Good price for SA sire’s brother
A three parts-brother to KZN sire Carpocrates (Storm Cat) fetched $650,000 at the Fasig Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale. A son of champion sire Giant’s Causeway (Storm Cat), the yearling was purchased by Whitehorse Stables. He is out of the G1 Breeders Cup Distaff victress Spain (Thunder Gulch) – herself dam of two black type performers.
Carpocrates, who stands for a fee of just R5,000, made a promising start with his first crop of 2yos last season – his winners including the impressive debut winner Extra Zing.
Arc winner dies
Former Prix de’l Arc de Triomphe winner, and world leading broodmare sire, Saumarez has died. He was 25 years old.
Saumarez (Rainbow Quest), who was based at Riethuiskraal Stud prior to his death, had come down with a bout of colic, and later died on the operating table.
Advocate Altus Joubert, at whose farm the sire had been kept, described Saumarez as a “truly beautiful horse, one of the most beautiful I have seen.”
He also said that Saumarez would be buried at Riethuiskraal. The stallion, who had not covered any mares last season, was one of the highest rated and best performed racehorses ever to stand at stud in South Africa. As a 3yo, Saumarez won both the G1 Prix de’l Arc de Triomphe and G1 Grand Prix de Paris (joining champion sire Fort Wood as the only Grand Prix de Paris winners to stand in South Africa in recent memory).
The sire of 26 individual stakes winners, Saumarez is best remembered in South Africa as the sire of G1 Gold Cup winner Diamond Quest and the multiple stakes winner, Pay The Piper. He left a real legacy through his daughters, with Saumarez mares producing the likes of Authorized (Epsom Derby) and Gentlewave (Italian Derby).
Equus Awards controversy
As usual, the Equus Awards provided some controversy over some of the awards given out last Wednesday.
Igugu is definitely a great racemare and fully deserving of the title “champion”. But did she do enough during the season to beat the likes of Europa Point, Dancewiththedevil and Ebony Flyer – all of whom won more G1 races? If the awards are selected simply on merit, then fair enough – Igugu is a deserving winner.
If this is the case, surely Rumya (who beat the Equus winner in the Golden Slipper) should have been given the award of champion 2yo filly? She was unbeaten and beat a dual G1 winner – a hard combination to beat!
This past season was certainly a difficult one for the panel, as there were a large number of horses who, in an ordinary season, would have been more than deserving winners of their respective categories. Having said that, the awards need to apply consistent criteria – either merit shown OR number of G1 races contested and won during the year.
Another category which has proven problematic over the years is broodmare of the year. There are many great broodmares in South Africa who have never received any official recognition for their achievements – and this is something which could be changed, possibly by giving a special award to a mare who produces more than one champion or G1 winner, albeit in different seasons. Broodmares often leave a far deeper mark on South African breeding than many of the officially named champions, and it seems a shame that they are not always recognised.
Impressive start for young stallions
With the new season comes the first runners for a number of young stallions, and there are some really well credentialed horses. The likes of such as A P Arrow, champions Argonaut, Jay Peg, Judpot Rebel King and legendary Horse Chestnut are all among those exciting young prospects with their first runners on the track this year.
There has been plenty of positive attention especially surrounding the likes of Rebel King, Argonaut and Judpot, and their first runners are eagerly awaited.
However, one young stallion who has come to the fore at the recent sales is the well bred, Sail From Seattle.
Sail From Seattle (Gone West) is one such horse if recent results at the Emperors Palace National 2yo Sale are anything to go by.
Buyers really have taken a strong liking to the progeny of this well bred young horse, and he was the top sire, by aggregate, at the 2yo sale. His offspring averaged over R90 000 – well above the sales’ average price of R70 000.
This was an impressive feat, as he had earlier fared well at the National Sales – where Sail From Seattle had 14 yearlings sell for an average price of over R250 000.
These returns represent great value - the sire stood at a fee of R15,000 when this crop was conceived.
It is also interesting to note the demand for his yearlings come in a market, where proven stallions are generally favoured over sires yet to be represented on the racecourse.
Sail From Seattle, a really attractive stallion himself, has his first runners this year, and, following this bright start, they will be keenly followed.
Wine Princess following in illustrious footprints
When Wine Princess won Saturday’s G3 Monmouth Oaks she became the latest in a select band of stakes winners produced by the mating of two champions, named US Horse of the Year.
Wine Princess is by Ghostzapper (US Horse of the Year in 2004) out of Azeri (US Horse of the Year in 2002).
Azeri (Jade Hunter), now in Japan, has done fairly well at stud, with her first three runners including a stakes winner, and two other stakes placed runners.
It is indeed a short list when looking at the stakes winning offspring of Horse of the Year winning mares, mated to Horse of the Year winning sires:
Along All (by Horse of the Year Mill Reef out of Horse of the Year All Along): G2 Prix Greffulhe
Apalachee (by HOY Round Table out of HOY Moccasin): G1 Observer Gold Cup
Belted Earl (by HOY Damascus out of Moccasin): G3 Desmond Stakes
Brahms (by Round Table out of Moccasin): G3 Railway Stakes
Coiner (by HOY Whirlaway out of HOY Twilight Tear): Speers Hcp
As the list above shows, there have been now just six stakes winners produced when US Horse of the Year winning mares have been bred to their male counterparts – with just one winning a G1 race.