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AP Indy

“V is for Vision” (as we’ve said before)

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“V is for Vision” (as we’ve said before)

"The one thing that never ceases to amaze me, is how things have turned out for the Irish-based racehorse breeding business Coolmore, and its international agencies, Ashford in the USA and the Hunter Valley’s Coolmore Australia." - Mick Goss / Summerhill CEO

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The USA Thoroughbred Market... 'The Number'

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The USA Thoroughbred Market... 'The Number'

Sometimes, things just crystallize right before your eyes: the light goes on. Often this unshakeable conviction unravels at the eighth pole, but occasionally inspiration strikes when you're trying to divine the secrets of the Thoroughbred marketplace.

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The Punch and Judy Show

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The Punch and Judy Show

The biggest horse auction in the world, Keeneland September, drew to a close after a marathon fortnight of selling. In the end, and for the third consecutive year, it was the Tapit show, the Gainesway stallion chalking up six of the top thirteen lots. Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Bloodstock was the biggest buyer, with 22 yearlings at $7.88million (around R90 million,) though that was nearly matched by the American couple, Gary and Mary West, who signed for 29 head at $7.805million. To put that into a local context, South Africans Markus Jooste and Bernard Kantor’s spend at the Arqana sale in France last month, was not far short in Euros.

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Ka-ching, Ka-ching

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Ka-ching, Ka-ching

The premier session of the biggest sale of yearling racehorses in the world, Keeneland September, has just come to an end. Like Arqana’s sale in France last month, it was an encouraging marker for the recovering health of the world thoroughbred market, with the average up 7% in an almost-zero inflationary environment (at $300,535 or +-R3,300,000).

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YOU CAN BE RIGHT, YOU CAN BE WRONG...

A.P. Arrow is sire now of *14% Black-type fillies. And a Black-type colt.
One of the truisms of the A.P. Indy tribe, is they get better with age.
And they get better with distance.
Heck, they just get better!

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DUKE OF MARMALADE PURCHASED BY DRAKENSTEIN STUD

DUKE OF MARMALADE (IRE)
(Danehill - Love Me True)

Leading South African stud farm Drakenstein Stud has purchased Duke Of Marmalade from Coolmore Stud in a deal brokered by Blandford Bloodstock.

The top-class son of the great Champion sire Danehill, a five-time Gr.1 winner, was last year’s leading European Second Crop Sire of Stakes winners, outperforming the likes of New Approach, Henrythenavigator and Raven’s Pass in that regard. Duke of Marmalade is currently the leading third crop sire in the Northern Hemisphere by Stakes winners (twelve) and horses (nine).

Duke Of Marmalade was rated 132 by Timeform after enjoying a spectacular four-year-old campaign that included Gr.1 successes in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Juddmonte International at York and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

Drakenstein Stud’s owner Gaynor Rupert said: “I am absolutely delighted that a horse of the quality and calibre of Duke Of Marmalade is coming to Drakenstein Stud to stand alongside Trippi, Horse Chestnut, Philanthropist and What A Winter.”

Mrs Rupert added: “We went to see The Duke last week at Coolmore Stud and we loved him. He started quarantine yesterday and he will ship to Cape Town next month ready for the next Southern Hemisphere covering season. Given what his progeny has achieved on the track already and that he has 234 two-year-olds to race this season, I believe he is an outstanding addition to both the Drakenstein Stud stallion roster and the South African Stallion ranks.”

Duke Of Marmalade has sired 23 Stakes class performers to date, including Aidan O’Brien’s classy Venus De Milo, a Gr.3 winner of the Give Thanks Stakes who was also second in last year’s Gr.1 Yorkshire Oaks and Gr.1 Irish Oaks.

Blandford Bloodstock’s Tom Goff said: “I believe this is a landmark moment both for Drakenstein Stud and for the South African breeding industry. I cannot remember when a horse with so many of the high quality attributes that this stallion possesses went to stand in South Africa.”

Goff added: “He is a fantastic physical specimen and was a truly great racehorse by the mighty Danehill. He has a superb pedigree that was matched by his great turn of foot and he has made a hugely promising start to his stud career. I greatly look forward to seeing his progeny in South Africa.”

Duke Of Marmalade is a half-brother to Gr.1 Derby hero Ruler Of The World and hails from a top-class family of sires that includes Champion Sire A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, Al Mufti and Lemon Drop Kid, who have all sprung from the foundation mare Lassie Dear, herself a profound influence on South African breeding.

Extract from European Bloodstock News

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END OF AN EMPIRE?

At the peak of America’s ascendency, the centre of the thoroughbred universe also shifted westwards, to the point Kentuckians labelled themselves the “Horse Breeding Capital of the World”, a designation to which they were more than entitled during the era of the legendary stallions Nasrullah, Royal Charger, Bold Ruler, Round Table and Princequillo initially, and thereafter that of Northern Dancer, Mr. Prospector, Danzig, Lyphard, Riverman, Blushing Groom and Seattle Slew.

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STORM IN A TEACUP

Storm Cat
Storm Cat

Storm Cat

(Photo : Paulick Report)

“The truth is that Storm Cat would currently enjoy a huge lead on the broodmare table if he received credit for the tremendous results achieved this year by his daughters’ Japanese runners.”

When it comes to hit rates in this country, there’s never been any sireline more effective than Storm Cat’s. Var, Tiger Ridge, Black Minnaloushe, Mogok, Tribal Dance, they all speak eloquently for their heritage, hence the presence at Summerhill of Brave Tin Soldier and Await The Dawn.

Andrew Caulfield - During his racing career, Storm Cat was pretty good at coming out on top in a close finish, showing the sort of spirit which was to become a feature of his progeny’s success story. He won his second start by a neck and three starts later he pushed his nose ahead of Danzig Connections to take the GI Young America Stakes. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite repeat the display against Tasso in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, when he led virtually everywhere but the finish line.

Storm Cat appears to be involved in another very tight finish this year, this time in his role as broodmare sire, and I use the word “appears” advisedly. According to the Blood-Horse on December 9, the former Overbrook star ranks second to A.P. Indy, with Storm Cat’s total of $14,635,997 lagging just $42,365 behind his rivals.

But, the small print includes “as supplied to The Blood-Horse by The Jockey Club Information Systems, Inc., earnings exclude monies from Japan and Hong Kong.” (Note: TDN sire lists also do not contain earnings from Japan or Hong Kong). I mentioned my puzzlement over this arbitrary exclusion in a TDN piece nearly two years ago: “I guess that this is done because the prize-money in those countries is deemed disproportionate to that in the majority of other countries and can therefore slant the statistics,” I suggested.

Statistics from the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities confirm that prize-money in Hong Kong and Japan are at a different level. The average prize-money per race in 2012 was equivalent to €110,947 in Hong Kong and €45,851 in Japan, whereas the figures for the U.S. and Canada were €16,136 and €20,013, respectively. But Hong Kong and Japan aren’t the only countries capable of distorting the figures. The average for the 320 races staged in the United Arab Emirates equated to €103,865. Yet, inconsistently, these races are included in the Jockey Club’s figures.

This year, Darshaan ranks third on the table behind A.P. Indy and Storm Cat, but he owes nearly $3.5 million (virtually a quarter of his total) to the UAE exploits of Sajjhaa. Similarly, the 15th-ranked Acatenango owes $6 million of his total to Animal Kingdom’s victory in the G1 Dubai World Cup. Meadowlake and Arch are other substantial beneficiaries from the World Cup meeting.

If a daughter of Storm Cat had supplied the winner of one of these fabulously rich prizes in Dubai, the stallion would have been given the credit, but not if the victory came in Japan or Hong Kong. It doesn’t make sense! Perhaps it would be preferable if The Jockey Club provided two tables, one all inclusive and the other without Japan, Hong Kong or the UAE.

The truth is that Storm Cat would currently enjoy a huge lead on the broodmare table if he received credit for the tremendous results achieved this year by his daughters’ Japanese runners. He currently ranks fourth on Japan’s table of broodmare sires, thanks principally to Kizuna (Jpn) (Deep Impact) (G1 Japanese Derby), Ayusan (Jpn) (Deep Impact) (G1 Japanese 1,000 Guineas) and the excellent Lord Kanaloa (Jpn) (King Kamehameha) (a Group 1 winner in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, Yasuda Kinen and Sprinters Stakes). With support from their fellow group winners Hiraboku Deep (Jpn) (Deep Impact) and Red Spada (Jpn) (Taiki Shuttle), they have built a total of ¥1,922,941,000, which I believe equates to $18,658,470.

Of course, Storm Cat also received a boost of around $1.1 million when Lord Kanaloa thrashed an international field of sprinters to record his second success in the G1 Hong Kong Sprint Sunday. In the process, the son of King Kamehameha improved his career figures to an impressive 19-13-5-1. Add all this to the earnings of Storm Cat’s daughters’ earnings elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere and you arrive at a staggering total of more than $34,000,000. Not bad for a year’s work!

Of course Storm Cat’s broodmare daughters have also had something of a banner year in the U.S., enjoying the limelight via the likes of Close Hatches, Sahara Sky, Honor Code, Global View, Govenor Charlie, Tapicat and Noble Tune. Now the name of the very promising Streaming can be added to the list, following her triumph in the GI Hollywood Starlet Stakes on only her second start.

The last few weeks have seen some spectacular prices for young Group 1-winning fillies and mares, such as Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu) (€6,000,000), Dancing Rain (Ire) (Danehill Dancer) (4,000,000gns) and Immortal Verse (Ire) (Pivotal) (4,700,000gns). The sky would probably also be the limit were Streaming ever to be offered for sale. After all, she is a granddaughter of Better Than Honour, the brilliant broodmare whose price soared to $14 million when she was offered at Fasig-Tipton in 2008.

Streaming’s dam Teeming repaid less than $70,000 of the $1,500,000 she had cost as a weanling, but she won three of her four starts as a 4-year-old. Although not in the same class as her Belmont Stakes-winning siblings Rags To Riches (A.P. Indy) and Jazil (Seeking the Gold), she is making amends as a broodmare, Streaming being her fifth winner from five foals. There are similarities between Teeming’s pedigree and that of Rising Tornado, the dam of this year’s two-time Grade I-winning filly Close Hatches (First Defence). Both are daughters of Storm Cat and both have the celebrated Best In Show as their third dam. Also, their respective Grade I winners in 2013 were sired by members of the Mr. Prospector male line, Close Hatches being by First Defence and Streaming by Smart Strike.

As a son of Mr. Prospector, Smart Strike had obvious appeal as a mate for Teeming. For a start, Jazil was sired by another son, Seeking the Gold, and Kingmambo, Jade Hunter and Miswaki are other sons of Mr. Prospector with a Grade I winner to their credit from the Best In Show family.

Smart Strike also sired that good filly Denomination, a four-time Grade III winner at up to a mile and an eighth in France and the U.S., from another Storm Cat mare. The Smart Strike/Storm Cat partnership also has another talented juvenile filly this year in the shape of Fascinating, beaten only half a length by She’s A Tiger in the GI Del Mar Debutante and a length by Secret Compass in the GI Chandelier Stakes.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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A.P. ARROW - GOING LIKE A BOEING

AP Arrow by AP Indy Stallion
AP Arrow by AP Indy Stallion

A.P. Arrow

(Photo : Greig Muir)

“A.P. Arrow - like the marquee stallions Bernardini, Pulpit, Malibu Moon and Congrats, he’s bred on the A.P. Indy/Mr. Prospector cross, which all his most effective sons carry.”

There’s a bit of déjà vu about the way A.P. Arrow’s stallion career is progressing, and the parallel careers at the same stage of Northern Guest and Kahal. For the record, less than three weeks ago, A.P. Arrow still had to register his first winner (though he did have a Black type-performing juvenile to his name) and we had a fairly big contingent of A.Ps in our draft for the Ready To Run, with numbers of them belonging to clients.

It’s one thing consoling yourself with the histories of two excellent sires like Northern Guest and Kahal, who were in much the same position as “A.P” at the same point in their careers, it’s another attempting to comfort your clients, who’ve shelled out whatever money it takes to get to the sale, are looking for a return, and to hell with déjà vu!

It’s a matter of fact though, that despite subsequently winning several Juvenile Sires’ Championships, more than a few people including some of his own shareholders, had given up on Northern Guest when his first crop were barely three, and the Kahal story was much the same. Come to think of it, I seem to remember the record-setting Silvano being a touch “tardy” in getting out of the starting blocks, too.

Two and a half weeks ago, A.P. registered his first winner with Flight Check, who skated away by 2¼ lengths the first time she was given a bit of space to run over. On Saturday, in the richest maiden mile in history, Gary Alexander’sFlight Warning wrote his own bit of history with the kind of grinding finish we envisaged from the A.P. Arrows when we bought him. We’ve always said good Classic stallions should get progeny that can maintain a strong gallop for every inch of the punishing 800 metres of the Turffontein straight, and that is exactly what this fellow did on Saturday, running relentlessly to the line in what looked like a competitive field. At the Vaal yesterday, Lightning Eye was also given a bit of ground, and she got home well enough by two in the first.

Three winners in rapid-fire time, and we’re beginning to see the metal that earned A.P. Arrow more than $1.5 million at the races. Like the marquee stallions Bernardini, Pulpit, Malibu Moon and Congrats, he’s bred on the A.P. Indy/Mr. Prospector cross, which all his most effective sons carry. You’ve heard it all before, but the A.P. Indys as a tribe get better with age, and they get better with distance. Hell man, they just get better.

Editor’s note: A.P. Arrow was bred and raced by the late Alan Paulson, founder of the company that manufactures Gulfstream jets. Paulson’s Brookside Farm bred many a great racehorse including the champions Arazi, Blushing John and Theatrical.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

Enquiries :

Linda Norval 27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email linda@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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BRAVE TIN SOLDIER & AP ARROW OFF THE MARK

Lot 172 Iwo Jima
Lot 172 Iwo Jima

Lot 172 Iwo Jima (Brave Tin Soldier - In Style)

Half-brother to Grade 2 winner and Durban July runner-up Smanjemanje (Kahal)

(Photo : Leigh Willson)

“Timely wins with the Ready To Run Sale now barely a week away.”

In addition to Classic Illusion’s victory in the Grade 3 Yellowwood, there was further cause for celebration at Summerhill Stud this week when two of its stallions sired their first winners, timely ones at that, with the Ready To Run Sale now barely a week away.

Brave Tin Soldier was first to strike, when his American-bred juvenile son Don’t Waste My Time broke his maiden second time out at Laurel. The New Jersey-bred, out of the Not For Sale mare Motel Love, is one of a handful of foals sired in the States by Brave Tin Soldier, prior to joining the Summerhill stallion roster in 2010.

A globetrotting son of Storm Cat, the handsome Brave Tin Soldier raced in Britain, France, Dubai and the States.

Successful in the Listed Blenheim Stakes as a member of the powerful Ballydoyle contingent at two, he overcame a career-threatening stress fracture to add three further races to his resume. After winning for Mike de Kock in Dubai, he scored a career-best victory in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes over the Meadowlands turf.

A $3-million foal purchase, the regally-bred bay is out of the Mr Prospector mare Bless, an unraced full-sister to Fusaichi Pegasus.

Brave Tin Soldier’s first yearlings were extremely well-received in the sales ring this year and he returned the highest average of all first-season sires at the National Yearling Sale. His 14 youngsters catalogues for next week’s sale include a half-brother to Grade 2 winner and Durban July runner-up Smanjemanje (Kahal).

Fellow Summerhill inmate A.P. Arrow also registered his initial winner when first-crop daughter Flight Check broke her maiden in fine style at Turffontein. Placed in her last three starts up to 1800m, the Gavin van Zyl-trained miss stretched out to 2600m and came home full of run to score by the best part of three lengths.

An accomplished son of “Emperor of stallions” A.P. Indy out of a three-parts sister to South American Champion stallion Hussonet, AP Arrow counted both the Grade 2 Clark Handicap and Grade 3 Skip Away Handicap amongst his five career wins, was also Grade 1-placed on three occasions and earned close to $1.5-million. He will be represented at next week’s Ready To Run Sale by a sizeable draft of 23.

Extract from European Bloodstock News

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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THE ROAD TO THE BLUE RIBAND

Ruler Of The World win Chester Vase
Ruler Of The World win Chester Vase

Watch Ruler Of The World winning the Chester Vase

(Image : The Times - Footage : Almaged KSA)

“Have you ever been to Chester?”

mick goss
mick goss

Mick Goss Summerhill CEOThe racecourse is one of those follies that sprang from England’s most creative period, shaped from the bowl of an ancient Roman harbour with an intimacy from its one mile round course that is matched only by the Champs de Mars in Port Louis. And as only the British would, on race days the contestants march ceremoniously through the heart of the city to what the early Britons christened the “Roodeye”. My grandfather always said: “If you’ve never raced at Chester, you’ve never raced at all,” and that’s probably true of what all English fans would say. At this time of the year, Chester holds two of England’s time-honoured Derby trials, the Chester Vase and the Dee Stakes, the former arguably the more successful in the deliverance of Derby aces, though South Africans will remember that it was his victory in the Dee Stakes that secured former Champion sire, Royal Prerogative’s passage to Cape Town.

Among the Vase’s celebrities of the modern era are Henbit, who went on to a six length end-to-end triumph in the “big one”, and Shergar, the Aga Khan’s ill-fated champion who remains to this day Epsom’s favourite son. In 1989, Old Vic waltzed off with the Vase, and followed up with stunning victories in the French and Irish equivalents. Summerhill has its own recent connection with the event in the race’s imperious winner of its 103rd renewal, Golden Sword, who subsequently chased the world champion Sea The Stars to just over two lengths in the Investec version of the Derby.

While he’s not quite what his name suggests yet, Ruler Of The World was this week’s hero of the Vase. It is so, that he has taken longer than his illustrious half-brother, Duke Of Marmalade, to create an impact on the track, but on this occasion he looked as if he was ready to make up for lost time, with a power-packed display. Remember, the race is staged within the narrow circumference of an old sailing boat harbour, so the straight is less than 300m, which meant our hero had to conserve his jet fuel ‘til they’d straightened. In a matter of strides he hit top gear, and drew clear for an emphatic fourth win for Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard in the past six years. In the saddle, Ryan Moore mentioned he was still a bit green, but once he got a hold of the horse, he lengthened really well. Part-owner, Paul Smith, added: “Aidan thinks quite a lot of him. He’s been working well at home, but we thought he might still be a little babyish. I think with the tight-turning track and the crowd, it was a good choice, and it paid dividends.”

This colt, who hails from the illustrious family of A.P. Indy, Lemon Drop Kid and Al Mufti, is now two for two, and who knows, his name may yet prove prophetic.

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SUPER SAVED

Dinny Phipps, Claude McGaughey and Stuart Janney
Dinny Phipps, Claude McGaughey and Stuart Janney

Dinny Phipps, Claude McGaughey and Stuart Janney celebrate Kentucky Derby victory

(Photo : Baltimore Sun)

KENTUCKY DERBY 139

That Orb was the victor in Saturday’s 139th Kentucky Derby is already a universal truth, and besides reflecting on another outstanding product of the A.P. Indy male line, there’s not much more the scribes haven’t already told you.

What isn’t in broader circulation though, is the anecdotal stuff behind his breeding. Remarkably, for one whose former colour-bearers include Personal Ensign, Buckpasser and Easy Goer, American Jockey Club chairman Dinny Phipps, has never had a winner of America’s marquee horserace. Remembering that his grandmother, Gladys Carneigie Phipps in 1957 bred and raced Bold Ruler to victory under the twin spires of Churchill Downs, it’s been a long and frustrating haul since for the Phipps family, given that they are without peer among America’s most successful owner/breeders of the past fifty years, and that they’ve had any number of near misses. As recently as 2006, Phipps, who maintains a vigilant grip on the quality of his mares, parted with Super Charger (by A.P. Indy) while carrying the 2010 Derby hero, Super Saver, for $160,000 at the Keeneland November Sale. And with Orb, it was very nearly a case of “play it again, Sam”. More about that in a minute, but let’s recall how Orb came about.

First cousins Stuart Janney III and Odgen Mills “Dinny” Phipps teamed up to provide two of thoroughbred racing’s most distinguished families with a coveted first Derby trophy on Saturday. Janney, the Chairman of Bessemer Trust, Trustee of Johns Hopkins University, Vice Chairman of The Jockey Club and a member of the Board of Trustees of NYRA, was introduced to the sport by his parents, who raced the brilliant Ruffian. Orb’s fourth dam Laughter (Bold Ruler) is a half-sister to the ill-fated champion. “This horse’s bloodline goes back to our grandmother, and Dinnys father was instrumental in getting me to take over my parents’ horses 20-some years ago”, Janney commented. “And so I just couldn’t be more delighted that we’re doing this together. I remember when (trainer) Shug (McGaughey) was inducted into the Hall of Fame, that he said at the end of his speech, I really would like to win a Kentucky Derby for Stuart or Dinny, and I thought, well, that’s a good sign because we don’t want him laying down after he gets in the Hall of Fame”. Phipps, a retired American financier was the recipient of the 2003 Eclipse Award of Merit for his contributions to racing. “I think it’s terrific, absolutely wonderful, it’s really the culmination of my horse racing, and I am thrilled to be here today”, Phipps said.

Phipps continued, “I would like to say one thing. I started coming around here in 1957 with my grandmother when she had Bold Ruler, and there was a gentleman who was awfully nice to me, and every time I’ve been here since that time, he was always very nice to me; the last 20 years I’ve seen him at the Masters, and I didn’t see him this year. But Furman Bisher (a celebrated columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) is one of my favourite people, and Furman covered this race with distinction for many years until he died, and I just wanted to say that”.

Distance was never going to be an issue for Orb. Malibu Moon has already been represented by top runners Ask the Moon, Funny Moon and Life At Ten, all Grade 1 winners at 10 furlongs, and his first three dams are by Unbridled, Cox’s Ridge and Damascus. Orb’s second dam, Mesabi Maiden, captured the 1996 Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Orb’s dam Lady Liberty, failed to earn any black-type, but enjoyed a respectable career posting a record of 23-4-4-4 and earnings of $202,045. Orb was the first stakes winner produced by his 14-year-old mother. After slipping in 2011 and 2012, she produced a Flatter colt in 2013.

Phipps admitted that he almost lost another Derby winner. “I wanted to sell her”, he said.

“This mare had a difficult production history, and so Dinny was a little bit impatient about what was going on”, Janney revealed. “But I have to say that Seth Hancock (Claiborne farm, where the Phipps mares reside) was very helpful in taking my side of the argument because he said, ‘Look, she’s a good-looking mare, she’s by Unbridled. Unbridled is getting to be a good broodmare sire, and we need to give her some more chance”. Janney continued, “I certainly was interested in Malibu Moon, and I kept saying to Seth ‘What about Malibu Moon?’ and there was one year where he said ‘Not yet’. And then the next year, I raised Malibu Moon as something we ought to do, and he said ‘I think he has shown he’s a top sire, and we’ve seen that he is, in fact, a top sire’. And with Orb it was pretty clear that you had by far the best-looking offspring from this particular mare. That didn’t mean that we’d be sitting here today, but at least it was a step in the right direction”.

The moral of the story? Patience, patience, and more patience.

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STARS AND STRIPES AND STAR-SPANGLED BANNERS

Jean Cruguet and AP Arrow
Jean Cruguet and AP Arrow

Jean Cruguet with A.P. Arrow

(Image : Leigh Willson)

JEAN CRUGUET

“1977 US Triple Crown Winning Jockey”

If there’s any virtue in hardship, it’s that it makes us appreciate the good times when they come around, and there are any number of stories among the champions of the business, political and sporting worlds of people who grew up tough. How many kids have emerged from poverty with a greater hunger than their coddled contemporaries, how many rags-to-riches stories are there of people who’ve been driven by the memories of their deprivation and their envy of those who had it all?

Just as France’s “impregnable” Maginot Line was overrun by German invasionary forces in the spring of 1939, a toddler who was to inscribe his name into thoroughbred lore, was born to an impoverished French family in Agen. At the tender age of 5, Jean Cruguet was placed in an orphanage after his father abandoned the family, leaving his mother destitute. She had no choice, and from 10 to 16, the young Cruguet lived at a secondary school run by Catholic priests, where he faced all sorts of abuses, not the least because he was the smallest guy in the school. At 16, his size became his greatest asset, as an associate of his grandfather offered him work at a thoroughbred racetrack. A budding career in its embryo stages as a jockey was interrupted by mandatory military service in the French Foreign Legion in Algeria. Cruguet returned to thoroughbred racing after four years, and replaced the army-bound future champion, Yves St-Martin at the all-conquering stable of Francois Mathet, famed for his association with the Dupre horses which were to form the foundation in later years of the Aga Khan’s powerful breeding enterprise. A chance liaison led to his marriage to the supremely talented horsewoman, Denyse, a pioneering female in the French racing industry. Later in life, Jean acknowledged her abundant skills of horsemanship, when he said she was “the best horse I ever rode”. They soon decided to take their chances in the United States; it was the beginning of an explosion.

Cruguet had hardly arrived when he was offered the plum position of stable jockey for the celebrated conditioner, Horatio Luro, famed for polishing the talents of one of America’s greatest racehorses and certainly the world’s greatest stallion of all time, Northern Dancer. In 1969 he gave notice of things to come when he replaced Roberto’s rider, Braulio Baeza on the future Hall Of Fame inductee, Arts And Letters, charging home in the time-honoured Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park. In 1971, he was connected with the horse he claimed was the best he’d thrown a leg over thus far, coaxing Hoist The Flag to an unbeaten two and three-year-old campaign. Hoist The Flag suffered a career-ending injury in his preparation for the Wood Memorial in the lead up to the Kentucky Derby; the decision to pack him off to stud at the Hancock’s Claiborne Farm denying the colt a shot at the Triple Crown. That was the beginning of a highly productive career at stud where his progeny included the dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe champion, Alleged. The cruelty of fate raised its head again, when Hoist The Flag broke a leg at a time when his stud life was just beginning to blossom.

Little did Cruguet realise that there were even bigger fish to fry in the United States, as he and his wife decided to return to France for the 1972 season; this time he landed with his proverbial “bum-in-the-butter”, as he swept the major Group One races for fillies including the Prix Vermeille and the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches in France, as well as the Champion Stakes in England and wound up second in an abbreviated calendar in the French Jockey’s Championship. In the final session, he strapped his saddle over the back of the champion San San, whom he rode to all her wins, including the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Stakes for the storied Angel Penna Snr, bar one, and that was the only one that mattered to a Frenchman. He was prevented by injury from taking the ride in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and the filly duly obliged for the flamboyant Countess Bathiany.

Jean Cruguet

Career Record 

MAJOR RACING WINS

Travers Stakes

1968

Metropolitan Handicap

1969

Toboggan Handicap

1969

Lawrence Realization Stakes

1969/1970/1975/1978

Cowdin Stakes

1970

Laurel Futurity

1970

Prix Vermeille

1972

Poule d’Essai des Pouliches

1972

Champion Stakes

1973

Manhattan Handicap

1974

Stuyvesant Handicap

1974

Alabama Stakes

1975/1983

Hopeful Stakes

1975/1976

Champagne Stakes

1976

Mother Goose Stakes

1976/1977

Flamingo Stakes

1977

Wood Memorial Stakes

1977/1984

Kentucky Derby

1977

Preakness Stakes

1977

Belmont Stakes

1977

US Triple Crown

1977

Futurity Stakes

1978

Washington DC International Stakes

1978/1993

Canadian International Stakes

1978/1989

Jerome Handicap

1979

Ladies Handicap

1979

Saranac Handicap

1979

Withers Stakes

1979

Blue Grass Stakes

1983

Tremont Stakes

1983

Coaching Club American Oaks

1984

Dwyer Stakes

1984

Knickerbocker Handicap

1985/1986/1988/1992

Cruguet paid us a surprise visit on Sunday, having been advised by any number of Kentucky horseman, that if he was to make the journey to South Africa, he was compelled to visit Summerhill. He tells us that his childhood reminds him constantly that life gives you one chance, and you need to make the best of it while you have your faculties about you. He and Denyse returned to the United States in 1973, and it wasn’t long before the diminutive Frenchman was setting the tracks of America alight again. The crowning moment came in 1976, when he teamed up with Billy Turner to ride the two-year-old colt Seattle Slew, who’d at $17,000 had been pretty much overlooked at the sales. “Slew” cruised to victory in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park, crowning an unbeaten season, and claiming the Juvenile champion’s title, as well as putting his hand up as a legitimate contender for the Triple Crown. To put this into perspective, the previous Triple Crown winner was Secretariat in 1971, and before him you’d have to go back to Citation in the 40s. The most recent Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978, and no horse or rider since has been good enough to do it.

Seattle Slew wins 1977 Kentucky Derby
Seattle Slew wins 1977 Kentucky Derby

Watch Seattle Slew winning the 1977 Kentucky Derby

(Image : Racing Archives - Footage : Awis Dooger)

Seattle Slew warmed up for the Kentucky Derby with facile victories in the Wood Memorial and Flamingo Stakes (both Group Ones) on his way to the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs. His running style was on the lead, and as he took his place in the stalls for the 103rd renewal of America’s most famous race, he was the only unbeaten aspirant for the Triple Crown in history, never headed for a single yard in any race before. He jumped awkwardly however, and for the first time, he missed the break: within a hundred yards there was just one horse behind him, and Cruguet knew he was in trouble. He shook the reigns for a moment, and surged through the field to be second before the horses entered the clubhouse turn, then proceeded to destroy his field in the closing 600 metres with a spectacular display of power galloping. It was the same story in the Preakness Stakes, and while Cruguet maintains to this day that Seattle Slew’s best trip was at a mile, his class carried him unchallenged to heroism in the Belmont Stakes, to complete the third leg.

In a moment which still occupies the columns of journals more than 35 years down the road, attracting praise and derision in equal measure, with more than 30 yards to the finish line, Cruguet raised himself out of the saddle in triumph in the manner of a gladiator, extending his right arm over his head and saluting jubilantly to an equally jubilant mass numbering well over 150,000. It’s against the rules, we know, but this was a Triple Crown hero in the true sense of the word, and in any event, there was nothing in sight to alter the outcome.

Seattle Slew

Career Record

MAJOR WINS

Champagne Stakes

1976

Wood Memorial Stakes

1977

Flamingo Stakes

1977

Kentucky Derby

1977

Preakness Stakes

1977

Belmont Stakes

1977

Woodward Stakes

1978

Marlboro Cup

1978

Stuyvesant Handicap

1978

AWARDS

US Champion 2-year-old Colt

1976

US Triple Crown Champion

1977

US Champion 3-year-old Colt

1977

American Horse Of The Year

1977

US Champion Older Male Horse

1978

Leading Sire in North America

1984

North American leading Broodmare Sire

1995/1996

While Cruguet was equally effective on both American surfaces, he was without peer on the turf, and a year later he was on board Mac Diarmada, whose victories in the Washington DC International and the Canadian Turf Championship saw him voted Champion Turf horse. The journeyman announced his retirement at 41 in July 1980 to join his wife as a full-time trainer, but the lure of riding had him back in the saddle two years later. His last major Grade One Stakes victory came aboard Hodges Bay, again in the Canadian International at Woodbine. Today he lives in historic Midway just outside Lexington in the vicinity of one of the world’s great stallion stations, Winstar Farm, and the late Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum’s Gainsborough Stud. It’s no coincidence that the Woodford Bourbon Distillery is in the vicinity. For many years after his retirement, he made guest appearances for organisations such as Old Friends, a retirement and rescue facility for pensioned thoroughbreds. He almost completely disappeared from the public eye when he became the caregiver to his wife Denyse, when bedridden from a stroke in 2003, until she passed on in 2010 at age 80.

At 74 he remains active, working horses daily at the track, and he’s in excellent shape for a man who came off horses more often than he’d care to remember. He puts that down to a determination to make the number one box his home, and the fact that it often involves calculated risks which turned nasty. His pluck, his natural intuitions, his athleticism and dare we say, his upbringing, took him to the winner’s circle countless times, yet you know this is a man who remains comfortable in his own skin, “I crossed the line in front in more than 7000 races, but the truth is, I only won 500 them. Good horses did the rest”.

A couple of hours with Cruguet is riveting, and he speaks easily of the legends that forged the golden years of the game, Penna, MauriceZilber, (for whom he rode the great Dahlia), Luro, Bill Mott, Woody Stevens and Charlie Whittingham. When you ask him to name the greatest horse of all time, and you toss in the names of Secretariat and Affirmed, he’s unhesitating: “There was none better than Slew. He could do a mile in 1 minute 31, and seven furlongs in 1 minute 20, and there’s no horse in history could go with that”.

If it’s at all possible, Cruguet offers that Slew’s legacy at stud may even have eclipsed his feats at the races. The dominant sire-line of the current era comes courtesy of his son A.P. Indy, and we owe it to Slew and his masterful rider, that we have A.P. Arrow at Summerhill today.

Summerhill Stud Logo
Summerhill Stud Logo

Enquiries :

Linda Norval +27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email linda@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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THERE ARE NO HARD AND FAST RULES...

AP Arrow - Son of AP Indy
AP Arrow - Son of AP Indy

A.P. Arrow (USA)

Greig Muir

…BUT THERE CERTAINLY ARE

HARD AND FAST RACEHORSES.

The BEST son in Africa of the BEST American stallion of the modern era.

In fact, one of A.P. Indy’s BEST sons of all time.

A.P. Arrow’s first crop are 2-year-olds,

and you get the first bite of the cherry.

EMPERORS PALACE SUMMER READY TO RUN SALE

School Of Excellence, Summerhill Stud, Mooi River

20 February 2013

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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ADMIRE THE MAN

Progeny of Admire Main - Gallops Playlist

Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run Sale

EMPERORS PALACE SUMMER READY TO RUN SALE

School Of Excellence, Summerhill Stud, Mooi River

20 February 2013

It’s remarkable how often we turn to history for our lessons when little else makes sense. In the early fifties, the mighty American breeding industry was doing just fine with the Calumet stallion, Bull Lea, in full cry. But it wasn’t the international giant it was destined to come. Just about then, a new prophet emerged in the form of the legendary “Bull” Hancock who had recently taken over the reins of the family property, Claiborne, from his father. His vision was that if America was to fulfil its potential, it had scour the world for the best genetics. He realised that if America was to leverage the best results from what was already the largest breeding industry in the world, as well as putting the country’s new-found prosperity to best use, he would have to trawl the gene banks of the world for that magical beast that outbreeds his own bloodlines and performances.

Bull Hancock went out and paid the Irishman, Joe McGrath, a world record sum for Nasrullah, whose legacy lives on through the most potent American dynasty of the modern era, A.P. Indy. Nearby at Spendthrift Farm, the indomitable Lesley Combs was not to be denied, acquiring Nasrullah’s three-quarter brother, Royal Charger, who founded the enduring male lines of Roberto and Halo. While at one time, the former looked like making the greater impression, the tribes greater destiny appears to have landed firmly in the lap of Halo, through the likes of Southern Halo in South America, More Than Ready in North America and Australia, and decisively in Japan, where Sunday Silence is all-powerful.

In a more modern era, Hancock repeated the dose with the great Nijinsky, while a fresh force emerged at Gainesway, which snatched the spectacular likes of Blushing Groom, Lyphard and Riverman from under the noses of our friends in France.

At Summerhill, in our own small way, we’ve been no less adventurous in our quest at capturing the best bloodlines in the world, and in the process we brought to South Africa the most successful son in the Southern Hemisphere of the most successful stallion of all-time, Northern Dancer, himself a product of a parallel instance on the part of the Canadian E.P.Taylor, of acquiring the bluest blood in Europe. Hancock’s policy of plundering the best resources wherever they were found, produced a rich vein of success in Argentina, too, with the acquisition of Forli, whose largesse spread to the other side of the Atlantic, and eventually to Summerhill. Home Guard left three Group One winners in Europe, before concluding his career in KwaZulu-Natal, where, in an abbreviated stint, he sired Group One winners from 1000m to 3200m, including a two-year-old champion in Hot Guard, the multiple champion sprinter Taban, and S.A. Classic hero, Last Watch, and the Gold Cup ace Floating Casino.

While there is always hope that there are several Northern Guests and Home Guards in our present band, if you were to ask which of our gambles we would like most to pay off, if only for its uniqueness and if only to prove the value of reaching out to the nether regions of the world, our choices would include Admire Main, son of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Staying horses are never easy to subscribe, and while this handsome son of Sunday Silence oozes class at almost any trip, his sin was to excel at 2400m, so filling him has not been as easy as it might’ve been were he an exceptional miler. Yet his brief record at stud in Japan tells us that he does not need numbers to prove his merit, as he’s already had seven juvenile winners from 14 runners, with another four earning cheques in their first couple of starts. Two of these (and we must remember they’ve just completed their two-year-old programmes) have earned cheques in Group class races; for the nation’s sake, we can only hope that the Admire Mains are as adaptable to the conditions of the South African veld as the tribe has shown themselves to be in America and Europe. Of course, we already have the exceptional record of Lionel Cohen’s champion mare, Sun Classique, to advertise the virtues of the strain, and it has to be said, those that turned up the Emperors Palace Ready To Run in November, waived their catalogues with gusto, rewarding him with an average in excess of R200,000 for his first offerings.

On Wednesday week, you get a second stab at these jewels.

summerhill stud
summerhill stud

Enquiries :

Tarryn Liebenberg +27 (0) 83 787 1982

or email tarryn@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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PULPIT DIES AGED 18

Pulpit Stallion
Pulpit Stallion

Pulpit

(Image : TheState/AFPilot)

PULPIT (USA)

A.P. Indy - Preach

1994 - 2012

Pulpit (A.P. Indy - Preach, by Mr. Prospector) died in his paddock at Claiborne Farm yesterday.

The 18-year-old stallion had shown no signs of ill health in the weeks and days prior to his death. “We are all shocked and very sad,” said farm manager Bradley Purcell. “Pulpit has meant so much to Claiborne Farm, first as a racehorse and later as a stallion. Thankfully, we know his legacy will continue on through his sons and daughters.”

Bred and raced by Claiborne, Pulpit captured the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes and Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes in 1997. He entered stud at his birthplace in 1998 and sired 11 US Grade 1 winners including successful sires Tapit and Sky Mesa. He has 38 Graded stakes winners, 63 stakes winners, and over 100 stakes horses to his credit including Corinthian, Essence of Dubai, Purge, Pyro and Hansen to mention but a few.

This year, Pulpit has been represented by Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes hero Power Broker and recent winner of the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes, Sign.

Pulpit will be buried at Claiborne Farm.

Extracts from Claiborne Farm

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YOUNG SIRES CATCH THE EYE

A.P. Arrow and Admire Main

Extract from Sporting Post

A.P. Arrow and Admire Main, who are both represented by their first runners later this year, were two young sires which proved popular at last weekend’s Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sale.

A.P. ARROW (USA) (A.P. INDY)

A.P. Arrow by A.P. Indy
A.P. Arrow by A.P. Indy
Admire Main by Sunday Silence
Admire Main by Sunday Silence
summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

Enquiries :

Linda Norval +27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email linda@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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