The need for speed on South African racetracks has gained further momentum with the news that the KZN Breeders Club have secured an exciting addition to the local stallion ranks. The American-bred Gr1 winning Mr Greeley stallion, Crusade, will stand at Robin and Joyce Scott’s Highdown Stud in Nottingham Road.
With the speed sensation Var introduced to South Africa by Avontuur Stud in the Western Cape in 2005, the benefits of breeding for speed have been amply illustrated. A success beyond his owners’ wildest dreams, Var is currently second only to the legendary Jet Master on our leading sires list and heads the 3yo averages.
The exciting first-season Klawervlei stallion Rebel King had his first winner just last Wednesday at Kenilworth. The brilliant Gr1 winning sprinting son of National Emblem has everybody talking. Both Var and Rebel King stand in the Western Cape.
The acquisition of a another source of speed genes thus makes plenty of sense in a province which has seen horseracing recently undergoing an exciting revival.
Crusade is a European Gr 1 sprinter miler by Sire-Of-Sires Mr Greeley(USA) and was acquired from Coolmore. He is out of La Traviata(USA) by Johannesburg (USA).
He had six starts in England, winning twice and placing once. His win in the Gr 1 Middle Park Stakes saw him defeating a strong field of horses that included four Group 2 winners, including Capar Netscher who is a three time Gr 2 winner.
Mr Greeley(USA), himself by Gone West out of Long Legend by Reviewer(USA), has produced 14 Group 1 winners at stud in both America and Europe and close to 60 Stakes winners – in 2008 he stood for a fee of $125,000.
Sadly Mr Greeley, who stood at Gainesway, succumbed to Laminitis in 2010 at the age of 18. A Sire-Of-Sires, he has produced the likes of El Corredor, Greeley’s Galaxy, Horse Greeley and Belgravia, as well as Whywhywhy – the sire of Gr 2 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf winner Nownownow in 2007.
Leading breeder Anton Proctor, who viewed the colt at Coolmore and is particularly excited with the stallion’s prospects, described Crusade as a handsome, well-balanced and athletic horse.
Proctor added that Crusade has a good head, a good eye, and a lovely disposition.
“ He is a very nice natured and easy horse to work with. He is a correct, athletic walker with a very good speed pedigree,” he said and pointed out that Crusade could be matched to almost any mare.
“Crusade is a speed horse with a speed pedigree,” says Robin Scott of Highdown Stud, a highly respected breeder who has been in the business for almost 46 years and knows his stallions – standing the likes of Foveros, amongst many other sires who have had a profound influence on breeding in South Africa.
KZN Breeders Chairman, Koos de Klerk was very happy with the expression of interest from the breeders with the bulk of shares apparently already sold.
Stuart Crawford of Greenhill Farm who had played an integral part in acquiring the stallion, said:
“I would like to thank everyone for supporting The KZN Breeders Club in purchasing Crusade, and we look forward to reaping the rewards.”
The KZN Breeders Club is a non- profit organisation that was established to represent all KZN -based breeders on breeding related issues. They recently introduced an innovative and unique incentive for owners who purchase horses bred in KwaZulu -Natal.
The KZN Breeders 1600, now known as the KZN Breeders Million Mile, a historic race run the week before the Vodacom Durban July, carried a stake of R1m this year, up four-fold from 2011. The race is open to all KZN-bred three and four year olds.
A new R1m race for juveniles will be introduced in 2013, run on Vodacom Durban July Day over 1300m.The race is restricted to graduates of this year’s Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale.
As a further incentive, the KZN Breeders Club has introduced a bonus of R1m for any horse which, from next year, is able to win the R1m Juvenile race in 2013 as well as the KZN Breeders 1600 in 2014 and 2015.
Crusade has entered quarantine in the UK, in preparation for his trip to South Africa.