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It Can Pay To Tempt Fate!

The Scotts could never have imagined...

When Des and Robin Scott imported the English-bred filly Devon Air, little did they know to which dizzy heights she would take them.

A daughter of the high-class miler Sparkler, her best effort in three starts as a juvenile was undoubtedly her fourth place in the Gr3 Hoover Fillies Mile won by none other than Height Of Fashion, who was to earn eternal fame as the dam of champion Nashwan and the Gr1 winners Unfuwain and Nayef.

Devon Air (photo: Ken Wilkins)

Devon Air

After arriving in South Africa, Devon Air joined the powerful stable of Terrance Millard and she blossomed in the expert care of the maestro trainer.

Described by Millard as a “massive, bold mare, with joints like footballs”, she was a strong galloper with a high cruising speed, attributes which came into play in the Listed Sidney Benjamin Handicap at Milnerton, where she turned the 2400m race into a tour de force, coming home 13 lengths clear of her rivals.

Third to Wolf Power and Spanish Pool in the Met, she went on to light up the 1984 KwaZulu-Natal winter season with a superb start-to-finish hat-trick at Greyville.

After winning the Gr3 Republic Day Handicap in a new race record time, she became Millard’s second Gr1 Rothmans July winner and proved her superiority in the Gr2 Gold Cup, romping to a four and a half-length victory over the fine stayer Hawkins.

No surprise then, that she was crowned the season’s Champion Stayer.

Retired to the paddocks, Devon Air hit the ground running with her first foal, the Concertino filly Cream Of The Crop.

She inherited her parents’ stamina, winning the Gr.3 Chairman’s Handicap over 3200m. In time, she became the dam of Gr1-placed She’s On Fire (Jet Master), who landed both the Gr.2 Gerald Rosenberg and the Gr3 Jubilee Handicap.

Stamina runs deep, for when mated to champion Var,  She’s On Fire bred East Cape Oaks winner She’s A Pippa.

Devon Air’s next living foal, the Concertino colt Plymouth Rock, likewise appreciated a distance of ground, winning the Listed Settlers Trophy.

Sadly, Devon Air failed to build on that promising start and by the time leading Zimbabwe breeder Christopher Peach acquired her at auction in 1996, the mare had added just one more winner to her tally.

Barren and 17 years old at the time, she duly crossed the Zambezi for Peach’s Rumbavu Park Stud, where a 1998 mating with Dewhurst winner Huntingdale, a son of top-class sprinter Double Form, resulted in the filly Bushgirl.

She never raced and was repatriated as a broodmare by Robin Bruss, who sent her to Var, the result of which, Miss October, features as the dam of the family’s latest stakes winner, the unbeaten juvenile colt Tempting Fate.

Avontuur’s Tempting Fate wins the Gr3 Godolphin Barb (Pic – Candiese Marnewick)

On Saturday 13 June , he opened his stakes account at second time of asking with a polished performance in the 1100m Gr3 Godolphin Barb Stakes at Hollywoodbets Scottsville.

Trained by Dennis Drier, as was his sire Master Of My Fate, the colt has clearly inherited his tremendous turn of foot from his dam, a 1000m specialist who defeated male rivals in the Gr3 Tommy Hotspur Stakes. Her full brother August Rush likewise was an exceptional speedster, winning the Gr1 Mercury Sprint and running second in the Gr1 Golden Horse Casino Sprint.

In Tempting Fate, the injection of speed via Huntingdale and Var appear to have tempered Devon Air’s stamina and while Master Of My Fate’s influence may in time enable the colt to excel over further, he looks set to return to Hollywoodbets Scottsville for the 1200m Gr1 Gold Medallion, a race his trainer has won eight times in the past.

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4 comments on “It Can Pay To Tempt Fate!

  1. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Mr Ed, pls can you post the (Devon Air july win) link, if avail. Top horse, strong front runner…

    Happy for Uncle Den, hope this one’s a Champion

    1. Editor says:

      Hi Cecil
      Looking for it
      Have a look at these so long

  2. Boete sing says:

    just a thought can you see the size of the exotics pools without the small everyday punters hope the tote operators are paying attention and working on a strategic plans to keep them happy customers

  3. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Baie Dankie Mnr en Goeie Nag

    Appreciated 👍

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