Click above to watch the 2012 Monmouth Stakes (G2)
(Photo : The Night Sky Racing - Footage : NTRA)
“There’s never been a better time to cash in.”
Some of you might remember a piece from our 2011/2012 sires brochure entitled “How Green Is Our Valley”? It went like this: “And then there are the mares, the ladies of the valley, who’ve spawned the athletes that earned the Championships. One of them, Garden Verse, could keep an accountant busy for days, tallying the millions her offspring have generated at the sales and the races. Some effort for a girl who arrived at the farm with a broken hip and no race record, and was put out to run with the cows when she first came home. A nice touch this, some might say, but Summerhill is a farm before it’s a business, only as good as its current batch of stallions, and what it puts back into the soil”.
We were reminded again this week by the magic of this game, of that element of chance that puts the breeding of horses beyond the reach of mere money, and which provides mere mortals with a chance of levelling the playing fields. As we’ve said before, you can’t beat a Harry Oppenheimer in the boardroom on Mondays, but at Greyville on the weekend, we’re all the same. Just a couple of weeks back, a son of the same old Garden Verse, Mahubo, who just recently became a Stakes winner in the United States for the first time, took on a field of Group One winners in a Group Two in New York. Yes, he went down to three of them, but he was beaten only two lengths, and seems to love racing Stateside. He is the third Stakes winner of the old mare with the broken hip, who ran with the cows. Her previous progeny include Dubai Carnival Victor Ludorum, Imbongi (earner of more than R8 million in stakes) and the Gerald Rosenberg heroine, Spring Garland, and the Group placed, Prima Versa.
On the 12th July, you get another chance to spin the wheel of fortune at the KZN Broodmare and Weanling Sale. Garden Verse is by no means the only mare in history to have achieved what she has. We can recite the names of more than a dozen others who’ve made similar waves here at Summerhill alone, and there’s never been a better time to cash in.