A number of stallions and mares were responsible for notable feats at the 2020 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival.
We highlight a few of those who made their presence felt.
The two day festival, South African horseracing’s own Royal Ascot, included two Gr1 features amongst the six headline races.
Sarah Whitelaw writes that dual Queen’s Plate winner, and seven times champion South African sire, Jet Master, has really and truly made his mark on the 2020 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.
Jet Master, whose son, Pocket Power, won the Queen’s Plate four years in a row, is found in the pedigrees of four of the first five home in the 2020 LQP.
His daughter, Cupid, is dam of the victorious Vardy, while third place and fifth place finishers, Rainbow Bridge and Hawwaam, are out of his Broodmare Of The Year daughter, Halfway To Heaven. Fourth place finisher, Twist Of Fate, is from the first crop of Jet Master sired Master Of My Fate.
The former South African Horse Of The Year was also to the fore in the Paddock Stakes, with Jet Master’s paternal granddaughter, Driving Miss Daisy (Master Of My Fate) finishing second, and Gr1 Woolavington 2000 heroine, Silvano’s Pride (out of the Jet Master mare, Mary’s Pride) taking third spot.
When Irish bred filly, Queen Supreme, won Saturday’s Gr1 Cartier Paddock Stakes, she became the 15th Gr1 winner sired by Exceed And Excel.
The latter, one of Danehill’s best stallion sons, was Australia’s Champion Sire of 2012-2013 and is currently the sire of 165 stakes winners internationally.
Exceed And Excel’s tally of 15 Gr1 winners is, however, dominated by colts, with just five of his top level Gr1 winners being members of the fairer sex.
Already a hugely successful broodmare sire (he was damsire of both the Gr1 Investec Derby and Gr1 Darley July Cup winners last year), Exceed And Excel has a fair strike rate in South Africa.
The former Newmarket Handicap winner had been responsible for 13 local runners, of which 11 have won, and this tally also includes Gr2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas/Gr2 Ipi Tombe Challenge winner, Nafaayes. Interestingly, Queen Supreme joins the likes of Gr2 winner and useful sire, Kuroshio, as a top-class galloper sired by Exceed And Excel out of a Gone West mare, with Exceed And Excel having also sired champion, Guelph, from a mare by Gone West’s champion sire son, Elusive Quality.Elusive Quality is also found in the pedigree of Exceed And Excel’s Golden Rose winning son, Bivouac.
Var’s Perfect 10
In winning the 2020 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, Vardy became his sire Var’s tenth individual Gr1 winner, and second Queen’s Plate winner, following Variety Club, who won the contest back in 2013.
South Africa’s Leading Sire of 2yo’s on two occasions thus far, Var is one away from recording his 50th stakes winner, and he should break that barrier before much longer. Interestingly, each of Var’s ten Gr1 winners are out of mares by a different stallion, with all of Jet Master, Fort Wood, Captain Al, Pentire, American Chance, Huntingdale, Elliodor, Secret Prospector, Qui Danzig, and Complete Warrior broodmare sire of a Gr1 winner sired by Var.
Deceased champion sire, Captain Al had three winners at Kenilworth on Friday, with his dual Gr1 winning daughter, Celtic Sea, stealing the show when romping home to a clear-cut win in the Gr2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes.
Celtic Sea was one of four in the 2020 Sceptre Stakes field sired by Captain Al. The Captain Al sired champion, Captain Of All, had two winners over the weekend, with the triple G1 winner’s two-year-old daughter, Dad’s Catch, winning impressively over 1000m on Friday. Captain Al, who is close to recording his 100th stakes winner, went close to more success, when his son, One World, finished second in the Queen’s Plate.
Captain Al, eight times leading sire of 2yo’s in South Africa, had an eye catching juvenile winner on LQP day, when his regally bred son, Erik The Red, romped home to a near five length win over 1000 metres.
Love The Sunshine!
Badger Land’s winning daughter Sunshine Lover continues to leave her mark on the South African studbook.
South Africa’s Broodmare Of The Year 2010-2011, Sunshine Lover is the granddam of Vardy, the impressive winner of Saturday’s L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.
A half-brother to East Cape Oaks winner, Eros’s Girl (Captain Al), Vardy is one of at least eight stakes horses descended from Sunshine Lover, best known as the dam of Cape Fillies Guineas winning half-sisters, Captain’s Lover (Captain Al) and Ebony Flyer, with the latter a full-sister to Vardy’s dam Cupid.
One of the best daughters of Jet Master, the triple Gr1 winning Ebony Flyer attempted the Queen’s Plate twice with her best finish a third place, to Mother Russia (Windrush), in the 2011 renewal.