The Joey Ramsden-trained Gr1 winning sprinter Red Ray will relocate from Klawervlei Stud to stand at the Birch Bros’ Vogel Vlei Stud this season.
A son of triple champion South African sire Western Winter, Red Ray’s first foals are arriving now.
A R700 000 purchase from the 2012 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, Red Ray won or placed in 13 of 15 South African races and banked nearly R2 000 000 in earnings.
He won his first three races on the bounce and rounded off his two-year-old campaign by finishing second in the Gr1 SA Nursery to Dubawi colt Willow Magic.
The Lammerskraal Stud bred Red Ray impressed even more at three when thrashing July winner and Horse Of The Year Legislate by two and a half lengths in the Gr3 Cape Classic, before placing in all of the G1 Cape Guineas (third), Gr1 Cape Flying Championship (second) and Golden Horse Sprint (second).
A son of triple champion sire Western Winter, Red Ray claimed a well overdue Gr1 victory when romping to a clear cut two length win the 2016 Mercury Sprint, leaving Gr1 winners Real Princess, Gulf Storm, Talktothestars and Fly By Night in his wake.
The blue blooded Red Ray is one of six stakes winners produced by the four time winning mare Nacarat. The latter is also dam of Red Ray’s graded stakes winning full-siblings Nania (Gr1 Thekwini Stakes), Bishop’s Bounty (Gr2 Diadem Stakes) and Brutal Force (G2 The Merchants).
Syd Birch told Turf Talk:
“In this economic climate breeders are cutting back on their mares, and on the support they were able to give before, but we’ll be helping with Red Ray because we like him so much. He is a blue blooded speed machine by champion sire and sire of sires Western Winter out of blue hen Nacarat, and he oozes class.
“We’ve got 22 of our own mares booked for him and from what we’ve gathered from other Karoo breeders we’ll be getting a further 10 mares from the region in support. There is a revival here, with Moutonshoek’s well-bred Admiral Kitten standing with David Southey and Red Ray with us, the Karoo’s looking good for the next few years and we are proud of it. There are a number of our mares who will nick well with Red Ray.”
Red Ray, through his female line, goes back to erstwhile Champion sire Plum Bold, who stood at Vogel Vlei. Syd recalls: “Yes, we had several good stallions here, including Plum Bold and High Veldt, the sire of Elevation.
“The last stallion we stood was called Akaam, who produced a few winners but didn’t make the grade, That was back in the 1990’s when support for Karoo stallions was starting to dry up and it made more sense to send our mares away to stallions based in KZN and the Western Cape.”