Once Upon A Time In The West!

1986: Wild West

Wild West

Wild West – 1986 Gr1 J&B Met

Fate and the weather conspired with the South African Turf Club to make the 1986 J&B Metropolitan Stakes one of the most successful meetings ever. Nothing went wrong and the hot, still afternoon kept the big crowd at the course till long after the last race.

With the early favourite Fools Holme (USA) out of the race with a sprained hock the outcome of the race itself was predictable. The 22/10 favourite Wild West, the only horse really in the betting (6/1 and better being offered about the rest of the field), fulfilled all expectations. Trainer Ralph Rixon sent him out in magnificent shape and stable jockey Greg Holme did the rest in spite of dropping his whip at a crucial stage of the race.

Voodoo Charm set a fair pace from the break with Supreme Sovereign in second spot and Wild West next best – a position they kept into the straight. Holme then sent Wild West after Voodoo Charm, catching him just inside the 200-marker. Holme kept him going to hold off strong challenges from High Wonder, who had raced wide all the way, and Mauritzfontein.

Wild West passed the post ¾ length clear of the fast finishing High Wonder and Mauritzfontein (GB), who were separated by a short-head, to give Ralph Rixon his first Metropolitan Stakes winner. He carried the colours of the Circle Seven Syndicate (nominee Dr A Moffson) and to that date had earned close on R400 000.

A striking looking chestnut, and never more magnificent than in the Metropolitan preliminaries, Wild West was bred at Paul de Wet’s Zandvliet Stud by the Derring Do sire Roland Gardens (Ire) out of the New South Wales (GB) mare Wild Ash, a winner of seven races up to 1600m, including the Cape and Natal Fillies Guineas.

Her dam Ashplant (Herculaneum (GB)) produced among others, Whiteoak (Noble Chieftain (Ire)) who won nine races and was placed in both the Cape Guineas and the Metropolitan.

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