EXCITING FESTIVE SEASON RACING
The Feature races move from Gauteng to the Sizzling Cape over this festive season. At present we have such fantastic horses competing in the big races that could not leave the country to race abroad. The stars of last season Igugu,Val Da Ra ,Princess Victoria, Ebony Flier and Dancewiththedevil have all come back to the track and won convincingly, so we have plenty of 'filly power' to follow in the big races over the next few months!
We have just returned from the Cape where we visited several studs and our recently born foals! We enjoyed the amazing hospitality of the Cape and a big thank you must go to the people there who made out trip so enjoyable. John Koster took us around Klawervlei Stud seeing all the old proven sires including Captain Al, Count Du Bois and National Emblem, and plenty of the new sires both locally and internationally bred. We also toured the farm to see all the young foals and older progeny of these stallions. I was very impressed with the offspring of Seventh Rock and plenty of the other new sires also had smart babies. A festive lunch followed the visit in Robertson!
We then spent the evening and next morning at Highlands Stud where we visit annually. A big thank you to the hospitality of Mike Sharkey and Kim for organizing our stay there. It was great to be re-united with Tim who is now working there. He was originally at Scott Bros in KZN and Klawervlei for a short time. He showed us the fillies going to the Cape Premier Sale including Dancers Daughters yearling by Western Winter whom we had seen last year as a foal. She has grown out really well and we were also impressed with some of the Antonius Pious progeny. After seeing the current boys Windrush and Antonius Pious covering mares we were delighted to hear that the farm was getting 2 new stallions Great Britain(Green Desert) who came from the Alchemy and Main Aim(Oasis Dream) who is still in quarantine. The farm is certainly moving forward and looks like there is no stopping the current team there.
Our last stud we visited was Arc En Ciel where we were shown our new foals by Craig Carey. We have a smart strong colt by Horse Chestnut - who one hopes gets plenty of local support, out of our good race mare FINE FEATHER, and a flashy filly by Go Deputy out of the formers daughter by Western Winter (pictured). My son James advised me on these matings so now we wait and dream and hope that they can run! The farm was full of babies in most of the paddocks - a very exciting time of year! Amanda and Craig then joined us at Fairview for lunch - what a venue and a lovely meal!
In KZN we had our Breeders Awards Dinner at the stunning new venue at Bellwood farm. During the awards three horses were repeatedly nominated - The Apache, Pierre Jourdan and Dancewiththedevil all of whom were bred here at Scott Bros, Summerhill and Hadlow Studs respectively. They all received awards and Dancewiththedevil was voted Horse of The Year. What was so timely is that she competed in the Summer Cup the following day…….and put all her critics and nay sayers to shame winning the race! Everyone felt she would not stay the 2000 meters and once again she came with her familiar racing style from stone last and weaved her way through the field to win going away! Her winning the Awards the previous evening and then the big race was amazing for all her connections-St John Gray who owns, trains and bred her and to Cathy and Jonathan Martin from Hadlow Stud- well done!!!!!!
On the same day as the Summer Cup LINK MAN started favourite to win the Merchants Sprint a Grade 2 event over 1160 meters. He had won his first comeback race in fine style and was expected to do the same here. Mike De Kock his trainer is preparing him for the Queens Plate and was happy enough with him running on to a close third as he feels his optimum trip will be more likely the 1600 meters. We wish his owners Larry Nestadt, Greg Blank and Gerald Burg well for his trip to the Cape
Apart from LINK MAN competing in the Queens Plate Dennis Drier is aiming to run BEACH BEAUTY in the Grade 1 Paddock Stakes over 1800 meters. She ran 4th against Ebony Flier in a comeback race over shorter so should be mush more suited to the longer trip in this feature and we wish the team of owners the best of luck there.
Dennis is having a really good run in the Cape as apart from his star filly Val Da Ra waltzing home in her first run for months-the Southern Cross Stakes - he has won again with the good looking colt KALINAGO. This horse won his debut in the Cape and then followed this win up by beating the field home again over 1200 meters. This big son of Tambourlaine is a late maturer and looks like giving his owners Messrs Nidd, De Marigny, Haramis, Kay and the Driers plenty of fun in the future.
JET INTO THE WIND has also come to hand recently winning well over 1400 metres to notch up his fourth career win for Pat and Henry Devine. He is trained by Mike Bass and has been a consistant horse being in the money 11 times from his 19 starts. He did take time to mature but certainly is running well! The Devines also won with the filly SKY CAPERS in PE. She is trained by Justin Snaith and she came from the back of the field with a great burst to win going away over 1450 meters. Justin nearly made it another win for them when JET EXPLORER started favourite to win his second start. He ran on well in his debut to do all but win, and here ran into second place having traffic problems on the way. He looks like being a decent type.
St John Gray is having the time of his life with his training successes! In addition to his unbelievable win in the Summer Cup, he has also won with other home breds that we prepared here - HEN PARTY, COME WITH ME and ROLL CALL. The filly COME WITH ME by ANNOUNCE (out of the half sister to Amberpondo - BE MY GEM who was here at Ambleway some years back!) had won her last start on the line and in this race made light work of the field over 1400 meters to draw away easily . He also won with a daughter of Sarge out of the mare SCUFFELBIRD - HEN PARTY got up on the line to win over 1450 meters. ROLL CALL has been knocking on the door, who is also by Sarge , and he won a sprint on the line! Well done to you and there are plenty of placed horses that should make the winners box soon - PAVLOVA and FORMATION to name a few!
The Cassel family have had a good run with 2 winners - FESTIVAL SPIRIT and TYCOON TOUCH. The former is now trained in Gauteng by Lucky Houdelakis and he won again for the family over 1800 meters - now having scored two in a row for them! In KZN the son of Royal Applause, TYCOON TOUCH won for Michael Roberts over a mile and he has been consistently running good races to look to be a pretty useful type.
PINE SHADE is a strong daughter of Dynasty and she won her third start easily over 1160 for the Makins family. This filly was purchased by Rob Pickering at the Graham Beck Reduction Sale earlier this year for the Makins and it was great to see her win so well for them and conditioner Dianne Stenger. Congratulations to all as she has a good pedigree and will make a nice broodmare in the future. Another daughter of Dynasty - PUT THE KETTLE ON -won her maiden over 1400 meters. This filly out of a Royal Academy mare was bought by Dennis Drier for James Drew and Mike Fullard at the same sale. It is with great relief that we hear that Dynasty is recovering from his op as he is such a useful sire!
LUNATEX won over 1200 metres and is trained by Craig Eudey. She has been knocking on the door running places often. It was super to see her breeders Joe Jackson and Trevor Torgious being rewarded along with their partner and conditioner Craig. She is well bred being out of the sprinting mare Texan Summer-let's hope she carries on from here!
Dave Black raced the mare WILD DAISY and we have schooled all of her progeny at Ambleway, the latest being BIG BOY WILD. He started short favourite over a mile and duly won the race in facile fashion for his breeder Dave Black. Dave races this colt with Chris Heynes, Gary Grant and Mike De kock who also trains him. Well done to the team at Summerveld in particular Nathan Kotzen who runs Mikes yard.
In KZN we also had another nice win for the Michael Roberts yard with INDIAN CONNECTION. He won his second race of his career over a sprint distance for his owners Messrs Kahan, Weinstein and Naidoo in easy fashion. Well done to Vaughan Koster who bred him!
GRACIE JONES, a very well bred daughter of Smarty Jones out of Circle Of Life won at Borrowdale Park for Robin Bruss and partners. She has already earned black type in Zimbabwe with trainer Lisa Harris and is another that is set for a future at stud
We have a long list of horses that should win soon…..TURKEY SHOOT, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, LUXURIUS JET, SHARK ATTACK, OLIMPIC MADAME, WYNNHOLMS STAR, GRASP YOUR DESTINY, CHANGING OF THE GUARD, BEACH BEAUTY, PAVLOVA, TURKISH DELIGHT, PUNTE DEL ESTE, WIND AT YOUR BACK, JET EXPLORER, SEA PASSAGE, YER MAAN, FORMATION, PENNY FARE , FRENCH REEF , STELLA SEASON , MOUNTAIN THUNDER , DRAW BRIDGE , WILD TYPE , HEN PARTY, AIR PATROL, HAPPY HEART , NEVER FOREVER and TYCOON TOUCH.
Our first juvenile runner SKWELETI ran on into 4th place for the Drier family Peter De Marigny and Erich Buhr. Good luck with all of these horses over the next few weeks.
I would like to wish all of our readers and supporters a Happy Xmas and a Festive New Year. May you all enjoy the festivities and racing!
A big thank you to all who have supported us during 2011 and we look forward to a great and prosperous 2012.