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South Africa hosted the International Thoroughbred Breeders Federation Conference in Cape Town in January this year. I attended some of the presentations, many of them were very technical and veterinary specific. The entire program was filmed and I am sure that they won’t mind if anyone who is interested takes a look at what was said. I went to the stallion parade and dinner that Varsfontein hosted for delegates. Also very interested to see the demonstration of the new lip micro-chipping. I spent some time chatting to Kirsten Rausing. She was a director of the British Bloodstock Agency at the time when I was their representative in Africa. Kirsten is the new Chairman of the International Thoroughbred Breeders Federation and is also Honorary Chairman of The European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders Associations but is better known as owner of Lanwades Stud in Newmarket. It was said some years ago that Ms Rausing was, as then Chairman of the British Thoroughbred Breeders Association, anti the idea of new South African export protocols. I doubt that is the case. In fact, having heard from the delegates at the meeting and from chats I have had with others I am more encouraged now than I have been for many years that our industry looks to be on the verge of a solution to our export dilemma.

As 2016 closed, we ran full tilt into the glamour and excitement of the Cape’s January racing season. The 156th renewal of South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious WFA event, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate was a triumph for racing and the sponsors. This year they turned it into a two day festival which went off extremely well and provided two days of fun, top-class racing. The tradition and spectacle of the event gets better and better every year. If there was any day on which SA would want to put on its best racing show, it was at this year’s renewal. Loads of international celebrities and the delegates to the conference that flew in earlier to enjoy a bit of racing before their long week of meetings could only have been suitably impressed. Markus and Ingrid Jooste’s Legal Eagle was an obvious, popular and worthy winner. It’s such a pleasure to see the public’s faith rewarded when the favourite wins courtesy of WFA terms. Definitely a fair result. Devoid of the mystery of handicapping and silly conditions in other Gr1 races where punters feel duped by rules they don’t understand and which make the best horses the most unlikely to win. Gold Circle should take note and do something about the Durban July. One day someone will make sense at the National Programming Committee and downgrade that race – all Gr1 races in SA should be WFA events. That’s the only way to build public confidence in our product.

Before I go into more detail about the season to-date I should remind everyone that it’s the CTS Premier Yearling Sale at the CTICC next week. Viewing starts on Tuesday and the sale starts at 5:30pm on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd. We will be able to inspect all 237 of the entries in the viewing time provided and we will once again put together a few of our popular (and highly successful) racing teams. If you’d like to participate please give me or Jono Snaith a call. The stallions we manage are all well represented, in fact they make up half of the catalogue. I covered the catalogue with Grant Knowles and Justin Vermaak for the Breeding To Win show which was broadcast on Tellytrack last Sunday – we had a lot of positive feedback about the show. If you missed it you can see it on YouTube:

The field for the R5m Gr1 Sun Met is now online. It’s going to be a very interesting race day on the 28th January. Be sure to book your ticket to Africa’s richest race day. R25m in stakes on offer with eleven feature races in a single racecard. It’s not only Africa’s richest, it’s one of the best meetings in the world: R5m Gr1 Sun Met, R1m each for the Gr1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship, Gr1 Investec Cape Derby and Gr1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes, two US$500,000 CTS races, R1m Kuda Sprint and two other features. At this rate we might even persuade the nation to follow the example of the Australians who celebrate the Melbourne Cup as a national holiday and make a proper party out of it.

Later in this edition I will also cover more of the season’s feature results including Dynasty’s LQP graded feature double, Gimmethegreenlight’s brace of winners this week, Captain Al’s UK winner and his superb Gr1 Cape Guineas winner, Trippi’s Cartier Sceptre Stakes heroine, What A Winter’s great start to his Freshman year, Twice Over’s surprise early start, update to season stats, the sad passing of Querari’s star filly and more.

In this edition:

  • Breeding To Win - Captain Al, Dynasty & Gimmethegreenlight

  • End of breeding season stallion update

  • Captain Al’s Gr1 Cape Guineas winner – another Graded double and overseas news

  • Dynasty double feature at LQP and another stakes win for Time To Dream

  • Trippi filly – Cartier Sceptre Stakes

  • Midweek double for Gimmethegreenlight

  • What A Winner, the fast one, off to a quick start - Dutch Phillip impressive win

  • Querari loses his Falcon

  • Twice Over makes an early start - filly qualifies for $500k CTS race

  • Stats update - not just sires - breeders, trainers and jocks

 
 
 
 

END OF BREEDING SEASON STALLION UPDATE

Any breeder you ask will tell you that the 2016 Breeding Season was one of the toughest we have seen in many years. Undoubtedly this long period of weird weather and drought is taking its toll. Cape Breeders have this SMS line to members where breeders can call for help with foster mares etc. I don’t think I have ever seen so many calls for help. Plainly put, it was also obvious that more mares than usual were late in foaling and even more were difficult to get in foal. We had some challenges with the size of the book that the older stallions can handle, there is always pressure to take more mares. It’s not going to get any easier to get to the older sires this year, so breeders should start committing to the new lads. I have said this before, never before has the time been better for the new boys to shine.

The younger boys that we manage: Gimmethegreenlight, Querari, Pathfork and Philanthropist have proved their mettle and will progress as all new sires do; get better and better as we learn how best to use them. Our two 2017 Freshman sires Twice Over and What A Winter have already confirmed that they have what it takes to make the grade. Jackson and Master Of My Fate have their first very exciting crop of yearlings on sale this year. Wylie Hall’s first foals were born in 2016 to much acclaim. Our two Horses Of The Year, Futura and Legislate, covered their first mares in 2016. In all we processed bookings of over 1500 mares to 16 stallions. The total could easily have been over 1600 but we had to limit the older boys and will be doing that again this year to conserve their fertility for as long as possible. I am told that in Ireland there are sires that cover well over 200 mares in a season. I just can’t imagine any sire in SA being able to do that. The most any sire in SA can handle is 130 mares and please believe me that having that number booked can be problematic as bottle necks often occur. Besides which, our sensitive and relatively small local market is easily over-supplied.

Exciting times for the new sires. My team and I know that the new young sires that we have in our portfolio have the right credentials to follow the brilliance of our current champions because they only have to beat in the breeding barn what they beat on the racetrack. We have sent our new stallion catalogue to the printers – please be sure to pick up a copy at our stand at the CTICC.

 
 

ANOTHER 1-2 FOR CAPTAIN AL IN GRADED FEATURE

Captain Al’s son Search Party and Captain Alfredo recently ran 1-3 in the G2 World Sports Betting Cape Merchants. The former champion sire once again dominated another major Cape feature when his daughters Jo’s Bond and Carry On Alice filled the first two spots in the Gr2 CTS Southern Cross Stakes at Kenilworth.

Jo’s Bond, a filly that we selected with and bought for Snaith Racing at the 2014 Cape Premier Sale for just R325,000 scored her 7th career win from 16 starts in this Gr2 feature. She is the 75th stakes winner for Captain Al, South Africa’s Champion Sire in 2014-2015, and champion sire of 2yos for the past eight seasons in a row.

Captain Al has been enjoying another fantastic season thus far, with his runners having picked up such features as the G2 World Sports Betting Cape Merchants, G2 CTS Southern Cross Stakes, G3 Matchem Stakes, G3 Diana Stakes and G3 Rio Casino’s 10th Birthday Bash Promotion Graham Beck Stakes.

Fourth British win for son of Captain Al

Cape Breeders report: Klawervlei Stud’s former champion sire Captain Al had a British winner on Thursday when his son Captain Lars scored his fourth British victory. Bred by Klawervlei, and racing for Chris Hamilton, Captain Lars led inside the final furlong of the 1000m contest and held off a late charge from runner up Piazon to score by a neck.

Captain Lars, who had also previously raced in Dubai, was a top class performer in South Africa where his five victories included the Listed Drum Star Handicap.

Out of the top class Polar Falcon mare Polar Charge, Captain Lars is a full brother to last season’s Equus Champion 2YO Colt Always In Charge and to G2 Fillies Championship third Alascan Maiden.

The gelding was a R1 400 000 buy from the inaugural Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

 
 

GRADED DOUBLE FOR DYNASTY

Cape Breeders report: Highlands Farm’s leading sire Dynasty was the toast of the turf this past weekend in South Africa when the former Horse Of The Year was represented by a pair of eye catching graded stakes winners.

First of the Dynasty sired runners to land a graded race was the Maine Chance Farms bred Horizon.

A R5.2 million buy from the 2015 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, the Candice Bass-Robinson trained colt picked up the first stakes win of his career with a one and a quarter length win over the well-bred Australian import Newlands.

The lightly raced Horizon, who looked an unlucky loser of the Listed Grand Foods Jet Master Stakes last time out, looks on track for a tilt at the G1 Investec Cape Derby –a race won by his own sire Dynasty back in 2003.

Dynasty has already been represented by three Investec Cape Derby winners (Jackson, Legislate and It’s My Turn), as well as a dual Derby winner in Irish Flame, and Horizon could well provide his sire with more Derby glory.

Not only is Dynasty a sire of outstanding colts, but he is also enjoying more and more success with top class fillies.

His Cheveley Stud bred daughter Bela-Bela, last season’s Equus Champion 3YO Filly, is one of her sire’s best and she picked up the second G1 win of her career when downing a star studded field of fillies and mares to lift the 2017 G1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday.

A R1,400,000 buy from the 2014 Emperors Palace National 2YO Sale, Bela-Bela (whose previous wins included the G1 Woolavington 2000 and G2 KRA Fillies Guineas) has now won six of just nine outings and banked over R1.8 million in stakes.

Third in last year’s Paddock Stakes, the Varsfontein Stud owned filly looks on track for a tilt at the G1 Sun Met at the end of January.

The sire of 42 stakes winners and counting, Dynasty has enjoyed an excellent few days, with yet another daughter, A Time To Dream, having lifted the Listed Lady’s Bracelet on Wednesday.

He has 11 lots on offer at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, including siblings to G1 winners Futura, Potala Palace and Solo Traveller as well as a colt out of Jet Master’s G1 winning daughter Viva Maria.

10th Gr1 winner for Dynasty

Even before Bela-Bela’s Gr1 MCF Paddock Stakes victory on LQP day, the progeny of Dynasty made it back to back 3yo filly feature wins when his blue blooded daughter Just Sensual won the Gr1 World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas at Kenilworth on 3rd December.

(Another daughter of Dynasty, Lady Of The House, finished fifth in the Fillies Guineas – suggesting she maybe yet another Dynasty filly worth watching).

Cape Breeders report from 3rd December: Just Sensual continued the great run of form enjoyed by Dynasty daughters of late –with that sire’s daughter Smiling Blue Eyes having landed the G3 Fillies Mile at Turffontein just seven days earlier.

Bred by Klawervlei Stud, Just Sensual (who cost owners Mayfair Speculators R2 000 000 at last year’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale) has now won three of just four outings and she looks to be one of the leaders of her generation.

Remarkably, Just Sensual is the fourth daughter of Dynasty to land a Fillies Guineas, with his daughters Beach Beauty, Alexis and Bela-Bela all having won the G2 KZN equivalent. Both Beach Beauty and Bela-Bela went on to win Equus Awards, and Just Sensual may well follow in their footsteps.

Dynasty also has some top-class 3yo colts representing him this season, including the G1 Cape Guineas entries Craven and Horizon, and the former Horse Of The Year looks on course for yet another big year!

Fort Wood’s champion son has another superb draft on offer at January’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale. Dynasty’s 11 strong CPYS draft includes a three parts brother to former July favourite (lot 63), a colt whose A P Indy sired dam is a half sister to recently deceased Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos (Lot 134), a half brother to G1 Cape Guineas winner Solo Traveller (Lot 164), a colt out of G1 Woolavington 2000 heroine Viva Maria (Lot 220), a three parts sister to G1 winning 2yo and sire Potala Palace (Lot 228), and a full brother to former Horse Of The Year, and Drakenstein Stud’s popular young sire, Futura (Lot 181).

And Cape Breeders also reported on Dynasty’s stakes winner in the week before the LQP meeting:- Highlands Farms’ red hot sire Dynasty has made the perfect start to 2017, with his daughter A Time To Dream giving the former Horse Of The Year a first feature race win of the New Year, by winning Wednesday’s Listed Lady’s Bracelet at Fairview.

It was a second stakes victory for the four-year-old filly who stormed clear to post a three parts of a length win in Wednesday’s 1600m event.

Bred by the Normandy Stud, A Time To Dream (one of a hatrick of winners on the card for jockey Andrew Fortune) has now won six of just 11 outings, with her latest win pushing her earnings to over R370 000.

A Time To Dream, whose previous victories included the Listed Breeders Guineas, was a R240 000 buy from the 2014 March Yearling Sale.

She is one of more than 40 stakes winners for former July winning champion Dynasty, whose other recent stakes winners included brilliant G1 World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas winner Just Sensual. Dynasty is also sire of last season’s Equus Champion 3YO Filly Bela-Bela- ruling favourite for Saturday’s G1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes.

The stallion, whose stars include such Horse Of The Year winners as Futura, Irish Flame and Legislate, has 11 yearlings on offer at this month’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

 
 

TRIPPI FILLY LIFTS CARTIER SCEPTRE STAKES

Cape Breeders report: Drakenstein Stud’s reigning champion sire Trippi celebrated yet another big win on Friday when his blue blooded daughter Live Life downed some of South Africa’s top sprinting fillies to win the G2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes, on the first day of the 2017 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate race meeting at Kenilworth on Friday.

Bred by Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm (also responsible for 2017 G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner Legal Eagle), Live Life stormed up late to post a 0.75 of a length success in Friday’s R400 000 sprint.

In the process, the Candice Bass-Robinson trained three-year-old accounted for triple G1 winner Carry On Alice, with G3 Champagne Stakes winner Beach Goddess back in third, with Trippi’s G1 City Of Pietermaritzburg Fillies Sprint winner Real Princess among the beaten runners.

Live Life, who stopped the clock in a time of 72.6 seconds for the 1200m race, was a R2 500 000 buy from the 2015 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

She is the latest high class performer bred on the Trippi/National Assembly cross, with this cross having also produced G3 Magnolia Handicap heroine Franny and Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes winner Agra.

Friday’s G2 winner is the 67th stakes winner for Trippi, whose G2 Selangor Cup winning son Gold Standard is one of the leading fancies for the upcoming G1 Investec Cape Derby and whose star sprinter Trip To Heaven (a runner in Saturday’s G2 Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes) holds an entry in the G1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship.

Champion sire in South Africa in 2015-2016, Trippi has 13 lots on offer at the 2017 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

 
 

MIDWEEK DOUBLE FOR GIMMETHEGREENLIGHT

Cape Breeders report: Varsfontein Stud’s exciting young sire Gimmethegreenlight enjoyed a notable double at Kenilworth on Wednesday.

Both of Gimmethegreenlight sired winners, Ready Set Go and Loadshedder, were saddled by trainer Andre Nel for owner Sabine Plattner.

The La Plaisance Stud bred Ready Set Go, who was making just her second career outing, did well to get up to win over 1200m –despite having lost ground and been slow away at the start. In landing Wednesday’s second race, the three-year-old filly was the first leg of a double for Gimmethegreenlight, whose son Loadshedder romped home to land Kenilworth’s third race, a maiden plate over 1600m, by two lengths.

Bred by the Cheveley Stud, the gelded Loadshedder was a R900 000 buy from the 2015 National Yearling Sale.

Gimmethegreenlight has now been represented by 34 individual first crop winners, highlighted by the graded winners Gunner, Green Pepper and Hack Green. The latter lines up in Saturday’s Listed Fairview Wines Sophomore Sprint at Kenilworth.

The former G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner is a son of world leading sire More Than Ready, whose offspring have once again been in demand at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. At the time of writing, More Than Ready’s top lot sold at the GC Yearling Sale was a full brother to champion and prominent sire Sebring who was knocked down to trainer Gai Waterhouse for $1.3 million.

Gimmethegreenlight has 16 lots on offer at next week’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

And another winner: Trained by Sean Tarry, the S’Manga Khumalo ridden daughter of Gimmethegreenlight, Green Plains, coasted to a facile 1.7 length win over 800 – with her rider barely moving a muscle!

This was a sensational debut performance from this Gary Player Stud Farm bred filly, who is out of the winning Jet Master mare Savannah Leigh. Two of Gimmethegreenlight’s first juvenile runners have either won or placed this season, and he looks on course for another successful season this year.

This tally includes three individual Graded winners, highlighted by G1 Premiers Champion Stakes hero Gunner and brilliant filly Green Pepper.

Another filly from Gimmethegreenlight’s first crop to make a positive impression is the impeccably bred Beataboutthebush.

A half sister to former G3 East Cape Derby hero True Master, Beataboutthebush made it three wins from as many outings when she hacked up over 1200m at Fairview on Monday afternoon.

Bred by Varsfontein (and a R300 000 buy from the 2015 National Two Year Old Sale), the Alan Greeff trained Beataboutthebush’s wins have all come over 1200m to date, and she looks sure to improve further on her perfect three for three record.

Her sire Gimmethegreenlight has 16 lots on offer at January’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

 
 

WHAT A WINTER – "THE FAST ONE" IS QUICK OFF THE MARK

Cape Breeders report: Drakenstein Stud’s exciting and popular young sire What A Winter was represented by his first winner when 2yo Dutch Philip made a winning debut over 1000m at Kenilworth on Saturday.

Bred by the Rex Stud, Dutch Philip ran on smartly under jockey Grant Van Niekerk to score a one and a half length win first time out.

Out of the Dominion Royale mare Upity Ann, Dutch Philip was a R460 000 buy from this year’s March Yearling Sale.

His sire, triple Equus Champion What A Winter, has made a superb start to his stud career with all six of his first juvenile runners having won or finished in the money.

The son of triple champion sire Western Winter was one of the best sprinters to have raced in South Africa during the past few decades, with What A Winter’s 15 wins including eight features- and four G1 wins.

What A Winter, South Africa’s Champion Sprinter in 2012 and 2013, won seven graded races in total, highlighted by a pair of wins in the G1 Cape Flying Championship (a race also won by legendary SA sire Jet Master).

A half-brother to ill-fated KZN champion What A Question and to German stakes winner Widar, What A Winter is out of Waseela, whose sire Ahonoora is also broodmare sire of highly successful sires Cape Cross and New Approach.

This is also the family of sire greats Hyperion, Sir Tristram, Mossborough, Pharamond and Sickle.

What A Winter has ten quality lots on offer at this month’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

While it is early days yet, Drakenstein Stud’s exciting young sire What A Winter is currently the Leading First Crop Sire in South Africa.

 
 

QUERARI HAS LOST HIS FALCON

I was told at the races on Saturday that Maine Chance Farm’s promising young sire Querari has lost his bright young star Querari Falcon. A very sad loss for the filly’s connections but equally a sad loss for her very popular sire. The filly, from his second crop, was his first Gr1 winner. Querari Falcon won the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes in 2016, a year after another of Querari’s daughters had finished 2nd in that same Gr1 feature for 2yo fillies. Having won three races and been placed three times including third behind Dynasty’s daughter Just Sensual in the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas from just 6 starts, Querari Falcon looked to have loads more to come. Our commiserations to all concerned. We mourn with you.

Aside from that sad loss Querari was represented by another smart looking debut winner at Kenilworth last Saturday. Querari’s popularity went through the roof with 85% of his first crop finding the winners box including Kangaroo Jack, the Johannesburg sprint sensation who won twice at Gr2 level including five successive victories.

Cape Breeders report: Querari’s son Kampala Campari made a winning debut for trainer Andre Nel and owner-breeder Sabine Plattner when winning by one and a quarter lengths over 1200m.

Sent off the 11-10 favourite, Kampala Campari had too many guns for his rivals and he looks an above average sort on his debut effort.

Out of the stakes placed Captain Al mare Kwitizina, Kampala Campari was one of two winners for Querari this past weekend, with the stallion also responsible for Sari, who won by 1.75 lengths at just the second time of asking at Greyville on Friday.

A G1 winning, and champion, son of champion sprinter and leading sire Oasis Dream, Querari surely rates as one of South Africa’s most exciting young stallions.

From just 26 first crop runners, Querari’s initial crop of foals has included 22 winners, of which seven are stakes horses.

His first crop includes the graded winners Cosmic Light and Kangaroo Jack, as well as G1 Thekwini Stakes runner up Melliflora, while Querari’s second crop produced G1 Thekwini Stakes winner Querari Falcon.

This red hot young sire has four on offer at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, including a filly from the family of recent European G1 winner Potemkin (Lot 145) and a colt from the same family as recent G1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas hero William Longsword (Lot 148).

 
 

TWICE OVER MAKES AN EARLY START

At the CTS Ready to Run Sale gallops in October last year, the rumour mill went into over-drive about how well the progeny of the Klawervlei based UK and European Champion Racehorse Twice Over stretched out in the gallops. Though most of them are like their sire and look to be late maturing, they impressed in the gallops and I managed to buy three more of them at the sale. One of these was, unusual for Twice Over, a chestnut. Out of a Captain Al mare I thought she might be early maturing and so I bought her for Twice Over’s biggest fan, Bernard Kantor and sent her to Justin Snaith with a request, “please try to get this filly to qualify for the $500k race on Met day”.

She was sent to the races for her first start barely two months after the sale to race over 800m, a distance I wouldn’t imagine suited to Twice Over’s progeny. She proved to be quite a handful at the start. I wasn’t expecting temperament because Twice Over is about the most well-mannered horse I have ever met. The filly was fractious at the start dumping her jockey twice. The second time she ran away with S’Mango doing a great job to keep her from bolting. We worried that the starter was going to wave her off. Thankfully the handlers persevered. She jumped on terms and was up with the pace all the way to finish an encouraging 3rd. She race again on LQP day over 1000m and finished 4th. No question she is going to need to be taught to settle and so I was interested that one of my UK based racing friends told me that Twice Over also needed to be taught to settle as a youngster. He was undefeated in both of his starts at 2yrs and won the Zetland Stakes – but both of his wins were over 1400m. We wouldn’t normally be racing a juvenile this early over a distance short of her optimal distance, and she should stay over a mile plus, but when you have a $500k prize why not take the chance.

I see that Joey Ramsden has a Twice Over youngster carded to race at Kenilworth tomorrow and I am keen to see how he runs.

 
 

STATS

 
 
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