SEASONS COME AND GO
The Feature races have all been in the Cape during their summer time and now the feature racing will be a little mixed until the Autumn season starts soon in Gauteng
The Cape Met day was a race goers dream as so many top horses competed and made the racing very exciting. The cherry on the top was that the best horses won most of the races on the day to delight most spectators……Igugu, Jackson and Ebony Flyer won the three Grade I races including the Cape Met, the Derby and the Majorca Stakes! The crowds were also thrilled with the result of Divine Jet in the sprint race and the unbeaten juvenile Agra winning.
What was amazing is that the Cape Premier Yearling sale the two days previous to the Met experienced a Déjà vu phenomenon with the sires of the progeny that won, selling the best! The off spring of Jet Master, Dynasty and Trippi were sale toppers along with Silvano (sire of Met 2nd Bravura). The sale appeared to be very successful with the average of R403,000 and median of R 300,000 being the same for both sexes and the same as the inaugural sale last year. Jet Master was once again the sale topper with 3\4 of the top priced yearlings being sired by him. Highlands Stud farm had a great sale as they sold 5 of the top 12 horses including the two sale toppers-the top price being R 2.8 million!
We were thrilled to receive 3 colts to grow out and care for including sons of Jet Master (a full brother to JET EXPLORER) who is tall and full of scope, Dynasty who is out of a Harry Hotspur mare and should have some speed, and a Windrush colt out of an Elliodor mare who is really well balanced and mature looking. These colts have settled in well and are now relaxing after the hype at the sale.
The next Cape Sale, Book 2, is over the first week end in March (2nd and 4th) and although we will be unable to attend we are able to care for any yearlings that may be purchased there. Please contact me on my cell 082 800 40 48 if you do require any assistance.
At the end of the Cape Feature Season one of our graduates COMTESSE DU BOIS won the listed Laissefaire Stakes over 1100 meters. This filly is owned by Team Valour (Barry Irwin the nominee) and Vinashree and Anant Singh and has now notched up several wins for Justin Snaith. She is a big strong daughter of Count Du Bois out of a Rakeen mare so if one looks at her pedigree it is amazing that she has so much speed!
Successes on the track have occured around the country for Ambleway graduates with some really good days being experienced! The first of these meetings was at the Vaal where FORT WILLOW and FORMATION won on the same day. FORT WILLOW is a strapping son of Fort Wood bred and owned by Mary Slack (Wilgebosdrift) and he won over 1450 meters after having been placed. Then later in the meeting FORMATION pulverized her field to score by over 5 lengths for her owner\ breeder ST John Gray. This filly won last time out on the sand in easy fashion and looks to be well above average!
Scottsville has recently been a great hunting ground for our graduates with them scoring a hat trick then a double of wins in two consecutive meetings! At the first meeting DANSEUSE, GREEN LINE and STELLAR SEASON won and then on Valentines Day two days later ROMEO BRAVO and ELLE RASSE won for their connections!
DANSEUSE is a daughter of Joshua dancer bred at Geoff Armitage's farm and she won her 2nd start for the Shanks Syndicate. Warren Kidd was there with his son to lead her in for the same group who race BEACH BEAUTY, and she was successfully trained by Dennis Drier. The next race was won by the Caesour filly GREEN LINE who is trained by Michael Roberts for Messrs Mainguard and The White Heat Trading syndicate. The final winner on the day was STELLAR SEASON who scored easily for the Murphy family. She won her second race in a row in fine style for conditioner Duncan Howells. Well done to all of these connections!
On Valentines day ROMEO BRAVO and ELLE RASSE won their starts in good fashion. ROMEO BRAVO gave his connections a great Valentine's Day present winning his debut! He jumped well from the stalls and traveled well to finish full of running for the Drier yard. Well done to Mike Fullard, James Drew, Tim Keating and David Abery! A double present for Mike who was also celebrating his birthday!
Later in the day ELLE RASSE won the open sprint for Alesh Naidoo and Anthony Govender. This filly is trained by Paul Lafferty and is on the Mike Holmes Sale at Shongweni at the end of February. Do look out for her.
Pat and Henry Devine have had plenty of recent visits to the winners enclosure……..GRASP YOUR DESTINY, TARGET FIVE, JET EXPLORER and JET DOT COM have all won recently. These horses were all bred by the Devines, the first three were trained in Cape Town ….JET EXPLORER by Justin Snaith and GRASP YOUR DESTINY and TARGET FIVE by Mike Bass. JET DOT COM is trained in Gauteng by Lucky Houdelakis who trains this horses full brother-JJ The Jet Plane! For Mike Bass it was a relief to see his GRASP YOUR DESTINY win by even a nostril as he has been so consistent and deserved this win to now boast his 3rd career victory. He followed up soon after with TARGET FIVE winning. He was tried over more ground and loved the 1600 meters to win well. The Snaith yard has had two good seconds already with their charge JET EXPLORER and he pulverized his field and won as expected at very short odds. He looks to be very useful. I believe the win of JET DOT COM was special to them as he has now won his 6th career victory and he has taken time but now really has found his best feet! Well done to all!
In Gauteng we have also won with LUXURIUS JET, another daughter of Jet Master who won for Frank and Elsie Soru. In KZN WYNHOLMMES STAR broke her maiden for Ally and Les Flanagan. This filly, trained by Michael Roberts has been knocking on the door as well so was well rewarded with a win.
St John Gray brought out the half sister of his star filly Dancewiththedevil - DANCE ALLEY - and decided she needed more time so he put her away for a while. She then came out and ran a few close up places and pulverized her opposition this last time over a mile. She won by over 4 lengths and may well go on from here! Congratulations to you!
Two horses that have been so honest and performed well in KZN are DANCE WITH THE STARS and WILD TYPE. The former, a daughter of international sire, Galileo won again for Duncan Howells over 1500 meters. She was bred in Australia by Des Scott and has turned out a very useful filly on the track for him. WILD TYPE is trained by the Van Zyl team and has won again for his owner breeder Mrs Brigit Oppenheimer. This son of Strike Smartly is also a model of consistency and earns money every time he runs. Definitely one to follow in some of the bigger races.
In PE we were delighted with the win of IRISH MAID a few weeks back. She then followed up this win with another one over 1400 meters in the Breeders Guineas Plate. This daughter of Dynasty won her third career victory and has also been a consistent filly for Gavin Smith to train having had 14 starts for 3 wins and 7 placed runs! Congratulations to her owners Messes Pillay, Dawood, Govender and Haripersad. She was bred at Highlands Stud and was one of the draft that we prepared for the Ready To Run Sale that was finally sold at The Graham Beck Reduction sale last year.
In Kimberley NAME THE KEY won for her new connections and CUT AND THRUST won for Gavin Smith and his owner breeder Mrs Brigit Oppenheimer. Well done to you all.
There is along list of horses to follow that are knocking on the door to make the frame………..PENNY FARE, KISS AND TELL, LORD LEIGH, OLIMPIC MADAM, MIGHTY MARS, LILY THE PINK, JET INTO THE WIND, COSMOGENIC, AGAPANTHUS NANA, ICE GODDESS, RIVER BLYTHE, SOUL MATE, ISLE OF DOGS, CUCUNBER ALLEY, INDIAN CONNECTION,THANDOLWANI, MEDICIAN WOOD, SOUTH RANGER, CUT AND THRUST, TAKE OVER TARGET, MIKES CHOICE, HALLOWED, PUT THE KETTLE ON and ON GOLDEN POND
The juveniles to follow are SKWELETI and BAY OF CALM who were both placed last time out.
We are going to see our son James in Dubai at the end of March to coincide with the World Cup Race Meeting. The farm will be left in the very capable hands of my assistant Candice Davison who can be reached on her cell 082 933 8442 if you need any assistance in our absence.
That is all the news for now. Enjoy your racing!