With the Ready To Run being the Sale on everyone’s lips right now, following a slew of big race winners in the past 5 weeks, our team revisited the selections of the panel of experts inaugurated last year to see whether any of them had picked Sunday’s stunning heroine of the Pretty Polly Stakes (Gr3). MZWILILI veritably blew away the cream of the Highveld’s top juvenile’s, including the highly vaunted R5 million daughter of Rock of Gibraltar UBER ROCK.
SEE, THE PANEL WORKS.
Low and behold, in a panel comprising some of the land’s outstanding “pickers,” Graeme Hawkins, long regarded by the Summerhill ‘seniors’ as “Mr Racing,” had ferreted out Lot 48 for special mention, counting her in his top five on the sale. In spite of the observations of one of the game’s smartest sages, MZWILILI made a modest R75 000 at the sale, and has already reaped almost double that from three starts.
Hawkins, of course, was at an advantage. He’s been a MUHTAFAL “victim” from the kickoff, knows the lethality of the celebrated Muhtafal / Coastal Cocktail, and owned a very competent representative of the cross himself in Stolen Beauty.
NIARCHOS, AGA KHAN ETC IN THIS ONE
MZWILILI hails from a family bedecked in a succession of famous French-based breeders. Her dam, Siren Song (by Belmont winner and vanquisher of Spectacular Bid, Coastal) is from a mare acquired from France’s leading breeding establishment, the Niarchos family’s Haras Fresnaye le Buffard. They in turn bought her from the Aga Khan, who invested in the family when he took over the entire bloodstock holdings of France’s Greatest ever breeder, Marcel Boussac.
The best international performers from this family in recent seasons include the great European middle distance Champion filly, Dunette, and the Group One winning Sadlers Wells horse, French Glory, who wound up as a stallion at Japan’s Number One stud, Shadai.
What is obvious about MZWILILI’s pedigree is that it is stacked with Classic stamina and on the evidence of her last-to-first demolition job on Sunday, she should be even more effective when she gets to go over more ground.
ANOTHER JUDGE OF NOTE, IT SEEMS
Champion Jockey of a few years back Gavin van Zyl was another among the breeders at the Ready To Run gallops and was rewarded Sunday with a first, second and third in two separate races with his first runners ever to visit a racecourse. This man was always rated as a judge of pace and on this kind of form, he looks to have his second career under wraps.