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Avontuur Dream Shines

Miss Frankel leads the charge in Scottsville feature

Superstar Frankel took his global stakes footprint reach to seven countries when he produced his first South African stakes winner, courtesy of his Avontuur-bred chestnut daughter Miss Frankel, who stormed to victory in the Listed KwaZulu-Natal Stakes at Scottsville on Sunday.

Val de Ra

Flashback – Miss Frankel’s dam Val De Ra winning the Gr1 Computaform Sprint

With her superstar Mom Val De Ra having won this race previously, and knowing the long patient road walked by all those connected to what is a potential breedchanging future mare for the South African horseracing industry, the Scottsville parade ring was charged with emotion as Keagan de Melo returned to the winner’s box .

The gallant 4yo had stayed on resolutely to secure a neck verdict in an official 55,2 secs – a time that our in-house handicapper has found to be incorrect and which appears to be closer to a still respectable 56,49 secs.

Keagan de Melo drives Miss Frankel to the line (Pic – Candiese Marnewick/Gold Circle)

An emotional trainer Dennis Drier, once described as the ‘most patient trainer around’ by Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh, heaped praise on the beautiful chestnut

“She is talented and has guts and courage and has encountered numerous problems. And I didn’t think she would win today. But, hey, she proved me wrong. Well done to Pippa (Mickleburgh) and the boys (Taberers) and to my team. And it was a good ride by Keagan (De Melo),” said the veteran.


Pippa Mickleburgh – triumphant breeder

Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh spent a weekend in the air – travelling to Johannesburg for Derby Day and then to the KZN capital city on Sunday. Whatever her airline of choice, she ended up on cloud nine thanks to the beautifully bred chestnut,

“The dream goes back a long way. No stallion in SA was good enough for Val De Ra so a gamble was taken to send her to Frankel. He was unproven then and the exercise cost a fortune. Well done to everybody on the farm back home and to Dennis Drier and his team. A job well done! She is a breed changing filly – she ticks all the boxes,” said an elated Pippa.

Bred and raced by Avontuur, Miss Frankel is a daughter of Var’s Equus champion Val De Ra, who won 11 of her 13 starts, including four Gr1’s.

Val De Ra has a Dynasty half-brother called Broadway on the National Yearling Sale – see lot 146.

The lightly raced Miss Frankel has won 3 races with 1 place from 7 starts and took her stakes – an academic tally in essence – to R224 250.

The winner’s sire Frankel – wins the Juddmonte in 2012

The Juddmonte Farms bred Frankel (Galileo) was the world’s highest-ever rated racehorse and was unbeaten in 14 starts and went to stud a ten-time Gr1 winner

With winners in at least 12 different countries, Frankel is the sire of 60 Stakes performers which includes 27 Group winners and 9 Listed winners. He is currently hovering around the impressive ratio of 27% black-type performers/runners.

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20 comments on “Avontuur Dream Shines

  1. Steve says:

    The official time is wrong. I checked it twice. it should be very close to 56.49

    1. Editor says:

      Thanks for that heads up Steve – have taken it up with Gold Circle

  2. Chris Taylor says:

    Awesome to see that the daughter of Val De Ra won on Alec Forbes’ birthday…

    Gone but not forgotten… RIP Floats

  3. Jay August says:

    Steve, well spotted. Time did seem incredible. I can only clock it at around 57s despite repeated attempts, so there must have been a failure in the timing system, or have we started the US habit of timing after a run-up?

  4. Jay August says:

    PS – that should read 56s not 57s – best video time I can get is 56.16s.

  5. Malcolm Draper says:

    Gallop says 55.2. She was not tipped in Sporting Post or listed as best handicapped. Effortless Reward was but she had the same weight as the Goose’s flyer who came 9th. I bet on her weight, pedigree and speed rating.

  6. Peter clarence says:

    Well done, the Drier yard. Patience wins everytime.

  7. I Bet on her Breeding….and Pay Pay#Kching

  8. Steve says:

    In response to Jay. I timed it at 56,02 off the recording. so you were there. However, there is always a difference between hand times and the official times. In this case at Scottsville the other four sprints were all hand timed on average 0,47 seconds faster than the official time. Therefore to bring Miss Frankel’s time into line with the other official times then 0,47 needs to be added. Hence 56,49

  9. Jay August says:

    Steve, I use the Gold Circle videos and run them through MPC-HC video player with milli second timing, and time by frame. The only issue that can cause problems is the camera angle at the finish.

    There must have been an issue at Scottsville because all the timings seemed out as you point out. I’m not usually this far off with timing and I seldom see variances of more than 0,20s. As far as I am aware there are no run-ups in SA i.e. time is from gate opening to wire and not at a run-up point after the gate to wire..

    Any course record should be subject to strict inspection before passing as such. This time does past muster!

  10. Jay August says:

    The time has been changed on gallop.co.za to 56.49s. I’m sticking with 56.2s as I’ve run this through two video tools and both show the same. 56.49s is some way after the post and notwithstanding angle is not correct in my view. The clock needs checking at Scottsville though, something ain’t right.

  11. Steve says:

    Yes, I agree. Times are just accepted. Have a look at the time of the first race at the Vaal today. Not a course record of course, but clearly wrong.

  12. Steve says:

    I have to disagree with you here. I time all of the races at all of the courses, and not just once. The variance differs at each circuit. However, the variance at Scottsville on Sunday for sprint races is the norm. That time of 56,49 is mine, and trust me it is correct.

  13. Jay August says:

    Steve, you probably have a greater sample of data and timings than I do. I usually only check times when it is a major race and/or there is a strange time – so not every race by any means. I’ve also only started doing this in December last year, for SA venues, as previously I concentrated exclusively on UK racing.

    I’ve not been out by more than 0.20s (in SA) before though so I probably was lucky. I do not hand time but use timers on the video frames which is quite easy and far more accurate. I use both MPC and Kinovea. Both show 56.16s and 56.46s is many lengths past the finish.

    Is the 56.46s a hand timing?

    1. karel says:

      0.3s difference equates to many lengths?

  14. Steve says:

    Yes, as mentioned earlier in this string.

  15. Jay August says:

    Steve, I’ve cut a video of the race and have asked SP via FB to share the link to that video with you. If you get to download it please let me know why we differ. I’ll attach an explanation to the video link.

  16. Steve says:

    I have no interest in watching your video as it serves no purpose. I do not question your methods, or the precision of your equipment. The bottom line is that whatever a person uses to time the races there is always going to be a variance between those times and that given by officialdom. The variance at Scottsville for my hand times in the other four sprint races last Sunday on average was 0,47 seconds faster than the official. This variance is a regular occurrence and has to be added to the hand time of Miss Frankel’s race to bring it into line with the others. Hence 56,49.

  17. Jay August says:

    Karel, my choice of words is many “lengths” out.

    Should have read a couple of lengths – I’ve sent the video link to Steve – you can have a look yourself.

    1. karel says:

      No intention of getting involved in this! 🙂

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