(Photo : Greig Muir)
“SON OF DANEHILL”
If you’re a breeder of racehorses, you’ll know that lovely warm feeling when things go right for you. It’s particularly so when a young stallion starts to reveal his merit, because his influence is always more widespread than that of a mare, capable of only one produce annually. It’s even better when you are approaching a sale of the magnitude of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run, and the timing is impeccable.
Because he was such a precocious individual himself, we might’ve expected more of his youngsters to come bolting out of the blue at two, and while it is so that he produced a Highveld Juvenile Champion in Waywest Goddess, he didn’t have that many runners.
There’s a good reason for this : Way West first arrived in South Africa almost a month after the breeding season had commenced, so his book was always going to be limited by his late start, and the fact that breeders had not seen him before committing their mares to other stallions. As a result, he only had 38 registered foals in his first crop, and thus far he’s had just 19 runners (8 winners, 7 placed). He’s certainly making up for lost time though, with four more winners in the past ten days, all of them with a dash of class in the manner of their victories.
His dominance doesn’t stop there, as our readers will have noticed from our piece “How The West Was Won”. Three of the first four over the line in the first at the Vaal on Tuesday, tells much of the story, but what it doesn’t divulge is that the fourth one home (almost three lengths behind the third) was a filly who had tested some of the better juveniles last season, with two seconds from two starts, and was chalked up as the hot favourite for this event.
There can’t be too many out there who still need convincing, but if you’re in any doubt, remember this : Way West now has fivelikely candidates in the line-up for the R1.5 million Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup, in a field of sixteen. That’s almost a third of the entries, and when you consider the race’s history and the luminaries it’s revealed, you begin to get a grip on the class Way West is throwing.
As stallion man, Greig Muir was heard to mutter at this morning’s covering session: “don’t tell us in a few years time, that we didn’t tell you!”.
P.S. The ink wasn’t dry and Danehill Darling became Way West’s fifth winner in 11 days, after a short stint with Mike de Kock. And she could be his sixth entry in the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup.