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igugu racehorse rss


IGUGU (Aus) (Galileo (Ire) - Zarinia (Ire) by Intikhab (USA))
3 Year Old Bay Filly
Owners : Mr and Mrs Andre Macdonald, Rodney Thorpe, Roger Zeeman and Summerhill Stud Syndicate (Nom : Mick Goss)
Trainer : Mike de Kock
Jockey : Randall Simons
Breeder : Kia Ora Stud, NSW
Win Time : 94.68
Career Record : 2 Wins, 2 Starts

Igugu is a graduate from the Summerhill draft of the 2009 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale.

Vaal Turf 1200m
16 September 2010

# LBH Horse Kg MR Dr Jockey Trainer
1 0.00 IGUGU (AUS) 57.5 80 2 R Simons Mike de Kock
2 4.50 PACIFIC DESTINY 58.5 66 8 G Figueroa Wallace Tolmay
3 5.25 POLO 60.5 69 13 P Strydom Stephen Moffatt
4 6.25 GREET THE DAY 53.5 55 11 S Khumalo Chris Erasmus
5 6.75 A THOUSAND JETS 58.5 66 12 D David Geoff Woodruff
6 7.50 RUSSIAN ARTIST 60.5 69 14 P Whitmore Bertie van der Merwe
7 7.60 IMOGEN 57.5 63 4 S Brown Leon Erasmus
8 8.00 VIVID 59.5 68 1 G Lerena Brett Webber
9 8.25 MODERN REVELATION 52.0 51 7 F Herholdt Craig Mayhew
10 9.25 NENEKAZI 59.0 67 5 A Fortune Gary Alexander
11 10.75 LA BELLE OTERO 58.5 65 9 S Swanepoel Romeo Francis
12 12.00 CALL AGAIN COLLEEN 57.0 62 3 B Lerena Roy Magner
13 19.00 MY CANDY GIRL 52.0 48 6 N Welch Corne Spies
14 30.00 SUPREME LECTURE 55.5 59 10 *E Pheiffer (1.5) David Nieuwenhuizen

Late Scratching

15 0.00 PERSONAL QUESTION (ARG) 60.5 70 8   Geoff Woodruff
16 0.00 CUNNING PLAN 52.0 46 10   Romeo Francis


Read more and watch the race video…



absolute heretic win
absolute heretic win
absolute heretic lead in
absolute heretic lead in

Absolute Heretic

(Photos : Gold Circle)


One of Europe’s biggest players at the 2009 sales, has been Dr. Jim Hay and his wife, Fitri. They topped the Goffs Million Sale, they topped the Doncaster Sale, and they were strongly active at Tattersalls Highflyer as well.

Their impact on local sales in 2008 was nothing short of sensational, splashing out in the millions to purchase high quality bloodstock. Among their purchases was a R900k son of Galileo from theSummerhill draft of the National Yearling Sale, now bearing the name Absolute Heretic, this fellow rattled up his second consecutive victory for Jim and Fitri on Sunday, and looks to have the world at his feet. With a name like that, he’s unlikely to get to heaven, but it looks very much like he could reach Hollywood, with the advent of the Gauteng autumn and KwaZulu Natal winter seasons.


horses running
horses running

(Photo : Leigh Willson)


13 AUGUST 2009

The 2009 Equus Awards, the “Oscars” of South African horseracing, will be presented by the Racing Association and Gold Circle at Emperors Palace in Gauteng on Thursday 13 August.

Apart from the prestigious awards made for outstanding equine and human achievement in the 2008/2009 racing season, the gala evening in the Theatre of Marcellus also features top-class entertainment in the form of musician extraordinaire Ian von Memerty in cabaret, rising star Dantaneo singing at the after-dinner party, and the Vienna String Quartet performing before and during dinner.

Athletics Superstar Oscar Pistorius will be Guest of Honour for the evening. Oscar entered the world of horseracing at the 2008 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale with the purchase of WATCHFUL by Kahal and the part purchase of INSASA by Galileo, both now in the stable of popular trainer Mike Azzie.

The master of ceremonies for the evening will be well-known racing filmmaker and television presenter Aiden Lithgow.

An important change to the 2009 awards is that both the 2008 and 2009 Canon Gold Cup results will be included in the judges’ deliberations.

The voting panel for the 2009 Equus Awards is as follows :

Colin Aitken

Jehan Malherbe

Mathew Lips

Roger Smith

Ken Nicol

Chad Cooke

Mel Kaplan

Nico Kritsiotis

Clyde Basel

Vee Moodley (non-voting chairperson)

The nominations for the 2009 Equus Awards are as follows :

Champion 2 year colt (distance immaterial)


Champion 2 year filly (distance immaterial)


Champion 3year old colt (distance immaterial)


Champion 3 year Filly (distance immaterial)


Champion older male (distance immaterial)


Champion Older filly/ mare (distance immaterial)


Champion sprinter (1000-1200 age/gender immaterial)


Champion middle distance horse (1400-2200 age/gender immaterial)


Champion stayer (2400 and up/ age/gender immaterial)




rip van winkle sussex stakes 2009 glorious goodwood video
rip van winkle sussex stakes 2009 glorious goodwood video

2009 Sussex Stakes



Why there is still debate around Sadler’s Wells’ status as a sire of sires, has us flummoxed us. Long ago, Fort Wood established himself as one of the best stallions of all time in South Africa, and while the rest of the world might’ve been waiting for confirmation from the countries to the north of us, it wasn’t long before El Prado stepped up to become Champion Sire of North America, while In The Wings was doing a grand job in Europe. Solid enough stuff, but still not convincing enough for his detractors. That issue must surely have been put to bed with the emergence of the world class stallions, Montjeu and Galileo, the latter of whom is the reigning champion in Europe, and is many people’s idea of the best stallion in the world today.

Galileo has already proven his versatility with two consecutive juvenile champions in Europe in Teofilo and New Approach, and he’s had world-class performers at his own pet distance, a mile and a half. His star performer in the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood yesterday was Rip Van Winkle, who stormed home to beat the horse that had landed the spoils in what many fans might previously have held as the best mile performance thus far this season.

Since Rip Van Winkle’s 2,5 length victim in yesterday’s score was Paco Boy himself (with the course record-breaking heroine of the Coronation Stakes, Ghanaati another four lengths back in third,) you’d have to believe this was not only the marker that all milers will have to aspire to this season, but the next horse to beat Rip Van Winkle (if it happens) could legitimately put his hand up for the title of the best miler in the world.

The last time Ireland’s Coolmore Stud risked Galileo for shuttle duties in Australia was the 2006 breeding season, and he’s now become too precious a commodity to travel. The result is, after this year’s sales season, there simply won’t be another southern hemisphere-bred Galileo available. That’s it, we’re afraid, but for those of you who have any aspirations of getting your fingers into the pie before year end, there’s no need to despair. The Summerhill draft at the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run sale on the 8th November features two outstandingly bred daughters of this great stallion, the one from a family of the best filly in the world last year, Zarkava, and the other out of a Danehill sister to two Group One winners. We already know what the Danehill cross has achieved with Sadler’s Wells, and this could be another explosion waiting to happen.

emperors palace ready to run sale 2009
emperors palace ready to run sale 2009



red ransom stallion
red ransom stallion

Red Ransom

(Photo : Virtual Form Guide)



That’s the headline with which Australia’s Daily Stallion Bulletin introduced their piece on the progeny of Red Ransom in Australia this year. Sire already of 13 Grade One winners around the world, this prolific son of Roberto has been on fire in Australia this year, with Grade One victories accruing to Typhoon Tracy (ex South African sprint sensation; Tracy’s Element), unbeaten to date; Onemorenomore, the Champagne Stakes hero, and Duporth, star of the BTC Cup (Gr.1) on May 9th. These achievements apart, Red Ransom is also the sire of Australia’s leading first season stallion, Charge Forward, a resident of John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud in the Hunter Valley, whose book for the forthcoming season overflows as a result of his excellent start.

Which brings us to the point. Included in Summerhill’s Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run draft for 2009 is an outstanding Vinery-bred specimen by Red Ransom, a big strong, scopey colt of great presence. He landed at the farm towards the end of last week, together with two daughters, if you can believe it, of the outstanding stallion in Europe right now, Galileo. Also on board were a son of each of two of the worlds best stallions in opposite hemispheres, Hussonet and Anabaa, the latter sadly recently deceased, which adds a rarity value to this colt.

There’ll obviously be more on these horses as we get closer to the sale, but for the time being, it’s lip-licking stuff.

emperors palace ready to run sale 2009
emperors palace ready to run sale 2009

INVESTEC DERBY : Do you want your own Cape Cross?

sea the stars (pa)Sea The Stars (Cape Cross)
2009 Investec Derby (Gr1)
(Photo : Press Association)

Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) comfortably landed the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday, the first horse to complete the 2000 Guineas / English Derby double since Nashwan in 1989. The Cape Cross half-brother to Galileo travelled smoothly all the way, quickening clear with a furlong to go, to easily claim his second Classic in as many runs. Aidan O’Brien saddled the next four home.

Click here to visit Summerhill’s “Horses In Training Page”  to view our offering of horses in training, including an exceptionally well bred son of Cape Cross.


investec epsom derbyInvestec Derby Festival
(Photo : Epsom Derby/Investec)


This week is “Derby Week”, in every sense of the word. While there are much richer and perhaps bigger festival days in racing, the reality is, there is only one original Derby, and that’s the English version, which is set to be run over 1½ miles at Epsom on Saturday. For the first time in its 300 year plus history, the Derby has attracted the sponsorship of a banker, in this case one of “ours”, Investec, so this weekend represents a red letter day not only for the race itself, but for the country.

Ironically, given the fact that he was modern history’s most successful trainer associated with the Derby, this years running coincides with the passing of the legendary Vincent O’Brien, conditioner of no fewer than six of the great races’ heroes. The jockeys going to post on Saturday will wear black armbands in his honour.

While in theory, the Derby attracts the best three-year-olds of their year, the truth is it has in recent times, become the domain largely of horses sired at Ireland’s famous Coolmore Stud, and this year is no exception. John Magnier’s Coolmore group has six of the thirteen horses going to post under the tutelage of Aidan O’Brien, while no fewer than five of the entries are the progeny of last season’s Champion European sire, Galileo, (a son of the most successful stallion in European history, Sadler’s Wells, who is himself represented by two competitive entries, as well as another grandson, by Montjeu). If that’s not domination, what is?

From a Summerhill perspective, we’ll obviously be rooting for the Galileos, as we have two spectacularly bred daughters arriving from Australia this coming week, before their preparation for the Emperor’s Palace Ready To Run Sale in November.

Watch this space on Monday morning for news of the outcome.

SADLER'S WELLS : From Zero to Hero

bill oppenheim sadlers wells


From Zero to Hero

“Extract from the desk of Bill Oppenheim

In today’s Thoroughbred Daily News, the world’s premier stallion commentator, Bill Oppenheim, writes that Sadler’s Wells is arguably the greatest sire in European history.


A very high-class three-year-old of 1984 (the same crop as Rainbow Quest and Darshaan), he went to stud in 1985, and his first foals were born in 1986. At the time, European sire power was at its nadir, and he led the renaissance in European sire power that today keeps many more top European mares in Europe instead of Kentucky. He’s also probably the most prolific stallion in history.

In 21 crops of racing age through the end of 2008, Sadler’s Wells had sired a truly phenomenal total of 2,149 foals… yes, that’s an average of 102 foals per crop. Even more phenomenal, Equineline tells us he has sired 280 black-type winners worldwide (13 percent of foals), and he’s also the damsire of 183 black-type winners to date. He has been champion sire in Britain and Ireland 14 times, and Primus Advertising in Ireland, which keeps track of such things, estimates he has had over 200 sons go to stud.

Yet, on 1 January 2004, little more than five years ago, there was no Sadler’s Wells sire line to speak of. He had about four really successful sons: In the Wings, who in turn sired Singspiel; Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Barathea; El Prado, who went to stud cheaply in Kentucky in 1993, but ended up the second-best sire in North America from that year’s crop of stallions (numero uno is A.P. Indy), and who topped the North American General Sire List in 2002, when Medaglia d’Oro was a three-year-old; and Fort Wood, in South Africa. Beyond those, it was getting harder and harder to argue that Sadler’s Wells was a successful sire of sires.

Enter onto the scene Montjeu. He was very possibly the very best of the 280 black-type winners Sadler’s Wells has yet sired. Winner of the Gr1 French and Gr1 Irish Derbies and the Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at three, he won three more Group 1’s at four, including an imperious win in the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, where he looked like a group horse in a maiden race. Timeform rated Montjeu at 137 both at three and at four. Yet, when he went to stud in 2001, his fee was a modest IrPound,30,000, a fraction of what his barnmate Giant’s Causeway commanded in the same season, his first year at stud. That’s all you could stand top-class 12 furlong horses for when they went to stud.

Our Insta-Tistics tables (on the TDN website) tell us that, in 2002, a total of 21 weanlings from Montjeu’s first crop averaged the equivalent of $99,982, with a median of $80,000. The conformation judges liked his first foals, and even though there was a certain amount of support from the Coolmore legions, his foals at the European sales impressed neutral pinhookers and other objective observers (as had Cape Cross the year before).

These figures represented excellent return for their breeders. You know how the Coolmore team likes to give their stallions a chance, so there were 66 yearlings sold from Montjeu’s first crop in 2003. They averaged $144,928, with a median just under $100,000, still a good return on investment for their breeders.

Montjeu’s fee for 2004, the year his first two-year-olds would race, was set at Eur30,000, the same as the year before.

Montjeu’s first crop, racing in 2004, included 16 winners, headed by the Gr1 Racing Post Trophy winner Motivator, and he finished third on the 2004 European Freshman Sire List. His stud fee was up to Eur45,000 for 2005, which looked dirt cheap by that autumn, considering not only did Motivator win the Gr1 Epsom Derby, but Montjeu’s first crop included two more Classic winners as well: Hurricane Run won the Gr1 Irish Derby; and Scorpion won the Gr1 St. Leger Stakes, though his more important victory came in the Gr1 Grand Prix de Paris in its first year as a 2400 meter race on Bastille Day - effectively, the “new” French Derby. After Hurricane Run won another little Group 1 contest, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Montjeu ranked second only to Danehill on the 2005 European Sire List (historical lists supplied to us courtesy of John Quinlan at Hyperion Promotions). Not surprisingly, Montjeu’s 2006 fee shot up to Eur125,000.

By 2001, the year his 13th crop were three-year-olds, Sadler’s Wells had sired the winners of nearly every Group 1 race beyond a mile in Europe, but he had never sired a winner of the Gr1 Epsom Derby. Galileo rectified that small gap in his resume, then went on to win the Gr1 Irish Derby and Gr1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. In Timeform’s lengthy essay on Galileo in Racehorses of 2004, they refer to Aidan O’Brien’s determination to run Galileo over shorter, even as short as a mile, in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in late September. His two final starts were in fact at 10 furlongs - he was edged out by Fantastic Light in the Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes, and finally finished a non-threatening sixth, behind Tiznow and Sakhee, in the 2001 Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Classic on dirt at Belmont Park. One thing about Sadler’s Wells: he’s never been a sire of dirt horses, so why El Prado is such a good dirt sire? Who knows?

Galileo’s first foals were born in 2003, but he was only 11th on the 2005 European Freshman Sire List, the year Montjeu’s first three-year-olds put him second on the European Sire List. But when Galileo’s first crop got to be three-year-olds, it was a different story. His seven three-year- old graded/group stakes winners that year included two Classic winners; Gr1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Nighttime and Gr1 St. Leger Stakes winner Sixties Icon, as well as Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Red Rocks. And throw in Teofilo, the first of two consecutive champion European two year-olds by Galileo trained by Jim Bolger, and you won’t be surprised to hear Galileo’s stud fee went from Eur37,500 in 2006 (this year’s two-year-olds) to Eur150,000 in 2007 (this year’s yearlings). Galileo was seventh on the 2006 European Sire List; Montjeu was third, behind Coolmore barnmates Danehill and Danehill Dancer.

In 2007, Galileo advanced to second behind Danehill, with Montjeu again third. Danehill ran out of three-year-olds in 2008; Galileo claimed top spot on the European Sire List, with Montjeu second. I’ve mentioned several times in the past that I call Montjeu “The Derby Sire,” because in four crops of three-year-olds he’s sired six winners of 12-furlong races that are, or amount to, Derbies: Motivator and Authorized have won the Gr1 Epsom Derby; Hurricane Run and Frozen Fire (2008) have won the Gr1 Irish Derby; and Scorpion and Montmartre (2008) have won the Gr1 Grand Prix de Paris since it became a 12-furlong race in 2006. This year’s Gr1 Investec Epsom Derby favorite, Fame and Glory, is from Montjeu’s fifth crop of three-year-olds, and, scarily, won the Gr2 Derrinstown Derby Trial with a higher Racing Post Rating (speed figure, 120) than either Galileo or High Chaparral (also by Sadler’s Wells), who both won the Derrinstown with RPR’s of 119.

For his part, Galileo had sired nine Group 1 winners in his first three crops by the end of 2008.

Besides Nighttime, Sixties Icon, Red Rocks and Teofilo, they include 2007 champion European two-year-old and 2008 Gr1 Epsom Derby winner New Approach; Gr1 Irish Derby winner Soldier of Fortune (bred by Jim Bolger); triple 2008 Group 1 winner Lush Lashes (trained by Jim Bolger); Gr1 Prix Royal-Oak winner Allegretto; and 2008 Gr1 Italian Derby winner Cima de Triomphe, now trained by Luca Cumani and very much a horse to watch in the top races in 2009 once the ground gets faster again.

Interestingly, though the Maktoum family clearly no longer patronizes Coolmore stallions at the yearling sales, they have nothing against buying them privately later, by which method they acquired Authorized (by Montjeu) and Galileo’s two juvenile champ, Teofilo and New Approach, from Jim Bolger. Coolmore, which after all does still have the “factories” – Montjeu and Galileo themselves - stands only Hurricane Run (by Montjeu).

Then again, we could take a look at the list of Aidan O’Brien’s seven three-year-olds that could line up for the June 6 Gr1 Investec Epsom Derby: all seven are by Sadler’s Wells and sons. Two are by Sadler’s Wells himself (Gr2 Dante winner Black Bear Island and Gr3 Chester Vase second Masterofthehorse), one, favorite Fame and Glory, is by Montjeu; three are by Galileo (Gr1 English 2000 Guineas fourth Rip Van Winkle, Gr2 Dante second Freemantle and Gr3 Lingfield Derby Trial winner Age of Aquarius); and one is by 2002 Gr1 Epsom Derby winner High Chaparral. His second crop of three-year-olds, this year, looks much better than his first.

A final observation: it seems like the connections of every Gr1 Epsom Derby winner go to great lengths to prove that their Derby winner is not “just” a 12-furlong horse because of a perception (never actually validated, from what I can tell) that breeders will be quicker to send mares if they can prove the horse at 10 furlongs as well. So guess what? The two top sires in Europe, Galileo and Montjeu, were both 12-furlong horses; each won at least two of the three major European Derbies (though that was when the Prix du Jockey-Club was 12 furlongs), plus a 12-furlong Group 1 race open to older horses. That 10-furlong deal? It’s a complete myth. Get the right 12 furlong horse and you can top the charts.

How El Prado came to be one of America’s leading sires, and is now threatening to open a branch of the Sadler’s Wells line on the dirt, is still a bit of a mystery to everyone involved. He was a Group 1 winner at two for Vincent O’Brien, having won what Timeform described in Racehorses of 1991 as “a particularly substandard running of the [Gr1] National S….” Timeform did rate him 119 at two, but that seemed almost more by virtue of his win at the end of the season in the Gr2 Beresford Stakes over a mile. El Prado didn’t reappear until halfway through his three year-old season, was unplaced in three starts at eight and 10 furlongs, and was packed off to stud in Kentucky. He was always a pretty useful sire, but not until his sixth crop did Medaglia d’Oro appear, and his eighth crop included three $2-million earners, turf champion Kitten’s Joy and Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller on the grass, and Gr1 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Borrego on the dirt. He was Leading Sire in North America in 2002, and second in 2003 and 2004.

Though he’s done well enough in Europe, and gets his share of good grass horses in North America, the truth is El Prado has really got where he is more by siring durable dirt horses with some class than by following the sire line’s otherwise all-turf pattern; he’s succeeded because his runners have successfully adapted to different conditions - dirt. And his very best horse, Medaglia d’Oro, never saw the grass except when they took him out from Frankel’s barn to graze on it - he won $5.7 million racing exclusively on dirt. And from 13 stakes horses to date in his first crop, only one has even placed in a stakes on turf; he has two graded stakes winners on synthetics, but the rest, including the mighty Gr1 Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra, have been on dirt. Also, 11 of his first 13 stakes horses are fillies, though whether that means anything, it would be far too early to know.

So, in five years, the great Sadler’s Wells’ prospects as a sire of sires have gone from doubtful to the point where he had the one-two sires in Europe last year, and the hottest dirt sire in North America right now. It’s a pretty big forward move.



The rains have stopped now in our part of the world, the days are blue and there’s hardly a cloud in sight. From now until September, the one thing that’s constant with us, is day after day of sunshine, the only difference lies in temperature. From nature’s perspective, Mooi River’s world goes to sleep for a few months and takes a well earned rest after so much output, so much given from September until now.

But for those of us who live here, we’re just entering another era of furious activity, weaning mares, preparing the winter pastures, preparing ourselves for the breeding season and the marketing of the stallions, assessing all the horses on the farm, particularly the mares, with a view to the forthcoming breeding season, and then writing the recommendations to our many customers around the world.

Of course, KwaZulu Natal, Africa’s racing capital, enters its Champion’s Season as we write, and so the sports are only just starting.

It’s a beautiful time at Summerhill and Hartford, and it’s not only the wonderful weather but the changes that come with the seasons, the briskness of the mornings, the warmth of mid-day and the coolness of the evenings. It’s an invigorating time, energies are lifted, and while the land and the environment go to rest, we have a little respite in which to get stuck into our intellectual pursuits.

And then we have a few things to look forward. Next month we have a draft of five yearlings arriving from Australia, two filles by the reigning European champion sire, Galileo, and colts by the celebrated international stallions, Red Ransom, Anabaa and Hussonet. On the same flight we will have a brace of new stallions, two men who will hopefully have a breed-shaping influence on our lives for many years to come.

These are momentous events in the life of a thoroughbred stud, the arrival of two progenitors who’ve been especially selected to take us to new levels.

But this little story is about autumn, not new stallions, and that is a story for another day.

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ORMOND FERRARIS : Doyen of South African Trainers

ormond ferraris (heather morkel)Ormond Ferraris
(Photo : Heather Morkel)

“Millionaire’s Row”

It’s a well documented fact that Summerhill was the last of the big farms in South Africa to register it’s first million Rand deal at the sales. Whether that’s a reflection of a lack of marketing finesse, or a sense of treating the market with respect, will forever be a matter of debate. But what is so, is that all of a sudden it’s “raining” millionaires at Summerhill.

We kicked off at the Ready to Run Sale in November, with a ROCK OF GIBRALTAR colt registering R2.2million, a GALILEO filly R1.5million, and a MUHTAFAL colt at R1million, and coupled with Sunday’s R2.4million and R1.5million respectively, that’s five in the space of as many months.

Whether he read our adverts, proclaiming the Summerhill racehorse the Toyota of the South African industry, is difficult to say, but it seems the doyen of our trainers, Ormond Ferraris, must have at least cast his eyes over the ad. A man who, in common with the best of his countrymen, respects excellent quality, unparalleled dependability and outstanding value, as much as any, the attributes for which Toyota has become famous, are exactly what Ormond must have seen in this draft. Signing as he did on Sunday for no fewer than four (25%) of the horses put through the ring. So for us the consolation lies not only in the value he got, but also in where they’re going.

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Michael Clower reviews Ready To Run Sale 2008

denis and gael evansDenis and Gael Evans
(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

“Inspiration Bucks The Trend”
by Michael Clower
South African Bloodstock News
Issue 6 March 2009

michael clowerMichael Clower South African Bloodstock NewsIn the long history of the world’s bloodstock industry few men have been able to turn the market. The qualities required for this include immense drive, an inspired imagination and a dedicated determination to succeed no matter how insuperable the obstacles appear.

Not many people are blessed with all these attributes, and the bloodstock industry has only a small pool to draw on. A number of its people have tried to buck impossible-looking trends over the years but few have succeeded. However Mick Goss joined the elite band at Gosforth Park on the first Sunday in November.

The Summerhill Stud boss has been the main driving force behind the success of the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale since its inception but, with thoroughbred sales round the world reeling under the impact of the global credit crunch, few expected the TBA’s fastest-rising sale to emerge unscathed.

Many were steeling themselves for a 20% drop yet Mick Goss kept up his artillery of relentless promotion as if, like a modern-day Napoleon, he was simply not going to allow defeat to enter his calculations. His boundless enthusiasm paid off with a 34% rise in the average price and a sense of well-being that spread through the country’s studs as if it was manna from heaven.

“The sale was a tribute to many more than myself,” said Mick Goss, attempting to divert the kudos. “It was a grand catalogue of fine horses, prepared by some serious horsemen, and I think the South African racing public deserve credit for their courage and foresight in supporting the sale.”

It was a grand catalogue and there is no doubt that it read a good deal stronger than in previous years. There is still improvement to be made before the overall level reaches that of the National Yearling Sale and, if this can be achieved, there is every reason for the graph to continue to climb.

A new Ready To Run record top price was set when Basil Marcus went to R2,2million for an Australian-bred colt by seven-time Group One winner Rock Of Gibraltar (sire of Eagle Mountain) from a strong American family.

“I saw him at the Summerhill Gallops and also on the farm before that,” said Basil Marcus. “He was the one I wanted to buy. He had everything in the right place, he was very well balanced and he had a beautiful action.”

Basil Marcus was acting for Denis and Gael Evans, Johannesburg-based owners who “have a lot of young horses with me.” Their sale-topper had been purchased eight months earlier for A$75,000 (approximately R500,000) at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

As last year, Australian-breds sold well and they accounted for four of the top seven prices. Marlon Aronstam’s two Brazilian imports also fared well.

Oscar Pistorius’ decision to get involved could have far-reaching benefits for racing and breeding. The brilliant athlete bought the Kahal filly Watchful for R200,000 and is involved in the syndicate that purchased the second-highest priced lot, the Galileo filly Insasa, for R1,5million. Mike Azzie will train both.

There is a close correlation between the athletics track and the racetrack and, if either of these two fillies do well, racing will be propelled into the limelight, other stars will see the appeal of owning racehorses and the public will want to go and watch.


sadlers wellsSadler’s Wells

Northern Hemisphere GRADE/GROUP 1 WINNERS

Galileo Sadler’s Wells
Giant’s Causeway Storm Cat
Rock of Gibraltar Danehill 
Danehill Danzig
Tiznow Cee’s Tizzy
Kingmambo Mr. Prospector           
Maria’s Mon Wavering Monarch
Sadler’s Wells Northern Dancer
Street Cry Machiavellian 
Unbridled’s Song Unbridled
A.P. Indy Seattle Slew
Chester House Mr. Prospector
Dalakhani Darshaan
Danehill Dancer Danehill
Doneraile Court Seattle Slew 
Dynaformer Roberto
Gone West Mr. Prospector
Indian Ridge Ahonoora
Montjeu Sadler’s Wells 
Muhtathir Elmaamul
Nayef Gulch
Pivotal Polar Falcon
Rock of Gibraltar Danehill
Samum Monsun
Smart Strike Mr. Prospector
Tapit Pulpit

Statistics from Thoroughbred Daily News



zarkava and christophe soumillonZarkava with Christophe Soumillon aboard
(Photo : APRH)

The unbeaten star filly Zarkava (Zamindar) was named Horse of The Year last night at the 2008 Cartier Racing Awards.

Europe’s equivalent of the Eclipse Awards were presented at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, in front of an invited audience made up of leading owners, trainers, jockeys, breeders, racing personalities and the media.

Homebred by her owner, His Highness The Aga Khan, Zarkava won all five of her starts in 2008 to add to her two from two record as a juvenile. Showing tremendous versatility over distances from a mile to twelve furlongs, she captured two Classics, the Prix Vermeille and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, in which she overcame the best middle-distance performers in Europe to register a stunning two length victory.

In Horse of The Year category, Zarkava came out ahead of the Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Raven’s Pass (Elusive Quality), Epsom Derby victor New Approach (Galileo), five-time Gr.1 scorer Duke of Marmalade (Danehill) and dual Guineas winner Henrythenavigator (Kingmambo), who won 18 Gr.1 races between them this year. She also took the honours in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly division.

Princess Haya’s New Approach prevailed over Raven’s Pass in the Three-Year-Old Colt category, gaining his second consecutive Cartier Award, having taken the Two-Year-Old Colt Award twelve months ago.

This year’s Two-Year-Old Colt Award went right down to the wire with dual Gr.1 victor Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer) pipping the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Donativum (Cadeaux Genereux),

The Two-Year-Old Fillies’ category went to John Gosden-trained Rainbow View (Dynaformer).

Heading the Older Horses was Aidan O’Brien’s Duke of Marmalade (Danehill), ahead of Marchand D’Or (Marchand De Sable), Yeats (Sadler’s Wells), Youmzain (Sinndar) and Darjina (Zamindar).

There was further glory for the Ballydoyle stable with Yeats, brother to Summerhill stallion Solskjaer, taking the Cartier Champion Stayer title for the third consecutive year.

Meanwhile, the Freddie Head-trained Marchand d’Or prevailed in the race for Cartier Champion Sprinter honours.

Sheikh Mohammed, described as racing’s biggest investor and benefactor, was voted the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit winner. Although unable to attend the Cartier Racing Awards ceremony in London, Sheikh Mohammed was presented with his award in Dubai beforehand by Arnaud Bamberger, the Cartier UK managing director.

On his acceptance of the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit, Sheikh Mohammed said: “I am delighted by this award. I love racing and breeding. We race not only in England and Europe as Godolphin is all round the world. I am very, very pleased with my racing company and my breeding operation. I love racing and I will always be involved in the sport. Thank you very much.”



NEW APPROACH retired after victory in Champion Stakes

kevin manning and new approach
Kevin Manning celebrates aboard New Approach

Princess Haya of Jordan’s New Approach (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) became the first G1 Epsom Derby winner to follow up in the G1 Emirates Airline Champion Stakes in the same year since the 1968 hero Sir Ivor with an emphatic six-length success on Saturday.

The Thoroughbred Daily News reports that capping a memorable afternoon for Jim Bolger following the surprise win of Intense Focus (Giant’s Causeway) in the G1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes a half hour earlier, the 6-5 crowd’s choice opened up when committed by Kevin Manning with three furlongs remaining and by the time he reached the line, he had smashed the previous track record set by Palace Music in this race 24 years ago.

“Everything went according to plan,” his typically understated jockey commented afterwards. “He really impressed me today and of all his wins, I’ve no doubt that today was his best.”

Khalid Abdullah’s Twice Over ran second and previous Herman Brown inmate, Linngari, ran a very creditable 3rd.

New Approach has been retired to stud and will stand at Dalham Hall.




Solid opener at Tattersalls October Yearling Sale


The Thoroughbred Daily News reports that while there was another day of turmoil in the economic market in Britain on Tuesday, trading at the opening session to TattersallsOctober Yearling Sale was remarkably resilient, thanks in no small part to Sheikh Mohammed, who bought 17 lots for 3,085,000gns through John Ferguson.

With this year’s sale reduced from four days to three, Tattersalls did not issue comparative figures, but the 114,227gns average was down just one percent on last year’s opening day with a larger catalogue.

The 80,000gns median fell by 7.5 percent and the 15,078,000gns turnover rose by 3.5 percent.

An Oasis Dream half-brother to dual 1000 Guineas heroine Finsceal Beo (Mr. Greeley) topped the Sheikh’s spending when making 500,000gns.

Three of the top 10 lots were by Galileo.



GALILEO colt heralds biggest Australian success for Darley Stud

peter snowdenTrainer Peter Snowden with wife Lyn and daughter Lisa
(Jenny Evans)

On Saturday, Randwick’s Spring Champion Stakes G1 over 2000m, heralded Darley Stud’s biggest racetrack success in Australia to date.

The hero was the Galileo colt, Sousa, who romped home to win by an emphatic six lengths for trainer Peter Snowden, taking Galileo’s tally for the year to 18 stakes winners.

Sousa was purchased by Woodlands Stud for A$420,000 at the 2007 Inglis Easter Sale and was one of hundreds of horses to pass into Sheikh Mohammed’s ownership following the purchase of Ingham Bloodstock earlier this year.

Galileo missed out on a Group 1 double on the same Randwick card when David Payne’s Gallant Tess was beaten by less than two lengths into third in the Epsom Handicap.

Unbelievably, there are 3 lots by Galileo on this year’s Emperors Palace Ready To Run sale to be held at the TBA Complex on  2nd November.

You can see these spectacularly animals strutting their stuff here at the Summerhill Ready To Run Gallops on 17 October.




ZARKAVA wins Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

prix de l'arc de triomphe winnersPrincess Zahra, His Highness The Aga Khan, Christophe Soumillon, Alain de Royer Dupre
(Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty)

The Aga Khan’s homebred filly Zarkava (Ire) (Zamindar) had Longchamp holding its breath when making it a magnificent seven career wins and a fifth at the highest level in yesterday’s G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the world’s richest race on turf with a stake of 4 million euro.

Despite the disappointment of rain at Longchamp, and a few doubts about the filly being drawn on the inside and having her first run against colts in such an important event, she powered to victory from Youmzain (Sinndar), who filled the runner-up spot for the second consecutive year.

The punters’ patriotic bets saw her start as the even-money favorite - but she almost threw away their cash when jinking right when exiting the stalls, almost losing jockey Christophe Soumillon. Soon recovering, the bay found the gaps when it mattered and delivered her trademark acceleration to lead with a furlong remaining and surge clear under a hand ride.

Zarkava remains unbeaten in 7 starts and is the first filly to win the Arc since Urban Sea (dam of Galileo), who took the honours in 1993.

youtube link

Watch Zarkava winning the 2008 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe