Patrick MolefePatrick MolefeBy the time this report is posted, we’ll be just a week away from the commencement of the Emperor’s Palace National Yearling Sales, and there’s increasing activity at the TBA’s sales complex in the vicinity of the old Gosforth Park racecourse. Another third generation member of our farm staff, Patrick Molefe, has put his finger on Lot 155, Mbovana (“the Red One”) who represents a classic Summerhill breeding, insofar as the first three generations of his pedigree comprise stallions that’ve stood their careers at Summerhill, while his third dam, Coconut Ice, was a stalwart of the foundation stock of the Goss family when they first came to Summerhill.

In fact, Coconut Ice was the very first horse to be boarded at Summerhill under its previous proprietors and one of her best descendants, Real Red, is the dam of this particular colt by Malhub, one of the world’s top sprinters of 2002. Malhub’s gotten off to an exceptional start with his first crop in South Africa, and is bound to be rivalling his erstwhile stallion barn stablemate, Labeeb, when the chequered flag comes out at the end of the season for Freshman Sires’ honours. This is a sturdy fellow with a big walk, who probably resembles more his maternal grandsire, Muhtafal, than he does his own sire.

Spamandla MthethwaSpamandla Mthethwa Patrick’s choice of the fillies is Lot 98 (Zwelonke) a good looking filly from the family of recent Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Cup victor, Umngazi, by the sire of this past weekend’s run-away winner of the East Cape Nursery, Scripture (by Requiem). Quizzed about his choice, Patrick volunteered that this family has speed to burn, and he pointed to the recent form of the half-brother Fox Hunt, who’s picked up two more since the catalogue was printed for world-class judge, Robin Bruss. This is a slightly off-beat choice, as Zwelonkhe is not the obvious one, but she’ll make excellent value to a discerning buyer who is not looking to break the sale’s record in order to acquire a quality horse.

It’s amazing how many of our staff come from old, established families, and Spamandla Mthethwa is no exception. His grandmother has a barn named after her on this farm for the example she set for the many people that work here, and he’s a member of our farrier team. In his choices though, he was not entirely original, as he followed four others in selecting Lot 32 (Nhlavini’s brother) Keep Striding, and six grooms in all going for Nontanda, Lostintranslation’s half sister by Al Mufti (Lot 22).