Just As Well, a Graded Stakes winner of over $850k, has been purchased by a group of KZN breeders and will retire to stud at Bruce le Roux’s Spring Valley Stud for the 2011 breeding season.
Just As Well is by champion sire A. P. INDY, a proven sire-of-sires whose sons include Pulpit (fee $50k) and Malibu Moon (fee $60k), as well as Congrats and Bernardini who together head the US Freshman sirelist.
The dam of Just As Well is No Matter What, a G1 winning daughter of Nureyev. Three of her first four foals are Graded Stakes winners, including Irish Gr1 winner Rainbow View (Dynaformer), European Champion 2yo Filly, rated 120.
Just As Well’s grandam is Words Of War, a stakes winner of more than $680k. She is half sister to sire E Dubai (Mr Prospector) and full sister to the dam of Raven’s Pass, the latter Gr1 winner in UK and USA and now at stud in Ireland.
Bred by renowned owner-breeder George Strawbridge, Just As Well is a horse with a story. Strawbridge, who races under the name ‘Augustin Stable’, sent Just As Well to trainer Jonathan Sheppard. The latter trains horses for both the flat and over the jumps, excelling at both. Among the more famous of the flat horses trained by Sheppard is Storm Cat. Unraced at 2yo, Just As Well had four starts at three, but had been chronically lame and was sent to the New Bolton Centre where his problem was never pinpointed – with diagnoses ranging from ‘sore behind’ to a ‘high suspensory problem in front’. Just As Well returned to Sheppard’s home base and training centre. Strawbridge then made the decision to dispose of the exceptionally bred colt with an unidentifiable problem. When Sheppard told him he still wanted to give Just As Well a chance, Strawbridge simply gave him the colt.
Sheppard’s solution was to turn the colt out with some old steeple chasers and let nature sort him out. It was 23 months later, as a 5yo, that Just As Well returned to the racetrack, winning over 5f on dirt at Del Mar. Following that win the rest of his career was on turf (barring one all-weather run). He retired with 4 wins and 11 places, and earnings of over $850k. He won the G3 Arlington Hcp (2000m) under joint-top-weight, and was second three times at G1 level. He raced in top company, against the likes of Champs Elysees (Canadian Horse of the Year and triple G1 winner), Gloria de Campeo (Dubai World Cup), Einstein (5 Gr1 wins) and others. Timeform rated him 118 in 2009.
Alistair Brown, who brokered the deal, targeted Just As Well as early as April 2010, and worked tirelessly to see this exciting stallion-prospect join the South African gene-pool.