milli miliotis and ashley mcnabb

Milli Miliotis and Ashley McNabb
(Heather Morkel)


The first foal of the new season arrived this weekend in the form of a typically robust, scopey daughter of Kahal weighing in at 60,7kgs. This tale however has a bit of “fairy” to it, and it’s a case of overwhelming generosity being rewarded. At last year’s Summerhill Stallion Day, Ashley McNabb and Milli Miliotis bid a record R90 000 to secure a service to the most popular stallion in the country last season, Kahal, as part of our annual fund-raising for the Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence, which is due to open at Summerhill next year. This filly was the result, and she’s the daughter of a mare by the name of Climbing Rose, whose story is less extraordinary.

These two guys have been big-hearted supporters of racing for some years now, and Milli Miliotis has a pedigree in the game which goes back generations. However, as business partners, they ventured into racehorse ownership about a decade ago. One of Ashley’s first acquisitions was Climbing Rose, who was a winner of one of the events at the first Steinhoff Family Fun Day at Turffontein, in the days when the prizes were a weekend away at some resort, a lounge suite from Gomma Gomma or a stallion service from Summerhill. A far cry from the hundreds and thousands on offer these days!

In Climbing Rose’s case, the prize came courtesy of Sheikh Hamdan’s open-handed kindness in the form of a cover to Fahal. In the event, the boys swapped that one for another of Sheikh Hamdan’s stallions, Makaarem, and the outcome was a plucky fellow by the name of Makmymate, winner of a couple of races for the pair. In the event, Climbing Rose was sent to  Summerhill for her tryst with Makaarem and she, together with others in the merry band of mares these fellows have since accumulated, has made Summerhill her home.

For the record, Ashley and Milli were the winners of this year’s SA Fillies with Urabamba, a beautifully bred filly by Fort Wood.