Mike de Kock broke the Sean Tarry stranglehold on the R500,000 Grade 2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas at Turffontein on Saturday with a spectacular victory by the Summerhill-bred Visionaire daughter Takingthepeace. The win had plenty of in-house emotion attached to it.
If you’re in the sales business, the one thing you need to convince customers to come back is a big horse first time around. There are few people in the sport of horseracing these days who don’t know Brian Burnard, better known as “Buffalo Bill”, who was christened that way after his buying debut at the inaugural Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run at Summerhill. There was no mucking about that day for “Buff” though, green as he was when he took on the lofty likes of Alesh Naidoo and the late, intrepid Glanville Gardner for the right to own a burly chestnut son of Kahal out of the East Cape Horse of the Year, Coastal Waltz.
The untimely death of stallion Await The Dawn in 2014 was a massive blow for Summerhill Stud. He was arguably the one who could’ve kept the Mooi River establishment at or near the top of the logs for the next two decades. Thankfully all of us can enjoy the pleasure of seeing his offspring on the track. Even if only for a few years.
It’s inevitable really, and it just lends credence to the old belief in racing that when you lose a stallion, you can bet he’s on his way to stardom. That looks very much like the story of Await The Dawn, who was tragically lost in a freak accident halfway through his second season at Summerhill.
It’s an indisputable fact that Anant Singh is South Africa’s greatest ever movie maker. And while his other love in life, horseracing, has been kind to him in his association with several outstanding performers, yesterday he revealed another dimension to his extensive retinue of “gongs”.
You’d expect it of a farm that has been at the head of the nation’s breeding affairs for most of the new millennium, yet it would be remiss of Summerhill if it didn’t share its faith in the horses it’s just sent to Jo’burg.
Well, at least something is rising! The past fortnight has felt a little like Armageddon, though South Africans can hardly say it’s unique; this country of ours has come back from the brink so many times, it’s almost as if political events are sent to test us.
These “cheapies” join the likes of Lebeoana (cost R40k, 10 wins to date) by A.P. Arrow, I Got You Babe (cost R7k, 7 wins) by Solskjaer and Ginger Biscuit (cost R20k, 4 wins to date) by Admire Main. And let’s not forget, they don’t always have to be the height of fashion. South Africa’s winning-most racehorse of all times Hear The Drums (cost R42k, by Gold Press) visited the winner's enclosure 34 times, while Imbongi (Russian Revival), Pierre Jourdan (Parade Leader) and Paris Perfect (3rd in the Dubai World Cup Gr.1) were all sold off the farm and all scooped north of R5million each at the races.
Veteran trainer Roy Magner provided Summerhill Stud with a wonderful advert for its Farm Sale next week when Anna Pavlova (nearest camera), a graduate of the 2016 sale, got up to win the Gr3 Three Troikas Stakes over 1450m at Turffontein with a powerful late run under jockey JP van der Merwe.