A race with a long and impressive history of producing top racehorses and stallions, the Gr1 ARF Commemorative Cape Derby will be run at Kenilworth on Saturday.
Since 2008, six Cape Derby winners have gone on to be named Equus Champions, with Derby winner, Legislate, (Dynasty) named South African Horse Of The Year in 2014.
Further back, the Cape Derby has been won by all of Colorado King, (Grand Rapids), Sea Cottage (Fairthorn), Politician (Oligarchy), Bold Tropic (Plum Bold) and Mazarin (Preamble II), some of the finest racehorses ever to grace the South African turf.
Derby winners Colorado King, Bold Tropic, and Jay Peg (Camden Park) all went on to enjoy further success overseas, with Colorado King landing the 1964 Hollywood Gold Cup, and Bold Tropic picking up five graded races in North America.
Equus Champion Jay Peg, victorious in the 2007 Cape Derby, went on to enjoy international success, downing an outstanding field to land the 2008 Gr1 Dubai Duty Free before going on to capture the Gr1 Singapore Airlines International Cup in the same year.
Since retiring to stud, Jay Peg has come up with 19 black type horses, including the graded stakes winners Silicone Valley, Exit Here, Woljayrine, Peggy Jay, Hot Affair, Flash Drive and Olympic Owen.
The 1990 Derby winner, Pas De Quoi, went on to be named South Africa’s Horse Of The Year in 1993-1994. The son of Roland Gardens (Derring-Do) also sired a truly outstanding producer in the form of Nacarat. One of South Africa’s most prolific broodmares of recent years, Nacarat produced six stakes winners, headed by Gr1 Mercury Sprint winning sire, Red Ray (Western Winter), Gr1 Thekwini Stakes winner, Nania (Western Winter), and graded stakes winners Bishop’s Bounty (Western Winter) and Brutal Force (Western Winter).
Ill-fated Cape Derby winner, Ertijaal, (Hard Spun) campaigned overseas following his Derby victory and put up a notable effort when runner up to stablemate Forries Waltz, (Greys Inn) in the 2016 Gr2 Al Rashidiya.
Few, if any horse in recent times, is more synonymous with the Cape Derby than deceased champion, Dynasty, (Fort Wood) who was one of the best horses to win the race by far the best subsequent stallion to have emerged from the Cape classic.
Dynasty, who won the race in 2003, is represented in this year’s Derby by It’s Complex, who will bid to extend the remarkable run of success his sire has enjoyed in the race. Dynasty, a three and a half length winner of the 2003 Derby, has been responsible for four Cape Derby winners thus far, with his sons Jackson, Legislate, It’s My Turn and Eyes Wide Open winning in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 respectively.
While both It’s My Turn and Eyes Wide Open were produced by daughters of Jallad, Legislate was from the four time winning Restructure daughter, Champers, while the classically bred Jackson is out of Cozzene mare, Moonlit Prairie, a great granddaughter of legendary Canadian producer, No Class (Nodouble).
Dynasty, whose sire, Fort Wood, is also sire of Cape Derby winning filly, Dog Wood, and broodmare sire of Derby winning champion, Capetown Noir (Western Winter), is also responsible for five Cape Derby place-getters, with the former Horse Of The Year sire of runners up, Act Of War and Dynamic.
His Derby winning son, Jackson has produced both the recent CTS 1600 winner, Count Jack, and CTS Ready To Run Stakes winner, Pure State.
Also sire of this season’s Gr2 Western Cape Fillies Championship runner up, Pretty Young Thing, Jackson’s runners have banked over R5,367 million (restricted races included) this season. Dynasty also has a number of young sire sons represented by their first runners this season, with Act Of War, runner up to Ertijaal (Hard Spun) in the 2015 renewal, and Futura, both recently represented by their first winners.
Cape Guineas winner, Act Of War, made the perfect start to his stud career when his very first runner, Daichi, made a winning debut over 1000 metres recently, while the Dynasty sired Horse Of The Year, Futura, had first crop success when his gelded two-year-old son, Karnallie, got off the mark on Gauteng Guineas day.
Dynasty’s Cape Derby winning son, Legislate, has only had three runners at the time of writing, but two have finished in the money. Three Dynasty sons are currently in the top six on South Africa’s Leading First Crop Sires list.
A grandson of Sadler’s Wells – whose impact on Derbies the world over continues to grow at a staggering rate – Dynasty was a full-brother to Gold Vase winner, Sequoia, and Oaks runner up, Clandestine, with the trio tracing back directly in female line to Source Sucree, dam of, among others, the breed shaping stallion, Turn-To (Royal Charger).
His great success notwithstanding, however, Dynasty’s remarkable record in the Cape Derby stands just below the feat achieved by the remarkable Asbestos II (Asterus), whose sons, Feltos, Menlo, Mineral, Convalesce and Restore won the Derby from 1946 to 1950.