where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2024-06-20 14:35:19  
Sandringham Summit Retired - But he May not have been in South Africa at all

Grade 1 winner and Champion 2 year old colt of last season, Sandringham Summit has been retired to stud. He was touted to race again at the end of season Champions Cup Day but the owner base decided he was too valuable a colt to keep going on.

Trainer David Nieuwenhuizen called him a "colt of a lifetime" and said it was a privilege to train a horse of his calibre.

The Gimmethegreenlight 3 year old will have his first season at stud in 2024 and will let down before that.

He was a winner of 5 races from his 12 starts and has only been out the first two on two occasions.

Amazingly, he has almost always run with an injury which further enhances his ability on the track. A left knee chip on the left side of his left knee was found after extensive veterinary checks when he was up for sale by his previous owners.

Had he passed that check South Africa may not have seen the colt again as he was bound for the United States. His knee chip was picked up in that check.

He was sold to a local partnership of breeders in the main to replace Gimmethegreenlight at stud when he retired from those duties.

His new owner list is extensive and constitutes some of the cream of the crop in terms of owners and breeders.

The highlight of his career from a racing perspective was the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes at Greyville but his most famous run was the Gr2 win in the Golden Horseshoe where he weaved a passage through the field like a slippery eel (watxhbthe video below). It was something to behold.

The hope from his fan base was that he would take his place in the upcoming Durban July where at 54kgs he would have had an outstanding chance at winning the contest on sheer collateral form. Rumour has it that if he had to run, he would have had a top international jockey on his back.

His ability to quicken, even with the issues he had, was something to behold. It is a testament to the training ability of David Nieuwenhuizen that he remained sound throughout his career.

Most horses like human athletes have some issues, even though this ssue didn't seem to hinder him, it surely didn't help, which makes his career even more extraordinary. He is sure to pass on his ability and good looks to his progeny. To say the expensive R1. 7m yearling is a looker would be an understatement as is something to look at, especially in person. 

His final start in the Gr1 Gold Challenge when he was the best 3 year old to finish when 4th only 2.65 lengths behind Dave The King, only enhanced his reputation.

Varsfontein Stud will stand the colt and Carl De Vos told SAHorseracing.COM, "Varsfontein always support our stallions. We will support him with the best mares. We don't stand a stallion to fill a box."

The half brother to Grade 1 winning stallion Eden Roc, Sandringham Summit will be an asset to stud and had it not been for that little chip, he may not have been in this country at all - definitely South Africa's gain. 

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