r heat lightning winning the spinaway stakes at saratoga racetrack
r heat lightning winning the spinaway stakes at saratoga racetrack

Click above to watch R Heat Lightning

winning the Spinaway Stakes Gr.1 at Saratoga

(Photo : Examiner - Footage : Saratoga)



A Grade One success in the time-honoured Spinaway Stakes (Gr.1) at the historic Saratoga on Sunday for the Drakenstein stallion, Trippi, begs the question: how did he come by his name? Without knowing the background, the only connotation to which we can relate his name is the one which earns you a red card on the rugby field for one of that sport’s most heinous transgressions.

There’s no tripping up for this accomplished stallion though, having just the other day recorded his 27th individual Stakes winner, and now adds to his illustrious record over some of the best juvenile fillies in the United States. This victory will undoubtedly have her at or close to the top of the boards when it comes to November’s Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Championship.

The least fancied of Hall Of Fame trainer, Todd Pletcher’s entry of three, R Heat Lightning trailed the field in the caboose seat for much of the way, unleashing a furious chase entering the final turn, and leaving the field for dead in the closing furlong.

Gaynor Rupert has put enormous energy, not to mention capital, into Drakenstein Stud, to the degree that it ranks today with any facility of its kind in the world. So much for the facilities, but when you consider its location, it’s up there with the most beautiful stud farms anywhere. The Ruperts, who were with us at Summerhill virtually from the day the gates opened, are destined to serve this industry well, as they have the country’s broader economy. They’ve selected their stock carefully, and in the case of Trippi, this was a self-inspired initiative which justifies itself through his racecourse scoreboard on a week by week basis. Trippi’s R100,000 stud fee now looks something like of a bargain in the wake of the events of the past few months. Considering that apart from his own dual Grade One winning racecourse record and the achievements of his progeny to date, only yesterday at lunch here, no less a judge than Herman Brown Snr proclaimed him the best balanced horse he’d ever set eyes upon.