Split The Breeze / Gold Circle (p)
“Brave Tin Soldier remains, at $3million (R30million), the most expensive foal the world has known; he is the son of a stallion who stood for a stud fee in excess of R5million, and he was out of an own sister to one of the most famous Kentucky Derby winners of all time.”
Any line-up of juveniles which includes sons of Judpot, Fort Wood, Kahal and Sail From Seattle, each costing several hundred thousand and representing some of the top yards in the province, makes formidable reading. That’s what Brave Tin Soldier’s Rathmor-bred son, Split The Breeze faced on his way to the 1000m mark for his first racecourse start. While the bulk of those mentioned were well-mounted, there were two outward signs of faith in the colt as he cantered postward: number one, the log-leading jockey, S’manga Khumalo had been booked for the occasion; and secondly, from an opening call of 16/1, the money had come gushing for the debutant who went off at less than half those odds.
While there’s always reason to be wary of the unknown, from a Summerhill perspective, there was at least one known quantity in the field; Glinka, a smart son of St Petersberg from an old Summerhill family who’d grown up here as the property of our Singapore stalwart, Mark Yong. Glinka provided us with at least a glimpse of his talent with a promising debut fourth in the Featured Sentinel Stakes last month, in the company of some of the better juveniles in the province.
“Big, brave, brilliant, and bred in the purple” was the styling of Brave Tin Soldier when he stepped off the plane for his first season at stud in South Africa, and given his origins and his racecourse performances, it seemed appropriate. He remains, at $3million (R30million), the most expensive foal the world has known; he is the son of a stallion who stood for a stud fee in excess of R5million, and he was out of an own sister to one of the most famous Kentucky Derby winners of all time. Besides, he broke his maiden in Stakes company against some of Ireland’s leading juveniles, and after what appeared to be a career-crippling injury, he came back to break a track record at a mile in Group company as an older horse.
That Split The Breeze should’ve come home disdainfully against this field, should not, given these credentials, be cause for surprise. Nor should the expectations for Brave Tin Soldier. In the past few days, several others of his debutants have made the frame at the first or second time of asking, and if you can trust the racing grapevine, there are more where these came from.
Editor’s note: Split The Breeze was an eye-catching, typical Storm Cat type at last year’s National Sale, where he made a respectable R200,000 from the Rathmor draft to the bid of Luiz Cunha.