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Cape Premier Sale and the big Met meeting in rapid succession. What a week! Action packed and great for all of the international visitors. CTS kept the visitors very well entertained. The CTICC as a sales venue is unique in the world. Seeing the horses all in the same place and under the same circumstances makes viewing so easy and having the sale arena right there is convenient for that last minute re-checking. Caterers upped their game this year – in fact the food at the little ‘Coffee On The Square’ restaurant was excellent so we didn’t have to leave the complex at all. We saw all of the horses in the time allowed and got our short list worked out in time for buyers to take a look on the Saturday.

Foreign buyers dominated the vendor roll and it was super to see names like MV Magnier, Peter Doyle (bought some real crackers – with his Euro strong clients he outbid me on at least five of my choice picks) and China Horse Club in action. There’s a new name on the list Justin Casse who corrected a comment attributed to him in TDN by Turf Talk about the standard of our industry.

I expected the overseas buyers to go for the Frankels and some of the very strong draft of Rock Of Gibraltar yearlings on offer but their focus was firmly on the progeny of the leading South African sires. I was itching to buy a few of the Rock Of Gibraltar yearlings – some looked really well made and had good pedigrees. Buyers missed good bargains there, several of them made much less than I expected. There was nothing wrong with them. I don’t think local buyers are aware of how powerful Rock Of Gibraltar has been in SA – he has a massive strike rate here in past imports. Even though I was the biggest buyer by number of lots purchased (and only 6th by value), I didn’t have enough buyers to get all of the “Rocks” that I short listed, or in fact most of my short list. In fact, we only got one – remember my words when you see them racing! They will do well.

I will deal with the sale in more detail later in this news. The highlights and final stats tell you that our industry is in good shape. Loads of money at the top end and the Sunday session had me patting myself on the back for having got a few in early the day before – it was damn difficult to get a top horse on the Sunday, we pushed hard. The top 20 lots made 42% of the sale, that’s R65m of the R155m total. 41 yearlings sold for R1m or more – 26 of those are sons and daughters of our stallions. The number of lots sold this year is on a par with last year (222, marginally down from 227). The median price remained the same at R375k, as did the colt’s median, R400k. The filly’s median price was slightly down at R325k from R350k.

We were pleased with the performance of the stallions in our management portfolio:

  • The South African record price for a yearling, set at this sale last year, was equalled by Tom Magnier; R6 million for Drakenstein’s Trippi colt, first foal out of Gr2 winning daughter of Dynasty, Demanding Lady

  • The second highest priced colt at R5.75m was for a son of Dynasty, first foal of Gr1 winning Jet Master-mare Viva Maria consigned by Lammerskraal Stud. They also sold a Dynasty colt for R4.5m, half-brother to Gr1 Cape Guineas winner Solo Traveller, bought by Coolmore Australia.

  • Drakenstein got R4.5m for a Captain Al colt out of Ebony Flyer and Klawervlei also made R4.5m for a Captain Al colt out of Gr3 winner Orator’s Daughter.

  • China Horse Club principal Teo Ah King and Mick Flanagan signed the slip at R3.75m for a colt by Captain Al out of multiple Gr1 winner Happy Archer. Captain Al sold 5 yearlings for over R3m each.

  • What A Winter, whose first crop of youngsters have been getting good report from trainers, got R2.8m for a colt out of Maine Chance Farm’s Giants Causeway mare Seeking that was bought by China Horse Club and another of his colts went for R2.2m to Charles Laird.

  • Jackson set a new Freshman sire record at R2m. The past record was held by Gimmethegreenlight for a colt at R1.7m in 2015. The new R2m record is now held by this beautiful black Jackson filly who looked just like her sire. She is the 3rd foal of Undine, half-sister to Diving Jury. Jack Mitchell and I were delighted with lot 203, the Jackson colt we bought for R750k out of Temple Goddess.

  • A Twice Over colt bred by Ian Heyns made R2.1m – Amanda Skiffington was the successful buyer and I was the underbidder on behalf of Jack Mitchell. We loved the colt and valued him at about R1.5m but Amanda was hard to beat.

  • Gimmethegreenlight colts made R1.5m (Bass) and R1.4m (Doyle).

With the sale over I had a really fun week helping Investec look after the English Jockey Club members. Going around the stud farms is the best part of my job and being on the farm when the heavens opened on Friday morning was sheer bliss. The group stayed at Jan Harmsgat between Swellendam and Ashton – it’s a comfortable Country Hotel / winery and restaurant owned by former beauty queen Amy Kleynhans. The overflow stayed at a B&B on the farm next door. We were told at breakfast that 50mm of rain fell in just under 30 mins that morning. Just as we were getting ready to join the others for breakfast thunder rolled into the nearby hills and lightning lit up the sky and suddenly this torrent of water came rushing down the hill and kept coming down for over an hour – a great sight for our drought hardened eyes and welcome relief to the farmers in the area. I made some superb new friends among this very knowledgeable group of horsemen and women and am extremely grateful to Bernard Kantor for giving me the opportunity to be their tour guide for a few days. Big thanks to Gaynor Rupert and John Koster for their generous hospitality.

They enjoyed seeing two of SA’s most recent champion sires Captain Al and Trippi as well as all of the up-and-coming new boys at Drakenstein and Klawervlei. Having seen and loved Twice Over in all of his wins, they shared many stories of his career. They know how much he meant to Henry Cecil in his battle with cancer. I demonstrated his superb temperament to them and that made them all want to personally greet him. Having Twice Over at stud in SA is a triumph and would not have been possible without Bernard Kantor's influence in the UK at the time.

Bernard hosted the entire group at his home in Cape Town and we also enjoyed the company of Frankie Dettori and some of the Coolmore connections.

In this edition:

  • Breeding To Win this weekend – Jackson & Master Of My Fate

  • The new Sun Met – race day results and more winners elsewhere

  • Cape Premier Sale – report

  • Captain Al – tops sire list at CPYS & dominates Sun Met day

  • Trippi – Live Life

  • Dynasty – four more winners & sales results

  • Philanthropist – daughter nominated for Sovereign Award

  • Gimmethegreenlight – purple patch & sales results

  • Master Of My Fate – first yearlings

  • What A Winter – another winner & sales results

  • Potala Palace – relative impresses & first yearling sold

  • Million win for Wylie relative

 
 
 
 

THE SUN MET

The Sun Met race day was a major triumph! A few teething issues, like getting accreditation, but nothing that can’t be fixed for next year. I really enjoyed the fact that they kept the music to reasonable levels this time – a proper race day. The new sponsors are fantastic and the results were popular. Well done to all concerned. I am delighted to read that the powers-that-be have leaked that they are contemplating making the new Sun Met a Weight For Age event in future. Wow! That’s my dream. I was attacked in the press just over a week ago for daring to mention, yet again, how upset punters get with the complicated handicapping (and board discretions) that lie behind the Durban July. A long time ago I was told never to pick a fight with anyone that buys ink by the barrel-full so I won’t. I can only pray that someday they will see sense in following the WFA route – it’s the fairest way to race and takes the mystery and skulduggery out of how things are done nowadays with horses being left in to mess with the weights etc.

There were many features of the new Sun Met raceday that made this year the best ever. I liked the set-up of the corporate tents and hope that they will add umbrellas to the lawn in front of the main grandstand like we used to have years ago to encourage people to sit there and have a picnic.

Courtesy of Derby sponsors Investec and CTS we had more International visitors than ever before. Also courtesy of Investec’s Bernard Kantor we not only had the pleasure of seeing Frankie Dettori in action but we also saw him win the Derby. He is surely the only jockey who can claim to have won Investec Derbies in two hemispheres – and what a win it was! Historic in so many ways. The Investec Derby was won by Edict Of Nantes, a son of Count Dubois, a stallion that we used to manage for Investec MD Bernard Kantor. Bernard bred and raced Count Dubois in England and is the stallion's biggest fan. I just looked at my notes in the 2015 Klawervlei Farm sale catalogue, I was under bidder at R340k for the colt on behalf of Bernard – my notes say “big walk, lovely big colt, typical CdB, lots of substance, very good head and eye”. Wouldn’t it have been something if we’d succeeded in our quest to purchase him for Bernard. Then the script would have been 100% – the sponsor brings Frankie Detorri to South Africa wins the race with a son of a horse that he bred and raced. Well done to Klawervlei who did breed him – they had an amazing day breeding the winners of three of the major races carded; the CTS Mile, Gr1 Cape Flying Championship and the Gr1 Investec Derby.

The stallions in our portfolio had progeny that found their way into the winners' box or at least into the frame in 11 of the 13 races carded.

A great way to start the day – Jono Snaith and I bought the winner for Michael de Broglio. This was his 6th victory – co-incidentally he won on Met day last year.

Call To Account was bred by Bernard Kantor – a promising result. There were a few youngsters in the race with big reputations. This Captain Al filly was offered at the CTS Premier sale last year – she made just R175k in the sale – I bought her because, though she wasn’t the best looking Captain Al filly I have ever seen, she moved well and she hails from one of Bernard Kantor's favourite damlines. I said he should keep the filly because you can never have enough Captain Al fillies. Our stallions actually had a quartet in this race because the 4th horse was out of a Jallad mare.

Wonderwall looks to have a bright future. He ran 2nd to Dutch Phillip in his first start and was narrowly beaten here with the 3rd horse 3.5 lengths behind. One to watch. Querari had a winner in Johannesburg on Saturday.

$500,000 race. The 2nd prize is more than we earned when we won the Met in 2015 with Futura! A lovely exacta for our stallions here. The first two separated by just half a length, then two lengths to the 3rd placed and the next three just a half a length between them with the Pathfork gelding Star Flash close up. The winner was a R2.5m yearling at the Cape Premier Sale. A very clever buy – well rewarded here.

$500,000 race. Have had my eye on this winner for some time – what a horse. In my book he is an ideal follow-up to his sire at stud. Not only a brilliant looking horse but his track record makes him such a perfect choice. I would give my eye teeth to manage his career. Lovely run by Philanthropist’s son here for Dave Shaw.

The race that every speed champion needs to win to prove they are the best. Carry On Alice made this her fourth Gr1 win. She has now won R4m and ranks as one of the best fillies ever bred in SA. Any filly that wins 4 Gr1 races gets star status. Beating the colts is her game. She did it right from the start. She was the first filly in over 21 years to beat the colts in the Gr1 SA Nursery and was narrowly beaten in both the Gr1 Tsogo Sun (again against the colts) and in the Gr1 Thekwini by the shortest of short heads and even then was denied recognition by the Equus panel. I was very unhappy about the Equus panels neglect and I am so happy that she has done so well. Trippi’s son Trip to Heaven was not disgraced in 2nd place, the Merchants and Diadem winner bidding for a fourth feature win in a row. Jo’s Bond was flying from way back to make 4th place. More to come from her.

The result that legends are made of – see above. Dynasty’s son Horizon finished 3.85 lengths in 5th place, I don’t know what happened but I am sure that we will find out. Sometimes that draw one can be a curse.

Super to see the Kieswetter family rewarded here. The winner Whisky Baron’s sire Manhattan Rain is a half-brother (by Encosta de Lago, a son of Sadler’s Wells brother Fairy King) to Wylie Hall’s sire Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) – makes interesting info for Wylie Hall fans to follow. Whisky Baron was a comparatively inexpensive buy at the 2014 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale for $50,000 by Craig Roscoe & Joey Ramsden. He was bred in partnership between HRH Aga Khan and Arrowfield. Captain America did the hard work up front and did well to hang onto 3rd place and I think the 3yo son of Trippi did well to finish so close in 4th place after Captain America carried him out, jockey Fourie lodged an objection saying that Captain America carried him out the width of eight horses. Dynasty’s star filly Bela-Bela finished in 7th place – I so wanted to see her run in the Majorca Stakes on Saturday – she beat this year’s Majorca winner by 2.15 lengths last time they met in the Paddock Stakes.

A very close finish for two of Trippi’s sons

Another super winner for Gimmethegreenlight his sixth winner in the last week. He is still leading 2nd crop sire by stakes, AEPR, number of winners and races won and by stakes winners.

Other winners over the weekend:

Captain Al

    27/01/17 – CROWD PLEASER – Greyville – MR70 Allowance Plate
    27/01/17 – VALEDICTION – Fairview – (F&M)
    28/01/17 – WHOSETHEBOSSNOW – Turffontein – Maiden Plate

Gimmethegreenlight

    29/01/17 – BLACK BISCUIT – Scottsville – Juvenile Plate (F)

Jay Peg

    27/01/17 – SILVER JAY – Greyville – Maiden Plate (F&M)

Philanthropist

    27/01/17 – EN GEE OH – Fairview – Novice Plate

Querari

    28/01/17 – BONNIE DAWN – Turffontein – FM 76
 
 

CAPE PREMIER SALE

I have summarised the Cape Sale results in my intro above. Thought you might like to see the stats from the sale:

 
 

CAPTAIN AL - SUN MET DAY RESULTS

Klawervlei’s serial champion sire Captain Al dominated Sun Met results last Saturday. SA Champion Sire in 2015 champion sire of 2yos for the past eight straight years Captain Al had five winners on Met day (seven winners in total over the weekend).

His daughter Call To Account and son Kasimir (whose half brother by Duke Of Marmelade I was able to secure at CTS on behalf of Jack Mitchell) ran first and second in the Listed Princess Charlene Of Monaco SA Foundation Summer Juvenile Stakes. Call To Account, owned and bred by Bernard Kantor out of his 3 time winning Giant’s Causeway mare Jean Jeanie who he named after Jean Jaffee, is the third Captain Al runner to win the Summer Juvenile Stakes. This win represents back to back victories for the progeny of Captain Al – his son Sergeant Hardy won the race last year. Call To Account is Captain Al’s 77th stakes winner. Kasimir’s 2nd place denied Justin Snaith his 6th consecutive victory in this event.

It was a red-letter day all round for Klawervlei Stud and their famous sire. They bred the Captain’s new sensational galloper William Longsword who defeated a stellar field to lift the $500,000 CTS Mile. William Longsword made light work of the G1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas previously and confirmed his trainer Vaughan Marshall’s faith in the handsome Mayfair Speculators owned colt in this event. Bred on the same Captain Al/Fort Wood cross as Sun Met third Captain America, William Longsword has now won six of just eight outings.

It was déjà vu for trainer Vaughan Marshall who also trained the colt’s champion sire Captain Al through his career and looks like he has a very likely successor to his former charge as Klawervlei’s next son of the champion to have a crack at following in Captain Al’s footsteps – I hope that I am lucky enough to crack the nod to manage this one’s career.

Justin Snaith’s runner Copper Force, was drawn in the sticks, but even so put in a flying finish and took his earnings to close on R1,5 million at his sixth career start. 2nd place in this race was more than we got from our 1st stake cheque when we won the Met 2 years ago.

Philanthropist’s Gr2 Dingaan’s winner Singapore Sling stayed on nicely to add R990 000 for third place just a short head back.

 
 

TRIPPI - LIVE LIFE

We regularly follow Drakenstein based 2016 Champion Sire’s results overseas and reported recently of his 9yo son Bull Dozer’s 20th win. Well here is another 9yo winner for the veteran sire’s older brigade: Four Left Feet scored his 9th career victory in a $35,000 Claiming Race at Oaklawn Park last week to bring his career earnings total to over $420,000 – horses don’t earn that sort of money winning insignificant races.

Meantime fresh off his record breaking sales at the Cape Premier Sale just a week ago, racing results closer to home added to Trippi’s continuing success story. Cape Breeders report on last weekend's racing: Drakenstein Stud’s champion sire Trippi, whose ill-fated son Illuminator won the inaugral CTS Million Dollar last year, was back in the winners enclosure after the running of the $500 000 CTS Sprint on Sun Met day at Kenilworth on Saturday.

This time, it was the turn of Trippi’s G2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes winning daughter Live Life (who accounted for subsequent G1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship winner Carry On Alice last time out) to score in a major sales race.

One of two big race winners on the day for trainer Candice Bass-Robinson, Live Life Coming from some lengths off the inside group, recent Gr2 winner Live Life demonstrated her serious ability – and plenty of acceleration – when she was switched sharply from behind the Gr1 winner Always In Charge by jockey Grant van Niekerk and went past the smart Captain Al colt like he was standing still, to win going away

In the process, the filly (who had six feature race winners behind her) took home the first cheque for R3 300 000 for owners Hunkydory Investments.

Bred by Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm, Live Life was a R2 500 000 buy from the 2015 Cape Premier Yearling Sale. She has now banked more than R3.7 million, having won four of just nine outings and looks unlikely to stop here!

She is bred on the highly successful Trippi/National Assembly cross, responsible also for such high class fillies as Agra and Franny.

Her sire Trippi went close to enjoying a massive day on Sun Met day this weekend, with his son Trip To Heaven a close, and unlucky, loser of the G1 Betting World Cape Flying Championship, and another son, the 3yo Gold Standard, a close up fourth in the R5 000 000 Sun Met itself.

The bang in-form sire Trippi, who is currently South Africa’s third leading sire by prize money for the season, recently made headlines in the sales ring, when his son Charles topped the 2017 Cape Premier Yearling Sale. The Drakenstein bred colt was knocked down for R6 000 000 –equally the top price ever paid for a yearling sold at public auction in South Africa.

 
 

DYNASTY

I kept this item to share with you for the record because it resonates with the fantastic sales results that Dynasty’s son Jackson recorded at the CTS sale. Highlands Farm based multiple award winning sire Dynasty had a very good week in the run-up to Met day – even by his own high standards. The former Horse Of The Year had six individual winners that week (in five days!), and his progeny were keenly sought after at the 2017 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

Dynasty’s six started with Jackson’s own sister Field Of Light (Drier) winning for the Beck/Mitchell partnership. The filly had three previous starts for two 3rd places over 1200 and 1600m – the step up to 2000m made the difference as she shrugged off the opposition to win by 2 lengths. The dam-line has speed and stamina; the dam Moonlit Prairie shares the same sire, Cozzene, as UK leading speed sire Pivotal. She has 7 runners to date, all winners with only Jackson and now this full sister able to get beyond a mile. Jackson’s first progeny on sale proved very popular at the Cape Premier Sale. They are, like their sire, big strong attractive, clean limbed horses.

His next winner was Swift Sarah who won for the Sean Tarry stable over 1200m at the Vaal the next day. This filly is out of the American mare Quebec Express. With the progeny of Dynasty mares making R6m and R3.25m at the Cape sale this one is for the note book.

Dynasty’s well bred son Heir Line broke his maiden by 2.75 lengths over 1600m at Greyville for trainer Dennis Drier. His well bred son Arabian Dynasty (bred by the Ascot Stud) then justified 13-20 favouritism over 1800m a day later. A R4.25 million buy from the 2015 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, Arabian Dynasty is bred on the same Dynasty/Al Mufti cross as former G2 Selangor Cup winner De Kock.

Dynasty followed up with a double at Greyville on Sunday. His son Roman Emperor looks like one to follow as he made an eyecatching maiden win relishing the step up to 2000m. He demolished his rivals to win by three and a half lengths. Bred by Highlands Farm (and closely related to young sire Potala Palace), Roman Emperor is a horse with scope to improve further.

Tropical Blow (Lafferty) was rewarded for consistency when scoring over 1400m at Greyville to make up the sixth winner.

Dynasty ended the two day sale as the second top sire by aggregate. His 11 yearlings sold fetched a total of R18.1 million – and was leading sire (10 or more lots) with a R1 645 454 average.

Top price paid for a Dynasty yearling was R5.75 million which Wehann Smith’s Kuda Holdings (Pty) Ltd spent on a colt out of Viva Maria. Consigned by Lammerskraal Stud, the colt was the second top lot sold at this year’s Premier Sale.

Dynasty had no fewer than six yearlings fetch R1 000 000 plus.

 
 

PHILANTHROPIST

Cape Breeders report: Drakenstein Stud’s exciting young stallion Philanthropist, already responsible for Canadian champions Pender Harbour and Phil’s Dream, could be in line for more award glory this year. His daughter Hot Kiss was one of the finalists for the title of Sovereign Award for Champion Older Female.

A multiple stakes winner, and one of the best of her generation, Hot Kiss’s top performances last year included a facile win in the Trillium Stakes as well as a runner up finish in the G3 Maple Leaf Stakes, where she was beaten just a head.

In total, the mare has won seven of 18 outings and banked over $340 000 in stakes and is yet another high class performer to have emerged from Philanthropist’s small output of Canadian foals.

The Sovereign Award winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Palais Royale in Toronto on April 13th.

Hot Kiss’ sire Philanthropist has made a stunning start to his stud career, with his first South African crop included the high class graded horses She’s A Giver, Singapore Sling and Sail.

All three are runners in major feature races on Sun Met day this weekend, with She’s A Giver and Singapore Sling lining up in the CTS Mile, and Sail a top contender in the G1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes.

 
 

GIMMETHEGREENLIGHT

Cape Breeders report: Varsfontein Stud’s exciting young sire Gimmethegreenlight has enjoyed a purple patch of success lately, with his runners winning good races all over the country.

The former G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner had a quick double at Greyville last Friday when his sons Galtero and Uncle JB won the first two races on the card.

The Willem Englebrecht JR bred Galtero became his sire’s first winner on the card, when running out an easy 1.75 length winner of a maiden plate over 1200m. Gimmethegreenlight was back in the winners box in the very next race, when his son Uncle JB ran out a comfortable two and a half length maiden winner over 1600m.

The same day, China Express made a winning Eastern Cape debut when breaking his maiden by three parts of a length over 1400m for Justin Snaith (the erstwhile trainer of Gimmethegreenlight himself).

Gimmethegreenlight’s good run of form continued at Kenilworth the following day, when his consistent daughter Light Shedder scored by one and a half lengths over 1200m.

Her sire, whose first crop included the graded winners Gunner, Green Pepper and Hack Green, is currently above the likes of Ideal World, Visionaire, Querari, Judpot and Fort Wood on the South African General Sires List.

Gimmethegreenlight’s progeny also proved hugely popular at last weekend’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale. His 13 yearlings sold fetched over R6 million, and averaged R463 461. His average was higher than such top class sires as Rock Of Gibraltar, Oratorio and Querari.

A Gimmethegreenlight colt (Lot 161) out of the superbly bred Galileo sired G3 Final Fling Stakes winner Rain Gal was sold to Bass Racing for R1.5 million, while another colt (Lot 186) by the sire, was knocked down to Peter and Ross Doyle for R1.4 million.

 
 

MASTER OF MY FATE - FIRST YEARLINGS

Cape Breeders report: Varsfontein Stud’s superbly bred young sire Master Of My Fate had four first crop yearlings on sale at last weekend’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

Himself the top colt sold at the 2011 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, the handsome Master Of My Fate was a top class racehorse, who reeled off six wins on the bounce – and won six of just eight career outings.

The Varsfontein Stud bred bay won both the G2 Peninsula Handicap and G2 Premier Trophy (both times defeating subsequent G1 J&B Met winner Hill Fifty Four), and defeated such notable G1 performers as Capetown Noir, Do You Remember, Jackson, Master Sabina, and Wylie Hall.

A son of seven times champion sire Jet Master, the sire of such champions as Pocket Power, J J The Jet Plane, Jeppe’s Reef, Mythical Flight, Past Master, Seal and Yorker, Master Of My Fate is out of a champion daughter of top sire and outstanding broodmare sire Elliodor.

His dam, Promisefrommyheart, was South Africa’s Equus Champion 3YO Classic Female of 2003, with her wins including the G1 Triple Tiara 1600, G1 SA Fillies Guineas, and G2 (now G1) Woolavington Stakes.

Promisefrommyheart is also dam of multiple Dubai winner Need To Know and the stakes winner Justthewayyouare – herself dam of Derby winner Captain Splendid.

This is the family of champions Kings Gambit, London News, and former G2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Pluck. The latter, one of the leading First Crop Sires in Australasia last season, has already made a splash this season, with his recent winners including G3 winner Aspect.

 
 

WHAT A WINTER

Cape Breeders report: Drakenstein Stud’s exciting young stallion What A Winter’s great start to his stud career continued this weekend, with the former Equus Champion’s progeny impressing both on the track and at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

What A Winter, whose son Dutch Philip looks a huge runner in Saturday’s Listed Princess Charlene Of Monaco Foundation SA Summer Juvenile Stakes, had yet another eye catching first crop runner when daughter Magical Wonderland made a winning debut at Kenilworth on Saturday.

Bred by Maine Chance Farms, the two-year-old simply pulverized her opponents to win by 2.25 lengths first time out, with her beaten rivals including the very highly regarded Frankel daughter, Miss Frankel.

Magical Wonderland, whose part-owners Bryn Ressell and Marsh Shirtliff raced What A Winter himself, is held in high regard by trainer Candice Bass-Robinson. The latter commented after the win, “I rate her highly and I would have been very confident had it not been for all the hype about Miss Frankel.”

What A Winter has now been represented by eight runners, of which seven have either won or finished in the money and he looks a young sire of great promise.

A triple Equus Champion (who is from the same male line as red hot US sire Quality Road), What A Winter’s progeny were in keen demand at the past weekend’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale.

His nine yearlings to sell grossed R7.875 million, placing What A Winter above such top class sires as Rock Of Gibraltar and Scat Daddy.

China Horse Club paid the top price for a What A Winter yearling, going to R2 800 000 to acquire a son of the champion sprinter. Consigned by Maine Chance Farms, the What A Winter colt is out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Seeking and hails from the family of G1 Nassau Stakes winner Favorable Terms.

Trainer Charles Laird was also keen on the progeny of What A Winter, and he went to R2 200 000 to buy a colt out of the Var mare Enchanting Cathy.

 
 

POTALA PALACE

Cape Breeders report: Debt Collector, a close relative of Highlands’ promising young sire Potala Palace, cleaned up at the recent Singapore Awards.

The four-year-old son of Thorn Park picked up an astonishing five awards, included the title of Singapore Horse Of The Year.

Debt Collector, who has won seven of just ten outings, picked the titles of Champion Three-Year-Old and Champion Miler, and was also named Most Improved Horse and Social Media Horse Of The Year.

The Singapore sensation landed the last two Legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge and the first two Legs of the Singapore Triple Crown Series to make it three Group 1 wins – Singapore Guineas (3rd Leg of 3YO Challenge) and Panasonic Kranji Mile and Raffles Cup (1st and 2nd Legs, Triple Crown).

His stakes placed dam Prompt Payment (who is by In The Wings – grandsire of Potala Palace) is a great granddaughter Edinburgh, who is also the third dam of Potala Palace.

This is the same family as classic winners Golan and North Light, champion Islington and multiple G1 winner and prominent sire Reform.

Further back, it is the same family as sire legends Fairy King, Nureyev and Sadler’s Wells.

Debt Collector’s close relative, Potala Palace, was a top class performer whose victories included the G1 Premier’s Champion Stakes and G3 Jo’burg Spring Challenge.

The son of champion Singspiel is represented by his first yearlings this year.

 
 

MILLION WIN FOR WYLIE RELATIVE

Cape Breeders report: Bargain buy Melody Belle, who is from the same family as Cheveley Stud’s exciting young sire Wylie Hall, scored a fairytale win in Saturday’s Karaka Million.

Purchased for just $57 000, the filly won ten times her purchase price when landing the 10th Karaka Race at Ellerslie this weekend.

Ridden by Opie Bosson for trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards and owners the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate, the filly sat in fourth place before bursting to the lead soon after the field turned for home. Hasahalo and Felton Road tried hard to run her down, but she was out of reach and won by a length and a quarter.

“This is a great thrill,” said John Galvin, who manages the Fortuna syndicates. “A lot of existing Fortuna clients are in this horse, but there are some very excited newbies as well. It’s fantastic.”

Now a winner of two of her four outings, Melody Belle will now be aimed at the G1 Diamond Stakes and G1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

The Karaka Million, the richest race run in New Zealand, is a race restricted to two-year-olds sold through the New Zealand Bloodstock Sales.

Melody Belle (by Danehill son Commands) and Wylie Hall (by Danehill son Redoute’s Choice) are both descendants of the mare Belle Time (Summertime).

Belle Time is also ancestress of such high class horses as the G1 winners Anamato, Drum, and champion Grand Armee (as well as talented South African runners Fabiani and Star Empire), and Wylie Hall’s champion sprinter half-brother Absolute Champion.

Wylie Hall, first past the post in the 2014 G1 Vodacom Durban July, and winner of both the G1 President’s Champion Challenge and G1 SA Derby, will be represented by his first yearlings in 2018.

 
 

STATS UPDATE

 
 
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