Super Sunday proved to be the cherry on top of a cracking season for Varsfontein’s newly crowned SA champion freshman sire, Gimmethegreenlight. His son Hack Green got the ball rolling when he spreadeagled his field to win the R300 000 Gr2 Umkhomazi Stakes in dazzling style.
While there was more to come for the Australian-bred stallion later on, the Dennis Drier-trained Hack Green will go into the record books as Gimmethegreenlight’s first stakes winner – and what an impressive showing this was.
“I know there are a lot of 2yo’s who are yet to run but I thought we have a bit of a star on our hands and I would have been disappointed if he had not delivered today,” said the astute Mr Drier after Sean Veale had ridden a straightforward race.
With three pacy fillies in the ten horse field, the pace was always going to be on from the 1200m start and Veale was content to settle the debut winning colt near the back from his wide draw as Queen Laurie led British Royale for home.
The leaders came under pressure in the sticky going early in the straight and the standout was Hack Green who was going great guns down the middle.
At the 200m marker the result was in the frame as the usually animated Veal sat still with Hack Green full of running. He went on to win by 3 lengths in a time of 72,20 secs.
The previously undefeated Joburg raider Wrecking Ball – labelled top class by her trainer Grant Maroun – ran a good race to come out best of the rest, with the winner’s stablemate Rocky Valley passing tiring runners to grab third a further length back.
The tote favourite Seattle Singer finished a disappointing fourth, while Sean Tarry’s Flying Myth was tailed off last in a puzzling run.
Trainer Dennis Drier said that ‘today was our day’ and that he couldn’t have wished for a better outcome.
Jockey Sean Veale, who was aboard at Hack Green’s debut win, confirmed that they had always rated him.
“I thought he may need his first run as he is a big horse, but he was good enough to win,” he said
Part owner Hassen Adams, who raced Gimmethegreenlight and is a major shareholder in the stallion, said that it was a ‘great day’ for him.
“At the sale he was the spitting image of his Dad,” he said.
Hack Green was signed for by David Abery at R950 000 on the 2015 Val De Vie Yearling Sale.
Hack Green, who has won two from two, took his stakes to R237 000, excluding the BSA Added Value Stakes incentive of R102 500.
The winner is the result of an astute mating.
His sire, a Gr1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winner, is a son of More Than Ready and has pedigree similarities with two of Australia’s top sires –Sebring and Redoute’s Choice.
Hack Green’s dam Secret Mission (by Fort Wood) is a full sister to Secret Heart, dam of Pluck – also by More Than Ready.
A present day stallion in Australia, Pluck won the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile for Team Valor and his first crop are now 3yo’s.
Gr2 Umkhomazi Stakes (SAf-Gr2)
Greyville, South Africa, July 31, R300k, 1200m, turf, soft, 1.12.02
1 – HACK GREEN (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Secret Mission (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA). Owner Messrs M Dally, D G Abery, H Adams, E W Buhr & N Loubser; Breeder Varsfontein Stud; trainer DR Drier; jockey S Veale
2 – Wrecking Ball (SAF), 57.5, b f 2, Great Britain (IRE) – Picadilly Miss (SAF) by London News (SAF)
3 – Rocky Valley (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Seventh Rock (AUS) – Valley Of Rubies (SAF) by Mogok (USA)
Margins: 3.00, 1.00, 0.50