Await The Dawn arrives at Summerhill

(Photos : Greig Muir)


Giant’s Causeway - Valentine Band

Nothing gets the heart pumping on a stud farm quite like the arrival of a new stallion: you only needed to be at Summerhill at 4pm Wednesday, to know it. But when the horse is as serious as Await The Dawn, you can count on a maximum turnout. Let it be said, we knock off at 4:30 here, but when Peter Choice’s float passed The Monastry up on the “Giant’s” road, and the news broke at the farm that they were 10 minutes out, it was as if the “down tools” had been perfectly choreographed by the more than 300 people who call this place “home”.

Stallion boss Greig Muir has been with us close on three decades now, and he’s been associated with some great horses in his time. He doubts though, that any one of them has got the pulses up quite as much as this one. To put him into perspective, this was a horse that obliterated Group class fields, that took Royal Ascot by storm, that had punters nailing him down to odds-on for his Group One debut, that could run on concrete as well as the bog, with the wind behind and in front, and that destroyed his foes on both the grass and the dirt. There was a point at which many European racing fans were beginning to believe he might be the best middle distance racehorse in the world, and it’s apparent that the world’s greatest rating agency was beginning to think the same.

Await The Dawn wasn’t only about racing though: he was born on a foal share between two of the greatest stud farms in the world. He represents not only the best of their blood, but in a system in which the parties alternated as to whom would have first pick, he was the very first choice by Coolmore of ten foals that year, all of them by the best stallions from the best mares at their disposal. That means we’re talking about a horse that has it all: the pedigree, the physique and the performance, and all he needs now, is ordinary luck to make it to the top of the class.

Last night there were more than 600 souls who rested their heads on a “Summerhill” pillow. That’s a lot of mouths to feed every day, and it puts a bit of weight on the shoulders of a fellow like Await The Dawn. We’re consoled though, by the knowledge that despite the imposts, he made hacks of handicap fields on more than one occasion, and this is just another assignment.

Editor’s note: There was no waiting for the sunset for this fellow. Half an hour after he walked off the float, he’d serviced the dam of Fenerbahce. A little green, as you’d expect from a teenager having his first “go”, but with four more choice maidens yesterday and one of the best first books we’ve known, he’ll be a “veteran” by Sunday.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

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Linda Norval 27 (0) 33 263 1081

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