Here and Elsewhere 4 Nov

Sarah Whitelaw's take on the thoroughbred world

National Colour foals in Australia

SA champion National Colour recently foaled a brown filly. The filly is a daughter of champion 2yo Sebring,a  former winner of the Golden Slipper. Sebring, a son of leading sire More Than Ready, won five of his six starts including the Gp1 AJC Sires Produce Stakes. His sole defeat came when he was beaten a nose by champion filly Samantha Miss (Redoute’s Choice) in the Champagne Stakes. Sebring has his first crop of foals on the ground this year.
National Colour (National Assembly) was voted both joint Horse of the Year and champion sprinter in the 2005/2006 racing season. Her local wins included a 4.25 length romp in the Gr1 Computaform Sprint, as well as victories in the Gr1 Mercury Stakes and SA Fillies Sprint. She also won in Dubai, and ran a great second in the Nunthorpe Stakes, when beaten a neck by 13 time winner Borderlescott (Compton Place).

National Colour's first foal, a filly by Sebring, in Australia

What A Sire
Western Winter enjoyed a magnificent weekend, thanks to the exploits of his 3yo sons. Solo Traveller and What A Winter gave their sire a 1-2 in the Gr3 Cape Classic, whilst another 3yo son of Western Winter, Snowdon, maintain his unbeaten record with a gutsy display at Turffontein. Solo Traveller made it three wins in a row with a come from behind win in the Cape Classic, defeating the much vaunted What A Winter. He looks like one of the leading contenders for the upcoming Cape classics.

Snowdon won his third race in as many starts when defeating the year older Ozymandias over 1600 meters at Turffontein. The Ormond Ferraris trained colt looks a smart future prospect, and could be a hard nut to crack in the Dingaans.
Whilst all three of the colts mentioned look to have bright futures, Western Winter’s crop of 2007 have a long way to go to compare with his crop of 1999 – where a crop of 36 foals produced 3 Gr1 winners. In other words, in 1999 10% of Western Winter’s foals were Gr1 winners! The crop included champions Surveyor and Yard- Arm.

Roderic O’Connor
When Roderic O’Connor landed Sunday’s Gp1 Criterium International, he franked (excuse the pun) the form of Europe’s hottest 2yo, Frankel. Frankel had Roderic O’Connor 2.25 lengths back in second when he won the Gp1 Dewhurst Stakes last month. Roderic O’Connor’s win gave his sire Galileo his third juvenile Group one winner this season, following the likes of Frankel and Misty For Me (Prix Marcel Boussac, Moyglare Stud Stakes). Galileo could enjoy further high-profile success with his juveniles, when Together runs in Friday’s Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. The son of Sadler’s Wells has been represented by eight Group One winners this year alone.

Remarkably, Roderic O’Connor is yet another fine advert for the Galileo/Danehill cross. From just 29 runners, this cross has produced four Gr1 winners as well as the talented fillies Banc de Fortune (2nd Gp1 Arrowfield Stud Stakes) and Sidera (Fillies Mile). Beshaayir, a winner on Scottsville on Sunday, is yet another winner bred on this cross.
Roderic O’Connor’s third dam is champion 2yo filly Durtal (Lyphard), also third dam of the high-class South African racehorse Grey Arrow (Western Winter).

The Western Cape Equine Trust does plenty of excellent work in the field of looking after thoroughbreds past their best. Their new venture, REHORP, or re homing of thoroughbreds project, deserves plenty of attention and support from the racing community. REHORP sees the retired racehorses collected from the trainers yard and transported to the Horse Care Unit.
The horses are slowly let down and put up for adoption. The adoption fee goes toward supporting less fortunate horses at the unit. Would be owners are closely checked out before being considered as potential buyers.
This is a wonderful initiative, and it is to be hoped that REHORP is supported by everyone in the racing industry. Any owners will queries regarding REHORP should phone Mary-Anne Knight on 082 492 0888.

Europe’s alarming trend
It is no secret that international racing and breeding is largely geared towards speed and precocity. It is, however, alarming to me that this year sees two British trained and raced 2yos retired to stud. In 2008, the 2yo Dark Angel was retired to stud, after winning the Gp1 Middle Park Stakes. In his case, connections doubted that colt could win another race, but if that was the case, that what are the odds that he will excel at stud? Whilst there have been good sires who never raced after their two-year-olds days (such as Hail To Reason, sire of Roberto and Halo), they tend to be the leader of their generation, with proven ability and class.

Neither of the two 2yos, retiring in 2011, were injured (or the best of his generation), and connections are clearly hoping to for a big pay day, with the sale of their precocious stock.
Nonetheless, this could become an alarming trend should owners start rushing off two-year-olds to stud, for financial reasons. Both juveniles, namely Approve and Zebedee, who retired this year have good pedigrees and were high-class juveniles, but neither colt won over any distance further than seven furlongs and neither were given the chance to show that they trained on.

Both are likely to cover big books of mares in their first season at stud, despite being unproven both at stud, and to a lesser extent, on the racetrack.
The thoroughbred was bred to race, but rushing off immature 2yos to the covering shed is hardly likely to improve the breed, in terms of stamina, soundness or class. Sadly, however, it is unlikely that Zebedee (Invincible Spirit) and Approve (Oasis Dream) are the last two-year-olds to be hidden in the breeding barn, rather than showing their ability and class on the racetrack.

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts

From Chaos To Reform

Charl Pretorius writes in his Off The Record column on the 4Racing website that owners, trainers and racing fans are gravely concerned about the state of our industry

Read More »