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BIG PRICES AND BIG HORSES : Often Uncommon Bedfellows

trafalgar legacy win
trafalgar legacy win
trafalgar legacy lead in
trafalgar legacy lead in

Trafalgar Legacy

(Photos : Gold Circle)

“Please click photos above to enlarge”

TRAFALGAR LEGACY (ROCK OF GIBRALTAR) MAKES DEBUT

Because they occupy a rarefied space in racing’s pantheon, if only because of their limited numbers, the most expensive horses at sales auctions quite often fall short of expectations. Of course, there are those that will quickly point to the fact that, at $3,4 million, the American sales topper, Fusaichi Pegasus is a glaring example of a horse that not only went on to win America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby (Gr.1), but commanded the world’s biggest stallion syndication at close to US$100 million at the conclusion of his career.

Locally, we recall the name of Wonder Lawn, at R3,5 million, the most expensive yearling ever sold in South Africa, and who, despite the fact he is a multiple Graded Stakes winner, still falls somewhere short of retrieving his purchase consideration. That said, if he’d come off, the money he’d cost would’ve been of little account. Just ask the connections of Jet Master who’ve seen a R15000 initial investment to go on to eight Group One victories at the races, and now command a value of close to R80 million at stud.

So what’s this all about? Well, yesterday was something of a litmus test not only for top priced horses, but also for the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run sale and Summerhill’s attempt at providing variety for that very end through the importation of the progeny of some of the best stallions in the world. At R2,2 million, Trafalgar Legacy (by Rock Of Gibraltar) made his racecourse debut at Scottsville yesterday a winning one in impressive style. Obviously at sea and quite “green” after the bend, he took a little time to find his feet, but then strode away to eclipse a son of Kahal who’d been second on his racecourse debut.

This is not a big fellow, but he’s as well made as any racehorse could be, and he came through his first trial with aplomb. The plan of course is to turn him into a stallion prospect and while that’s a long way off, this is at least the best first step he could’ve taken. Nobody deserves this more than Denis and Gael Evans, who put their hands up in no uncertain manner at last year’s Ready To Run Sale, and who, with this single response, have vindicated the efforts we’ve made over the years in bringing some of the best “shuttle” blood in the world to these shores.

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related articles from the 2008 Emperors Palace Ready To Run

ready to run sale 1
ready to run sale 1
ready to run sale 2
ready to run sale 2

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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.

AS BLUE HENS GO, THIS IS A PROPER ONE

manhattan rainManhattan Rain (Encosta De Lago/Shantha’s Choice)
(AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes - The Royal Randwick)

Australia-watchers were dealt a feast of quality racing at Sydney’s Royal Randwick at the weekend, where the historic Doncaster Handicap, Australian Oaks, the T.J. Smith Stakes and the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes featured on the menu. The event though, that really caught the imaginations of racing fans, must surely have been the Sires’ Produce, the second leg of Sydney’s Juvenile Triple Crown, where the remarkable mare, Shantha’s Choice (by Canny Lad) featured her third Grade One winner and her fourth Stakes winner, overall. Amazingly though, that’s not the end of the story, as Manhattan Rain (by last season’s champion sire, Encosta De Lago) is a half brother to no less a man than Redoute’s Choice, sire sensation of Australia. Shantha’s Choice herself was an undistinguished runner, yet her fairytale continues here, with the fulfilment of his pedigree destiny by this juvenile youngster.

Ironically, Manhattan Rain was bred by Muzaffar Yaseen, 50% owner (can you believe?) of Redoute’s Choice, so his mother is precluded by virtue of his own ancestry, from visiting what is arguably the best stallion in Australia. For the record, without being able to return to the sire of her two best runners to date (Danehill is deceased), Shantha’s Choice has had to settle for a range of different mates, one of whom (Rock Of Gibraltar by Danehill) is the sire of her Grade Three winning filly, Sliding Cube, as well as a return visit to Encosta da Lago and most recently Hussonet, the Mr Prospector stallion resident at Arrowfield Stud.

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ORMOND FERRARIS : Doyen of South African Trainers

ormond ferraris (heather morkel)Ormond Ferraris
(Photo : Heather Morkel)

“Millionaire’s Row”

It’s a well documented fact that Summerhill was the last of the big farms in South Africa to register it’s first million Rand deal at the sales. Whether that’s a reflection of a lack of marketing finesse, or a sense of treating the market with respect, will forever be a matter of debate. But what is so, is that all of a sudden it’s “raining” millionaires at Summerhill.

We kicked off at the Ready to Run Sale in November, with a ROCK OF GIBRALTAR colt registering R2.2million, a GALILEO filly R1.5million, and a MUHTAFAL colt at R1million, and coupled with Sunday’s R2.4million and R1.5million respectively, that’s five in the space of as many months.

Whether he read our adverts, proclaiming the Summerhill racehorse the Toyota of the South African industry, is difficult to say, but it seems the doyen of our trainers, Ormond Ferraris, must have at least cast his eyes over the ad. A man who, in common with the best of his countrymen, respects excellent quality, unparalleled dependability and outstanding value, as much as any, the attributes for which Toyota has become famous, are exactly what Ormond must have seen in this draft. Signing as he did on Sunday for no fewer than four (25%) of the horses put through the ring. So for us the consolation lies not only in the value he got, but also in where they’re going.

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LEADING SIRES OF 2008

sadlers wellsSadler’s Wells
(Coolchaser/b2yor)

Northern Hemisphere GRADE/GROUP 1 WINNERS

STALLION SIRE LOCATION WINNERS
Galileo Sadler’s Wells
IRE
5
Giant’s Causeway Storm Cat
KY
5
Rock of Gibraltar Danehill 
IRE
4
Danehill Danzig
DEAD
4
Tiznow Cee’s Tizzy
KY
4
Kingmambo Mr. Prospector           
KY
3
Maria’s Mon Wavering Monarch
DEAD
3
Sadler’s Wells Northern Dancer
IRE
3
Street Cry Machiavellian 
KY
3
Unbridled’s Song Unbridled
KY
3
A.P. Indy Seattle Slew
KY
2
Chester House Mr. Prospector
DEAD
2
Dalakhani Darshaan
IRE
2
Danehill Dancer Danehill
IRE
2
Doneraile Court Seattle Slew 
KY
2
Dynaformer Roberto
KY
2
Gone West Mr. Prospector
KY
2
Indian Ridge Ahonoora
IRE
2
Montjeu Sadler’s Wells 
IRE
2
Muhtathir Elmaamul
FR
2
Nayef Gulch
ENG
2
Pivotal Polar Falcon
ENG
2
Rock of Gibraltar Danehill
IRE
2
Samum Monsun
GER
2
Smart Strike Mr. Prospector
KY
2
Tapit Pulpit
KY
2


Statistics from Thoroughbred Daily News

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Mike de Kock on Breeders' Cup Map with EAGLE MOUNTAIN

eagle mountain and kevin sheaEagle Mountain and Kevin Shea at Santa Anita
(Harry How/Getty)

South African trainer Mike de Kock will saddle his first Breeders’ Cup starter Saturday, but it won’t be any of the horses he expected earlier in the year would make it to championship weekend reports the Thoroughbred Daily News.

“I had three others that I was planning to come here with and things didn’t turn out that way, Mike de Kock said. “[G2 UAE Derby winner] Honour Devil (Arg) (Honour and Glory) was going to come out for the Dirt Mile; [G1 Dubai World Cup runner-up] Asiatic Boy (Arg) (Not For Sale {Arg}) maybe for the Classic. But they just didn’t do well in England. They had really tough campaigns in Dubai. We took them to England and their coats never got good, they never ate well, never worked well. You can’t flog a dead horse, you know. You don’t want to come here just to be a number.”

Meanwhile, while his stablemates were excelling in Dubai, G1 Turf hopeful Eagle Mountain (GB) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}) was spending a year on the sidelines recovering from a fractured pelvis. The four-year-old, who was second in last year’s G1 Epsom Derby and G1 Champion Stakes and third in the G1 Irish Derby, seemed a longshot to make it to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup. But he proved he was back in top shape in his comeback effort, winning Newmarket’s one-mile October 3 G3 Joel Stakes in course-record time in his only start this term.

“We didn’t think we were on target for the Breeders’ Cup, but his last one showed that he was,” Mike de Kock explained. “So we were able to switch plans. We were lucky that we had a backup with this horse.” The trainer is not concerned that Eagle Mountain’s light campaign will hurt him Saturday. “He’s got a good five or six months of hard work under the belt,” Mike de Kock said. “He’s done a lot of miles. He’s ready for it.”

Catch all the Breeders’ Cup action on Tellytrack, DSTV channel 232.

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EAGLE MOUNTAIN bound for Breeders' Cup

mike de kockMike de Kock
(John Lewis)

charl pretoriusCharl Pretorius Freeracer Mike de Kock is set to write another new chapter in the history books by becoming the first South African to saddle a runner at the US Breeders’ Cup World Championships meeting at Santa Anita near Los Angeles, California, on 25 October.

Mike de Kock announced on Monday, 6 October, that Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s four-year-old, a Group 3 winner in his comeback run last week, will be entered for and pointed at the 2008 Breeders Cup Turf over 2400m.

Eagle Mountain
, a son of Rock Of Gibraltar, won last Friday’s Group 3 Nayef Joel Stakes over 1600m after a year’s layoff, setting a track record. Mike de Kock said: “This was a meritorious win considering that he (Eagle Mountain) came back from a serious pelvic injury and over a trip too short. He is at a high level of fitness and is eligible for the Breeders Cup. I consulted with Sheikh Mohammed and we made a decision to pencil his name in when entries fall due on 14 October. With three weeks to go, we will be focusing fully on the race in his preparation.

Previous winners of the illustrious Breeders Cup Turf include In The Wings, Daylami, Fantastic Light and High Chaparral.

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