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SA Classic

Saturday is Classic Day!

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Saturday is Classic Day!

Excitement is mounting as Classic Day looms. Summerhill-breds Heaps Of Fun and Witchcraft line up in the Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic with the former taking up poll position. Fellow Summerhill-bred Champagne Haze takes on the colts in the SA Classic.

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Classic Day Fields Announced

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Classic Day Fields Announced

Both Abashiri and Heaps Of Fun have accepted to run in the R2-million SA Classic and R1-million Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic respectively over 1800m at Turffontein on Saturday 2 April.

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Majmu and Ertijaal among SA Fillies Classic Nominations

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Majmu and Ertijaal among SA Fillies Classic Nominations

Trainer Mike de Kock is likely to play his two trump cards in the upcoming R2-million SA Classic and R1-million Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic. The two Grade 1 races will be run over 1800m on the Turffontein standside track on Saturday 28 March. The races are the second legs of the SA Triple Crown and the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara.

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LOUIS THE KING CONQUERS SA CLASSIC

louis the king sa classic rss

SA CLASSIC (Grade 1)
Turffontein, Turf, 1800m
29 March 2014

Louis The King is just one brilliant run away from the R2-million bonus of the Sascoc Triple Crown after his courageous victory in the SA Classic at Turffontein on Saturday.

Having won the first leg of the three-year-old series, the Gauteng Guineas, by 5.25 lengths earlier in the month, Geoff Woodruff’s rangy colt started this second instalment as a short-priced favourite. It was felt that Louis The King would be better suited the Classic’s 1800m trip than he was to the 1600m of the Guineas.

The question will now be whether Louis The King stays the 2450m of the SA Derby in three weeks time, the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, which has only been won once in history - by the great Horse Chestnut.

Woodruff is certain his charge has the stamina for the Derby. “After this win, I’m bullish about the Derby,” the former champion trainer said in the post-race interview.

Winning jockey Robbie Fradd echoed this sentiment. “He only got going in the last 100m here. The Derby distance will suit him better.”

It was to have been Fradd’s farewell meeting in South Africa as he is departing on Monday for pastures new on the Gold Coast of Australia. However, asked about the chances of him returning to Joburg to try to land the Triple Crown, the veteran ace snapped back, “If I’m asked, I’ll swim back for a horse like this!”

As You Like, one of four runners from the Alec Laird stable, cut out the early fractions, from his stable companion Mister Cricket, with Supertube, Bezanova, Hillbrow, Umgiyo and Louis the King - who had been cut off and forced to check in his first few strides.

As the field came off the false rail, 700m from home, As You Like kept rolling, with Mister Cricket still in attendance and Bezanova and Bouclette Top making their presence felt.

Fradd eased Louis The King away from the inside rail for his run. It clearly wasn’t going to be another cakewalk for the bay, but he steadily wore his opponents down and went ahead to win by 0.75 lengths. “He just likes to get his head in front and stay there,” noted Fradd.

Mister Cricket, who disappointed when favourite for the Guineas, redeemed himself on this firmer ground and grabbed second position from the dogged As You Like, with Bouclette Top 1.50 lengths back in fourth.

Louis The King has now won more than R2-million in prize money with five victories from six starts.

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KING OF THE CLASSICS

Geoff Woodruff and Alec Laird
Geoff Woodruff and Alec Laird

Geoff Woodruff and Alec Laird / GW & AL Racing (p)

CLASSIC DAY

Turffontein, South Africa

29 March 2014

One thing about money is that however much you’ve got, it can’t buy you everything, especially in racing. Happiness is another commodity that eludes the pockets of even the rich sometimes, and it’s best illustrated when the unwanted urchin of the sales-ring comes sailing home at the expense of a blue-blooded trail of sales-toppers. Just a few seasons ago, Pierre Jourdan, who wasn’t that big, his parents weren’t that smart, and who’d been neglected at the sales because his legs weren’t that good, laid low a star-studded assembly of the nation’s top three-year-olds in the very race that tops the bill at Turffontein on Saturday.

Before we get to that event, let’s acknowledge one thing, and that is that when it comes to scale, money can certainly buy it, and in that context, the events in Dubai this weekend have dwarfed the fact that right here at home, we have a feast of a programme in Johannesburg which rivals any good day’s racing on the South African calendar, with as many as eight Group races (three Group Ones). Top of the menu is a race which holds special affection for Summerhill. Back in the days when glory was especially important to us (when did that ever change?), Last Watch galloped home for James Goodman and Barry Walters in what was then known as the Bloodline Million Classic (Gr.1) on the eve of the National Sale. It couldn’t have been a better advert for the draft of a young, emerging farm. In recent years, following several near-misses, it’s been a big day for us, with Pierre Jourdan’s victory one year, Igugu’s in the Fillies’ Classic (Gr.1) the next and last year, as a rank outsider, Love Struck showed us what he was made of, with a gutsy victory in the colt’s version.

While it’s obvious that a “Love Struck” can always turn-up and “pee on the parade” (as they say in the classics), on the face of it, it looks like a big day beckons for Geoff Woodruff and Robbie Fradd. If the form of the Gauteng Guineas (both sexes) is anything to go by, this duo look like a shoe-in for the respective Colts’ and Fillies’ Classics, the one carrying a hefty stake of R2million, the other R1million. But Geoff will be quick to tell you that the fans turned up in their droves last year to watch his colt Tellina and Ormond Farraris’ charge Cherry On The Top win their respective classics. In the end, Cherry On the Top won the Fillies’ Classic, but it was Love Struck that won the hearts. Woodruff saddles the favourite, and on his Guineas showing, Louis likes being the King.

That said, Alec Laird has a strong hand with Forest Indigo, Bouclette Top and Mr Cricket, whilst with our own record in the race, you wouldn’t want to be discounting the chances of Sean Tarry’sSilva Hawk and the De Kock-trained Umgiyo. His draw in the sticks and relative immaturity might well mean that this race comes a little early in Silva Hawk’s career, but it doesn’t diminish Sean Tarry’s expectations going forward: “In my view, he’s a top colt in the making, and while I expect to see the best of him next season, you can’t turn your nose up at two bars!” Umgiyo on the other hand, seems to be coming to hand at exactly the right time, his recent gelding bringing him back to the form we saw from him in Group One-company as a two-year old. Remember what I said: Don’t count us out!

Out of the blue yesterday evening, Heather Morkel received a call from Monique Mansour (whose hand you quite often see adorning the arm of Mathew de Kock), enquiring whether the owner of our big hope for the Fillies’ Classic, Winter Star, Mauritian Vicky Veeramootoo and trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren could join us for lunch today and stay over at Hartford tonight. That seemed a bit odd, given they had Winter Star in the race, but it turns out she spiked a temperature earlier in the week and has been scratched. While they might not have been having sleepless nights given her outside draw, the Woodruff team will know that Arcetri Pink and Not Sulking will have one less to beat come post time.

A word of caution though; a year ago at our Summer Ready To Run sale in the School Of Excellence, Jo Gardner resisted the interventions of her husband Bruce, when going to R100,000 for the A.P. Arrow filly Coby, a winner of her last two starts over the course and distance, and Gary Alexander won’t be without hope for her despite yet another hammer-blow of a draw. Could it be that we’ve made the gods angry of late, as there’s not a graduate of the farm with a hope of arriving on Classic Day that’s drawn closer than the number ten slot?

Which brings us to the third of the Group Ones, and the prospects for Mullins Bay’s progressive son, Gitiano, who put up his hand on his return to the races a fortnight back for the mighty performance over 1400m. Reading the press, you’d have to think the H.F. Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes (Gr.1), is a match between Capetown Noir and Yorker, one-two in the nation’s principal weight-for-age mile, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (Gr.1). While Gitiano still has to overcome a fourteen slot (out of fourteen), he not only has these two to battle with, he has the Durban July hero, Pomodoro, in the field, alongside the Group One performers, Whiteline Fever, Wylie Hall, Tellina and Espumanti to deal with before Alec Laird can pop any champagne corks for a colt we affectionately remember growing up on these old pastures.

While Mike de Kock is the man they all have to contend with in Dubai tomorrow (and you can never count him out at Turffontein either), it does look on balance like a match between Geoff Woodruff and Alec Laird for the title of victor ludorum.

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IN THE MIDST OF A GOLDEN COLLECTION

Love Struck wins SA Classic
Love Struck wins SA Classic

Watch Love Struck winning the SA Classic (Grade 1)

(Photo : JC Photos - Footage : Tellytrack)

“Excerpt from the forthcoming Summerhill Sires brochure.

Let us know if you’d like to be added to the mailing list.”

mick goss
mick goss

Mick Goss

Summerhill CEOEvery few decades, you find yourself in the midst of a golden collection, where horses actually live up to their billing. The noun becomes more than a label; it carries the whiff of an epic. Remembering that we’d just come off a slew of celebrities, Igugu, Imbongi, Pierre Jourdan, Hear The Drums, Paris Perfect, Fisani, champions, classic aces and record-breakers to a man (and a woman), it might’ve been too much to believe that lurking among our sales candidates of 2011, was a repeat performance. Classic hero, Love Struck; Majorca Stakes (Gr.1) queen, Blueridge Mountain; runaway Oaks star, Dylan’s Promise, Daily News and S.A. Derby runners-up, No Worries and Gothic, and Classic perfomers, Corredor, Gitiano and Patriotic Rebel.

But as our good friend Bill Shakespeare liked to remind us, “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.” At R2million, Blueridge Mountain bestowed on Summerhill Sales it’s third top-priced filly at the “Nationals” in four years, while as the first sophomore colt home in the Vodacom Durban July, No Worries and Guineas-placed Corredor, instantly gratified the inaugural Emperors Palace “Summer” Ready To Run Sale on the farm. Proof, if ever it was needed, that when it comes to buying racehorses, a good eye can be just as good as a big cheque book.

A prominent racehorse trainer, disgruntled by a failure to heed his instructions, recently accused jockeys of being illiterate. One thing you cannot say about jockeys though, is that they’re innumerate: put two million bucks on the line, as Phumelela did in the South African Classic (Gr.1), and pandemonium reigns. There were all kinds of conjecture in the popular press that the race was a likely formality for the Gauteng Guineas ace, Tellina, on his march to the Triple Crown. At least one eminent scribe was puzzled at Love Struck’s participation, on the basis of reigning champion Anton Marcus’ reservations about his stamina. On paper at least, he may have had a point. His father has largely been an influence for speed, and neither his mother nor grandmother won beyond a mile. Yet somehow, that Saturday, Love Struck came grinding up the Turffontein straight like the genuine brawler he is, raising a few fingers at the pedigree theorists and how far a runner is supposed to stay. This is horseracing, not quantum mechanics.

In the Classic, we saw the raw soul of racing; two horses running for their lives, crashing through one pain barrier after another, wild and brave. The Classic field swings for home, fanning ever wider, centrifugal force in its crudest form, a blur of colour and bussles. Horses weaving and wobbling. Jockeys slashing and urging. Everywhere you look, acts of panic and derring-do. As near as a race can be to pandemonium. From being right out of it at 20-1, Love Struck is suddenly right in it.

Amid the chaos on the turn, Sean Cormack the veteran, sends the “Lover” for home. With that one decision, he wins the Classic. Trainers are forever telling jockeys to use their judgment, as though all hoops are born with a triple cross of Solomon. Jockeys then go out and use something that, whatever it is, isn’t judgment. Love Struck won the Classic because Cormack’s intuition was flawless. Joey Soma timed the horse’s preparation to within a few hours. Cormack timed the horse’s run to within a few seconds. A punter who’d yelled unprintable abuse at Cormack in the race before, now hailed him “a champion”. A week may be a long time in politics, but thirty-five minutes is an eternity on a racecourse.

The return to scale made the running of the bulls in Pamplona, seem dull. The veteran journeyman was ecstatic, the owner apoplectic. Alesh Naidoo deserves everything he gets from the game. The horse’s participation in the Classic was an act of faith. His trainer had doubts on the back of Anton Marcus’ reservations: who wouldn’t? Yet the owner insisted. Now he was clambering and clattering his way down the grandstand, his eyes a mystery behind his sunglasses, as he slipped into the winner’s circle, and called out to the jockey. The colt came across to him. The owner rubbed him and kissed him on the forehead. Emotions are alright, it seems, as long as it’s just hay fever.

And then there was the agony. The objection hooter sounded, and suddenly the owner slipped into that country all racing fans know, the twilight zone between hell and hope. On a racecourse, the line between fame and pain is ever so fine. Somewhere in the race, the Triple Crown pretender and the horse with so many doubts over his head, had come together at a critical time. It was now in the lap of the gods. Depending on where you sit on the issue, it’s good to know there is a God; it helps to have the Almighty in the saddle. The objection was overruled.

Spare a thought now, for Love Struck’s trainer. Paul Lafferty is a tease; these days, the one-time professional football star is more a comedian than a celebrity, a master of dry wit and dubious tales. Big on desire, but short on good horses. A contender and a crock living in the same body. On this, his biggest of days, he was in Dubai doing duty at the World Cup. Those nearby will tell you, too: emotions are alright, but better in private. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

“Classic” Saturday was a big day at Turffontein, not quite as big as the World Cup in Dubai, but a big day nonetheless. The fans turned up in their droves to see Tellina and Cherry On The Top win their respective classics. In the end, Cherry On The Top won the Fillies Classic, but Love Struck won the hearts.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

Enquiries :

Linda Norval 27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email linda@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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LOVE AND PAIN, THE WHOLE DAMN THING

Love Struck - SA Classic
Love Struck - SA Classic

Click to enlarge…

R2,000,000 SA CLASSIC (Grade 1)

Turffontein, South Africa

When he took home the winner’s cheque in the R2million SA Classic (Gr.1) last Saturday, Love Struck became Summerhill’s second winner of South Africa’s richest race for the Classic generation in the past three years. Gitiano’s charge from the rear made him the farm’s fourth Group One performing 3 year-old in 2013.

On a racecourse, the line between fame and pain can be ever so fine. It’s an old sporting truism that you can’t win the big ones without the BMT. It’s hard enough to get a place in the field, let alone pick a Group One hero. But you can stack the odds on your side, by simply looking at history.

YOU KNOW THE NUMBER.

JUST DIAL THE CHAMPIONS.

EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE

BLOCK A

26-28 April 2013

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tel : +27 (0) 33-2631081 / +27 (0) 33-2631314

Fax : +27 (0) 33-2632818 / +27 (0) 33-2632414

Email : info@summerhill.co.za

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THE SA CLASSIC : LOVE CAN BE BLIND

Love Struck - SA Classic
Love Struck - SA Classic

Watch Love Struck winning the SA Classic (Grade 1)

(Photo : JC Photos - Footage : Tellytrack)

R2,000,000 SA CLASSIC (Grade 1)

Turffontein, Turf, 1800m

30 March 2013

A prominent racehorse trainer, disgruntled by a failure to heed his instructions, recently accused jockeys of being illiterate. One thing you cannot say about jockeys though, is that they’re innumerate: put two million bucks on the line, as Phumelela did on Saturday, and pandemonium reigns. There were all kinds of conjecture in the popular press about the prospects for Saturday’s SA Classic (Gr.1), and the fact it was a likely stepping stone for the Gauteng Guineas ace, Tellina, on his march to the Triple Crown. As matters turned out, his vanquisher on Saturday was Love Struck, a R260,000 Summerhill Sales graduate of a Classic generation that has already yielded four Group One performers off the farm.

At least one eminent scribe was puzzled at Love Struck’s participation in the Classic, on the basis of Anton Marcus’ defection to Gitiano for the day. Apparently the champion jockey had suggested, after Love Struck’s victory in the Politician Stakes at Kenilworth on L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate day, that 1800m might be the limit of his range. “Taking on the big boys in their own back yard over the trip might be stretching matters” the scribe claimed, and he may have had a point. We’ve always said the 800 metres of the Turffontein straight is the toughest four furlongs in the world, and getting there at the end of nine furlongs takes more than raw ability. It takes courage, honesty as well as “BMT”, and let’s not forget, a good dose of upbringing.

We have to confess though, that while we harboured hopes for all four of our runners, the press and Anton Marcus had us wondering about Love Struck and his stamina. His father, Kahal, versatile as his record suggests, has largely been an influence for speed, and neither his mother nor grandmother won beyond a mile. Yet somehow, on Saturday, Love Struck came grinding up the Turrfontein straight like the genuine brawler he is, raising two fingers at the pedigree theorists and how far a runner is supposed to stay. This is horseracing, not quantum mechanics.

In the Classic, we saw the raw soul of racing; two horses running for their lives, crashing through one pain barrier after another, wild and brave. The Classic field swings for home, fanning ever wider, centrifugal force in its crudest form, a blur of colour and bussles. Horses weaving and wobbling. Jockeys slashing and urging. Everywhere you look, acts of panic and derring-do. As near as a race can be to pandemonium. From being right out of it at 20-1, Love Struck is suddenly right in it.

Amid the pandemonium on the turn, Sean Cormack the veteran, sends the “Lover” for home. With that one decision, he wins the Classic. Trainers are forever telling jockeys to use their judgment, as though all hoops are born with a triple cross of Solomon. Jockeys then go out and use something that, whatever it is, isn’t judgment. Love Struck won the Classic because Cormack’s intuition was flawless. Joey Soma, standing in for his absent trainer, Paul Lafferty, timed the horse’s preparation to within a few hours. Cormack timed the horse’s run to within a few seconds. A punter who’d yelled unprintable abuse at Cormack in the race before, now hailed him “a champion”. A week may be a long time in politics, but thirty-five minutes is an eternity on a racecourse.

The return to scale made the running of the bulls in Pamplona, seem dull. The veteran journeyman was ecstatic, the owner euphoric. Spare a moment here, for the owner. Alesh Naidoo deserves everything he gets from the game. At the KZN Racing Awards last season, he was acknowledged as the province’s leading investor. The horse’s participation in the Classic was an act of faith. His trainer had doubts on the back of Anton Marcus’ reservations: who wouldn’t? Yet the owner insisted. Now he was clambering and clattering his way down the grandstand, his eyes a mystery behind his sunglasses, as he slipped into the winner’s circle, and called out to the jockey. The colt came across to him. The owner, who’d invested his faith, rubbed him and kissed him on the forehead. Emotions are alright, it seems, but only behind sunglasses.

And then there was the agony. The objection hooter sounded, and suddenly the owner slipped into that country all racing fans know, the twilight zone between hell and hope. On a racecourse, the line between fame and pain is ever so fine. Somewhere in the race, the Triple Crown pretender and the horse with so many doubts over his head, had come together at a critical time. It was now in the lap of the gods.

Depending on where you sit on the issue, it’s good to know there is a God; it helps to have the Almighty in the saddle. The objection was overruled.

Spare a thought now, for Love Struck’s trainer. Lafferty is a tease. These days, the one-time professional football star is more a comedian than a celebrity, a master of dry wit and dubious tales. Big on desire, but short on good horses. A contender and a crock living in the same body. On this, his biggest of days, he was in Dubai doing duty at the World Cup. Those nearby will tell you, too: emotions are alright, but better in private. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

Saturday was a big day at Turffontein, not quite as big as the World Cup in Dubai, but a big day nonetheless. The fans turned up in their droves to see Tellina and Cherry On The Top win their respective classics. In the end, Cherry On The Top won the Fillies Classic, but Love Struck won the hearts.

Summerhill Stud Logo
Summerhill Stud Logo

Enquiries :

Linda Norval +27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email linda@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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LOVE STRUCK DENIES TELLINA IN SA CLASSIC

Love Struck wins SA Classic
Love Struck wins SA Classic

Watch Love Struck winning the SA Classic (Grade 1)

(Photo : JC Photos - Footage : Tellytrack)

R2,000,000 SA CLASSIC (Grade 1)

Turffontein, Turf, 1800m

30 March 2013

KwaZulu-Natal trainer Paul Lafferty has mastered the fine art of winning feature races by remote control. His charge Love Struck scored a sensational win at Turffontein Saturday in the R2million SA Classic (Grade 1) to survive a hammering onslaught from the favourite Tellina and a nerve wracking objection after the race.

Love Struck was out early before being eased back as Gray’s Champ led him, with Francois Bernardus in third ahead of No Worries. Grays Champ led for home with Love Struck on his heels and with War Horse looking dangerous down the middle. It couldn’t get more dramatic than the final strides of the richest 3-year-old race in Africa, as Love Struck’s jockey Sean Cormack plugged away as the awesome shadow of the favourite Tellina loomed large down his outside. Tellina’s jockey Robbie Fradd threw the kitchen sink and the jacuzzi at his mount, but the photo showed that Love Struck had hung on to win by a desperately close short head in a time of 111,59 secs.

The two horses came together at the 300m marker, and it appeared that Cormack had switched whip hands to keep his mount on a straight course. In so doing he was alleged to have struck Tellina across the face, thus shortening the colt’s stride as a result. The big horse appeared to regain his stride, but just could not get past Love Struck. The Stipes overruled Robbie Fradd’s objection, and the Geoff Woodruff team’s Triple Crown hopes lay in tatters on the stipes boardroom table.

It was a first Grade 1 winner for trainer Paul Lafferty, who attended the Dubai World Cup festivities. His KZN based assistant Mike Burns was not at Turffontein, so the wily Joe Soma deserves much credit for having Love Struck spot on.

Training by remote control was in the spotlight during the Cape Summer Season, when trainer Joey Ramsden achieved great success with fellow Summerhill National Yearling Sales graduate, the Gary Alexander charge Blueridge Mountain, winning both the Grade 2 Graham Beck Memorial Sceptre Stakes and the Grade 1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes.

Flamboyant winning owner Alesh Naidoo (representative of the The Fire Racing Trust and partners) said that he had sacrificed his regular trip to run the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town, to be at Turffontein. He said that he had nominated his horse for the race as Lafferty had said he would not stay. Naidoo paid tribute to the Joey Soma yard who had trained the horse after the Guineas.

Love Struck had been prepped by Cape trainer Shane Humby when registering his previous win in the Listed Breeders Cup Politician Stakes (also over 1800m) on L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Day at Kenilworth in mid January.

Alec Laird’sMullins Bay gelding Gitiano ran on well for third, ahead of War Horse who became a little one paced in the closing stages. The disappointments included recent Egoli Mile winner Bay Of Bengal, the Graham Beck Stakes winner Francois Bernardus, and Tony Ruffel Stakes winner Fantastic Mr Fox, who ran poorly and finished last.

Love Struck was bred by Summerhill Stud and is by Kahal out of the five time winning Rambo Dancer mare, Particular Passion. A R260,000 National Yearling Sales graduate, Love Struck has now won 5 races with 3 places from 13 starts and has career earnings of R1,561,540.

Extracts from Sporting Post

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Summerhill Stud Logo

Enquiries :

Linda Norval +27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email linda@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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CLASSICS AND CLUES

Betting World Gauteng Guineas
Betting World Gauteng Guineas

Watch the 2 March Gauteng Guineas blanket finish

(Image : RA - Footage : SuperSport)

SA CLASSIC DAY

Turffontein, 30 March 2013

Such is the allure of the money on offer in Dubai this weekend and the reverence surrounding a man of Mike de Kock’s stature, that the staging of eight Group races (three Group Ones) in Jo’burg this weekend, has all but been forgotten. Yet Turffontein hosts an assembly of some of South Africa’s top racehorses on Saturday, including a large proportion of the leading two and three-year-olds of the season.

It has to be said that outside of the dual Cape Guineas and Derby hero, Cape Town Noir, the form of the three-year-old colts has been muddling. The upside is that it makes for a good betting contest of the R2million S.A Classic (Gr.1), where 25% of the card (four of them) are graduates of the Summerhill ranks. All told, in the Group contests hold 13 entries with a taste of our pastures in their upbringings, including a lofty 5 horses (almost 40% of the field) engaged in the Man O’ War Sprint over 1100m.

Reverting to the Classic, the Gauteng Guineas ace, Tellina, seems to be most scribes’ idea of the likely winner and some are already touting him as a prospective Triple Crown celebrant. We’re not sure that his credentials stand out quite that far though, given that the first five across the line in the Guineas were all within a length of one another. It’s true, he was doing his best work at the finish and certainly going better than anything else in the field at that stage, which suggests the longer they go, the better he’ll get. Yet any race which concludes in a “blanket” finish can see its form turned inside out the next time the adversaries find themselves in the same contest again.

That said, Tellina has the pedigree and the progressive look of an animal with a big shout, and the rest have him to beat him if they want to turn the tables. The obvious claimants, particularly with the added distance, are Mike de Kock’s Alexander Palace, who trots out under the purple and pink hoops of Mark Yong’s T’Men Stables; Fantastic Mr Fox, whose form was hard to fault before he fluffed his lines in the Guineas (likewise Francois Bernardus), and the Summerhill quartet of Love Struck, (a Stakes winner over the distance on his penultimate start in Cape Town), Killua Castle (just a half-length off the favourite in the Guineas), Gitiano, whose collateral form makes him a possibility; and “Buffalo” Bill Burnard’s talented No Worries, who was just a length off the Guineas pace a fortnight after being gelded. If the “kindest cut” is what he needed, expect him to move up on that run, particularly as he’s now over a trip which his pedigree suggests might suit him better, though a tough draw might again prove a factor.

The fillies’ equivalent, the SA Fillies Classic (Gr.1) is much more of a closed contest. In fact, Bridget Oppenheimer’s Cherry On Top, masterfully handled by the veteran Ormond Ferraris, has been so dominant of the generation to date, you simply can’t oppose her. There are some handy fillies in the line-up, but nothing approaching this one; she doesn’t only stand-out on what she’s achieved so far, she’s a spectacular physical presence in the parade ring, and richly deserves her spot at the top of the boards. After her, the race is up for grabs, and those who fancy themselves as students of form will be looking for the clues that distinguish a horse likely to benefit by the added furlong.

If there is any chink in Cherry On Top’s armour, it may rest here, in the stamina arena, and the only way they’ll find that out is by examining her thoroughly. Ultimately, that will depend on whether she has inherited her father’s or mother’s aptitude. Most of the Tiger Ridges have shown a preference for the shorter journey’s to date, but she comes from an old Oppenheimer family replete with stamina, and with Fort Wood as her broodmare sire and the way she finished off the Guineas, we think she’ll relish the added test. No doubt, the connections of Do You Remember, King’s Temptress, Fire Wheel and Orator’s Daughter will have their own hopes, while Charles Laird is known to rate the potential of the Summerhill Sales graduate, Dylan’s Promise, especially as the distances stretch out. That said, he believes she’ll be at her best during the KwaZulu-Natal season in a couple of months time.

Our man Emperor Augustus, has a mountain to climb in the Horse Chestnut Stakes (Gr.1), where he bumps the formidable Slumdogmillionaire; if “Slumdog” hasn’t suffered too much from the after-effects of his journey to Cape Town for the J&B Met, he should be unassailable at the finish. This is a below-par Group One assembly, and the favourite should get home, even if he runs a little sub-par.

Obviously intriguing for those of us who reside on this fine spread just outside this dusty little dorp in the Midlands, is the Man O’ War Sprint, where the home-grown Cookie Monster, Strongmind, The Disciple, Stavinsky and the sublime victress of the Nkosazana Stakes at the Vaal on Tuesday, Rebel Queen, have Charles Laird’s Contador to overcome if they have any aspirations of occupying the Number One box. Outside of Rebel Queen, whose participation must be in doubt after her spectacular effort on Tuesday, the others have the look of decent sorts without suggesting they are in with a winning chance over 1100 metres at this stage of their careers. With another furlong under their belts, we’d be counting both Cookie Monster and Strongmind as live prospects, but at this trip, Contador looks home and hosed.

As we said yesterday, only Saturday afternoon will tell us. Either way, racing fans are in for a bumper, as you get the Dubai World Cup as well as this fascinating line-up simultaneously on Channel 239.

Comment

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TELLINA AND CHERRY ON THE TOP ENTERED FOR SA CLASSIC DAY

Geoff Woodruff
Geoff Woodruff

Geoff Woodruff

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

SA CLASSIC DAY

Turffontein, 30 March 2013

Both Tellina and Cherry On The Top, winners of the Gauteng Guineas and Gauteng Fillies Guineas respectively, have been entered for the big races on SA Classic Day, Saturday 30 March at Turffontein.

The R2-million SA Classic over 1800m is the second leg of the SASCOC SA Triple Crown, while the R1-million SA Fillies Classic forms the second leg of the Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara. The first legs were the Gauteng Guineas and Gauteng Fillies Guineas, while the final legs - the SA Derby and SA Oaks - will be run on Champions Day, 27 April.

Tellina, who is highly rated by the Geoff Woodruff yard, went into the Gauteng Guineas a well-backed 6-1 chance with a rating of 88. The handicappers took a dim view of his 0.50-length victory over War Horse and upped his rating to 100, making him the second highest-ranked runner on the list of entries for the Classic. Francois Bernardus, only sixth in the Guineas, is at the top of the ratings, 0.5kg better than his Guineas conqueror.

Tellina and Francois Bernardus drew at Nos 11 and 12 respectively and should start from single-figure stalls. War Horse will start on their outside, while Alexandra Palace, one of the big fancies in the Guineas but only ninth, has drawn almost on the paint at No 2.

Should Tellina also win the SA Classic, he stands in line to win the R2-million Triple Crown bonus for any horse who wins all three legs. There is a R1-million bonus for the filly who wins all three of the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara races, the Gauteng Fillies Guineas, the SA Fillies Classic and the SA Oaks, and Cherry On The Top is a filly who could well lift the additional prize.

The Ormond Ferraris-trained daughter of Tiger Ridge has a top-class record of six wins from nine career starts and her dam, Carolina Cherry, won the SA Oaks in 2001. She is the top-rated horse on the list of entries by two lengths and has drawn well at No 3.

Gauteng Fillies Guineas runner-up, Do You Remember, is the second top-rated runner at 100 and Woodruff’s filly will also have her supporters if she is declared to run when final acceptances fall due on 20 March. There is an additional entry stage for the two races, on Monday 18 March.

Extract from Tab News

SA CLASSIC (Grade 1)

Turffontein, Turf, 1800m

Entries

#

Horse

MR

Dr

Trainer

1

FRANCOIS BERNARDUS

101

12

Tyrone Zackey

2

TELLINA

100

11

Geoff Woodruff

3

LOVE STRUCK

99

6

Paul Lafferty

4

KILLUA CASTLE (AUS)

98

25

Geoff Woodruff

5

WAR HORSE

98

13

Corne Spies

6

GITIANO

97

3

Alec Laird

7

NO WORRIES

97

16

Gavin van Zyl

8

FANTASTIC MR FOX

96

26

Paul Matchett

9

GRAY’S CHAMP

95

28

Gavin van Zyl

10

SABADELL

94

24

Geoff Woodruff

11

EMERALD APPROACH

93

9

Mike de Kock

12

SWIFT AND STRONG

93

21

Sean Tarry

13

ALEXANDRA PALACE

92

2

Mike de Kock

14

ROCK OF ARTS (AUS)

92

18

Weiho Marwing

15

AMERICAN STORM

91

27

Spike Lerena

16

SAFE HOUSE

91

10

Mike Azzie

17

BAY OF BENGAL

89

15

Mike Azzie

18

CANNON

88

19

Mike de Kock

19

ROCK COCKTAIL (AUS)

88

1

Mike de Kock

20

TEQUILA SUNRISE

86

20

Mike de Kock

21

THE KING AND I

86

4

Sean Tarry

22

WILD ONE

85

23

Jeff Freedman

23

COOKIE MONSTER

84

22

Roy Magner

24

TOP COMMAND

83

8

Sean Tarry

25

VITRUVIAN MAN

83

14

Weiho Marwing

26

SAVAGE WIND

82

7

Joe Soma

27

WYLIE HALL (AUS)

82

5

Weiho Marwing

28

ROYAL LANCE (AUS)

75

17

Wieho Marwing

Summerhill runners denoted by yellow

WILGERBOSDRIFT SA FILLIES CLASSIC (Grade 1)

Turffontein, Turf, 1800m

Entries

#

Horse

MR

Dr

Trainer

1

CHERRY ON THE TOP

104

3

Ormond Ferraris

2

DO YOU REMEMBER

100

10

Geoff Woodruff

3

KING’S TEMPTRESS

99

8

Kumaran Naidoo

4

FIRE WHEEL

95

14

Sean Tarry

5

JET BELLE

94

1

Robbie Sage

6

DYLAN’S PROMISE (AUS)

91

5

Charles Laird

7

ORATOR’S DAUGHTER

91

11

Alec Laird

8

NEGEV

90

13

Louis Goosen

9

SKY PIRATE

88

2

Weiho Marwing

10

AL KINDI

87

4

Mike de Kock

11

AMBER ORCHID (AUS)

81

6

Sean Tarry

12

CAT’S GAME

80

9

Stanley Ferreira

13

SECRET OBSESSION

80

12

Geoff Woodruff

14

WALKING ON THE MOON

78

7

Weiho Marwing

Summerhill runners denoted by yellow

Comment

Comment

SLUMDOGMILLIONAIRE REAPS RICHES IN SA CLASSIC

Slumdogmillionaire wins SA Classic
Slumdogmillionaire wins SA Classic

Click above to watch Slumdogmillionaire winning the SA Classic…

(Image and Footage : Tellytrack)

SA CLASSIC (Grade 1)

Turffontein, Turf, 1800m

31 March 2012

JACK MILNER : An enterprising ride from Marthinus Mienie saw Slumdogmillionaire (SAF) (Strike Smartly) rise out of the gutter and into the record books with a dramatic victory in the R2-million SA Classic over 1800m at Turffontein on Saturday.

In doing so, he handed the maturing Gavin van Zyl yard (Team G Racing) its fourth Grade 1 victory in less than a year. Van Zyl could not heap enough praise on Mienie for his ride - and on his son, Chesney van Zyl, who has been training the horse in Gauteng.

“It was a brilliant win and a brilliant ride. Marthinus judged it very well,” said Van Zyl after the son of Strike Smartly held off fast-finishing Pomodoro (SAF) (Jet Mater) by a head with Silver Flyer (SAF) (Silvano) another 0.65 lengths back in third. “Traditionally everybody wants to sit second, third or fourth but Marthinus was quite happy to take them on and go to the front.”

Drawn at No 11, Mienie wasted no time in getting the second favourite to the front while Piere Strydom had favourite Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) (More Than Ready) just a length behind him. Strydom had always expected Slumdogmillionaire to use his big stride and go to the front but Mienie said that was not necessarily going to be their tactic. “Nobody could decide who wanted to go so I said I would make up their minds for them,” said the jockey.

He travelled easily up front from Gimmethegreenlight with Potala Palace (SAF) (Singspiel) close up in third and E-Jet (SAF) (Jet Master), who would eventually claim fourth place, handily placed just off them. Meanwhile Pomodoro raced two off the fence in midfield, with Silver Flyer further back.

Once in the straight, Gimmethegreenlight immediately moved up to tackle the leader and even headed him for a stride or two. However, the combination of the tough Turffontein 1800m and the fact that the Cape raider was reported not to be striding out, took its toll on Gimmethegreenlight and, as he faded out of the picture, Slumdogmillionaire surged clear and looked all over a winner until Pomodoro and Silver Flyer came screaming home down the outside of the track. It had to go to a photo-finish and it was the Van Zyl runner who got the verdict.

Extract from Tab Online

Comment

Comment

COUNTDOWN TO THE CLASSICS

Gimmethegreenlight Horse on the Beach in Cape Town
Gimmethegreenlight Horse on the Beach in Cape Town

Gimmethegreenlight enjoying training on a Cape Town beach before departing for Gauteng

(Photo : Raheen Stud / Justin Snaith)

SA CLASSIC AND SA FILLIES CLASSIC

Turffontein, 31 March 2012

While the world’s attention is largely focussed on the Dubai World Cup and its associated events in Dubai this coming weekend, that meeting has a happy coincidence every year in Gauteng’s SA Classic (Gr.1) and SA Fillies Classic (Gr.1) (both at 1800m for three-year-olds), which share the billing with the H.F. Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes (Gr.1), a weight-for-age contest at 1600m.

The three-year-old colts have a “deep” look to them this year, with L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate ace Gimmethegreenlight and Investec Cape Derby hero, Jackson, rated among the best horses in the land. You can always rely on Hassan Adams for enterprise, and the R2 million prize for the Classic obviously had particular appeal in the knowledge that Jackson would not be making the journey to Johannesburg. For those readers who don’t know it, Cape trainers have generally had something of a complex about sending horses to Johannesburg, though it’s not for any lack of success among those who’ve attempted it on the odd occasion, even at the highest level.

KZN horses regularly raid the old Transvaal, and while altitude always has to be seen as a factor in these events, no less so in racing than rugby, all of these things are eminently “do-able”. Just a fortnight ago, the Blues upset the Bulls at their Loftus Versveld stronghold, and Gimmethegreenlight gave notice of his wellbeing in his first outing on the Rand, when he pummelled his field into submission almost three furlongs out. He’s not well drawn, and he faces some formidable opponents, but somehow he stands out like a sore thumb, and it’ll take a real horse to beat him. As a son of the Vinery “shuttler” More Than Ready, he shares his sire with the current favourite for Australia’s Golden Slipper (two Saturdays hence,) the world’s richest race for two-year-olds. The unbeaten filly is called Samaready, who trotted up by two Saturday in Randwick’s Riesling Stakes (Gr.2).

There’ll be more on these events and obviously, there’ll be plenty of coverage on the World Cup meeting in Dubai as the week advances, but for the time being, here are the Group One fields for the day. The World Cup dovetails neatly with the Classic programme, and bettors with an interest in both, have a day to remember.

SA CLASSIC (Grade 1)

Turffontein, Turf, 1800m

31 March 2012

FINAL FIELD

#

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

GIMMETHEGREENLIGHT (AUS)

58.0

117

16

P Strydom

Justin Snaith

2

SILVER FLYER

58.0

110

17

G Hatt

Mike de Kock

3

POTALA PALACE

58.0

105

9

G Lerena

Mike Azzie

4

WHITELINE FEVER

58.0

105

15

A Marcus

Sean Tarry

5

MUSHREQ (AUS)

58.0

103

8

R Fradd

Mike de Kock

6

GOLDEN CHATEU (AUS)

58.0

102

10

D David

Mike de Kock

7

POMODORO

58.0

102

5

W Marwing

Sean Tarry

8

BROOKS-CLUB

58.0

101

14

R Simons

Gavin van Zyl

9

SLUMDOGMILLIONAIRE

58.0

100

13

M Mienie

Gavin van Zyl

10

HEAVY METAL

58.0

95

3

R Fourie

Sean Tarry

11

ROYAL RIDGE

58.0

95

2

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

12

WINTER MISCHIEF

58.0

95

4

K Latham

Herman Brown / Frank Robinson

13

BARACH

58.0

93

6

S Brown

Sean Tarry

14

E-JET

58.0

93

1

S Cormack

Sean Tarry

15

GOVERNOR GENERAL

58.0

92

18

T Appie

Mike de Kock

16

INDIAN HAWK

58.0

91

7

S Randolph

Ivan Moore

Reserve Runners

17

ZAMBUCCA

58.0

90

12

Reserve 1

Saeed Mohideen

18

CARNABY STREET

58.0

89

11

Reserve 2

Spike Lerena

SA FILLIES CLASSIC (Grade 1)

Turffontein, Turf, 1800m

31 March 2012

FINAL FIELD

#

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

AMANEE (AUS)

58.0

101

14

G Hatt

Mike de Kock

2

CONTROL FREAK

58.0

101

4

G Lerena

Lisa Harris

3

FELIX THE CAT

58.0

101

3

W Marwing

Duncan Howells

4

KATY’S LANE

58.0

99

6

P Strydom

Tyrone Zackey

5

GO INDIGO

58.0

98

7

S Brown

Leon Erasmus

6

ILHA BELA

58.0

97

11

A Marcus

Mike de Kock

7

BLUROUTE (AUS)

58.0

94

13

D David

Mike de Kock

8

TRESCO

58.0

91

1

S Cormack

Sean Tarry

9

AWESOME BEAUTY

58.0

90

5

R Simons

Kumaran Naidoo

10

AVENUE OF GOLD

58.0

89

10

R Fradd

Weiho Marwing

11

KALAMI

58.0

89

9

G Wrogemann

Robbie Sage

12

WINGED FOOT

58.0

85

8

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

13

BAMBINA STRIPES (ARG)

58.0

83

12

A Forbes

Dennis Drier

14

CLASSIC ILLUSION

58.0

80

2

R Fourie

Gary Alexander

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WORLD CUP THUNDER, BUT LIGHTNING AT TURFFONTEIN

Igugu wins the SA Fillies Classic
Igugu wins the SA Fillies Classic

Igugu - SA Fillies Classic (Gr1)

(Photo : JC Photos / Summerhill Stud)

CLASSIC DAY

26 March 2011

Internationally, the limelight was in Dubai, but if you were looking for the weekend’s best Group One performance world-wide, you should’ve been at the big “T” otherwise known as Turffontein. Yes, Dancewiththedevil ran like the devil possessed in the Horse Chestnut (Gr1), and yes, Mike Bass pulled of a remarkable training feat with English Garden in the SA Classic (Gr1), but nothing came remotely close to Igugu’s stunner in the SA Fillies Classic (Gr1).

Before we get to Igugu, English Garden’s swamping of the Gauteng Three-Year-Old males, (his fellow Capetonian, Top Seller, was second), was a reminder of the loss of  the stallion Camden Park and where the dominance rests with this year’s Classic colts. Besides his own sire, A.P. Indy, there was little to recommend this fellow when he arrived in South Africa, yet, in a lamentably short career, he’s demonstrated the value of his sire line time and again, in the first instance with South Africa’s greatest ever Stakes earner, Jay Peg, the Grade One winning filly Consensual, and now English Garden. If racing performance matters in this game, South Africa is pretty well endowed now with representatives of the A.P. Indy tribe, and there’s none more qualified than our own AP Arrow.

Back to Igugu, the 10¼ length margin was hardly an expression of the ease with which she tore her field apart, and if Anthony Delpech had pushed at all, you’d have needed the width of two TV screens to see the second horse. Galileo was the world’s leading sire by Group One winners last year (with 7,) and Igugu’s annihilation Saturday ensures he gets off to another flyer in 2011. A R1 million purchase from the Summerhill draft at the 2009 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, Igugu was recording the 12th Stakes win for Summerhill Ready To Run graduates this season, and was joined in that rarefied world at the same meeting on Saturday by the former Gauteng Fillies Guineas (Gr2) heroine, Fisani.

The latter has just returned to the races after an extended rest at the nursery of her upbringing, and on Saturday’s evidence, she looks better than ever. Shouldering the third top impost in the event, Fisani cruised to the head of affairs with 400metres to go in the Jacaranda Handicap (Gr3), and ran the field off their feet in the closing stages, a daylight gap of 3,5 lengths separating her from Group One winner and stable companion, Alderry. This was another triumph for her sire, Kahal, and another chapter in the illustrious history of her family, remembered for the fact that in a single season in Europe, it produced the English Derby winner, Teenoso, the Irish Oaks victress Give Thanks, and the Derby Italiano ace, Old Country. Fisani is a half-sister to the millionaire, Catmandu, and being from the Coastal mare, Gypsey Spirit, she should not be short of the stamina needed when the gates crash open for the most famous 2200 metres in racing. At Greyville on the first Saturday in July.

This was a serendipitous outcome for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum as both Igugu and Fisani are part owned by him, and here we must commend his right-hand-man, Mohammed Khaleel for his enthusiasm for the Ready To Run, and his encouragement for the Sheikh’s investment in that sale.

Comment

Comment

LIP'S TIPS FOR THE SA FILLIES CLASSIC

Igugu
Igugu

Igugu

(Photo : JC Photos / Summerhill Stud)

MATTHEW LIPS

“The Oracle Speaks”

You have to give it to the Sporting Post, and especially to the man they call “The Oracle”, Matthew Lips. He knows his stuff, and his columns are fascinating.

In this instance, we like him even a little more, for the fact that for tomorrow’s Grade One SA Fillies Classic, his first three choices are all companions who grew up in the Summerhill paddocks. His choices, in order, were Igugu (a R1million graduate of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale,) Hollywoodboulevard (a R950,000 purchase at the same venue,) and Checcetti (a R320,000 purchase, and a comparative bargain, at the same sale). Unfortunately for us, (as we own a minority interest in Checcetti,) she scratched on Thursday with a viral ailment which hopefully won’t derail her aspirations for the SA Oaks at the end of April.

Mike de Kock has always believed that Checcetti is an Oaks filly, and that has always been her mission, whereas for Saturday, it looks like a straight fight between two of the best fillies the Highveld has seen in some years. Racegoers have been looking forward with justifiable relish to the clash during the Champions season in KwaZulu-Natal between Igugu, Hollywoodboulevard and the Cape champion, Ebony Flyer, and while it looks as though that eventuality remains on course for Igugu and Ebony Flyer, it seems Hollywoodboulevard is to be rested after the Classic and sent to the Cape for their summer season.

As we read it, the long term goal for Team Valor and Anant and Vanashree Singh’s Ebony Flyer is next year’s international version of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, while Mike de Kock holds international ambitions for Igugu after an engagement in the Vodacom Durban July.

Meanwhile though, the Fillies Classic, could turn out to be the weekend’s pressure cooker, never mind what’s going on in India right now.

The colt’s version has a deeper look to it, occasioned in all probability by the fact that there is a more open look to the field. Unlike the Fillies Classic, where the two principal protagonists have probably frightened away most others, there are a number of trainers who will fancy their chances against Link Man and Perana over the extra 200 metres for the R2million prize, where there’s added spice in the presence of Vaughan Marshall’s Cape Derby winner, Top Seller, and Charles Laird’s Galileo’s Destiny, who will love every inch of the additional distance. That said, you can’t discard the chances of the two Western Winter colts, Snowdon and Dark Wind, while Sean Tarry has last season’s Grade One winning juvenile, Gold Onyx engaged.

It’s a compliment to the quality of horses produced on this property, that there are some fourteen entries in the five Graded Stakes races with connections with either the farm or its stallions, or both.

Comment

SA HORSERACING : THE VIEW FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOP

dubai duty free 2010 video
dubai duty free 2010 video

Click above to watch Imbongi’s brave run in the US$5,000,000 Dubai Duty Free (Gr1)

(Image : ERA - Footage : Dubai Racing)

HUGE WEEK IN SOUTH AFRICAN HORSERACING HISTORY

You’d have thought after five consecutive Breeders’ Championships, we’d be blazé about a couple of Stakes victories on a weekend. Not a word of it; it’s moments like these that stir this team to rush to their posts at 06h30 in the mornings, at minus 5°C in the dark of winter. Together with Imbongi’sUS$500,000 haul in Dubai, our nine winners for the week included 3 Black type victories, 3 other Stakes performances, and in excess of R5,5million in prizes for those owners whose enterprise led them to invest in these horses when they came under the hammer in their time.

Pierre Jourdan’s epochal devastation of the best of his generation in the R2million SA Classic (Gr1) positions him as the first horse since the legend, Horse Chestnut, to have a crack at the SASCOC Triple Crown, and we can be sure that Turffontein will be a sell-out come the 24th of April, when he goes to post for the SA Derby (Gr1).

No less of an achievement though, was Hear The Drums smashing 32nd victory in the East Cape Cup Sprint (Listed), making him the joint winningmost racehorse of all time. In the euphoria which Pierre Jourdan has engendered in the minds of racegoers, it’s easy to lose sight of what this fellow’s achieved, but his purchase price as a Ready To Run candidate of just R42,000 and his earnings of R1,8million, place a fresh perspective on what he’s done for Peter Fabricius and Des McLachlan.

As if giving notice that this show’s far from over, Oochee Agent put up her hand with a flying finish in the Pretty Polly Stakes (Gr3), taking her to the top of the Juvenile fillies’ class for the time being, and catapulting her freshman sire, Cataloochee to category leader in his class as well. 

It was a big weekend for South Africa in Dubai, with Mike de Kock claiming his fifth UAE Derby, and Lizard’s Desire a whisker from history in the world’s richest race ever. But let’s not get away from Imbongi’s brave effort in the US$5million Dubai Duty Free (Gr1). Don’t forget, he’s just emerged from a tough Carnival campaign as their Victor Ludorum, and he must’ve gone to this event a tired but willing horse. He never fails to give his best, and when many of his internationally illustrious adversaries had thrown in the towel, he was still there, plugging away as though he knew that a final lunge would net his owners half a million US Dollars. (Click here to read more :  Charl Pretorius’ www.racingweb.co.za)

PIERRE JOURDAN TAKES SA CLASSIC : VIDEO AND RESULT

pierre jourdan sa classic video
pierre jourdan sa classic video

Click above to watch Pierre Jourdan winning the SA Classic (Gr1)

(Photo : JC Photos - Footage : SuperSport)

SA CLASSIC (Grade 1)

(2nd Leg of the SASCOC Triple Crown)

Pierre Jourdan took victory in today’s Grade 1 R2 million SA Classic at Turffontein in thrilling style and is now bang on target for next month’s SA Derby, a race which could secure the SASCOC Triple Crown and a R2 million bonus for his owners Emilio Baisero and Gary Alexander.

Nicci Garner reports that not since the legendary Horse Chestnut in 1999 has any individual thoroughbred looked like Triple Crown material, but Pierre Jourdan has it all - pace, talent and a great turn of foot. 

He’s a crowd puller too, and Turffontein’s parking lots were packed as racing fans came to see South Africa’s new equine hero.

With a draw 14 of 16 runners, Pierre Jourdan was expected to drop out and make his run from the back, but he surprised all when rushed along to settle second behind easy galloping Havasha, who went out to set the pace under Piere Strydom.

They were followed by Captive Wind, Irish Flame and Iwannadance, with Bulsara and Flying Tristram furher back.

Havasha ran strongly and had a good lead turning into the straight, but coming into the last 400m he was quickly swallowed by Pierre Jourdan, who showed his by now familiar acceleration and sped clear in a matter of strides under pilot Derreck David.

Pierre Jourdan kept going strongly and was never in danger of being caught, despite late efforts from Bulsara, who ran on for second, and Irish Flame. He won by 1.75 lengths.

Trainer Gary Alexander commented: “Pierre Jourdan really impressed me today. We aimed him at this race and he did it easier than we thought he would. He’s amazing and today is my wife’s birthday, so this is extra special.”

Jockey Derreck David said: “He pulled me through at the 400m mark and I only asked him for a bit more after that. He won really well today!”

 Pierre Jourdan, a Summerhill graduate of the 2008 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale is by Parade Leader and has won 6 of 7 starts and R2,85 million in stakes.

PIERRE JOURDAN (Parade Leader x Vin Fizz by Qui Danzig)

3 Year Old Bay Gelding

Owners : Emilio Baisero and Gary Alexander

Trainer : Gary Alexander

Jockey : Derreck David

Breeder : Summerhill Stud

Win Time : 111.60

Career Record : 6 Wins, 1 Place, 7 Starts

Career Earnings : R2,874,425

RACE RESULT

Turffontein 1800m Turf

27 March 2010

#

LBH

Horse

Kg

MR

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

1

0.00

PIERRE JOURDAN

57.0

109

13

D David

Gary Alexander

2

1.75

BULSARA

57.0

99

5

B Smith

Gavin van Zyl

3

2.25

IRISH FLAME

57.0

97

6

A Delpech

Mike de Kock

4

2.50

IWANNADANCE

57.0

99

12

S Chambers

Roy Magner

5

3.50

SERVICE ACE

57.0

98

1

G Lerena

Mike Azzie

6

3.75

ORBISON

57.0

95

4

R Danielson

Herman Brown

7

4.00

ILIAD

57.0

90

9

G Wrogemann

Robbie Sage

8

5.25

FLYING TRISTRAM (AUS)

57.0

100

14

J Geroudis

Charles Laird

9

6.25

NYAKATHO

57.0

98

7

S Brown

Ernie Anderson

10

6.30

ANCESTRAL FORE

57.0

101

8

F Coetzee

Mike de Kock

11

7.50

SMANJEMANJE

57.0

99

11

S Khumalo

Tyrone Zackey

12

10.00

HAVASHA

57.0

103

10

P Strydom

Mike de Kock

13

10.25

WITTENBERG

57.0

87

15

R Hill

Gavin van Zyl

14

12.050

CAPTIVE WIND

57.0

80

2

M Odendaal

Weiho Marwing

15

14.25

HAPPY VALLEY (ARG)

57.0

88

3

C Orffer

Mike de Kock

summerhill stud genuine article logo
summerhill stud genuine article logo

For more information please visit :

www.summerhill.co.za

TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT : THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES

smanjemanje
smanjemanje

Smanjemanje

(Photo : JC Photographics)

IF YOU WANT TO BE A CHAMPION. JOIN THE CHAMPIONS.

The World Cup meeting in Dubai today dispenses something of the order of US$26,5 million, making it the richest meeting in the world. Summerhill-bredImbongi lines up in the Dubai Duty Free, which commands US$5 million of that sum.

On a somewhat smaller scale, but just as significant in South African terms, four Summerhill-breds line up for ZAR2million in today’s SA Classic Gr1 at Turffontein. That’s a colossal twenty five percent of the total field, and it probably helps to explain why Summerhill is as far ahead in the Breeder’s log as it is. Interestingly, apart from the hot favourite Pierre Jourdan, they include Havasha, Smanjemanje and Nyakathoeach of whom enjoyed honourable mention among the hopefuls for this career-defining event. 

Both Pierre Jourdan and Fisani, who lines up for the ZAR1million SA Fillies Classic following her heroic victory in last month’s Gauteng Fillies Guineas, are the Sporting Post’s selections for their respective races. They’re by no means past the post though, as these are two of the most competitive renewals of these races in many a year. (Click: Charl Pretorius’www.racingweb.co.za and  www.sportingpost.co.za)

All we can say, is that having twenty-five percent of any field of such prestige, lends credence to our often quoted jingle, “If you want to be a Champion. Join the Champions.”

summerhill stud genuine article logo
summerhill stud genuine article logo

For more information please visit :

www.summerhill.co.za

SOUTH AFRICA ABUZZ WITH SASCOC TRIPLE CROWN FEVER

pierre jourdan
pierre jourdan

Pierre Jourdan

(Photo : JC Photographics) 

R2,000,000 SA CLASSIC (Gr1)

Turffontein 1800m Turf

27 March 2010

There is always a buzz around when a horse capable of achieving great things bursts onto the racing scene and Pierre Jourdan looks to be one of those stars in the making.

Jack Milner writes that it is 11 years since Horse Chestnut became the one and only winner of the SA Triple Crown and many pundits believe Gary Alexander’s charge could follow in his footsteps. However, Pierre Jourdan has still got a lot of work to do.

Pierre Jourdan, a R60,000 purchase from the Summerhill draft at the 2008 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, took his first step towards securing the R2million Triple Crown bonus by winning the Gauteng Guineas over 1600m on 28 February. His second step, and possibly his toughest, comes at Turffontein Saturday when he contests the R2million SA Classic over 1800m. This is probably the most competitive of the three races, with arguably the strongest line-up of the three.

Should he take victory on Saturday, Pierre Jourdan will then need to win the SA Derby over 2450m on 24 April to claim the SASCOC Triple Crown and secure his name alongside those of racing’s immortals.

“I have always been of the opinion that Pierre Jourdan would prefer the 1800m trip and I am confident of a big run again on Saturday,” said Gary Alexander yesterday. “Whether he will stay the 2450m trip only Saturday will tell. Personally I think he should.”

It is hard to oppose Pierre Jourdan for the SA Classic. He has done nothing wrong, having won five out of six starts and losing the other by the narrowest of margins to fellow Ready To Run graduate, Havasha, who could be his chief rival once more.

There is no question about Pierre Jourdan’s ability but there does remain some doubt about his ability to stay 1800m. Being by Parade Leader there are no stamina doubts on his sire’s side but his dam, the Qui Danzig mare Vin Fizz, only won distances between 1000m and 1400m.

However, the manner in which he took the Gauteng Guineas, coming from a long way back to mow down the opposition, indicates the distance should be no problem. He beat eight of his opposition easily in the Gauteng Guineas at Turffontein and it is hard to make a case for any of them turning it around.

Of the seven newcomers, only three look to have the class needed to win a race of this nature and they are all trained by Mike de Kock. The impression from De Kock and assistant trainer John Buckler, is that Ancestral Fore and Irish Flame may need their runs here while Happy Valley may lack experience.

“Ancestral Fore has not been here too long,” said Buckler, “but he’s been putting up good work at home. It’s difficult to assess his chances on the big day but his main objective is the SA Derby.”

“Irish Flame is another who has not been here too long. Since arriving on the Highveld he has put up some good work and he does have a favourable draw. We are expecting a good run from him and we will know a lot more about him after this race.”

He added that Happy Valley, who has won both of his starts to date, was yet to arrive in Johannesburg from Durban. The grey may not have beaten anything of note but he could not have been more impressive in his victories.

The draw is another concern for Pierre Jourdan and young rider Derreck David as he will have to jump from barrier No 14. Gary Alexander, though, pointed out that in the Gauteng Guineas his charge found himself cut off from a good draw and over 1800m at Turffontein, especially if there is a good pace from the start, the draw should not prove fatal.

The Mike de Kock runners have to be his main dangers but based on the stable comments, one has to be with Havasha. “He has a wide draw to overcome again this time but he is fit and he is looking good. He should be right there,’’ said Buckler.

Havasha should also prefer the extra ground as his dam Juniper Berry, ironically trained by Gary Alexander, won over 2400m. Havasha has Piere Strydom in the irons and he should go closer than the 2.75 lengths he was beaten in Guineas.

Look out too for the outsiders, Ernie Anderson’sNyakatho and Tyrone Zackey’sSmanjemanje, two more products of Summerhill’s 2008 Ready To Run crop. Anderson was distraught after the Guineas as his runner suffered serious interference and had to drop to last and come again. He did remarkably well to finish just six lengths back.

One should also not forget that in January he flew late to run Dingaans winner Curved Ball to half a length and a repeat of that run will see him at least finish in the places.

Galileo’s Galaxy has been most consistent having finished second in the Dingaans and the Cape Guineas, and then third in the Gauteng Guineas. However, it is hard to see Charles Laird’s runner turning around his Guineas defeat by Pierre Jourdan and Havasha, although he should be somewhere in the firing line.

Pierre Jourdan’s prospects of winning his first Grade 1 race only adds to the anticipation of what should be a brilliant day’s racing with no less than seven feature races including the SA Fillies Classic (Gr1), HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes (Gr1), Pretty Polly Stakes (Gr3), Protea Stakes (Gr3), Man O’ War Sprint (Gr3) and the Caradoc Gold Cup (Gr3). The first race goes off at 1.45pm, the SA Classic at 4.45pm and the final event is scheduled to be run at 8.30pm.