Green Street Rocks

Spencer Cook says he will win the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes on Saturday

Justin Vermaak, the man of many talents, launched Green Street Bloodstock roughly a year ago with Barry Irwin’s highly successful Team Valor International concept as his framework. They purchase and syndicate horses for racing and career management and consign others to sales on behalf of clients.

Billy Jaobson salutes on Miss Nightingale - GSB's first winner

Billy Jacobson salutes on Miss Nightingale – GSB’s first winner

Green Street’s first runner, Miss Nightingale, won on her debut. She was bought at the CTS Book 2 Sale last year and inspired Justin to develop this interest as a serious commercial venture – at this writing there are 20 horses in all their active syndicates.

Green Street has consigned eight fillies and a colt to Friday’s CTS Ready To Run Sale and Justin reckons the colt, Shining Knight (Lot 171), is a plum.  He’s by Seventh Rock from Corn Flower, who is a half-sister to November Handicap winner Swartland and the well-performed Lion’s Blood.

Justin Vermaak

Justin Vermaak

Justin tells: “Shining Knight a late foal but he has blossomed since going into pre-training with Neil Bruss. He’s a strong and correct colt and Bernard Fayd’Herbe has galloped him. He gave us an excellent report-back.”

Among the fillies Lot 102, a daughter of Dynasty from a Zimbabwean stakes-winner by Kitalpha gets Justin’s heart beating. “She’s a bit small being a first foal, but from her first day in pre-training she showed that she was a bit ahead of the rest. She has a good action.”

Spencer Cook, who has many years of experience in breeding and stud management with the likes of The Alchemy, Odessa Stud and Riethuiskraal Stud, a few years ago brought his own bloodstock operation to life in ‘The Rock’ – the name of his family’s Paarl farm currently housing 13 mares.

He says: “The farm was called ‘The Peer’ when we bought it. That is French for ‘The Rock’, our preferred name since the farm is actually right up on the famous Paarl Rock, we see it around us every day. I’ve built my own sand track, so we pre-train our horses on the premises.”

The Rock breeds and pinhooks horses for clients and will bring a six-strong band of two-year-olds to Durbanville. Spencer speaks with lively enthusiasm and says: “We sold 10 at last year’s sale. Eight of them have won and two, Budapest and Dragon Flame, have qualified for the Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes.  I kept a share in Dragon Flame, I think she will win the big race.”

Spencer says this R2R Sale is a wonderful event because it gives value to buyers and sellers. “Near all the lots get sold and they go at reasonable prices too.”

The Rock’s 2015 draft is well balanced.

Spencer has what he reckons is an out-and-out Derby horse in Lot 179, an Elusive Fort colt from a mare by Green Desert and some good sprinting prospects in the form of two Pathforks (Lots 4 and 144; “typical of their sire, they have speed all over them”), an Elusive Fort colt from Gr3-placed Maggie (Lot 50), a Miesque’s Approval colt from a National Assembly mare (Lot 67) and a smart filly by Tiger Ridge from Gr2-placed Los Angeles.

The last two mentioned are precocious and very fast. “They can go straight into training and I think they will quickly qualify for the Ready To Run races,” Spencer predicts.


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