The news of the acquisition of another son of Danehill - WAY WEST - by Champion Breeders, Summerhill Stud, comes hard on the back on their recent purchase of Solskjaer, the only 120 Timeform-rated son of Danehill in Africa.
Speaking from the KZN farm, Stallion Bookings Manager Linda Norval, had this to say: “Almost a decade ago, the farm started it’s search for a son of Danehill. What became increasingly evident to us was there were several factors in common that worked particularly well, if the evidence of his three champion sire sons in Australia was anything to go by. The first was juvenile precocity, the second was, all three were especially well bred, and the third was they came with a good dose of speed. But the one thing that really stood out was that they all carried the Blue Diamond “ticket” on their C.V’s. Flying Spur won the Blue Diamond Prelude, Danzero won the Blue Diamond Prelude, and Redoute’s Choice won the Blue Diamond.”
“As a result, we’ve been looking for a son of Danehill carrying these credentials, and if at all possible, with the “Blue Diamond” attached. It began to look like “mission impossible,” because anything resembling these criteria was already spoken for, so we decided if we couldn’t beat them we should join them. And that’s how we came by Way West, through a joint venture with one of Australia’s most famous stud farms, Arrowfield.
“Judged by another Australian icon, Dr. Percy Sykes, as the perfect model of a yearling, like Flying Spur, Way West is a son of Danehill out of a Mr. Prospector mare. His granddam was the winner of three Grade One races, and is a sister to the Melbourne Cup hero, At Talaq.
“There was a time when Way West was regarded as one of the top two or three juveniles in Australia, and his great attraction to Summerhill was that in addition to his other credentials he carried the hottest stallion-making ingredient in all of Australia right now: victory in the Blue Diamond Prelude.”
Inquiring whether they could obtain a slice of the equity in Way West, Maine Chance’s General Manager, John Slade described him as the ideal stallion prospect for South African conditions, and lamented the fact he had not been passed their way. He clearly feels this is a stallion worth traveling for.
Making their first investment outside Australia together with Wallaby legend Allan Jones, Arrowfield’s John Messara, maker of Danehill and his three champion sire sons, remarked that they were especially comfortable in their association with Summerhill on this horse, not only on account of the long-standing relationship with the South African farm, but also because Arrowfield fully intended standing him themselves at stud this season, if this joint venture had not taken place.
“He would have stood for something approaching AUD$10 000 (R55 000), and so at his present price, given the globalization of your markets, he represents exceptional value to South Africans”, commented Messara, who hosts a luncheon to launch the horse’s career at Summerhill this weekend. It is a sign of South Africa’s growing significance in world racing that this visionary of Australian breeding should be venturing into the local breeding scene.