Click above to watch Caspar Netscher winning the Gimcrack Stakes (Gr2)
(Image : Sporting Life - Footage : Dubai Racing)
Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2)
The old saying that “timing is everything”, was as appropriate as ever with the outcome of this weekend’s time-honoured Gimcrack Stakes (Gr2) at York. The storied juvenile epic has an honour roll as long as your two outstretched arms, and shares top billing at the York Ebor meeting with races of the ilk of the Juddmonte International (Gr1), the Nunthorpe (Gr1) and the Yorkshire Oaks (Gr1), and has thrown up any number of legendary stallions in its 165 year history. The event is named after Gimcrack, a phenomenal racehorse in the 18th century, who won twenty-seven times in a career of thirty-six races. The Gimcrack Stakes was established in 1846, and the owner of the winning horse is traditionally invited to give a speech at the annual Gimcrack dinner.
Our own interest in this year’s outcome, is heightened by the arrival at Summerhill of one of Medicean’s best performed racing sons, Bankable, whose first book is already crammed with mares of distinguished history. Just a few pounds separated Bankable from the Timeform rating of his paternal half brother, Dutch Art, now ensconced with his own sire, at England’s pre-eminent thoroughbred nursery, the Cheveley Park Stud on Duchess Drive, a few miles from racing’s headquarters, Newmarket. Sire of the Gimcrack winner, Caspar Netscher (out of a half sister to Summerhill resident, Mullins Bay), Dutch Art looks the natural successor to a long line of distinguished stallions at Cheveley Park, as he already has some 19 individual juvenile winners from his first crop, and occupies a box alongside the best and most consistent sire of this decade in the British Isles, Pivotal. These two were preceded by Pivotal’s father, Polar Falcon, as well as the outstanding sire of juveniles, Music Boy (himself a Gimcrack winner), whose memory is enshrined in a spectacular life-size bronze, just outside the farm’s office.
For Summerhill then, the Gimcrack result was a double celebration, the one in the form of a son of Medicean, the other in the female line of the winner. For the record, the Gimcrack’s Honour’s Board carries the names of Mill Reef, Rock Of Gibraltar, Royal Applause, Amadeus Wolf, Turtle Island, Chaucer, Black Tarquin, Palestine, Petingo, Nebbiolo, Crocket, and the Triple Crown hero, Bahram.