Time was when weekends were “TV time for the marquee events of our sport. Yet ever since the de Kock caravan decamped for its pioneering pillage of the riches of Dubai, Thursday evenings have become “ritual” for South African fans. For all the big names that thrilled our sitting rooms over the years, none of them exceeded the worship of the original globe-trotter, Linngari. Here was the redefinition of the international racehorse, a handsome, zestful dual-Group One hero who never ducked a fight. From 1200 to 2000 metres, he posted major race performances in eight different countries on four different continents. Linngari was a racehorse, pure and simple.

Whether in victory or the slender margins of defeat, with Linngari there were no exhibition matches. It was straight out bayonets-fixed, trench warfare. His Aga Khan roots had vaulted him to the front of the field, but the weight of it all could just as easily have tripped him up when he retired to stud. The journey to the great racecourses of the world starts in the breeding shed, which means that if we get it right here, it' "hello Hollywood". Here again, Linngari has paid his homage to his Aga Khan belongings. As 2014' runner-up sire of three-year-olds to Le Havre, the glittering star of French breeding, Linngari already has five Stakes winners and ten Stakes performers on his slate. The most recent of these wins belongs to Garlingari, who just this weekend showed us yet again what he's capable of by annihilating his opponents in France's Prix d'Harcourt (Gr.2).

Following the recent announcement of the retirement of Cirrus des Aigles, Corine Barande-Barbe has evidently found a horse who could fill that sizeable void, as Garlingari led home the same duo that trailed him in the Prix Exbury (Gr.3) over this distance at Saint-Cloud towards the end of March.


Garlingari - Prix Exbury (Gr.3)


Like Cirrus, the bay had already encountered many racing scenarios by the time he registered a first win in Black-type company in the Grand Prix du Nord (L), followed by the Prix du Grand Camp (L). Kept busy over the winter, the homebred was runner-up in the Grand Prix du Departement (L) prior to his defeat of Sumbal in the Exbury; this much more authoritative dismissal of that rival and several highly-regarded members of the top domestic stables suggests he could well fill the gap left by Cirrus.

Anchored in third early, Garlingari, was rousted to the lead with 300 metres remaining and drew away strongly as stamina came into play. "I thought he had a good chance after the Exbury, but I didn't think he'd win that easily, Barande-Barbe said. "He obviously loves that ground and he is an improved horse. I'm very proud, as I bred him and own him."

Garlingari's next race will Prix Ganay (Gr.1) at Saint-Cloud on the 1st May.

For those South Africans who would like to view the Linngari’s currently on offer, just visit the Summerhill team at the CTS Emperors Palace Select Sale. The sale takes place this Friday, 15th April at Emperors Palace.

Extract Thoroughbred Daily News