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“R” Lightning Strikes Twice!



There is an interesting story behind one of the Backworth Stud’s yearlings on offer at the 2013 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale. Backworth purchased the mare Refined In Gold (in foal to Trippi) at the 2011 Cape Mare Sale – and just as the hammer fell, a bloodstock agent offered to double their money in exchange for the daughter of Rich Man’s Gold.

Having turned down that persistent agent, Backworth then had a number of other interested buyers step forward, amongst them an American buyer. Slightly puzzled by the interest, Ian Todd and Keith Russon were informed by pedigree guru Ada Van der Bent that their unborn foal shared close similarities to a star US filly.

Refined In Gold, who remained at Backworth, duly foaled a cracking filly, named Spangle – which is due to come up for sale at the National Sale. One of the primary reasons for the interest shown in Spangle, is her strong pedigree similarities to one of her sire’s best fillies – the talented R Heat Lightning. The latter was one of the best fillies of her generation in North America, where the Todd Pletcher trained filly won the G1 Spinaway Stakes and was second, to champion Awesome Feather, in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies.

R Heat Lightning, by Forty Niner’s grandson Trippi, is out of a mare by the Forty Niner horse Gold Fever. Trippi’s daughter, Spangle, herself is inbred to the champion Forty Niner – as her maternal grandsire, RMG, is a son of the Mr Prospector horse. Both Spangle and R Heat Lightning are also share duplications of both Nasrullah and Damascus in their pedigree. It now remains to be seen if R Lightning will strike twice? Refined In Gold, who had a lovely Silvano colt this year, is now in foal to leading sire Kahal.


Remarkle Treble For Impact


Ayusan – Gr1 Oka Sho

When Ayusan won Sunday’s Gr1 Oka Sho, she became the third straight daughter of Japanese sire sensation, Deep Impact, to win this Japanese Classic. Ayusan had been preceded by Marcellina (2011) and Gentildonna (2012). Very few stallions have achieved a hatrick of wins in a single major race. Deep Impact’s sire, Sunday Silence, had three Japanese Derby winners in a row, from 1998-2000. One local stallion who achieved a remarkable feat in one of South Africa’s most famous races was the late, great Jet Master. Offspring of Jet Master won the J&B Met five years in a row, between 2007 -2011. Pocket Power’s hatrick of wins, was followed by his sister, River Jetez, taking top honours, with Past Master ending his sire’s impressive streak in 2011.

Another locally based sire to pull of an impressive feat of this magnitude was Asbestos. The latter sired a phenomenal five consecutive Cape Derby winners. Asbestos’ sons won the Derby from 1946 – 1950 – a feat which is rarely, if ever, achieved. One stallion who matched Asbestos’ feat was the mighty Star Kingdom – sire of the first five Golden Slipper winners. The Golden Slipper is Australia’s greatest race for 2yos, and has been won by a host of legends.

Another sire great, Danehill, sired consecutive Slipper winners in Danzero, Flying Spur, and Merlene. The great South African stallion, Polystome, was the sire of three consecutive SA Derby winners. His sons, Channel Isle, Asteroid and Just, won the race from 1925-1927. Outstanding European sire, Habitat, was known as a sire of classy, precocious stock. His sons, Habat, Steel Heart and Hittite Glory, won the prestigious Gr1 Middle Park Stakes from 1973-1975.

Dominant US stallion, Lexington, sired the first three Travers Stakes winners in a career which saw him head the US sires list 16 times. First SW for Visionaire sister Scarlet Strike, who won her first stakes race on Saturday, is a half-sister to Summerhill’s resident stallion Visionaire. Scarlet Strike, a G1 filly at two, landed the Gr3 Providencia Stakes in the style of a classy filly. Her brother, Visionaire, is a G1 winning son of Gone West horse Grand Slam, whose biggest career victory came in the G1 King’s Bishop Stakes.


A Pearl’s Legacy

Pearl Cap

Pearl Cap

Pearl Maiden was a mare who never raced, but who has left a long and lasting mark on the thoroughbred. Her daughter, Pearl Cap, is considered one of the all time great French racemares, having captured the Arc de Triomphe, and both the French 1000 Guineas and Oaks. Pearl Cap was the first female ever to win the Arc – a fact alone which entitles her to a place in history.

She later foaled the Epsom Derby winner Pearl Diver. Pearl Cap was one of a pair of French Guineas winners foaled by Pearl Maiden – Bipearl capturing the French 1000 in 1933. However, it is not through Pearl Cap or Bipearl, that the influence of Pearl Maiden is felt today. Her daughter Silver Fox is the second dam of the great mare, Argentina.

A stakes of three, from just a handful of starts, Argentina’s influence has been profound in South Africa. Her son, the high-class miler Averof, is the sire of Horse of the Year and multiple champion sire Foveros. Another son, Buffo, sired champion Creator and G1 winner Sistematic, while Argentina’s daughter, Flogera, produced the ill-fated Horse of the Year Flaming Rock (a G1 sire, and damsire of Horse of the Year, Irish Flame).

Argentina’s recent influence has not been limited to South Africa, as her daughter, Copocabana, is the ancestress of French 2000 Guineas winner, and useful sire, Clodovil. Argentina’s half-sister, Malcolmia (both mares being out of Silvery Moon) , is also leaving her mark through her descendants.

Malcomia herself produced Coronation Cup winner Oncidium – a subsequent champion sire in New Zealand, and Ostrya – winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes. Ostrya is the third dam of unbeaten G1 winner Catchascatchcan (Pursuit of Love). The latter is the dam of the top-class miler Antonius Pius (Danzig), who is currently South Africa’s leading first crop sire. This Silvery Moon looks set to shine on South Africa for a long time to come.


Mighty Mare La Troienne influences US Triple Crown

La Troienne

La Troienne

The influence of the great broodmare La Troienne continues to be felt throughout the world. Her impact has been particularly strong in North America – and its Triple Crown races. Two descendants have the Belmont Stakes, four landed the Kentucky Derby and four the Preakness Stakes. However, in 2013, the La Troienne influence is truly dominant in the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby.

More Than Ready, sire of leading fancy Verrazano, is a direct descendant of La Troienne – tracing back in female line to La Troienne’s daughter Belle of Troy. Another leading contender for the 2013 Run For The Roses is the top-class Revolutionary, winner of the Gr2 Louisiana Derby. Revolutionary himself traces directly back to the great mare through Baby League.

Interestingly, both Verrazano (Waldoboro) and Revolutionary (Allied Flag) are close relatives of former SA stallions. (Another contender with a SA connection is Lines of Battle. The UAE Derby hero is from the same family as sire Albert Hall). The great stallion A P Indy has three lines of La Troienne – and this sire line has dominated the various classic trials in the USA thus far.

A P Indy himself is the damsire of Revolutionary, his grandson Tapit is sire of the top colt and Wood Memorial runner up Normandy Invasion, while another son of A P Indy, Malibu Moon, is sire of Florida Derby winner and leading Kentucky Derby fancy Orb. The Derby, first leg of the US Triple Crown, is scheduled to take place on Saturday May 4th.

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