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WHEN OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

ap arrow clark handicap video
ap arrow clark handicap video
admire main hanshin racecourse video
admire main hanshin racecourse video

Please click above to watch

A.P.Arrow and Admire Main in action

(Footage : YouTube) 

“More Bulldust Part 6”

Extract from Summerhill Sires Brochure 2009-2010

Let me start with a confession. At Summerhill we’re optimists. There seems little point in being anything else. In tough times, the virtues that inspire us are old-fashioned and unglamorous, and it’s good to discover there are hidden reserves of majesty and honour, genius and luck.

At last, we can retire the analogy between our financial circumstances and the Great Depression. Whatever had to be done has been done, and we must now get on with our lives. In the horse business, for a change, we’re the lucky ones. There are still Julys, Mets and Summer Cups to be won, and decisions taken now will only be judged in 2012. The world will be much wiser by then.

Twenty years ago, in similarly dire times, we went out and courted the patronage of Dubai’s Rulers. That changed our lives, as well as the local racing landscape. Times like these call for responses like this, and on this occasion we’ve looked to Japan for salvation. The Japanese changed the world with Toyota, and the Yoshida family have made a similar impression on the realm of the racehorse.

Many people have given up on breeding the Classic racehorse. The horse with the aptitude to excel at the distances of our best races, and then travel abroad, and do the same at distances beyond, if necessary.

Most people may have given up, but not the Yoshidas. And certainly not Summerhill. Relationships like these can define the life of a farm, and we’ve kicked ours off with a horse that took just three starts to become one of the household names of his generation. Three wins from three starts, two in Graded Stakes, and a combined victory margin approaching sixteen lengths, left many a fan with the idea that in ADMIRE MAIN, here was the heir apparent to his own phenomenal sire, Sunday Silence. His effort in his country’s biggest race for the Classic generation suggests they may have been right, but the intrusion of injury robbed us of the opportunity to judge him properly.

We simply don’t know what extraordinary feats he may have been capable of, but from what he’d revealed so far, he was certainly out of the ordinary.

Barry Irwin is a remarkably astute judge of a racehorse. When Barry speaks, we listen. Not long ago, he was asked to value a son of the “Emperor” of American stallions in the hope he might be secured for South Africa. His response was such, the hope was abandoned. Events since then have conspired in our favour, and when A.P.ARROW finally came within range, it was time for action.

email us
email us

If you’re not on the mailing list, or if you’d like to check that you are,

please email Marlene at info@summerhill.co.za for your copy

of the world’s number one Sires brochure.

Click below to read “Bulldust”

Part 1 to Part 6

bulldust part 1
bulldust part 1
bulldust part2
bulldust part2
bulldust part 3
bulldust part 3
bulldust part 4
bulldust part 4
bulldust part5
bulldust part5
bulldust part 6
bulldust part 6

SIX OF THE BEST

summerhill stud grade one
summerhill stud grade one

“A Grade One victory, the Holy Grail of our sport”

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

“More Bulldust Part 6”

Extract from Summerhill Sires Brochure 2009-2010

When you see the full regalia of six “green” flags hoisted at the Summerhill Stallion barn, be sure there’s a celebration cooking.

That’s the sign of a Grade One victory, the Holy Grail of our sport. Qualifying for a Grade One is an unfailingly accurate gauge of class. You need it to get there, and you refine it by staying there.

In recent times, the “green” flags have been doing a lot of fluttering at Summerhill. A Gold Cup hero, a Flying Championship ace and a Garden Province queen.

And just to show that class is a way of life at Summerhill, dual Guineas victor Imbongi, Paris Perfect and Art of War have been blazing their own trails across the sands of Dubai. At the highest level.

What it all comes down to, is this. The best of land, the best of people, and the best of care. And there’s no such thing as a “minor” detail.

In fact, you could say it’s what makes Summerhill Summerhill.

email
email

If you’re not on the mailing list, or if you’d like to check that you are,

please email Marlene at info@summerhill.co.za for your copy

of the world’s number one Sires brochure.

Click below to read “Bulldust”

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

bulldust part 1
bulldust part 1
bulldust part 2
bulldust part 2
bulldust part 3
bulldust part 3
bulldust part 4
bulldust part 4
bulldust part 5
bulldust part 5

Jockey "Monkey Crouch" and Racehorse Speed

jockey monkey crouch
jockey monkey crouch

Click above to watch

“Jockeys - Win or Die Trying”

“A SKILLED JOCKEY CAN LESSEN THE WORK OF A RACEHORSE”

“Major horse race times and records improved by 5% to 7% around 1900 when jockeys adopted a crouched posture,” reported researchers in a recent study, entitled “Modern riding style improves horse racing times”.

Horsetalk writes that researchers have shown that the “monkey crouch” adopted by jockeys helped improve horse speed over the more conservative position adopted by riders of earlier eras.

The findings of Dr Thilo Pfau, Dr Andrew Spence, Dr Sandra Starke, Dr Marta Ferrari and Professor Alan Wilson were reported in the journal Science this week.

“When animals carry loads, there is a proportionate increase in metabolic cost, and in humans this increase in cost is reduced when the load is elastically coupled to the load bearer,” they wrote.

“We show that jockeys move to isolate themselves from the movement of their mount.

“This would be difficult or impossible with a seated or upright, straight-legged posture.

“This isolation means that the horse supports the jockey’s body weight but does not have to move the jockey through each cyclical stride path.

“This posture requires substantial work by jockeys, who have near-maximum heart rates during racing.”

The old-fashioned riding style before 1900 involved long stirrups.

It was American jockeys who started to compete successfully in British racing using the now familiar shorter stirrups and a monkey-crouch position.

The style was popularised by US jockey Ted Sloan, which gave rise to the expression “monkey on a stick” to describe the position.

The 5%-7% time drop in times was huge, with race times since then only edging gradually down.

The researchers attached inertia sensors to the saddle and to the jockey to allow them to measure the movement of both the horse and jockey independently and then compare the data.

They speculated that the crouched riding style of modern jockeys allows them to avoid the acceleration and deceleration that the horse has to apply to an inert load, so that the jockey maintains a comparatively constant speed throughout each stride, thus making less work for the horse.

The results showed that the forwards and backwards, and up and down movements, of the jockey was much less than that of the horse.

This scientifically shows that a skilled jockey can lessen the work the horse has to do, resulting in an increase in speed.

The researchers said that the crouched style could also reduce aerodynamic drag, but their calculations indicated this would have accounted for just 2% of the 5%-7% improvement in racing times.

TIMEFORM 120 FOR IMBONGI

imbongi timeform 120
imbongi timeform 120

Imbongi joins the elite Timeform 120 club

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

“THE POWER OF 120”

It’s long been our belief that the greatest way to shape the breed positively, is to use the best racehorses as sires, and we’re on record recently as saying that our bunch is a Timeform 120. That means in order for a horse to get through the eye of the Summerhill needle, he has to impress the judges at the world’s most prestigious racing agency that he’s worthy of a 120, hence the presence in our barn of horses of the ilk of KAHAL, MULLINS BAY, SOLSKJAER, WAY WEST, STRONGHOLD, MALHUB, and now A P ARROW and ADMIRE MAIN. All of whom are 120’s or better, which entitles them to claim the mantle of being among the top ½% of racehorses worldwide.

The latest member of the club is the Summerhill-bred, Emperors Palace Ready to Run graduate IMBONGI, who earned this lofty status with his facile win in the John Bovington Memorial Criterion Stakes (Gr3) at Newmarket in England.

While five consecutive Breeder’s Championships is enough to make any man proud, a performance of IMBONGI’s class against the best the world has to offer, given South Africa’s isolated history, is new turf for us and he joins PARIS PERFECT and ART OF WAR among Summerhill-raised horses to have performed with distinction at the elite international level this year.

Market Correction at Japan Sales

lot 275 foal colt by daiwa major
lot 275 foal colt by daiwa major

Top Lot 275 by Daiwa Major (Sunday Silence) out of Wind In Her Hair

(Photo : M MacDonald)

Japan Racing Horse Association July Select Sale

Day 2 Foal Session

Although the yearling sales day was described as “amazing” by breeders at the JRHA sale on Monday, sober realism erased the euphoria as the prices for the first session of foals plunged.

The Thoroughbred Daily News reports : “This is a market we must accept under the current economy,” said JRHA spokesman Naohiro Goda, suggesting that consignors may have become too optimistic following a 15-percent leap upward in gross during Monday’s yearling session. “Some consignors set high reserves for the first foal session, which resulted in the high buy-back rate,” Naohiro Goda said, explaining that some viewed the trend of increasing strength in Japan’s yearling market as an incentive to hold onto their foals for sale in 2010, unless they received outstanding prices.

Traditionally, Japanese buyers have preferred to purchase foals, but market predilections are following international standards and shifting toward yearlings.

Teruya Yoshida declares JRHA Sale opener "AMAZING"

lot 65 Rock Of Gibraltar out of My Katies
lot 65 Rock Of Gibraltar out of My Katies

Lot 65 by Rock Of Gibraltar out of My Katies (Sunday Silence)

(Photo : M MacDonald)

Japan Racing Horse Association July Select Sale

Day 1 Yearling Session

One word echoed over and over again around the Northern Horse Park pavilion, following Monday’s opening session of the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale. “Amazing” was the near universal assessment of breeders and consignors who had feared what might happen during the yearling session of Japan’s benchmark sale of young horses, in the wake of the nation’s worst recession since World War II.

The Thoroughbred Daily News reports that when the gavel went down and the last yearling, was led out of the ring, 122 horses had been sold from 156 offered, and the gross of ¥2,699,400,000 exceeded by 15 percent last year’s total of ¥2,347,600,000 for 105 yearlings sold. The average was down only about one percent to ¥22,126,230 ($232,907), and the clearance rate of 78.2 percent improved dramatically from last year’s 69.5 percent.“These are amazing results,” declared JRHA Vice Chairman Teruya Yoshida, owner of Shadai Farm in his traditional post-session analysis with the Japanese media. “I am very surprised - it’s far better than I thought it would be. Generally speaking, before the sale began, all the consignors were very pessimistic, but after only a few lots had gone through the ring, I started to smile and now I’m laughing,” he added. “This is a very healthy market; good horses sold for good money.”

Three colts crossed the magic threshold of ¥100 million (or more than US$1million) with a son of Rock of Gibraltar, out of the superlative Sunday Silence broodmare My Katies (Jpn), being sold for ¥145 million (US$1,526,315) to Big Red Farm owner Shigeyuki Okada.

The colt (Lot 65) is half brother to Japanese Horse of the Year, Admire Moon, who won the G1 Dubai Duty Free and the G1 Japan Cup, consigned by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm, which sold all three top yearlings.

Summerhill Sires Video 2009 - 2010

summerhill stallions video
summerhill stallions video

Please click above to load video.

If you have a slow connection, please be patient.

Thank you.

Mick Goss presents the Summerhill Stud Stallions for the 2009 - 2010 season. The lineup includes AP Arrow, Admire Main, Malhub, Stronghold, Solskjaer, Ravishing, Kahal, Muhtafal, Mullins Bay and Way West.

Summerhill Stud : The Genuine Article
Summerhill Stud : The Genuine Article

For more information please visit :

www.summerhill.co.za

South African Breeders' Championship : THE BIG FIVE

a misty morning at summerhill stud
a misty morning at summerhill stud

A misty Summerhill morning

(Photo : Greig Muir)

“More Bulldust Part 3”

Extract from Summerhill Sires Brochure 2009-2010

Horses are a language we can all share.

Sometimes there are quiet asides, sometimes dramatic moments, but there’s always a story to tell. Look hard enough and you’ll find romance in the life of every great racehorse.

At Summerhill, we think we’re the luckiest people on the planet. We wake up on one of the great pieces of real estate on earth; we gaze out upon a World Heritage site, the Drakensberg; we go to work with some of mankind’s finest human beings; and we get to work with the noblest creature the good Lord ever created.

On the way, we’ve visited the mountain top, a place few people ever get to go. In the annals of recorded history, only six farms have ever aspired to the South African Breeders’ Championship, the tightest contest in all of racing. In what must surely be remembered as the “Summerhill decade”, we’ve known so many champagne moments, but they are mere footnotes in an extraordinary tour de force.

Understand, there was no big enterprise or family cash behind Summerhill. In a world as competitive as it’s ever been, and with massive fortunes pouring into the game, we’ve had to do things differently. A bit of inspiration, loads of perspiration, the occasional celebration.

The result is an animal that’s had to be different. A horse that runs like he knows what he owes.

The “Toyota” of South African racing: excellent quality, great dependability, and outstanding value. The virtues our nation has come to respect most. And they know too, this is the “Genuine Article”. Honest, authentic, the original.

Any number of records and five consecutive Breeders’ Championships later, besides God, we owe these victories to the racehorse. Our history was written on his back. We are his heirs, but he is his own heritage.

For close on a century now, our families have devoted themselves to this religion. We are unashamedly proud of our connectivity with our sport, and the fact that every day, there’s a new story to tell.

So mark this then. When you’re dealing with Summerhill, you’re not only buying a horse or a service. You’re buying a piece of history.

south african breeders log
south african breeders log
email us
email us

If you’re not on the mailing list, or if you’d like to check that you are,

please email Marlene at info@summerhill.co.za for your copy

of the world’s number one Sires brochure.

Click below to read “Bulldust” Part 1 and Part 2

bulldust part 1
bulldust part 1
bulldust part 2
bulldust part 2

SUMMERHILL STALLION DAY : A RESOUNDING SUCCESS

summerhill stallion day
summerhill stallion day

Summerhill Stallion Day 2009

(Photo : Summerhill Stud) 

Despite the turmoil of our financial times, representatives of thirteen different nations pitched up at what has become known as “racing’s greatest day out”. While our sport is often judged as a self-indulgence and the domain of the elite, it remains the bastion of the most generous-spirited people in the country, and at Sunday’s exhibition of the Summerhill sires, South Africa’s people and a good number from abroad, were seen at their best.

The purpose of the day is obviously the showcasing of the Summerhill stallions, and in particular their new arrivals, Admire Main and A.P.Arrow, yet there are so many dimensions to this fascinating day, they deserve their own column. Summerhill’s traditional dancers, who’ve been ranked second and third in the world at international competitions in Tokyo and Hong Kong, have long been favourites of the day, but this year, apart from the music, the magicians, the buskers and the fine wines of Waterford, there was a refreshing element in the display of Ardmore Ceramics, the brainchild of renowned equestrian, Fee Berning.

Visit the best shops in London, New York, Berlin, Paris and Sydney, and you will find displayed some of the most collectible art in the world, creations of local Zulus whose talents have now reached the point where individual pieces are making R100,000 and beyond.

The service auction was a raging success, despite the apparently difficult times we live in, and raised close to R400,000. It was an astonishing display of charity on the part of those who attended, and South Africans can pat themselves on the back today in the knowledge that whatever the constraints, fundamental to our character is the virtue of generosity.

As reassuring as any recent developments in racing, was the announcement by Chris Kennard, Financial Director to the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan., of the Maktoum family’s commitment of R4,000,000 towards the Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence. The earthworks and infrastructure are already in place, and construction begins in earnest in August. The first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, this institution bodes a unique opportunity for young aspirants wanting to make a career of the breeding or racing industries.

(www.summerhill.co.za click School Of Excellence)

At times like these, we need to remember we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.

umbrella button
umbrella button

Please click the umbrella for a unique view of

the Summerhill Stallion Day

(Tip : Use your mouse to navigate…) 

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GORELLA’S BREEDERS HAVE LANDED

gorella and xavier bozo
gorella and xavier bozo

Gorella and Xavier Bozo

(Photo : IBC/Summerhill)

Another two arrivals for this weeks “sports” include Xavier and Natalie Bozo, two of France’s foremost breeders, and now neighbours of Summerhill. Among many good horses, they are renowned for the fact that they bred one of the world’s top fillies, Gorella, three seasons back. They were part of the French breeder’s tour to Summerhill just over a year ago, and they were among the few who’ve believed our propaganda, to the degree that they recently acquired one of our neighbouring farms, a beautiful property with a good stretch of the Mooi River in its foreground.

Tomorrow we’re expecting one of the mainstays of the Irish racing and breeding industry’s, Dermot and Meta Cantillon, who make their maiden voyage to Summerhill after many years as clients. Apart from being one of Ireland’s most prominent horseman, Dermot also manages the thoroughbred affairs of the famed Smurfit family (of the Smurfit Kappa Group). Dermot’s wife, Meta, is a daughter of the Dubai World Cup’s first chairman and one of Ireland’s most famous vets and stud managers, the late Dr. Michael Osborne, who not only pretty much built Sheikh Mohammed’s Kildangan Stud in County Kildare, but his son Joe is Sheikh Mohammed’s present manager. Meta is a qualified veterinary surgeon in her own right, and they are here to brighten our lives over the weekend, including the stallion parade.

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Summerhill-inspired Ardmore Collection

ardmore ceramics summerhill collection
ardmore ceramics summerhill collection

Ardmore Ceramic Art

“The Summerhill Collection”

The Summerhill Stallion Day this Sunday will witness the teaming up of two unlikely forces, on the face of it at least, in a celebration of excellence and dedication.

South Africa’s premier ceramic studio, Ardmore Ceramic Art, and South Africa’s Champion Thoroughbred Breeder, Summerhill Stud, will unveil an exciting new Ardmore ceramic collection inspired by the horses, people and nature at Summerhill.

The Ardmore artists have created Staffordshire-like everyday farm scenes including Summerhill Stallions walking the lands, yearlings being bandaged, foals being born and Ready to Run graduates galloping to victory.

Most of Ardmore’s 80 artists live in the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal steeped in tradition, where music, song and dance prevail. After two successful London sales held in 2004 and 2007, Christie’s labeled Ardmore “a modern day collectable”. Collectors around the world love Ardmore’s distinctive style - a fusion of African, Western and Eastern form and design embellished with sculptural African fauna and flora and painted in a kaleidoscope of colour.

Ardmore’s talented artists create with passion and freedom and many have intuitively found their own style. The decorative collectibles have an elegant charm as has the work of the realists who are inspired by nature. The exotic naturalists add an artistic fantasy to their painting. Then, there are the free spirits whose sculpture and painting is expressive of their imagination and is without inhibition or apology. Lastly, the ‘Storytellers’ incorporate the human figure as they sculpt and paint Zulu cultural and social events.

A percentage of Ardmore sales is contributed to The Excellence Fund, a non-profit organization that also receives donations from many people worldwide. The Excellence Fund assists the artists to advance their education and skills training, and provides health care. In the current economic situation marked by rising unemployment and health care costs, the role of the Excellence Fund is critically important.

The artists are proud of their achievements and are known amongst their community as the “isgwili” (fortunate ones).

So if you’re going to be at the Summerhill Stallion Day on Sunday, you’re in for a real treat… where the ceramicists have traded in their zebra stripes for the racing thoroughbred.

ardmore ceramics link
ardmore ceramics link

Click above to view

The Summerhill Collection

www.ardmoreceramics.co.za

More Bulldust

bulldust video link
bulldust video link

“THE ROAD TO EL DORADO”

If you should hear in the streets of our village, what Summerhill owes to the bank, it’s not that our financial custodians have been indiscreet. It’s part of our deal with our people.

There were times in our thirty years that those numbers would have frightened the life out of some folk. But it was part of the faith we have with our bankers. They backed us every inch of the way.

Building an enterprise of Summerhill’s ilk, is a daunting prospect. Especially if you kick off at ground zero. It takes time, and it guzzles capital.

So write this down. May 2nd, 2009. A halcyon moment in our history. For the first time in three decades, we had cash in the bank.

A signal, if ever there was one, that we’d cut the mustard. Fundamental to all of this, was a single standout feature. We backed the Summerhill stallions.Every inch of the way. In all our time, we never wavered, all the while knowing they’d deliver the bacon. At the right time, at the right price.

Yet, in preparing ourselves for the battles of the turf, it’s not about paying less. It never has been. Value is about getting more for your money, which is what the Summerhill Sires have always been about. And remember this, we pay what you pay, and we only win if you win.

In the end though, it all boils down to this. If you’re not using a Summerhill stallion, ask yourself or your advisors why not?

After all, in this game, you don’t win silver. You only lose gold.

If you’re not on the mailing list, or if you’d like to check that you are,

please email Marlene at info@summerhill.co.zafor your copy

of the world’s number one Sires brochure.

Royal Ascot history for TIGER RIDGE and TRIPPI

royal ascotRoyal Ascot
(Photos : Getty/AP Photo/F1)

“RED LETTER DAY FOR SOUTH AFRICAN STALLIONS
AT THE WORLD’S BIGGEST MEETING”

The purchase for stud duty in South Africa of A.P. Indy’s Storm Cat half brother, TIGER RIDGE, and Florida’s number one stallion, TRIPPI, both set new records in terms of the cost of sire-power for this country. Many a pundit was left gob-smacked at the outlay, but the protagonists behind their acquisition were of the faith that if we want this country to go to the next level as a nursery for world class horses, we have to do what it takes.

It’s times like the ones we live in though, that make us question our judgement, that tell us to reinvest our beliefs, Doubt becomes the refuge of the pessimist. Yet it’s times like this that can set us apart, and determine our futures.

Mary Slack and Gaynor Rupert, the principals behind these horses, could hardly have chosen a better place to vindicate their views than the number one race meeting in the world. Royal Ascot is not only populated by the people that matter in racing, but the message goes out to tens of millions on television. On the opening day, TIGER RIDGE displayed his wares with the impressive victory of his American-trained son STRIKE THE TIGER, in the Windsor Castle Stakes (L).

Yesterday, TRIPPI’s daughter, JEALOUS AGAIN, demolished a field of England’s best two-year-olds in the Queen Mary Stakes (Gr2), providing her adventurous American trainer, Wesley Ward, with his second Royal Ascot winner from three starters. No doubt the enterprise of this man will ensure this is by no means the last sortie among US trainers to this great showpiece.

Talking of enterprise, our top hats off to Wilgerbosdrift Stud (TIGER RIDGE) and Drakenstein Stud (TRIPPI). The entire team at Summerhill is here, saluting.

BELIEVE US : THESE HORSES ARE MAKING THE HEADLINES

admire main ap arrow

Grant Pritchard-Gordon, one-time anchor man in the organization of the famed Prince Khalid Abdullah and Juddmonte Farm operations, and founder of Badgers Bloodstock, is as recognisable as the best men in racing.

Among his many achievements, he was also central to the deal that secured his boss his breeding interests in Danehill, and which led to the production of the likes of Dansili, Champs Elysees, Banks Hill, Intercontinental, Cacique and Stronghold.

When “Badger” goes on record; write it down. This is what he said this week about Summerhill’s latest stallion prospects!

“So you obviously needed more excitement and work in your life. Well, you have certainly pushed the boat out this time! I have to admit that you have excelled yourself again in locking into yet another great bloodstock connection with the Yoshida family! Any sons of AP INDY and SUNDAY SILENCE will be a welcome addition to the stallion ranks of South Africa… and being such good racehorses as well must increase their chances of success. I am sure that the team behind AP ARROW will give him every opportunity”.

A.P. ARROW FIRES : THE WORLD TALKS

ap arrow dubaiA.P. Arrow
(Photo : AP Photo)

A glance at the number of publications that carried the news of A.P. Arrow’s importation to Summerhill and South Africa tells us that this is a big “item” horse in the real sense of “big”. Just about every worthwhile daily racing publication in the world covered his story, a veritable who’s who of the game. It takes a “heavy” to make newsworthy reading, and A.P.Arrow’s standing in the pantheon of racing was obvious from the popularity of his story. Here’s a list of the publications.

Thoroughbred Times
A.P. Arrow to stand in South Africa
http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/breeding-news/2009/May/31/AP-Arrow-to-stand-in-South-Africa.aspx

Racingweb
Summerhill and co acquire a top son of A.P. Indy
http://www.racingweb.co.za/2009/05/summerhill-and-co-acquire-a-top-son-of-ap-indy/

Tab Online
Summerhill and co acquire a top son of A.P. Indy
http://news.tabonline.co.za/Home/tabid/37/ctl/Details/mid/393/ItemID/2842/Default.aspx

OneFastHorse
A.P.Arrow to stand in South Africa
http://onefasthorse.com/blogs/blood-horse-breeding-news/archive/2009/05/28/a-p-arrow-to-stand-in-south-africa.aspx

Daily Racing Form
www.drf.com/news/article/104140.html

Gold Circle
Summerhill and co acquire a top son of A.P. Indy
http://www.goldcircle.co.za/news/Breeding/today.shtml

SA Horseracing
Grade 2 Hero A P Arrow To Stud in South Africa
http://www.sahracing.com/index/contents/seeall/12681

Breeding & Racing Magazine
http://www.breedingandracing.com/

Global News Blog
AP Arrow to stand in South Africa
http://globalnewsblog.com/blog/2009/05/31/south-africa-politics-and-news-monitor-a-p-arrow-to-stand-in-south-africa-thoroughbred-times/

Thoroughbred Internet
A.P.Arrow to stand stud in South Africa
http://www.thoroughbredinternet.com/

Hatena Antenna
http://a.hatena.ne.jp/umatoneko/?gid=213528

European Bloodstock News
http://www.bloodstock-news.com/

Thoroughbred Daily News
http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/

Racing Post
Grade 2 hero A P Arrow to stud in South Africa
http://www.racingpost.com/news/bloodstock/grade-2-hero-a-p-arrow-to-stud-in-south-africa/189455/

Bloodhorse
A.P. Arrow to Stand in South Africa
http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/50986/a-p-arrow-to-stand-in-south-africa

Horse Racing Nation
AP Arrow to Stand in South Africa
http://horseracingnation.com/horse/A_P_Arrow

Mike de Kock Racing
A.P. Indy stallion comes to Summerhill
http://www.mikedekockracing.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1743

Thoroughbred Champions
Pioneering to Brazil, A.P. Arrow to South Africa
http://thoroughbredchampions.com/forum/index.php?topic=34606.0

Breeding Racing
US Sire A.P Arrow To Stud in South Africa
http://www.breedingracing.com/textnews.php?newsdate=2009-05-27

CBS Sports
A.P. Arrow to stand in S.Africa
http://horseracing.cbssports.com/cbs/headlines/print.aspx?articleId=36560

Daily News 2000 and Woolavington Stakes

Zirconeum
(Photo : Gold Circle)

 “BIG RACE DAYS : ALWAYS A CAUSE CELEBRE FOR VUMA”

Those who read the Sporting Post will undoubtedly know by now that, come the big days, there’s always a drum banging for horses that know the taste of Africa’s finest horsefeed.

Saturday’s gathering of the best three-year-olds in the land, witnessed the renewal of the Daily News 2000 (Gr.1) and the Woolavington Stakes (Gr.1), an assembly of the best colts and fillies respectively and the principal trials for the sophomore generation aiming at the biggest horse race in Africa, the Vodacom Durban July.

There was nothing really surprising about the outcome of either, as the winners represented some of the best form of the season, with Big City Life taking the colt’s version, and Zirconeum, bred across the valley from Summerhill by our neighbours, Karen and Warwick Render at Bush Hill Stud, snatching the laurels in the fillies’ version.

What wasn’t surprising though, was that the first three home in the Daily News 2000 were all sustained by Vuma (Big City Life trained by Glen Kotzen, Dan De Lago (Charles Laird) and Captain Scott (Alec Laird) while Zirconeum, the little filly with the heart of a giant, was another feather in the already substantial cap of Mike de Kock.

No doubt, knowing the protagonists, these fellows will all march on to the Greyville track on the first Saturday in July to the Vodacom jingle.

Classic double for the Becks at GAINESWAY FARM

Birdstone
(Photo : Stallion Register)

Just on twenty years ago, I was privy to a glimpse at an intimate connection at the Breeders’ Cup meeting of 1990 between local “el padrino”, Graham Beck, and the then founder not only of Gainesway Farm, but also of the Breeders’ Cup, John Gaines. Earlier that day, Buddy Bishop, renowned solicitor operating in Lexington, Kentucky, and legal counsel to what was then the principal opposition to Gainesway, the Hancock family’s famous Claiborne Farm, confided in me that a South African was rumoured to have purchased Gainesway. I was astonished, and dismissed it as conjecture. After all, this was the farm that housed the likes of Lyphard, Blushing Groom, Riverman, Vaguely Noble, Irish River, Cozzene, Afleet etc, and it was almost inconceivable that it should be a South African that had put up his hand for this iconic property, when all the world was there to compete for it.

It turned out that Buddy Bishop’s “intelligence” was spot-on, and that the enterprise of Graham Beck, the stuff of legend in South Africa, had indeed laid claim to one of the greatest titles in thoroughbred racing. I wrote about this property two weeks ago as a place of solace to me on the passing of my late mother, and today we can celebrate the fact that one of its resident stallions, Birdstone (who spoilt the party for Funny Cide in his quest for the American Triple Crown, by snatching the laurels in the final leg of the Belmont Stakes (Gr.1), has produced from his very first crop, two winners of separate legs of the Triple Crown.

The first and arguably the most famous leg, the Kentucky Derby (Gr.1) was taken in spectacular fashion by a 50-1 chance in the form of Mine That Bird (by Birdstone), who came from a shotgun position at the back of the field to land a storied victory by six, and who was the sole pursuer of the filly Rachel Alexandra, in the Preakness Stakes (Gr.1) a fortnight later.

In the absence of the filly, Mine That Bird was made a certainty by the bettors for Saturday, and he looked home and hosed shortly after they turned into Belmont’s fabled straight, only to be swamped by two foes, one of whom was his paternal half-brother, Summer Bird, who came home to proclaim his sire, if not yet quite in the same league as Medaglia D’Oro as a commercial stallion, certainly every bit as serious a property in reality.

Birdstone is the son of a Kentucky Derby winner himself, the rather unattractive and poor legged Grindstone, he in turn by Unbridled and tracing back, (no alarms), to Mr. Prospector, whose stamp on the American classics is as indelible as any stallion in history. As for Birdstone, he’s not a big fellow (I would say he stands 15’3 at the most) and he’s what one might describe as a “plain brown job”. However, and particularly considering his ancestral belongings, he’s a clean legged horse, well balanced and displays the touch of class that separates the serious from the ordinary.

   

Watch the 2009 Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby

THE INVESTEC ENGLISH DERBY (GR.1)

Saturday’s smashing victory in the greatest Derby of them all, the one at Epsom Downs in England, by Sea The Stars was a moment to remember.

J J THE JET PLANE : All Summerhill and Hartford

Northern Guest
(Photo: Summerhill Stud)

You read our piece on J J The Jet Plane’s fine performance in the Leisure Stakes last week. A few notes on his origins.

Firstly, he’s another example of close and successful in-breeding to the grand old man of the game, Northern Dancer. But closer to home, J.J. is out of Majestic Guest, who was bred and raised at Summerhill, the daughter of the fellow who’s paid for most of what you see around us today, Northern Guest. Of course Northern Guest, is the most decorated broodmare sire in South African history, so it’s no surprise that one of his daughters pop up with a horse of J.J’s ilk.

That said, Majestic Guest was a product of a granddaughter of the one-time incumbent of our barn, Home Guard, from a family which is all Hartford, going back to the days of the Ellis family. Majestic Guest’s granddam, Fantastic, was a winner of the Grade One Breeders Champion Fillies Stakes, in turn a daughter of one the best racers to grace the Hartford paddocks, Panjandrum.

As for Jet Master himself, J.J’s sire, his great granddam resided at Summerhill as the property of the late Dickie Dunn, and her daughter, Jolly Laughter, was bred and raised at Summerhill. To complete the circle, Jet Master’s own mother Jet Lightening, was sold for the paltry sum of R10,000 at the annual KZN Broodmare Sale, which in those days was hosted in Malhub’s paddock alongside the Summerhill office. Talk about rags to riches.

There’s a lot of sentiment riding on J J The Jet Plane’s entry at Royal Ascot in a fortnight, particularly in this quarter, and we’re tipping him to make it a double notwithstanding the Aussie assault from Takeover Target. Both the King’s Stand Stakes (Gr.1), and the race which made Malhub famous, the Golden Jubilee Sprint (Gr.1), beckon.

ADMIRE MAIN : Africa's First Son of Sunday Silence

admire main africa rss

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.