Watch Ato winning the Krisflyer International Sprint G1
(Image and Footage : Singapore Turf Club)
“Ato will line-up for the same Group One targets in which he had previously prevailed, before making his way to Summerhill next season.”
When Summerhill announced at their annual Stallion Day that the dual Group One winner, Ato, was to join the stud’s stallion roster for the 2013 season, he generated plenty of enthusiasm among the gathered crowd. A grand looking yearling when he was presented at the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale by Maine Chance, he was snapped up for a tidy sum by a partnership comprising Dennis Evans’ Newbury Racing, Shea Shea’s owner, Myron Berzack and Maine Chance itself, and ran like his regal pedigree suggested he would. He made the winner’s podium on no fewer than nine occasions, defeating the best Asian milers at Group One level, and then, on his biggest of big days, he comfortably accounted for Krypton Factor, hero of the world’s richest sprint, Dubai’s Golden Shaheen (Gr.1) by an expanding six lengths in the KrisFlyer International Sprint (Gr.1).
Anybody who’s been in this game long enough though, knows that, particularly in South Africa, protocols are complicated documents, and with South Africa in the midst of renegotiating its import and export regulations with Singapore, for some reason unbeknown to the owners, it wasn’t possible for the two countries to arrive at an interim arrangement to accommodate Ato’s export to South Africa. Despite the uncertainties about his arrival date, the stallion already had more than 50 mares booked to him, and this announcement that he won’t be available this season, will come as a great disappointment to his supporters. If there are any consolations in this, Pat Shaw reports that he’s in great shape, and that all being well, Ato will line-up for the same Group One targets in which he had previously prevailed, before making his way to Summerhill next season.