There has always been great interest in the prospects of Ridgemont Highlands well-bred stallion Potala Palace and the Gr1 winning son of world champion racer and top sire Singspiel produced another winner at Turffontein on Saturday, courtesy of Mike and Adam Azzie trained Silken Prince.
The Highlands bred 3yo ran from a wide draw and was expected to need the run after a 9 week break.
But Silken Prince never looked in danger of defeat and duly strolled in to win the Maiden 1600m under promising apprentice Denis Schwarz by 1,75 lengths. He had run two seconds and third at his first three starts and looks capable of going on to better things.
Potala Palace made the perfect start to his stud career when his very first runner won at the first time of asking in December 2017. Two-year-old filly Watsonia trained by Alan Greeff, justified favouritism when winning the first maiden juvenile plate of the season at Fairview. She is out of the Fort Wood mare Cape Floral.
Potala Palace, who is from the same family as the likes of Fairy King, Nureyev, Reform and Sadler’s Wells, earned over R600 000 on the track and won both the Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes and G3 Joburg Spring Challenge.
The handsome bay was also a good fourth to Jackson and Variety Club in the 2012 G1 Investec Cape Derby.
He is out of G3 Prestige Stakes second Alignment who is also second dam of Gr2 Dubai City Of Gold winner Excellent Result. Alignment in turn is by top class Lyphard sire Alzao, also the broodmare sire of breed shaping Japanese champion sire Deep Impact.
Interestingly, the Highlands-bred Dynasty filly Front And Centre, Potala Palace, who races in the interests of Craig & Ross Kieswetter and Ridgemont Highlands, made an impressive debut when she bounded clear to win a Maiden Plate for fillies and mares over the 1200m on 18 August.
The Ridgemont Highlands jockey duo of KZN Champion Anton Marcus and Greg Cheyne – who was crowned East Cape Champion for the sixth time on Saturday – were at Kenilworth on Saturday and were snapped in the new girls and boys silks of the powerful Kieswetter family racing and breeding empire.
A decision to run the Ridgemont Highlands colts and fillies in distinguishing sets of silks will mean that the girls will run in the dark green, blue sleeves & white cap, while the boys will carry the dark blue, white crossed sashes and dark blue sleeves and cap.