The 2018 Gr1 Vodacom Durban July saw history made when Do It Again landed the R4.25 million Greyville showpiece.
Not only is he a first July winner, from his first crop, for four- time Gr1 winner and European champion Twice Over, but Do It Again is the first Mr Prospector line runner, since Ipi Tombe (Manshood) in 2002, to win South Africa’s most famous race.
The dominance of the Northern Dancer line in the July, like so many races around the world, has been remarkable.
Of the past ten runnings, all but one have gone to horses descended directly in male line from the 1964 Kentucky Derby winner.
While descended in male line from Mr Prospector, Do It Again is by no means free of the Dancer either, having no fewer than three lines of Northern Dancer in his five generation pedigree.
His four time Gr1 winning sire Twice Over has made an exceptional start to his stud career, and he gives every indication of furthering the success that many Mr Prospector line stallions have enjoyed at stud in South Africa.
While not enjoying dominance in the July, Mr Prospector and his descendants have more than made their mark in South Africa, with their numbers including champion sires Trippi and Western Winter, leading First and Second Crop Sire What A Winter, potentially outstanding but short lived stallion Secret Prospector, and deceased top KZN sire Kahal.
Other high-class locally bred stallions descended from Mr Prospector to have stood at stud here include former Equus Outstanding Stallion Count Dubois, former Leading First Crop and Gr1 sire Visionaire, and this season’s in-form sires Ideal World (Kingmambo) and Pathfork (Distorted Humor).
Rich Man’s Gold, whose offspring include champion Kildonan and dams of Gr1 winners Coral Fever (Judpot), Brave Mary (Brave Tin Soldier), Athina (Fort Wood), and Louis The King (Black Minnaloushe), is another Mr Prospector line descendant to have made some impact on the South African turf.
Twice Over, whose great grandsire is Mr Prospector, was an exceptional racehorse and one of the best ever to retire directly to South Africa for stud duties. His 12 victories included four at Gr1 level, with his wins including back to back successes in the Gr1 Champion Stakes –a race won previously by such greats as Brigadier Gerard, Sir Ivor and this year’s Gr1 stallions New Approach and Frankel.
He was also victorious in both the Gr1 Juddmonte International and Gr1 Coral Eclipse (a race won previously by the likes of outstanding stallions Sadler’s Wells, Mill Reef, Giant’s Causeway, and Sea The Stars).
His first crop has produced 63 runners, of which 32, at the time of writing, have won, and interestingly, his stakes winners thus far are by sires as varied as Casey Tibbs, Spectrum, and Tale Of The Cat –which surely bodes well for Twice Over’s ability to succeed with mares from different sire lines!
It is interesting to note that Twice Over’s Oaks Trial winning dam Double Crossed is bred on a similar cross to such Gr1 winners as Lammtarra and Kahyasi among others.
Twice Over’s dual Gr1 winning sire Observatory, who beat subsequent multiple champion sire Giant’s Causeway when victorious in the 2000 Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, while not an outstanding sire himself, is broodmare sire of the brilliant recent Gr2 Coventry Stakes winner Calyx – from the first crop of Kingman.
Twice Over is descended from the My Babu mare Kerala, who was best known as the dam of US Hall Of Famer, and Horse Of The Year, Damascus (Sword Dancer). The latter, whose 21 wins included both the classic Preakness and Belmont Stakes, went on to enjoy consistent stud success, and left behind a slew of successful stallion sons perhaps most notably being Private Account.
However, Kerala’s descendants have ensured that she remains a part of pedigrees of major race winners the world over.
Among the numerous high class stakes winners descended from the unraced Kerala include the Gr1 winners Twice Over, Yoshida (Heart’s Cry), All At Sea (Riverman), Passage Of Time (Dansili), and Mutual Trust (Cacique).
Do It Again’s win also further cemented the more than creditable record, from relatively few runners, that his diminutive broodmare sire Casey Tibbs enjoyed in the July.
The latter sired short-lived July winning champion Big City Life and is also broodmare sire of Do You Remember (Silvano), who finished third to champion Heavy Metal (Silvano) in the 2013 July.
The 2018 July winner is also a tribute to two thoroughbreds, who could be considered tough as teak in modern day terms. His sire raced over six seasons, while Do It Again’s remarkable dam Sweet Virginia raced no fewer than 40 times, with her six wins including a trio of Gr3 races.