Going like a Boeing

Clairwood 11 August

Flying High! Divine Jet made a great debut today.

Suddenly the R1 million price tag looks so damn cheap! Trainer Dean Kannemeyer was a very happy man after his handsome Jet Master colt, Divine Jet, made hacks of his opposition in the second race at Clairwood on 11 August.  His win was absolutely super stuff.

The horse that had tongues wagging at the 2010 National Yearling Sale for all the wrong and right reasons, looks to be a stunning racehorse in the making and the manner of his win today spoke of plenty more to come. One would believe that he is in the most capable hands in a trainer who has a prolific and unrivalled record in programming classic and particularly Guineas winners. Kannemeyer is the right man for the job.Watch this space!

Catalogued as Lot 60 on the Graham Beck Enterprises reduction Sale conducted by Equimark in February of this year, the Highlands bred bay Jet Master colt was knocked down to Jehan Malherbe of Form Bloodstock for a bar after some spirited underbidding. He has always looked something rather special and hit the headlines long before his smashing debut at Clairwood this afternoon. The story has its origins in the legendary spat between two great men of South African horseracing in the late Graham Beck and ‘Mr Jet Master’, Henry Devine. The colt, a rare Jet Master bred by Beck’s Highlands Stud, was knocked down for R4 million to the coal mining magnate at the 2010 National Yearling Sale. There is plenty of creative colour to the tapestry of this story, but it is not our wish to speculate or sensationalise. A power play it most certainly was, and let’s just observe that few have matched strides with the legendary Beck and woken up smiling the next day.

Top Kannemeyer patrons. Lord and Lady Laidlaw pop the champagne.

Beck’s passing resulted in a wholesale liquidation of his racing stock and top Kannemeyer patron, Monaco based Lady Christine Laidlaw, races the obviously talented colt these days. The horse that was also the subject of an unprecedented objection to the National Horseracing Authority against his name, has captured the public imagination. He was called all kinds of things from Devine’s Jet, to Devine Jet to his current name,  which everybody appears to have settled on. They could have called him Dean’s Donkey, for all it matters. It would not have changed his character or ability, one ounce. His debut win was exceptional. He was loaded early in spite of starting in the red and had to stand for close to seven minutes, in a move that, judging from his post-race comments, obviously irritated his rider, Karl Neisius. He was slow away, losing at least two lengths, yet cruised up on the outside and came home hard against the steel, in a terrific display of raw ability and temperament.

Lady Laidlaw’s yellow and black silks are probably recognised most readily as that worn by the brilliant Noordhoek Flyer, and a host of other ‘Noordhoek’ labelled horses. The Laidlaws maintain a South African summer home in the magnificent surrounds of Noordhoek on the far pristine reaches of the exquisite Cape Peninsula.   

A tiger in the woods? Noordhoek Flyer stands at Gary Player Stud.

The only son of Pivotal at stud in South Africa, Noordhoek Flyer stands his first season as a stallion at Gary Player Stud in Colesberg in the Karoo region of South Africa. Retired prematurely as a result of an injury sustained during the KZN Champions Season, the chestnut with the electric acceleration was described by his trainer as ‘the ultimate racehorse.’ A winner of four of his eleven starts, he was a dual Guineas winner and was absolutely lethal up to a mile. This is probably borne out by his much debated narrow defeat in the Gr1 Cape Derby over 2000m at the hands of the brilliant Bravura. He ran second in the Gr2 Selangor Cup to the subsequent J&B Met winner, Past Master.

Divine Jet beat another Jet Master colt today in the Charles Laird-trained Auto Pilot. The Ascot Stud gelding cost Markus Jooste R1,9 million at the same National Sale where Divine Jet caused such an uproar. It will be interesting to monitor their individual progress.

The cautious Kannemeyer, never one to hype horses, says that he is excited about Divine Jet’s prospects. “I will bring him out in the early Spring and let him show us what he is really made of,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

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