Horseracing is a myriad of circles and fascinating family destinies and smart Kenilworth Saturday maiden winner Golden Ducat, a son of SA Champion Broodmare Halfway To Heaven, presented an emotional strike for trainer Eric Sands and SA champion breeders Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein.
Racing in the black and scarlet of the Slack family’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud, Golden Ducat stormed to victory under S’manga Khumalo at just his second start, to beat a small field in the 1400m maiden plate.
The handsome Philanthropist colt, the ‘next in line’ after Gr1 stars Rainbow Bridge (Ideal World) and Hawwam (Silvano), injured his hock as a youngster and thus wasn’t considered for sale.
Sands, who trained Rainbow Bridge to win the Sun Met earlier this year and rounded off the season in style with victory in the Gr1 Champions Cup at Hollywoodbets Greyville, has done an outstanding job with the 3yo Golden Ducat who gave no guarantees after his injury that he would stand up to training.
The Milnerton conditioner also originally trained Golden Ducat’s dam, Wilgerbosdrift’s outstanding Halfway To Heaven, and had recommended her to the leading breeders after her owner and breeder Gavin Walker, was obliged, through health issues, to sell.
Already a Gr3 winner when she left Milnerton, Halfway To Heaven was transferred to Mike de Kock and only raced on briefly before going to stud.
A daughter of Jet Master – she played a big part in the superstar racer and seven times champion sire being crowned champion broodmare sire for the first time last season – Halfway To Heaven is out of the Rambo Dancer mare Pas De Basque and is inbred 3×3 to Northern Dancer.
Her Gr1 winning son Hawwaam, also trained by De Kock, was named Equus Champion 3yo Colt last season.
News is that Halfway To Heaven is expecting a Querari baby, and has gone back twice to Silvano.
The first, a full-sister to Hawwaam, was – very fortuitously – a filly and she was followed by a smashing brother.
Halfway To Heaven was rostered to be covered by well-related new Wilgerbosdrift War Front stallion Fire Away this season.
It’s early days, but Golden Ducat looks promising!