Await The Dawn
(Photos : Summerhill Archives)
A Giant among Giants
Summerhill CEOOn the eve of my departure for Australia, I drew attention to the achievements of the sons of Giant’s Causeway at stud (read here), in an obvious shot at a “commercial” for our new resident stallion, Await The Dawn. I might’ve saved myself this piece of dictation if I’d known that the Sporting Post’s breeding expert, Sarah Whitelaw, was going to do the job so eloquently for us (read here). The issue was obviously topical: America’s Paulick Report (read here) did the same. Among the emerging elite in the “sires-of-sires” department, Giant’s Causeway already has five sons at stud with the distinction of having produced a Group One winner: Shamardal, Foostepsinthesand, Intense Focus, First Samurai while another son, Morning Raider, is the sire of the exceptional Chilean filly Amani. Shamardal long ago passed the double figures mark in Group One winners, “Footsteps” and First Samurai each have a trio, and Intense Focus crossed the threshold with his Middle Park hero, Astaire, from his first crop.
At the beginning of March, Aqueduct Park in New York hosted the famed Gotham Stakes (Gr.3), the race which announced the three-year-old “arrivals” of Secretariat, Gone West, Seeking The Gold, Gulch, Easy Goer and Visionaire; the Gotham was won in fine style by Samraat, an unbeaten son of the Stakes placed Noble Causeway, who stands at our old friend Becky Thomas’ former farm, Sequel Stallions in upstate New York. Samraat now heads for the Kentucky Derby via the Wood Memorial (Gr.1) where he is bound to feature among the favoured “chalks”.
Given his record to date as racing’s number one up-and-coming stallion-maker, breeders should take little prompting about the prospects of Giant’s Causeway’s world-class son, Await The Dawn, who was the “Iron Horse’s” best racing son world-wide in 2012.
Three quarters of a century: still going strong
Sticking with the United States, as I was paging through Sunday’s edition of the Thoroughbred Daily News, my mobile buzzed with a call from an American number. It was my old friend Jean Cruget, an American Hall of Fame inductee for his feats as one of that country’s most-feted riders, and especially remembered for his connection with the Triple Crown giant, Seattle Slew, patriarch of the enormously potent A.P. Indy tribe. He phoned to remind me that it was his 75th birthday, and especially to find out whether all the young ladies he’d met on his trip to South Africa last year (all ladies under the age of 75 are “young” in Jean’s book!) were aware of this milestone in his life. You have to give it to him, he was a never-say-die sort as a jockey, and he doesn’t look like going down in a hurry in his new life either.
The New Zulu War Cry
When Coolmore Australia’sTom and Sophie Magnier visited us for Tom’s keynote address at our annual Winter School in the Hall Of Fame Theatre last July, they took time out to sample a bit of our local countryside. Blown away by their trip to PhindaGame Reserve, they named a smart son of Champion Australian sire, Fastnet Rock, “Zululand”. Bought with the express hope of making him into a top stallion one day, Zululand obliged his owners on Saturday with a stirring display on his Stakes debut in the VRC Sires’ Produce (Gr.2), and looks a proper contender for top honours in Australia’s major juvenile events during the Sydney Autumn carnival. Good on yer, fellers!
Pity about Wednesday night’s cricket.