Galant Gagnant and Kahal
(Gold Circle / Summerhill Stud)

If money ever had anything to do with the outcome of a race, it was always going to be prohibitive odds-on that Russian Sage would prevail in the ten furlong nominal championship event for the Classic generation, the Daily News 2000 (Gr.1).

Whether his sale last week to the master “picker”, Barry Irwin’s US-based Team Valor was at the reported $1,2 million or $1,75 million is immaterial here. The fact is, he won, even if it was a last stride affair, and pocketed a cool R625 000 in the process, not bad for a couple of days old investment. And he looked like he’s got some improvement in him, so he’s bound to make his presence felt in Dubai next summer.

We did say though, that while we appeared (we speak of Summerhill now) to be outgunned with our three entries from the perspective of pure handicapping, we simultaneously cautioned that you should never count us out. And so, till the last stride of the race, that very nearly proved to be the case as Sheikh Mohammed’s Galant Gagnant (G.G.) seemed to have it sewn up with 150m to go, having turned for home abreast of Russian Sage.

A week in racing is a long time, and so it proved as there has been a miraculous transition in Galant Gagnant’s (G.G.) powers of concentration since he was fitted with blinkers, and we’d say this performance, which puts him up there with the best of his generation at the trip, was close to a stone better than his previous. He was acquired by His Highness at the for a mere R150 000 and like 2006 Ready To Run Imbongi and Umngazi, was a runner in last November’s R500k Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup.

Galant Gagnant (G.G.) is another product of the “lethal cocktail” that exists between his sire Kahal and Northern Guest mares, already revered for producing Champion Bold Ellinore and her massively talented brother, Emperor Napoleon, while the same pattern has thrown Bhekinkhosi, Evening Attire and Khebraat.

This chap was bred in partnership with (you guessed it again) the old rugby mate, Barry Clements of Australia, and American based Robert Lynch. The former’s hit rate (he co-bred Imbongi too) verges on the early years of Cassius Clay, when it comes to big race successes, and it seems that for all his prowess as a Provincial class winger in his day, he’s an even brighter breeding prospect.