Gone West - Chilly Hostess
Former champion sire and sire of sires Western Winter was euthenased Saturday following complications resulting from a colic operation. He was the flagbrearer of Lammerskraal Stud.
Western Winter went to stud in 1997 and the son of Gone West has dominated the South Africa racing stage for the past 14 years. He produced tough, durable champion racehorses that won at the highest level from 1000m to 3200m. The 21 year old had a full book of mares into next season.
Western Winter’s stud career got off to the best possible start as the success of his first crop of two-year-olds saw him crowned champion first-season sire of 2000/01. He has remained in the upper reaches of South Africa’s sires’ tables ever since, having been overall champion sire in 2002/03, 2004/05 and 2005/06. He also finished second in the sires’ table three times. He was twice sire of Horses Of The Year in the brilliant Winter Solstice and more recently, What A Winter who recently took up stud duties at Drakenstein Stud. Western Winter also sired the top class Yard Arm, who won multiple Grade One races before winning in Dubai.
There are just too many stars to mention, but others that come to mind include Set Afire and Ice Cube, who was South Africa’s champion two-year-old of 2002/03, courtesy of Grade One victories in the Gold Medallion at Scottsville (which he won in breath-taking style) and the Premier’s Champion Stakes at Clairwood. That same crop also included Winter Solstice, who became Western Winter’s second Queen’s Plate winner by taking the race in 2005 as a four-year-old.
Later in the season, Winter Solstice became his father’s third winner of the Gold Challenge before ending the season by winning his third Grade One race, the Champions Cup at Clairwood. The following season he repeated his Queen’s Plate triumph.
Western Winter’s second champion juvenile was Roxanne, South Africa’s champion two-year-old filly of 2004/05, in which season she won the Grade One Thekwini Fillies Stakes at Clairwood. She proved, however, arguably to not be the best Western Winter filly born in 2002: the Plattner owned Bad Girl Runs turned out to be a top-class three-year-old, winning the Cape Fillies Guineas and the Paddock Stakes at Kenilworth.
To emphasise the versatility of Western Winter’s stock, the same season also saw him sire the winner of South Africa’s premier staying race, the Gold Cup, run over 3200m at Greyville. The 2005 edition of this race fell to Reveille Boy, a member of Western Winter’s second crop.
His success has not been restricted to South Africa though, as Surveyor, Silver Mist and Oracle West have emulated Yard-Arm in winning in Pattern company in the UAE.
Oracle West has probably achieved the most overseas courtesy of his second place behind the Hong Kong champion Vengeance Of Rain in the 2007 Dubai Sheema Classic (when he finished ahead of such top-class international gallopers as Youmzain, Sir Percy, Pop Rock, Quijano and Red Rocks) while Surveyor also boasts international Group One form, courtesy of his second behind Epalo in the Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji in 2004.
More recently Western Winter also produced the brilliant 2012 Cape Guineas and Derby winner Capetown Noir.
Extract from Sporting Post