Dual Gr1 Winning Sprinter To Stand At Ridgemont

An exciting prospect

Ridgemont, who enjoyed an extraordinary day on The Championships Finale raceday at Turffontein last Saturday, will welcome dual Gr1 winning sprinter Thunderstruck as a new recruit to their illustrious stallion barn in the Robertson Valley this coming breeding season.

A brilliantly fast son of Ridgemont’s resident standout Rafeef, the four-year-old Thunderstruck most recently emulated his sought after sire when he claimed top honours in the Gr1 Computaform Sprint.

Unlike the past, when top sprinters were guaranteed a place at stud, very few escape being gelded nowadays, and hence it’s no wonder that Ridgemont have welcomed the massively talented 4yo to their world-class stallion barn.

SA Champion Sprinter elect Thunderstruck – set for Ridgemont at season end (Pic – Supplied)

That the handsome bay will not retire to his owner Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud is a commercial decision taken in view of the travel logistics, to optimise access for all breeders. It is a reality that Ridgemont in Robertson is a more central access point for a broader spectrum of breeders, than the Piketberg area.

Besides, Wilgerbosdrift is already home to the relatively unproven Buffalo Bill Cody and newcomer Hawwaam, and while the farm obviously wishes to optimise their opportunities, Mary Slack has retained an interest in Thunderstruck, and he will unquestionably get the quality mare support to continue his excellence into the next phase of his career.

Remarkably, Thunderstruck will be the third member of the Redoute’s Choice clan to stand at the historical Robertson nursery, as Rafeef is by the revered former Arrowfield champion, whilst barnmate Real Gone Kid is by his champion son Snitzel.

Such a concentration of Redoute’s Choice blood immediately brings to mind the adage ‘you can never have enough of a good thing!’ Yet it is nothing new, considering that the world-famous Coolmore Stud have made it practice to simultaneously stand a number of sons of breed-shaping stallions – the prime examples being Northern Dancer, his son Sadler’s Wells, and grandson Galileo.

“As a stallion prospect Thunderstruck ticks all the boxes – he is tough, sound, and ultra-consistent. He has won graded stakes races in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban and we are delighted to add a dynamically talented next generation dimension to our stallion barn. Rafeef has had a remarkable start to his career as a stallion, having sired a range of graded sprinters and stayers, and therefore showing the industry he is extremely versatile. Thunderstruck has fantastic qualities as a thoroughbred and his mental strength to provide consistency throughout his career is a very encouraging sign as a trait for him to pass on. Our thanks, as always go to Mary Slack and Jehan Malherbe for facilitating this opportunity, and of course to the shareholders for their interest and commitment,” said Ridgemont’s Craig Kieswetter.

Hollywoodbets Scottsville Gr1 glory for the champion (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Thunderstruck’s wide spectrum of appeal will lie in the fact that he is a third-generation winner of the Computaform Sprint, given that he is by 2017 winner Rafeef, whose own dam National Colour dominated the Turffontein dash in 2006. Incidentally, he is also Rafeef’s second Computaform Sprint winner, his grey son Master Archie having preceded Thunderstruck in 2022.

Then consider the fact that he was a precocious two-year-old. Third on debut, he broke his maiden by almost five lengths second time out, and leapt into the Gr1 ranks on just his third start with a flawless three-length victory in the Gold Medallion at Hollywoodbets Scottsville.

He was also no flash-in-the-pan juvenile, and trained on to win the Gr2 Diadem Stakes, and of course the Gr1 Computaform Sprint, whilst finishing second in the Gr1 Golden Horse Sprint and Gr1 Cape Flying Championship, and third in the Gr1 Mercury Sprint.

Thunderstruck is currently a leading contender to lift the 2024 Equus Champion Sprinter honours.

Behold the physical specimen! Thunderstruck is a good-looking athletic individual, and his seven-figure yearling price is testament to that.

Turffontein Gr1 gold for Thunderstruck! (Pic – Supplied)

And he is bred on a proven sprint cross. Like Master Archie, he is out of a mare by champion sprinter Var, whose reputation as a broodmare sire is increasingly growing in stature! Witness last weekend’s stakes rich Turffontein meeting, where the former Avontuur standout stamped his authority as the damsire of Gr2 Colorado King Stakes winner Pure Predator and runner-up Hotarubi; of Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes second I Am Giant, and of the juvenile filly Stars And Bra’s, who finished third in the Gr3 Pretty Polly Stakes and, like Pure Predator, is by sadly deceased New Predator.

Speed, rather than stamina, is very much a feature of Thunderstruck’s female line.

His dam Varikate was a sprinter of note and made all to beat the boys in the Gr2 Post Merchants.

Grandam Katies Star won six races, and is by Kings Cup winner Modern Day, himself a son of the lightning fast Dayjur, while the next dam, stakes placed Five Star Suite, is out of Irish import Royal Suite, a daughter of the excellent sprinter Habitat.

The standout name in the extended family is that of Champion American Two-year-old Honest Pleasure, who racked up no less than six Gr1 victories in a star-studded career.

As Thunderstruck demonstrated that attribute so prized in a thoroughbred, speed and precocity, his progeny are sure to be quick out of the blocks, traits which the bloodstock market demands in this country.

Form Bloodstock’s Jehan Malherbe confirmed that Thunderstruck will race on to the end of the current season in the familiar black and scarlet strip of Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud.

“Mrs Slack has retained a substantial share in his stallion career, and considering that this outstanding racehorse has nothing left to prove on the track,  success in either the forthcoming SA Champions Season fixtures of the Gr1 Golden Horse or Gr1 Mercury Sprint, or both, will only add further gloss to his reputation. He is a genuinely exciting prospect,” he added.

Thunderstruck is currently being syndicated at R100 000 a share, which includes the option of sending two mares per year for the first four years.

His initial service fee has been set at R20 000 live foal.


  • Craig Carey – (+27) 82 654 5169
  • Jehan Malherbe – (+27) 83 252 8146

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