Flowers & Royalty…Another Khaya Flyer!                                   

Certain local families continue to exert influence

The modern-day South African stud book is nowadays liberally sprinkled with international female lines, yet there are certain local families which continue to exert their influence on the racing industry.

Cape Merchants winner Gimme A Prince lives up to that billing, for he is out of a mare from a dyed-in-the-wool South African dam line.

Gimme A Prince at 5 months, poses with star Mum Real Princess, while Lady Christine Laidlaw, her sister Patricia , Jehan Malherbe and Dean Kannemeyer enjoy the moment (Pic – Supplied)

And what a dam line this has proven to be over the years. It all began when the Drum Beat mare Bluebell Girl visited the magnificent chestnut Royal Prerogative at Broadlands Stud, a logical choice, since he had sired her Gr1-placed half-sister Regal Blue – who, by the way, would become the dam of J&B Met winner Imperious Sue.

The filly which resulted from the mating was named Wild Hyacinth. She displayed early talent when runner-up behind Broadlands-bred champion and paternal half-sister Tempest Queen in the Gr1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship before winning the Majorca Stakes at three and running third in the Paddock Stakes.

Given her track record, Wild Hyacinth warranted only the best consorts in her second career as a broodmare, and records show that she visited top sires like Harry Hotspur, Foveros, Dancing Champ and Northern Guest.

To champion Foveros she threw Wild Cocktail, a Gr2-placed stakes winner of nine races; the stakes-placed Fov’s Flower; as well as unraced Garden Verse, who became the dam of the high-class globetrotter Imbongi, and the Graded stakes winners Spring Garland and Mahubo.

Gimme A Prince descends from Bluebell Girl’s second foal Dancing Flower, a high-quality filly by powerhouse stallion Dancing Champ. Bred by Des Scott and Luke Bailes, she won three races and was purchased at the old Maritzburg Sale by the late Ken McKenzie, who sent her to his Litchfield Stud.

Look at him today! Khaya Stables’ Gimme A Prince and Keagan de Melo (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

As a broodmare, the chestnut added to her illustrious roots in no uncertain manner and became dam of five stakes performers, amongst which two champions. Kelly won the (then) Gr1 Gold Bowl and was voted Champion stayer, Flame claimed the Woolavington Handicap, while Arabian Pearl ran second in the Gr1 Woolavington 2200 and Off The Peg was runner-up in the Gr3 Summerveld Stakes.

Dancing Flower’s crowning achievement was her champion son Victory Moon.  

Successful in his only start as a juvenile, the Al Mufti colt was exported to Dubai where he was subsequently named Horse of the Year, his tally of stakes wins including both the Derby and Guineas. He returned to South Africa for stallion duties but died after standing just four seasons at Maine Chance Farms. In hindsight, his premature loss was a tragic one, considering he sired the dual champion Princess Victoria, Gr1 winner War Horse and also features as the broodmare sire of Gr1 winner Astrix.

Dancing Flower looks at the camera with her unraced Var daughter to her left

Needless to say, Dancing Flower’s offspring had become hot commodities by the time her Fort Wood daughter Pagan Princess was offered at the 2008 Vintage Yearling sale. She was always likely to make big money and so it proved, with Joey Ramsden signing the ticket at a sales topping R1,7 million.

Pagan Princess failed to live up to that price tag, managing just one win at three, however, she went on to redeem herself as a broodmare, both in the sales ring and on the track.

Pagan Princess came up trumps with her first foal, a smashing Trippi filly named Real Princess. Just like her dam, she commanded seven figures when sold at auction. In fact, her R2,7-million price tag made her the top-priced filly at the 2013 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, with Form Bloodstock signing the docket on behalf of Lady Laidlaw’s Khaya Stables.

That Pagan Princess passed on her good looks to her foals was quite evident, for Vaughan Marshall purchased her Captain Al colt, the future Gr1 Cape Guineas winner and up-and-coming young sire William Longsword for R2 200 000, while her Silvano colt Silver God, fetched R2-million and won the Wolf Power 1600.

Pagan Princess’s last known foal, the Captain Al filly Really Royal, eclipsed all that by topping the 2019 Cape Premier Yearling sale at a cool R4-million. A big, strapping amazon, she went on to claim the Listed Sweet Chestnut Stakes.

Real Princess and a young Gimme A Prince (Pic – Supplied)

As for Real Princess, she also lived up to her fine pedigree on the track, carrying Lady Laidlaw’s familiar yellow and black silks to victory in the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint and the Gr3 Poinsettia, while chasing home Red Ray and Night Trip in the Gr1 Mercury Sprint.

Lady Laidlaw boards Real Princess at Varsfontein Stud and as spokeswoman Carolyn Erasmus recalls: “We all ooh’d and aah’d over her when she arrived at the farm. She looks like a top-class mare should, there is just something about her.”

Remarkably, Real Princess has visited only one stallion since swopping the racetrack for the paddocks, the farm’s linchpin Gimmethegreenlight. Gimme The Prince is her first foal and as Varsfontein’s Carolyn Erasmus recalled: “He was an absolutely stunning first foal, so handsome.”

Now a stakes producer, Real Princess has a juvenile colt, a yearling filly, and a September-born colt, and is once again in foal to Gimmethegreenlight.

Dean Kannemeyer and his longstanding loyal patron, Lady Christine Laidlaw



Dancing Flower died in 2018 at the grand age of 30 and fittingly, was laid to rest in a place of honour, under an apple tree at Litchfield’s broodmare yard.

Katherine Winshaw, who, together with husband Geoff, purchased Litchfield from Ken McKenzie in 1991, fondly recalls the mare: “It is not often one owns a mare who makes your dreams come true. She was so special to us.”

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