Here we are, 40 years on, still plumbing the rich vein of those pipes that churn up the stallion gems, as sure as we’ve ever been about finding the “right one” in a game that’s the “unsurest” of them all. Which brings me to my topic: Taking Stock: Stallions by Non-Elite Sires, which was the subject of recent debate in the United States.
The Ato gelding Chijmes confirmed again that he is no slouch when leading all the way to win the R150,000 Listed Sea Cottage Stakes at Turffontein on Sunday to give claiming apprentice Denis Schwarz his first feature success.
The end of the year means it is awards season and the decision to present breeder Mick Goss with a lifetime achievement award at the 2018 KwaZulu-Natal awards will be applauded throughout the racing industry.
Mick Goss was as gracious as ever as he accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award at the KZN Breeders Awards dinner at the Fordoun Hotel on Saturday evening. “Saturday evening was one of those occasions, as good as any we’ve known since the Summerhill gates were first opened in the dawn of 1979,” said the eloquent multiple champion breeder.
The KZN Breeders Awards were held at a festive function at the Fordoun Hotel on Saturday evening. January marks the 40th year of Summerhill’s involvement in the breeding business, and across the span of four decades, our horses and our people have taken us to the mountain top many times.
It seemed so typical of the strange fortunes governing our sport that we should have been made to wait so long for a Triple Crown winner, only for another one to turn up three years later in the very same barn. On the face of it, that coincidence will now be compounded as Justify (Scat Daddy) joins American Pharoah (Pioneer of the Nile) at Ashford for his own attempt to parlay historic capacities, on the track, into an equivalent impact on the breed.
Usurping the Ballydoyle battalion for favouritism in Sunday’s G1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh, Quorto (IRE) showed his mettle to emulate his sire Dubawi's 2004 success and register a career high in battling fashion.
Yet it ranked, and it rankled even more, as the biggest piece of local racing affrontery when the aptly-named Rabada claimed the 2016 crop’s highest rating in the same event with his thunder bolt against the cream of the nation’s bluebloods. On the floor that day were the subsequent Equus Champion and Triple Crown laureate, Abashiri, and the regally related dual Group One performer, Prospect Strike.