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.
Brave Tin Soldier was the only colt of his generation to win Group Ones at both two and three. But his dad Brave Tin Soldier is no one-trick pony. Sean Tarry has his highly-regarded Fieldmarshal Fenix while Geoff Woodruff scored with the promising Private Swarovski.
John Boyce says that if Frankel's achievements with his first crop juveniles in 2016 are anything to go by, it looks like we may have discovered another super stallion. Time will tell. Another year will reveal all.
Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen, 1995 was a landmark year in my life as a racehorse breeder. It was the first time South Africa had been invited to participate in the Asian Racing Conference after the democratisation of our politics, and it was also the last time I had the honour of addressing the International Breeders’ Conference in Paris, when we negotiated our first export protocol with the European Union.