Delago to Australia
Last season’s Equus Champion 2yo colt, and 2012 G1 winning sprinter, Delago De Luxe could be heading for a place at stud in Australia. While plans have not been finalised yet, there is a strong possibility that the champion could end up at Blue Gum Stud. Interestingly enough, Blue Gum was the stud at which Delago Deluxe’s sire, champion sire Encosta de Lago, begun his remarkable stud career.
It is hardly surprising that Delago Deluxe is proving popular with Australians. Not only is he by one of their top sires (Encosta de Lago has sired 20 G1 winners to date), he is out of a mare by former champion Australian sire Flying Spur (a close relative of Encosta de Lago). Delago Deluxe’s dam is a half-sister to two G1 winners Duporth (BTC Cup) and Excites (AJC Sires Produce S).
His broodmare sire, Flying Spur, is an increasingly important maternal sire of G1 winners, and, in this role, is responsible for G1 Golden Slipper winner, Sebring.
Delago Deluxe was unbeaten at two, when he won both the G2 SA Nursery and G1 Gold Medalion. This year, he added to this tally when he won the G1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint.
Varsfontein Stud, who enjoyed a truly Super Saturday, recently hosted a stallion day to promote its exciting young stallion, Gimmethegreenlight (More Than Ready – Yes She Can Cancan). A superb racehorse, the imposing looking Gimmethegreenlight has proved immensely popular since his retirement was announced. Gimmethegreenlight, a top-class miler and brilliant 2yo, is the type of horse should do well with a large number of the South African broodmare population.
It is interesting to note that his sire, More Than Ready, sired G1 Breeders Cup Turf Sprint winner Regally Ready, out of a King of Kings mare, and G2 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf hero Pluck out of a Fort Wood mare. With both King of Kings and Fort Wood, both sons of Sadler’s Wells, currently at stud in South Africa, it will be interesting to see how Gimmethegreenlight fares with mares by both stallions.
More Than Ready has also enjoyed tremendous success with Danehill’s daughters, while a Flying Spur mare produced G1 Golden Slipper winner Sebring.
Gimmethegreenlight, hero of the 2012 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, is certainly bred to produce any number of classy precocious stock – with his sire More Than Ready (Southern Halo), not only being a top-class 2yo himself, but also the sire of 2 Golden Slipper winners. Gimmethegreenlight’s damsire Canny Lad, not only won the Golden Slipper, but is also the broodmare sire of hugely influential Australian sire, Redoute’s Choice (Danehill).
To date, Gimmethegreenlight’s sire, has sired over 100 stakes winners, and his stock has excelled all over the world. More Than Ready has produced stakes winners in the USA, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa, to name a few, and his influence promises to extend the ultra successful Turn To male line.
Most valuable filly in the world
While there are more talented fillies currently racing than Romantica (2nd Prix de Psyche), there are few more valuable. Not only is she by the world’s number one sire, Galileo, Romantica is out of the Breeders Cup winner and champion racemare, Banks Hill. This makes her a half-sister to young SA sire, Ideal World – who has his first yearlings on the ground next season. Banks Hill in turn is out of the great broodmare Hasili (dam of champion sire Dansili and five G1 winners). Two of Hasili’s sons, to date, have sired G1 winners at stud, and, while she is yet to produce a horse of her own ability, Banks Hill has produced three winners to date, two of whom are black type performers.
Romantica is also bred on the same Galileo/Danehill cross which produced world superstar, Frankel.
While she is yet to win a stakes race, should Romantica win a black type race, her value will be staggering.
Do The Mambo
There has been plenty of praise around the first crop of the blue blooded import, Mambo In Seattle. His weanlings are athletic and scopey, and have attracted positive attention all round. Both Wicklow Stud and Riverton Stud have really nice looking Mambo weanlings, and Bennie van Der Merwe, who bought the horse into the country, is thrilled with his first crop now on the ground.
Mambo, whose first crop are yearlings this year, was a G1 winner, in all but name, being touched off by the shortest of short heads, in the G1 Travers Stakes – one of the most prestigious races in North America.
A three parts brother to leading US sire Lemon Drop Kid, Mambo In Seattle is by Kingmambo, whose son, Henrythenavigator, is currently one of the leading first crop sires both in North America (seventh) and in the UK (3rd).
This is the famous Lassie Dear family which has been represented in South Africa by such as Al Mufti, Sportsworld and Tiger Ridge.
Age no deterrent to top sire
One of South Africa’s best sires, Fort Wood, has seen his commercial appeal drop recently. Over the past three years, at the National Sale, Fort Wood’s averaged has dropped from over R500 000 to R250 000 which, even taking into account a flat market, is a substantial drop.
Is this, however, a fair reflection on his current success? This year alone, Fort Wood has been represented by such high-class performers as Ilha Bela (SA Oaks) and Chesalon (3rd Vodacom Durban July). His current crop of 3yos include five black type performers, including Ilha Bela and the very promising Red Fort, and this crop is smaller than some of Fort Wood’s previous crops. To date, Fort Wood has sired 70 stakes winners (9%) from 396 foals of racing age – these statistics place him in the top five of current active South African sires.
Few sires, if any, ever produce one horse such as Horse Chestnut, much less a Dynasty. And even a sire as good as Fort Wood cannot be expected to produced a Horse of the Year in every crop.
However, his stats suggest he is as good as sire as ever, even at the advanced age of 22!