(Photo : Summerhill Stud)
“MIDDLE AND LEG, PLEASE”
While the sireline of the champion American stallion, Halo, is only sporadically represented in South Africa (Sunday Silence’s son, Admire Main, at Summerhill Stud, is a rare exception), it has suddenly made the spotlight through Gimmethegreenlight (by More Than Ready), a stand-out three-year-old of this season and winner of the time-honoured L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (Gr.1) in January.
Like present Summerhill resident, Visionaire, More Than Ready was victorious in one of America’s great “stallion-makers”, the King’s Bishop Stakes (Gr.1) at Saratoga. Since then, he’s established himself as one of the leading sires in both hemispheres, particularly in Australia where he has not only led their Juvenile sires premiership several times, but he has already produced two winners of the world’s richest juvenile race, the Golden Slipper (Gr.1) in Sebring and Phelan Ready. This year, he had the favourite for that race, and no fewer than five of the sixteen entries (almost a third of the field).
That this valuable strain has found traction among South African breeders is not surprising then, and the champion breeders Summerhill Stud, have quickly capitalised on its popularity with the acquisition of one of its most accomplished representatives, Traffic Guard. Described by Timeform, who rated him a world-class 123 lbs, as a “big, strong, lengthy horse” and a “smart performer”, Traffic Guard was a high quality miler who celebrated his best effort in the Irish Champion Stakes (Gr.1), where he ran the world’s best three-year-old, New Approach, to a half length at level weights. Speaking from Summerhill, Horse Administration Manager, Linda Norval commented: “We’re lucky in our friendship with Dr. Jim Hay, owner of the international stars Cape Blanco and Fame And Glory, that he chose Summerhill as the future home for Traffic Guard. He was a top class competitor, raced sound for several seasons, and represents a great outcross for South African mares. Physically, he will suit just about anything, and we’ll be sending him the top priced Stakes-winning daughter of Jet Master we acquired recently at the Milkwood Dispersal, in his maiden season”.
“I remember Traffic Guard very well. I had sold a Southern Halo colt for one million dollars and had cashed a nice bet on More Than Ready the day he broke his maiden, so the sire line had been very good to me. I saw good value in More Than Ready since his two year olds had only just started to run in their first season. Though I didn’t know much about the bottom side of his pedigree, it looked like the family was very adaptable and ran hard all over the world including, as you know, in South Africa. He had, and I assume still does, have a wonderful deep shoulder and girth. As far as training, he was always smart and forward. When we would review our notes at the end of the week, he seemed to have never missed a day or made any mistakes. That attitude, I think, is what helped make him such an early two-year-old and nearly carried him past New Approach.”
Editor: Kip Elser is one of America’s premier consignors of
Ready To Run horses. He sold Traffic Guard.