Ebony Flyer, who beat Horse of the Year Igugu in the Classic Cape Fillies Guineas, will enter quarantine next week in Cape Town and be shipped in May to Ireland for a Southern Hemisphere date next fall at Coolmore Stud with the world’s leading sire Galileo.
Co-owner and manager Barry Irwin finalized plans on Wednesday with Coolmore Stud farm manager Christy Grassick.
Ebony Flyer was as brilliant as she was consistent, winning three Grade 1 races in South Africa, in spite of having to undergo two throat operations to correct a problem with her wind.
The Jet Master mare’s best race came against Igugu in the summer at 3 when she remained unbeaten by taking that notable scalp by proving a daylight winner of the Grade 1 Cape Fillies Guineas over a mile at Kenilworth. Earlier this year the 17-hands-plus mare showed how versatile she was in beating a top class field to win the Grade 1 South African Fillies Sprint down the toboggan slide at Scottsville racecourse. Also earlier this year she won the Grade 1 Majorca Stakes over a mile at Kenilworth.
Ebony Flyer retires with a record in 13 starts of 8 wins and only 2 unplaced efforts in a career that saw her finish first or second in 10 of 13 efforts racing at 2, 3, 4 and 5. She raced for Barry Irwin’s Team Valor International, Mrs. Gaynor Rupert of Drakenstein Stud and Anant and Vanashree Singh of Durban.
Irwin had bought an older half-sister to Ebony Flyer for $27,000 as a yearling in South Africa named Captain’s Lover. Before that filly became a Champion at 3, a Classic winner, a Grade 1 winner and a major winner in South Africa, France and the United States, Irwin bought Ebony Flyer at her dam’s side.
Sunshine Lover, her dam, made international history by having her first two foals to race both become Classic winners by taking the Grade 1 Cape Fillies Guineas.
As part of a business plan of the partnership that owns Sunshine Lover, Ebony Flyer was offered at the National Yearling Sale in Germiston, South Africa, where Irwin bought her for his own account. Irwin then formed a syndicate to race her and just before the Guineas sold a significant interest to Mrs. Rupert, who also now owns Champion Captain’s Lover on an equal basis with Team Valor International.