(Photos : Gold Circle)
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TRAFALGAR LEGACY (ROCK OF GIBRALTAR) MAKES DEBUT
Because they occupy a rarefied space in racing’s pantheon, if only because of their limited numbers, the most expensive horses at sales auctions quite often fall short of expectations. Of course, there are those that will quickly point to the fact that, at $3,4 million, the American sales topper, Fusaichi Pegasus is a glaring example of a horse that not only went on to win America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby (Gr.1), but commanded the world’s biggest stallion syndication at close to US$100 million at the conclusion of his career.
Locally, we recall the name of Wonder Lawn, at R3,5 million, the most expensive yearling ever sold in South Africa, and who, despite the fact he is a multiple Graded Stakes winner, still falls somewhere short of retrieving his purchase consideration. That said, if he’d come off, the money he’d cost would’ve been of little account. Just ask the connections of Jet Master who’ve seen a R15000 initial investment to go on to eight Group One victories at the races, and now command a value of close to R80 million at stud.
So what’s this all about? Well, yesterday was something of a litmus test not only for top priced horses, but also for the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run sale and Summerhill’s attempt at providing variety for that very end through the importation of the progeny of some of the best stallions in the world. At R2,2 million, Trafalgar Legacy (by Rock Of Gibraltar) made his racecourse debut at Scottsville yesterday a winning one in impressive style. Obviously at sea and quite “green” after the bend, he took a little time to find his feet, but then strode away to eclipse a son of Kahal who’d been second on his racecourse debut.
This is not a big fellow, but he’s as well made as any racehorse could be, and he came through his first trial with aplomb. The plan of course is to turn him into a stallion prospect and while that’s a long way off, this is at least the best first step he could’ve taken. Nobody deserves this more than Denis and Gael Evans, who put their hands up in no uncertain manner at last year’s Ready To Run Sale, and who, with this single response, have vindicated the efforts we’ve made over the years in bringing some of the best “shuttle” blood in the world to these shores.
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