Admire Main
(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

Many people appear to think this is not a sensible time to be investing in assets of any kind, let alone racehorses. Yet in the annals of the Goss family, it’s only a matter of history repeating itself. When Pat Goss snr found himself in the winner’s circle in the aftermath of St Pauls victory in the 1946 Durban July, he immediately set out to acquire a son of the world’s pre-eminent stallion at the time, Hyperion, applying the entire first prize to the purpose.

Just a month ago, the Summerhill contingent returned to the farm from a triumphant National Yearling Sale. Within a matter of weeks, they’d applied the entire proceeds (and then a bit) to the acquisition of two new stallion prospects, one of which, A.P.Arrow, was the subject of this column a fortnight ago.

In another ground-breaking event in a long-standing history of “firsts”, the nation’s leading breeders have teamed up with Japan’s perennial Champion establishment, Shadai Stallion Station and Northern Farm, in bringing this continent its first son of Sunday Silence. While it would insult his fame to repeat the detail of his achievements here, it’s fair to say, Sunday Silence has had as profound a breed- shaping impact on the evolution of the thoroughbred as any stallion of the modern era.

But Admire Main is no ordinary son of Sunday Silence. Pitched into open company on his first visit to the races, he came home by seven under a restrained ride. Promoted to Graded Stakes level for his second start, he justified his prohibitive odds with an exhibition canter, and then, for good measure, he extended his unbeaten record to three with a “daylight” victory by four lengths at Group Two level in the principal Derby Trial, the Aoba Sho.

By now one of the “talking” horses of his generation, Admire Main lined up for his biggest challenge yet, the Japanese Derby itself, with sights firmly fixed on an autumn campaign around the Japan Cup. His “neck” second in the Derby was a sign that this wasn’t just a supreme racehorse, but he had the courage of a Samurai, too. Sadly, the Derby saw the manifestation of a career-threatening injury which compromised his future, yet nothing could be taken away from what he’s already achieved.

Admire Main’s arrival signals a new era at Summerhill. Twenty years ago in similar circumstances, we went out and courted the patronage of Dubai’s Rulers. That changed our lives and heralded a new dawn for South African breeding. This is a unique racehorse, by a unique stallion from a unique farm; a defining moment in the life of any stud. At times like these, we owe this vote of confidence not only to our customers, but we owe it to the country and to our staff, too. It reminds us again who we are, and especially what we stand for”.

“In our association with the Yoshida family, one of the world’s greatest breeding dynasties, we take special pleasure. The Japanese reshaped the South African motor landscape with Toyota, and the Yoshidas have already made a sizable difference in the world of the racehorse”. That’s what Summerhill’s Mick Goss had to say.

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