The recent CTS Emperors Palace Select Yearling Sale yielded exciting results, and even more so for the likes of deceased first season sire Await The Dawn, proven sire Toreador and last season’s Champion Freshman sire, Visionaire.
We’re not the only ones lamenting the early demise of Giant’s Causeway’s best racing son of 2013, Await The Dawn. There’s an old saying about familiarity breeding contempt, and while contempt is much too strong a word in this context, pedigree guru Andrew Caulfield was right to say that in the racing game “familiarity often unravels into boredom”. Time and again we see the elder statesmen of the stallion landscape coming out second-best in the popularity stakes against their “hot” young rivals, most of whom never come close to emulating the old boys’ achievements. In this case, he had in mind the 19 year-old Giant’s Causeway.
With a rating of 126+, Timeform dubbed Await The Dawn 'a Group One winner in waiting'. When his racing career was cut short, many yearned for his second-coming. The first have arrived. Debut crop of one of the World's best racehorses of his generation, by one of the World's best stallions.
By the conclusion of the Royal Ascot Festival, he had compiled a post-war record of 9 individual victories, eclipsing even the formidable likes of Lestor Piggot, Detorri himself, Pat Eddery and Johnny Murtagh, and prompting his new employers, Coolmore, to proclaim the reluctant star the best they've ever had.
You’d think in the wake of a sale of over a 100 lots and all of its attendant comings-and-goings (not to mention the politics!) there’d be a bit of respite for Team Summerhill. Not a word of it: the next lot for the Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run Sale are already in and grabbing the attentions of Michael Booysen, Thabani Nzimande, Tarryn Liebenberg and co
There’s one thing about time in the racing game; it lends a perspective to your thinking. We’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the outcomes accruing from last week’s CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale, as well as the contingency plans we’re having to make in the wake of Await The Dawn’s passing.
You never want to have to write an obituary, but there’s an old saying in the horse business that if you’ve got livestock, there’s an inevitability to it. While covering a mare on Sunday, second-season sire Await The Dawn succumbed to a freak accident which cost him his life.
There are more “old wives’ tales” around the breeding of racehorses than any other game. At last, the scientists have brought some precision to the table, by isolating the SPEED GENE. Every stallion on Summerhill has been tested, and now we can predict with accuracy, what he’s likely to throw.