Before he began his current tenure at Ballydoyle and changed the modern face of racing, Aidan O’Brien was transforming the careers of jumpers at Piltown, and it is down to that affinity with long-distance horses that has made him one of the most notable names in the story of the revival of Royal Ascot’s centrepiece, the Group One Gold Cup.
Following the Emperors Palace Summer Ready To Run Sale on Tuesday, 24th February at the School of Equine Management Excellence, we will be auctioning well-known KZN stallions Mullins Bay, Solskjaer and Way West.
Sire of three current millionaires, Ice Axe, Shogunnar and Winter Star. Ranks among the top four active sires in South Africa by earnings per runner. Want to breed a millionaire for little money? SOLSKJAER’S your man.
There are more “old wives’ tales” around the breeding of racehorses than any other game. At last, the scientists have brought some precision to the table, by isolating the SPEED GENE. Every stallion on Summerhill has been tested, and now we can predict with accuracy, what he’s likely to throw.
At a time when he was big business personified, we coined a phrase at Summerhill about racing and Harry Oppenheimer. While you could never beat him in the boardroom, on Saturdays at Turffontein, you always had a squeak as an owner, even if you were up against those battalions of bluebloods at Harry’s disposal. Put another way, racing is the great leveller; it gives the lie to the adage that above the ground we may be different, but under it we’re all equal.
The Mike Miller-trained three-year-old Solskjaer filly Lady Cougar, who won first time out at Clairwood on Saturday, provided another example of the well-known theory that horses can make fools of people as she was bought for little other reason than her name.
The latest news is that the heady days of the R200,000 plus service fees are back in vogue; several stallion masters are apparently headed that way, which leaves some leeway for the next tier in the R100,000 plus bracket to ratchet theirs up a few notches.