This past week was memorable for the renewal of the richest Group Two sprint in the country. Appropriately the race was named after NORTHERN GUEST’s best sprinting son, SENOR SANTA, who reigned as the Champion Sprinter of South Africa for many seasons and won his final Group One as an eight year old.
The old warrior (pictured here), who has lived out the bulk of his retirement days as a “tutor” to the Summerhill weanlings, is remembered for his seven Group One victories including two Computaform Sprints, two Star Sprints, a Natal Flying Championship, the First National Bank (1600m), and a Smirnoff Futurity. His victims included Champions Goldmark, Divine Act, Miss Averof, Harry’s Echo and Simonside. As memorable a moment as any though, came in defeat in the Winning Form Match Race Challenge, in which, ironically, his lack of stamina cost him the race in the dying strides to NORTHERN GUEST’s most celebrated daughter, NORTHERN PRINCESS.
For what it’s worth, this weekend’s race was won in good style by the three year old, J J the Jet Plane, who was reverting to sprinting after going down to Summerhill-bred IMBONGI in the Gauteng Guineas, while receiving 8kg from third placed Summerhill-bred, REBEL KING (60kgs).