Two weeks ago we were treated to a masterclass from Sean Tarry’s Big Bear, who flattened a field of some of the best three-year-olds on the Rand, extending by a growing three lengths at the death. In the same week, Paul Peters’ Tammany Hall exhibited her sire’s versatility with a machine-like performance among the fillies in just her second start, while Summer Ready To Run graduate, Genesis went one better for stalwart owner, Nchakha Moloi, on debut at Turffontein.
Stuart Pettigrew has always been high on Ekuseni, who duly obliged at Turffontein on Saturday, and like his fraternal siblings, looks like a horse who will excel the further they go. As if Thursday and Saturday weren’t enough already, Gavin van Zyl’s Pilgrim’s Progress elicited sparkling reviews from commentator Alistair Cohen on Monday when she sprinted clear from the back of the field under 59.5 kgs against a tough bunch of older rivals, eliciting his speculation of an “Oaks prospect if ever there was one”.
Await The Dawn was entitled to be a top stallion, bred as he was on a foal share between two of the best stud farms the world has known, Juddmonte and Coolmore. Like the immortal Frankel, he was the pick of his year for Coolmore, and while his career was one of unfulfilled expectations just as it was blossoming into that of a major Group One performer, the manner of his Group race victories from Ireland to Royal Ascot was that of a horse with “Arc” pretentions.
Coolmore’s rotten luck was to be South Africa’s fortune, and he was imported to Summerhill with precisely what he’s doing right now in mind. Sadly, with less than a half crop from his second season at stud, just a handful of his progeny remain for sale, and they’ll come under the hammer at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale on Wednesday 25th October. The difference between these and the last progeny of an aging stallion is simply this: whereas older stallions often “train off”, here was a horse in the prime of his life, whose stock on the ground have caught the attentions of some of the country’s finest judges.