No Fly By Nights!

Patience is the name of the game in this game!

Double Superlative’s victory in last weekend’s Cape Guineas broke a seven-year Gr1 drought for breeders Patricia and Henry Devine.

The last time the names of these stalwart breeders went up in lights was in 2014 when Fly By Night defeated her male rivals in a poignant final running of the Gr1 Mercury Sprint at Clairwood. A month later, the demolishers moved in to flatten 93 years of history.

Fly By Night wins the Mercury Sprint (Pic- Gold Circle)

Suffice to say, the Devines bred the daughter of their superb champion Jet Master. Trained by Mike Bass, she proved herself a top class sprinter who also won the Southern Cross Stakes and placed in a number of Gr1 races. More importantly, she is an own sister to Come Fly With Me, the dam of Double Superlative.

Whereas Fly By Night was sold as a yearling, her younger sibling was retained by the Devines. Both sisters ended up in the Bass stable, and although Come Fly With Me was not in the same league, she was no slouch either. A winner of five races up to a mile, she twice reached the frame in  both the Gr3 Diana and Gr3 Champagne Stakes. Ironically, as the dam of a Gr1 winner with her very first foal, she has outperformed her sister in the paddocks.

Double Superlative is a fourth generation Devine-bred and traces to Heaven Help Us, who was purchased from the late Sydney Press. By Drum Beat out of the Masham mare Naughty Nell, she became a regular consort of the Devine’s imported stallion Great Brother, to whom she bred the Newmarket Guineas winner and Gr2 Dingaans runner-up Cardinal Sin as well as Brave The Wind, the third dam of Double Superlative.

Pat & Henry Devine – going strong

After scoring once in the Devine silks, Brave The Wind produced five winners, the best of which was the Sportsworld gelding Brave Dominion, who won seven times. Sent to Model Man, Brave The Wind bred the filly Fly The Wind, who like her dam, managed just one win on the track, but in due course produced Fly By Night and Come Fly With Me.

Excellence may lie dormant in a family until the right stallion comes along to add a spark to a flame. In this case it is Jet Master, who sired the full sisters more than two decades after Cardinal Sin.

Twice Over was selected as the first mate for Come Fly With Me on the advice of respected bloodstock agent John Freeman.

“He manages the stallion and we owned a share,” Pat explained. “Do It Again was a first class race horse and he was all the rage at the time. We sent Come Fly With Me to him for her first covering as she needed a big and powerful stallion.”

Although Henry is now 99 years old, he and Pat still dabble in this great passion of theirs, with their broodmare band totalling 19 choice mares.

Born last month – Saturday’s Cape Guineas winner’s half-brother by Gimmethegreenlight (Pic- Romi Bettison)

And while breeding horses is not for the faint-hearted, every dark cloud has a silver lining. Pat elaborates: “This season we lost our Goldmark mare Spirit Ofthe Dance at age 20 due to foaling complications. As fortune would have it, we were offered her stakes winning Jet Master daughter Princess Ofthe Sky, in foal to Rafeef. We shouldn’t have bought her, but we did!”

As regards Come Fly With Me, her juvenile and yearling are fillies by Silvano and as Pat added: “She foaled a magnificent colt by Gimmethegreenlight in November and has gone back to him. Fingers crossed she is in foal again.”

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