A Comic Book Hero Who Could Fly!

Computaform Sprint runs like a golden thread through his pedigree

In a country where a premium is placed on speed and precocity, the addition of Gr1 winning sprinter Master Archie to the stallion ranks offers breeders access to a horse whose progeny should satisfy the market’s demand of instant success.

There’s no doubt that here is a prospect with the right physical stature and pedigree profile, which gives him a licence to be any kind of stallion.

Superfast Master Archie – to stand at Winterbach Stud (Pic -JC Photos)

The striking grey, who stands exactly 16hh, was being prepared for a defence of his Gr1 Computaform Sprint title, when he suffered a badly bruised foot and the announcement of his retirement followed soon thereafter.

Master Archie served his connections well, winning seven races from two to four for earnings of over R1,1-million.

A true speedball, he won from 1000 to 1100m, the highlight of which when he blew away a star-studded field in the Gr1 Computaform Sprint  at three. That career-defining victory came after a hard-fought win in the Gr3 Man O’War Stakes.

The highest-rated sprinter at the peak of his career, he is the first son of successful young sire Rafeef to enter stud.

Remarkably, he has the rare distinction of being a third-generation winner of the Computaform Sprint.

His sire claimed the honours in 2017 and is out of National Colour, who had cruised to a four-length victory in 2006. Her grandson inherited not just her grey coat, but also her turn of foot!

La Volta

Master Archie’s dam La Volta – speedball!

Master Archie was bred to fly. His dam, the Var mare La Volta, was also a mean sprinter and counted the Listed Bauhinia Handicap amongst her eight career wins, all over the minimum trip.

Bred by Avontuur Stud, La Volta is out of Gr1 Majorca Stakes victress Sarabande, a daughter of the top-flight sprinter/miler Goldmark, who found only the mighty Senor Santa too good when second in the 1991 Computaform Sprint.

Clearly then, the coveted Turffontein dash runs like a golden thread through Master Archie’s immediate pedigree.

By the way, Sarabande also packed a punch in the Avontuur broodmare paddocks, for her ten foals numbered three stakes winners.

Granddam – the well performed Majorca winner Sarabande

Besides La Volta, she also produced Gr2 Senor Santa and Gr2 Merchants winner Mardi Gras and Chesalon, who won the Gr2 Premier Trophy and ran third behind Pomodoro in the Gr1 Durban July.

Her first foal, La Volta’s own sister Valeta, also garnered Gr1 black type by finishing third in the Allan Robertson Fillies Championship and she returned to Avontuur where she bred the Gr3 winner and Gr1 Garden Province Stakes runner-up, She’s A Giver.

Whereas the modern day stallion’s pedigree is saturated with international names, Sarabande hails from a dyed-in-the-wool South African dam line, which traces to the mare Spits, a two-time winner sired by the French-bred horse Felix II.

Best known as the dam of the King’s Cup and Michaelmas Handicap winner Gideon, and Natal Derby hero Hittite, Master Archie descends from her daughter Judith.

Judith was by that fine sprinter Royal Affair, who incidentally also sired Goldmark’s third dam, the stakes winner First Affair.

1959 Gr1 Queen's Plate winner, Royal Affair (photo: Form Organisation)

1959 Gr1 Queen’s Plate winner, Royal Affair (photo: Form Organisation)

Very much her sire’s daughter, Judith possessed plenty of toe to score seven times over the minimum trip and did even better as a broodmare by producing the Gr1 Natal Fillies Sprint and Germiston Cup winner Paschal, as well as Strelitzia Stakes victress Mustique, the fifth dam of Master Archie.

In fact, speed runs deep in this branch of the Spits family from which have come not just Master Archie, but also his stable companion Cold Fact, who captured this season’s Gr2 Camellia Stakes, and Gr3 Tommy Hotspur winner Sharp Design.

Master Archie will stand his debut season at Winterbach Stud, just a stone’s throw from Avontuur Estate, whose stud manageress Pippa Mickleburgh remarked: “He’s a nice type of horse. From that female line, I think he has a good chance of making it as a stallion. I wish him well.”

Master Archie is currently being syndicated at R60 000 plus VAT per share, and as an added incentive, each of the 55 shareholders will be entitled to two services each season for the first four years.

His service fee is R15 000, split into a R5000 nomination, with the balance payable on live foal.

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