(Photo : Jay Gilbert)
“The Visionaires aren’t just winning: they’re ‘blasting’”
Visionaire is a man who’s been making the headlines lately with his first runners in the United States. For those of us whose mares are carrying his foals right now, there’s been more encouraging news. One of his earlier winners, Bacopa Breeze (who broke his duck by 11 lengths a few weeks back) breezed up again this week, charging home by 8.5 lengths. The Visionaires aren’t just winning: they’re “blasting”, which has got to be the best news for a stallion line-up that is higher on potential than it’s ever been, but which is looking for a man whose proven record says we can lay our lives on him.
On that topic, those who follow our Facebook page and the Sporting Post, will know the drama the first progeny of Golden Sword are creating in these parts. When we arrived at the foaling unit yesterday morning for a preview of Judge Magid’s stock on the farm, we were greeted with yet another “pearler” from Africa’s most accomplished son of High Chaparral: a 65 kg “monster” from Sheikh Mohammed’s well-related mare, Crescent Star. The Sadler’s Wells tribe is not known for its size or its substance particularly, but from what we’re hearing from the boys at Coolmore Australia about the first “So You Thinks”, it seems that High Chaparral himself may have spawned an entirely unique Sadler’s Wells type. Golden Sword is much in the mould of his father, a leggy, athletic high quality individual, in the style of the European classic horse, but mated to the sort of “colonial” mares High Chaparral would’ve been crossed with in Australasia, there seems to be more body, more size and more bone to his issue.
That probably explains why, despite his great successes in the Northern Hemisphere, High Chaparral has outperformed even those with four Group One winners in Australia in his first crop, and a Triple Crown hero in the second. On Saturday, It’s a Dundeel followed up his exploits in the Triple Crown with a stunning victory in the Underwood Stakes (Gr.1), his fifth Group One in twelve months, and in the process he brought to an end an unbeaten run of eight consecutive victories for Australia’s “darling of the turf,” Atlantic Jewel. It was a bittersweet outcome for Coolmore, who own the daughter of Fastnet Rock, but who’ll be consoled by the fact that at $77,000 this year (nigh on R800,000), they seem to have got High Chaparral’s stud fee for the present season, spot on.
Within 24 hours of his victory, Arrowfield’s chairman, John Messara, announced that It’s A Dundeel would become a barn-mate of Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel and Animal Kingdom next season. “It’s A Dundeel’s pedigree combines the brilliance and classic stamina of Sadler’s Wells and Zabeel, infused with the incomparable speed of Luskin Star, to create a racehorse of superlative quality over a range of distances. It’s A Dundeel’s Underwood success highlights both his weight-for-age class and the turn of foot he had previously demonstrated in his emphatic seven-length victory in the Rosehill Guineas. He is indeed the real deal.”