Clifton Stallion Breaks The Ice

New sire off the mark - Last Winter

Last Winter has the monkey off his back. He joined the select group of first season stallions to have sired a winner when his son Havana Moon scored a stylish maiden win at Hollywoodbets Scottsville on Wednesday.

Always travelling sweetly under Tristan Godden, the Mike Miller-trained juvenile virtually made all up the 1200m strip for owners Tony Jelinski and Sterling Miller, before pulling away at the finish for a two-length victory.

Last Winter’s son Havana Moon storms clear under Tristan Godden (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

A R140 000 graduate of last year’s KwaZulu-Natal Yearling Sale, the High Eagle Stud-bred Havana Moon is out of the Oratorio mare Seek Moon Magic, a placed half-sister to Gr3 winner Cat And The Moon, who produced the Gr1-placed stakes winner Light Of The Moon.

For those not familiar with Havana Moon’s sire, Last Winter is an impeccably-bred son of powerhouse stallion Western Winter and the Gr1 winning Silvano mare, Field Flower.

Trained by Dean Kannemeyer for Lady Laidlaw, he looked something special when going undefeated in the first four of just six South African starts.

He came within a shorthead of claiming the Gr2 Premier Trophy on his stakes debut and followed up with a storming half-length second in the 2018 Gr1 Sun Met won by subsequent Horse of the Year Oh Susanna.

Oh Susanna hangs on to beat a flying Last Winter in the 2018 Met (Pic – Hamish Niven Photography)

This was a top drawer effort, considering he came from the tail end of the field. In fact, such was his momentum that two strides past the post, he was in front of the filly.

On that effort, he surely had ‘future July winner’ written all over him. However, a chance to contest the country’s premier race came to naught when it was decided to send him overseas.

Sadly, an international campaign proved to be litany of bad luck and after placing fourth once in just two UK starts, both in Listed company, he returned to South Africa.

That Last Winter wasn’t snapped up by one of the leading Cape studs came as somewhat of a surprise. After all, here was a Gr1-performed, impeccably-bred horse, a smashing looker who had sold for R3.7-million as a yearling.

In short, he had the combination of looks, pedigree and race record that gave him a licence to be any kind of sire.

Last Winter (Pic- Candiese Lenferna)

Be that as it may, Last Winter ended up standing in KZN and spent two seasons at Bush Hill Stud before moving to Peter Blyth’s Clifton Stud in 2022.

‘It all happened very quickly and I was thrilled to stand a high quality son of Western Winter,” Peter recalls. “You know, if you look at him, he is so like his broodmare sire Silvano, just bigger.”

Needless to say, Peter is over the moon with Last Winter’s breakthrough first winner.

“Delighted,” he remarked. “There has been a bit of talk about his youngsters, so let’s hope it comes to fruition.”

Last Winter’s stallion career may still be in its infancy. However now that he broken his duck as a sire, it can only be onwards and upwards for this grand stamp of a horse.

Unfortunately, Last Winter does not have any progeny on the BSA National Yearling Sale.

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