(Photo : Summerhill Stud)
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“WAYWARD IS NOT NECESSARILY WESTWARD”
There is a connotation of waywardness in the name of Way West, but if the early signs are anything to be relied apon, right here is where the action is taking place. This morning’s management meeting revealed, straight from the horse’s mouth, the early brilliance of the first crop of Way West, and it seems there might be something of their father in the early showings of his progeny.
Way West is remembered principally for his outrageous precocity as a juvenile, and the fact that, much like Maradonna and his finger from God, Way West found the proverbial gear from heaven in the closing stages of the Blue Diamond Prelude (Gr.3), where he inflicted a solid beating on two of Australia’s best juveniles, in what has become one of Australia’s leading “stallion-maker” events.
Behind him that day was third leading Australian freshman sire of 2009, Oratorio, as well as the Group One performer Sanziro, and we can only wonder what Way West might’ve achieved were it not for a hoof-splitting injury suffered as one of the leading fancies for that year’s Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr.1). His life may well have been one of unfulfilled prophecies, remembering that David Hayes very nearly gave up his celebrated career in Hong Kong to return to his native country, for the specific purpose of training Way West for his engagement in the world’s richest juvenile contest, the Golden Slipper (Gr.1).
In his presence at Summerhill, we’re reminded that all three of Danehill’s champion sire sons in the southern hemisphere carry the “Blue Diamond” ticket: Redoute’s Choice, Flying Spur and Danzero. The pattern of breeding represented in the make-up of last year’s Australian champion sire, Flying Spur (Danehill out of a Mr. Prospector mare) is a virtual copybook recall of the potency of Way West’s pedigree. A son of Danehill, the most successful sire of sires in Australian history, out of a daughter of the self-same Mr. Prospector.
We’ll be tracking the Way Wests as we get closer to the Ready To Run, but meanwhile, take this as an early warning sign. There are 17 engaged in the 2009 version itself, and who could guess at how many of them will make the cut for next year’s R1,5million renewal of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup?