Summerhill Stud (Nick Goss)

In its Friday report on South African Racing, the European Bloodstock News has paid further tribute to Summerhill Stud’s two graded stakes winners of last weekend.

A rampant Imbongi humbled a star-studded field of older horses in last weekend’s Gr.2 Drill Hall Stakes and became the first three-year-old to win this 1400m race since champion Bold Tropic all of 21 years ago in 1979.

Unleashing a powerful charge up the centre of the short Greyville straight, the chesnut flashed past stable companion Bold Ellinore (Kahal) to score with authority to complete the exacta for trainer Mike de Kock.


Horse of The Year Pocket Power, having his first start since January, caught the eye when he stormed into fourth place over a distance short of his best.

Imbongi has rapidly risen through the ranks since being gelded and completed a fine Gr.2 hat-trick here, following victories in the Gauteng Guineas in March and the KZN equivalent a fortnight ago. The mile Gr.1 Gold Challenge at Clairwood on 14th June looks a likely next target.

Bred at Mick Goss’ Summerhill Stud, Imbongi is by far the best progeny of Nureyev stallion Russian Revival. His dam, unraced Garden Verse (Foveros), boasts seven winners from as many runners. In addition to Imbongi, she is also dam of Gr.3 winner Spring Garland (Rambo Dancer), Group-placed duo Prima Versa (Jallad) and Full Spectrum (National Emblem), who is the dam of Gr.2 winner Oracle News (London News), runner-up to Hot Reception in the Gr.3 Poinsettia Stakes on Sunday. The last known foal of Garden Verse is a yearling colt by National Emblem.

Hot Reception completed a fine weekend for Summerhill Stud when she put up a career-best effort with a pillar to post victory in Sunday’s Gr.3 Poinsettia Stakes at Scottsville. Much of the attention was focused on well known graded stakes performers like Rat Burana and Ethereal Lady, but, none could cope with the daughter of Muhtafal, who maintained her advantage to the line to score by the best part of a length from Oracle News and Soft Landing (Jet Master).

Trained by Herman Brown, she is the latest stakes winner sired by the Summerhill-based son of Mr Prospector and is his fourth stakes winner out of a mare by erstwhile stud companion, the late Northern Guest.

An own-sister to dual Gr.3 Christmas Handicap winner The Waltz, Hot Reception is one of six winners produced from the prolific Triple Tempo, who is also the dam of Listed stakes winner Dot Dot Dash (Desert Team) and Gr.3-placed Take Two (French Stress).