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Agra by Trippi wins the Summer Juvenile Stakes
Agra by Trippi wins the Summer Juvenile Stakes

Click above to watch Agra winning the Summer Juvenile Stakes (L)…

(Image : Gold Circle - Footage : UpInClass)


End Sweep (USA) - Jealous Appeal (USA)

david thiselton
david thiselton

David Thiselton

Gold CircleTrippi, who finished 23rd on the General Sires List in the USA last year having finished 20th the year before, has made a big impact during his short stay in South Africa to date, although this was not unexpected.

On J&B Met day his first South African runner, the Justin Snaith-trained Agra, who had won on debut, became his first stakes winner in South Africa when easily winning the Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes and maintaining her unbeaten record, while at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, Trippi finished third on aggregate behind Jet Master and Captain Al and second on average behind Jet Master at R566,667 per yearling of the 21 sold.

Charles Faull of Form Bloodstock recommended the son of End Sweep to Drakenstein Stud’sGaynor Rupert on his racing record (he won a Grade 1 and two Grade 2s over 1400m at Belmont) and his pedigree, while his progeny had made a good start, he was throwing nice looking foals and, not least, on his “beauty”.

Rupert and her stud manager Ross Fuller went to see Trippi in the USA and were equally impressed.

The decision to purchase him in 2008 paid almost immediate dividends as Trippi was Florida’s leading sire by the end of the season, a title he would have won every year since had he still been standing there, and the following year he had a Royal Ascot winner in Jealous Again, who won the Grade 2 Queen Mary Stakes over 1000m.

To date Trippi has bred 33 American Stakes horses, including a champion, three Graded stakes winners, track record holders and a Breeders Cup place getter.

A few hours after Agra had won at Kenilworth on Saturday, Trippi’s four-year-old son Soaring Stocks collected US$90,000 for his connections when winning the Sunshine Millions Sprint Stakes over 1200m on dirt at Gulfstream Park in the USA.

Agra looks a splitting image of her father, so it would appear Trippi stamps his foals.

Justin Snaith said he would rest Agra now and would not be taking her to Durban for the Champions Season.

Trippi received an outstanding book of 120 mares last year and this season Ross Fuller will drop him down to 100 mares although his fee of R30,000 nomination fee plus R70,000 for live foal might rise.

Trippi’s stallion companion at Drakenstein Stud is the legendary Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut, regarded by many as the greatest racehorse South Africa has ever produced, received poor support during his spell in the USA and had dropped down to half a handful of mares by the time he was brought back home.

He had gained a reputation for being infertile, but Fuller revealed that this was a false impression created by a condition he has which does not manifest if he is kept busy.

Horse Chestnut, who is an absolute gentleman in terms of temperament, was kept busy last season with over 100 mares. Another reason he didn’t get good mares in the USA is that his only start there yielded a Grade 3 win and he was probably viewed as only a Grade 3 winner, but in South Africa his famous eight length J&B Met win and his facile wins on the road to Triple Crown glory still live strong in the memory.

Even without the support he deserved, Horse Chestnut sired 141 individual winners in the USA at a rate of 61% winners to runners, while he sired 28 stakes horses and 13% stakes horses to runners.

Extract from






(Photo : Drakenstein Stud)


“Top Three on the North American Sires List”

There’s a lot of talk in South African racing circles, about a new definition for the “Big Five”, the stallion Big Five that is. But when it comes to international commentators on the stallion business, the King of the Beasts is undoubtedly Bill Oppenheim, erstwhile American now living in Scotland. When Bill writes about you, you better know you’re in the vicinity of the big time, and this morning, he penned this piece on Gaynor Rupert’s first season sire, Trippi, whose exploits have occupied these spaces many times in the past. Bill wrote thus in the Thoroughbred Daily News :

South Africa’s Drakenstein Stud acquired Trippi (End Sweep) in the summer of 2008, and his first South African yearlings, foals of 2009 in the Southern Hemisphere, are selling now. He was already doing well when his first representatives came up at  the new Cape Town sale at the end of January, when 21 yearlings by Trippi averaged around $79,000 (R490,000). Right after that, his Gourmet Dinner ran second in the G3 Holy Bull, but Trippi’s Grade 2 double at Gulfstream last weekend propelled him into the top three on the North American general sire lists for the year. Travellin Man won the G2 Swale on the Florida Derby undercard on Sunday, but the real championship performance might have been the filly R. Heat Lightning’s win in the G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks, in which she ran a Beyer fig of 100 - already good enough to win the G1 Kentucky Oaks in most years. This followed on from her win in the G2 Davona Dale, in which she ran a Beyer 98; these figures are actually higher than most of the top 3-year-old colts that are running right now, by the way.

What’s really striking about R. Heat Lightning’s figures is that she was very consistent as a two-year-old, winning the G1 Spinaway (Beyer 76), and running second in the G1 Frizette (78) and G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (82), but the times were slow and the figs were low. Now, all of a sudden, this filly has improved by 16 points since November, and sustained that improvement in her second and third starts at three. I’ll be betting on her in her next start. Trippi has 20 more yearlings catalogued in South Africa’s traditional number one yearling sale, near Johannesburg, in a couple of weeks time. He should still be very hot.”

Summerhill consigns two Trippis to the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, 15 - 17 April, (Lots 8 and 141).

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

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kerry jack

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R Heat Lightning by Trippi wins the Gulfstream Oaks
R Heat Lightning by Trippi wins the Gulfstream Oaks

Click above to watch R Heat Lightning winning the Gulfstream Oaks (Gr2)

(Photo : ESPN - Footage : Gulfstream Park Racing)


Drakenstein Stud’s grand looking stallion, Trippi, can do no wrong right now. A top three United States’ stallion as the log read, going into the weekend, his daughter, R Heat Lightning surged to an 8¼ length victory in Saturday’s Gulfstream Oaks (Gr2), a move which took her sire to the Number One slot, and which could well have her at the top of the boards for America’s most prestigious race for sophomore fillies, the Kentucky Oaks (Gr1), scheduled for Friday, 6th May. Courtesy of the efforts of Summerhill client, Team Valor, there are some among us who’ll be in attendance for what could be a piece of South African history in the making. We’ll keep you posted on the Oaks and the following day’s Kentucky Derby, as the day dawns.

But that’s not the epilogue. When he’s hot, Trippi is very hot. As if the Gulfstream Oaks wasn’t enough, Sunday witnessed another Gr2 stunner from his son, Travellin Man in the US$150,000 Swale Stakes who was sent off at 2-5 in a five-horse field, and ran to his odds. If there’s a commodity in demand at the National Yearling Sales (15 - 17 April), it’ll be Trippi, Trippi and Trippi.

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pocket power and trippi
pocket power and trippi

Pocket Power and Trippi

(Photo: Gold Circle / Drakenstein Stud)

Pocket Power bags another win

One South African based stallion who’s screaming from the rooftops, is Drakenstein Stud’sdual Grade One winner, Trippi, who already has a USA Grade One-winning juvenile in R.Heat Lightning. That this was no fluke, is evidenced in the many Stakes winners that Trippi has thrown during his sojourn in Florida, USA, and this weekend he added to his list of accomplishments when Gourmet Dinner took the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (GrIII) by an increasing 2 ¼ lengths. Gourmet Dinner’s record reads four victories and a second from five starts to date, and now you’d have to believe his trainer, Steve Standridge, is catching Kentucky Derby fever for next May.

Back at home, the Ocean Basket Green Point Stakes (Gr.2) served as the ideal prep for theL’Ormarins Queens Plateand the J&B Met, for three-times Horse Of The Year, Pocket Power, who strode away impressively from a team of young luminaries, which included the hitherto unbeaten Bravura, and Kahal’s Matchem Stakes hero, Tales Of Bravery.

Of course, this race was run under weight-for-age conditions, which means the principal protagonists started on pretty much equal terms, and that will be the case again in the L’Ormarins Queens Plate, for which Pocket Power tilts at victory for an astonishing fifth consecutive time.

However, the J&B Met will see the candidates separated in the weights to a degree, and that could bode well for those who toiled in his wake this weekend. The one thing we don’t know is just how wound up Pocket Power was, but if he was anywhere near his top, then the improvers could be closing on him when it gets to the business end of the J&B Met.

We’ve been saying all along, if Tales Of Bravery could finish within three lengths of Pocket Power on the weekend, he’ll still go to the Met with a pretty decent prospect of picking up the silver. He did just that on Saturday.




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

Click above to watch R Heat Lightning

winning the Spinaway Stakes Gr.1 at Saratoga

(Photo : Examiner - Footage : Saratoga)



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

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

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

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


Royal Ascot history for TIGER RIDGE and TRIPPI

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


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.