Here And Elsewhere by Sarah Whitelaw
SA’s longest winning streak
The subject of racehorses who have achieved long winning streaks has been much in the media of late. The unbeaten Black Caviar has reeled off 22 on the trot, while another great mare, Zenyatta, won 19 straight. Unbeaten Camelot, winner of both the Guineas and Derby this year, is a direct descendant of Kincsem -winner of 54 races from as many starts.
In South Africa, there have been few horses to achieve such impressive winning streaks and none of the horses mentioned retired undefeated.
Reigning SA Horse of the Year, Igugu has won her last seven in a row – with her wins coming from 1600m to 2200m.
The mighty Sea Cottage won his first eight starts, before he met with his first defeat in the G1 Cape Guineas. Horse Chestnut, in comparison, won his final eight starts, culminating in his victory in the G3 Broward Handicap.
Hawaii, one of South Africa’s greatest ever horses, reeled off nine successive wins from 22 July 1967 to July 15th 1968. His winning sequence included three Guineas victories – Benoni, SA and Cape.
Kings Pact, one of the greatest fillies ever to race in South Africa, reeled off nine wins in a row. Between her two and three year old season, Kings Pact’s nine race winning streak included the 2400m Natal Derby and 1200m Transvaal Sprint Handicap.
Bush Telegraph went through his first eight starts unbeaten, although he was awarded the the Smirnoff Plate on Main Man’s disqualification. In contrast, Ipi Tombe won her LAST eight starts – which included wins in three different countries.
Champion fillies, Star Effort and Empress Club, both captured seven races on the trot as did the ill-fated champion In Full Flight.
e South African bred who put together the longest winning run, at the highest level, was the mighty Home Guard. His wins ranged from 800 to 2400m, and included four races which had G1 status at one time or another.
Home Guard won 11 straight, before his winning streak ended in the July of 1969, when he was defeated by Naval Escort.
The popular gelding Hear The Drums, winner of a staggering 34 races, put together winning streaks of six in a row and five in a row during his remarkable career.
La Troienne Vs Mumtaz Mahal
In responding to last week’s letter written by David Mickleburgh, in response to Remarkable Broodmares, I would like to say I appreciated the debate and questions that correspondence stimulated.
In last week’s letter, David brought up the question of whether or not heavily raced broodmares, who compete at the highest level, are as successful as should be expected.
Clearly there are no rules in racing, and without precise figures, opinions vary regarding the merits of heavily raced mares versus mares who were lightly raced. It’s beneficial to hear different views, which can help shape one’s own perspective.
Like so many aspects of breeding, this is a subject which is clearly dominated by opinions rather than fact, and everyone should be able to freely express their own. There are no definitive facts about heavily raced mares, but it is a fact (the North American publication Blood Horse provided proof) that mares with racing ability do, in general, prove more successful at stud than their less talented counterparts.
David also mentioned in his letter that I forgot to mention Mumtaz Mahal, when briefly touching on my idea that La Troienne was the world’s greatest broodmare.
While Mumtaz Mahal’s descendants have had a huge influence on the thoroughbred, Mumtaz herself bred four black type performers, while La Troienne produced five stakes winners two of whom were champions. Mumtaz Mahal failed to breed a champion herself.
Personally I feel that, while Mumtaz Mahal was unquestionably one of the tap root mares of the modern thoroughbred, I feel that La Troienne’s legacy is all but unrivalled, and that she was a better broodmare, and a greater overall influence on the breed. However, this is just an opinion, and should be read and accepted as such.
It is remarkable to think that the smallest winning margin enjoyed by the mighty, undefeated Frankel was half a length. This was achieved when the champion won his maiden at Newmarket back in August of 2010. The runner up in that 1600m contest was no less than Nathaniel – like Frankel a son of Galileo. Nathaniel would go on to capture Britain’s greatest WFA race – the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Third home that day was Genius Beast, a beautifully bred son of Kingmambo and Irish Oaks winner, Shawanda. Beaten five lengths by Nathaniel, he went on to land the G3 Classic Trial, before running third in the G2 Prix Hocquart.
Remarkably yet another horse from that eventful race has come good on the racing scene. Colour Vision, who ran second last when beaten 29 lengths, bloomed when put over more ground. The son of Rainbow Quest provided an emotional win for Frankie Dettori when landing the 2012 Ascot Gold Cup.
Surely there have been few more meaningful maiden contest in recent years than the EBF Maiden Stakes at Newmarket on August 13th, in 2010?
Pedigree of the week
Pedigree of the week, internationally speaking, must be that of Izzi Top, winner of the G1 Barclays Bank Ireland Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday. One of over 90 stakes winners by top international sire Pivotal, Izzi Top is a daughter of the G1 winner Zee Zee Top (Prix de’l Opera). The latter is a half-sister to the G1 winners Kayf Tara (Gold Cup twice) and Opera House (King George and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes).
Her granddam, Colorspin, was a top-class racemare, who won the Irish Oaks. She is, in turn, a daughter of leading broodmare sire High Top and legendary broodmare Reprocolor. The latter is also granddam of the promising young sire, Mullins Bay (Machiavellian).
Pivotal is a sire who has built up an impressive record in South Africa. From just eight runners, Pivotal is represented by local G1 winners Noordhoek Flyer (Cape Guineas) and Amanee (Thekwini Stakes).
With this lineage, and now a G1 win to her name, Izzi Top’s stud value must be in the stratosphere!
Broodmare of the week
It is rare for one broodmare to be represented by two individual winners in a single weekend, but Summerhill Stud’s Beauty Queen did just that. The daughter of Jallad’s two year old filly, Miss Africa (by the sadly deceased Stronghold), broke her maiden on Friday, while that filly’s 3yo half-brother, In The Frame, won his second race at Turffontein on Saturday.
By the increasingly important broodmare sire Jallad (damsire of Solo Traveller and Run For It, to name a few), Beauty Queen is an own sister to the smart 2yo Hell’s Angel.
Based at Summerhill, Beauty Queen is currently in foal to Kahal. The Kahal/Jallad cross previously produced the stakes winning siblings Majestic Sun and Sun City.
Stallion’s remarkable Derby domination
When undefeated Camelot won Saturday’s G1 Irish Derby, he became the ninth descendant of Sadler’s Wells to win the Irish classic since 2000. In total, 14 descendants of the great sire have won the Irish Derby.
Sadler’s Wells himself sired no fewer than six Irish Derby winners, while his sons, Galileo and Montjeu, have been represented by three and four winners respectively.
Another son of Sadler’s Wells, In The Wings, sired 1995 winner, Winged Love.