What A Winter - Cape Flying Championship
What A Winter - Cape Flying Championship

What A Winter - Cape Flying Championship (Grade 1)

(Photo : Gold Circle)


While you’d have to respect the Kentucky Derby for the stallions it’s produced in its 136 year history, in modern times, there are no two more influential breed-shaping American races than the Met Mile (Gr1) and the King’s Bishop (Gr1).

The 1996 renewal of the King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga (then a Grade 2) has been widely recognized as a vintage edition, mostly because it produced a number of today’s top sires. The first three across the wire - Honour and Glory, Elusive Quality and Distorted Humor - have all sired Eclipse Award winners.

The following year’s Met Mile (Gr1) probably wouldn’t be given a second thought by many, but the last two weeks have shown that it’s a fine sire-producing race in its own right.

Winner Langfuhr, sire of champion Lawyer Ron and others, saw his veteran son Euroears get a deserved first graded stakes success in the Palos Verdes Stakes (Gr2) at Santa Anita January 22.

Western Winter, a son of Gone West who is little known to North American breeders, had two three-year-old Group 1 winners in South Africa - What A Winter won the Cape Flying Championship (Gr1) on January 22, while Covenant took the Klawervlei Majorca Stakes (Gr1) on January 29. Western Winter also concluded South Africa’s recent Cape Premier Yearling Sale as the fifth-leading sire, with 11 of 13 sold for R591,818 - roughly $82,500.)

And Northern Afleet, third by a length in the 1997 Met Mile, landed a lucrative trifecta during last weekend’s Sunshine Millions event. At Santa Anita, his four-year-old daughter Evening Jewel, in return to form, won the $300,000 Distaff, while the gelding Amazombie captured the $200,000 Sprint Stakes. Back east at Gulfstream, his daughter Aegean upset the $200,000 Filly & Mare Sprint.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News