a rock solid chance he’ll be front and centre again this spring with his exciting filly, Miss Fabulass.

On Saturday at Royal Randwick, the Frankel filly lived right up to her moniker with a resounding victory in the Group Two Darley Tea Rose Stakes over 1400m.

It was a work of art from the nifty 3YO who managed to weave a passage through the ruck before storming home for her initial stakes success.

Despite the fact Miss Fabulass is “still learning her trade” the Kris Lees trained filly is now poised to tackle the Group One Flight Stakes – the fourth leg of the Darley Princess Series – over 1600m at Royal Randwick on Saturday week.

For Singleton, it was his fifth ‘win’ in the Tea Rose, having raced 2001 winner Ha Ha, while also breeding and racing More Joyous (2009) and More Strawberries (2010).

What’s more, Singleton now owns Samantha Miss, winner of the 2008 Tea Rose and, fittingly, dam of Miss Fabulass.

While breeding the best to the best is no guarantee for racetrack, it certainly appears to have been on the money with Miss Fabulass: the English-based Frankel appears to be matching his racing prowess in the breeding shed, producing 30 stakes winners since retiring undefeated in 2012 (Miss Fabulass is his first black type winner in Australia).

As for Samantha Miss, purchased by Lees for $1.5 million at the 2007 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, she not only won a Tea Rose, but also the AJC Champagne Stakes, VRC Oaks and AJC Flight Stakes – all at Group One level – before eventually being named Champion 3YO Filly and subsequently sold to Singleton for $3.85 million.

“She (Miss Fabulass) certainly is an exciting filly and our main hope going into the spring,” Singleton’s Racing Manager, Duncan Grimley, reveals. “It’s been a few years now since John was involved in the ownership of Magic Millions, but is still very passionate about the industry and lives on his farm (Strawberry Hill) on the NSW central coast.

“He races 23 horses which include More Sundays, an exciting colt with Lindsay Park Racing that is currently in the spelling paddock, while others include Chris Waller’s unbeaten mare, Girl Tuesday, the (2018 Group One) Champagne Stakes runnerup, Bondi and (multiple stakeswinner) Sandbar.

“He’s also got 26 broodmares and among them are (8-time Group One winner) More Joyous, who produced a Snitzel filly on Sunday night and will head to Fastnet Rock this spring, along with Karuta Queen, Tuesday Joy, Group One producer, Deedra, More Strawberries and co. … it’s a pretty fantastic lineup.

“If anything, John is racing more horses these days as opposed to selling them. He just reckons the prizemoney is Australia is too good to pass up.”

More Joyous and More Strawberries were Singleton’s first mares to be sent to Frankel (in 2013), both bred to southern hemisphere time, as was Miss Fabulass the following year.

“Frankel’s service fee is 175,000 pounds for the northern hemisphere season but it’s only 80,000 pounds for southern hemisphere covers,” Grimley adds. “More Joyous’s Frankel filly – Woman – won her only start for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, but she’s had a few problems. That said, Miss Fabulass has clearly made the entire exercise worthwhile.

“Samantha Miss went back to Frankel this year and was covered 10 days ago – again to southern hemisphere time – and we’ll bring her back to Australia once she’s confirmed in foal.”

HOOFBEAT: It’s been a remarkable year for the astute Grimley who is a part-owner of Merchant Navy and was on hand at Royal Ascot to watch his colt capture the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

The Power of Passion