An astute judgement call by Summerveld trainer Michael Roberts to secure some paddock-boosting black-type for Dr Nic Labuschagne and Vaughan Koster’s beautifully bred mare Statute came together in fairytale fashion at Fairview on Friday when the daughter of Dynasty won the R85 000 Listed Jockey Club Stakes on her swansong appearance.
Black-type on the catalogue page can be a dealmaking lifechanger for any breeder, and when they are as beautifully bred and well-related as former SA Horse Of The Year Legislate’s 6yo sister Statute, then the deep satisfaction felt by her trainer Michael Roberts as he watched his charge cruise home under the full-of-confidence Shadlee Fortune, is well understood.
“She is a very smart sort but her high suspensory lameness has plagued her career. She had to be treated and rested between races. So she never had a genuine chance to show her true ability. When we ran out of time and I saw the Paddock Stakes and the Jockey Club Stakes on the East Cape programme, I recommended to Dr Labuschagne and Vaughan Koster that we stop on the way to stud and take in these two races,” said the elated trainer.
The traditional KZN last chance saloon of the Listed Off To Stud Handicap has been moved on a few months into the new term.
“She will be pregnant by then hopefully. So it made plenty of sense to travel and I must thank the owners, as well as Alan Greeff and his staff who looked after and saddled her, and jockey Shadlee Fortune, who rode a mature race on her.”
The man known as ‘Muis’ to generations of international racing fans, said he had been ‘quietly confident’ after the switch to the all-weather.
“She has quite small feet, so soft going on the grass would not have been ideal. The jockeys are very complimentary about the Fairview polytrack, so I wasn’t concerned about that aspect. And after they went quite slow for the first quarter, they played into her hands and any doubt about seeing out the 2000m was not an issue. Shadlee (Fortune) had her nicely placed and she really won so well,” he enthused.
With the East Cape Derby winning favourite American Princess failing to kick on, Statute had the race at her mercy in the final stages and powered clear to beat the pacy Je Ne Sais Quoi by 1,25 lengths in a time of 121,32 secs.
The fancied American Princess finished 4 lengths back in fifth.
For Shadlee Fortune, the victory would have been particularly pleasing as he had stepped down from American Princess on whom he won two races on the trot, including the Derby, in favour of champion returnee, Greg Cheyne.
A R700 000 National Yearling Sale purchase, the Cheveley Stud-bred Statute is a daughter of late champion Dynasty (Fort Wood) out of Restucture’s four-time winner, Champers.
She retires with a stats CV of 4 wins and 7 places from 22 lifetime starts for stakes of R336 500.
Her brother Legislate was South Africa’s Horse Of The Year, Equus Champion 3YO Colt and Equus Champion Middle Distance Horse in 2014, and South Africa’s Equus Champion Miler the following season.
He won seven times, and emulated his sire Dynasty by landing the Gr1 Vodacom Durban July, Gr1 Cape Derby and Gr1 Daily News 2000.
The current record holder for 1600m at Kenilworth, Legislate won a total of six graded races including the 2015 Gr1 Gold Challenge.