While he hasn’t covered any mares for two years, Riverworld’s Jet Master stallion Sudden Storm is in the pink of health and produced his first stakes winner on Saturday afternoon when his 4yo son Savannah Storm won the R100 000 Listed Drum Star Handicap at Turffontein.
Trained by Phillip Vermeulen for his wife Jeannique, Savannah Storm defied every rule in the handicapper’s book when, all of 13kgs under sufferance, he comfortably disposed of Sean Tarry’s Cornish Pomodoro by three quarters of a length, to make it three wins on the trot.
Starting at 16-1, Marco van Rensburg rode a peach of a race on a ride that he had originally phoned for – then didn’t expect to make the cut – and finally wondered what excuses he’d have to make to the trainer when Savannah Storm actually started!
But all’s well that ends well, and the Riverworld-bred gelding out of the one-time winning Jallad mare, Slinky Jalinky, made it 3 from 6 for stakes earnings of R144 000.
Riverworld’s Juan van Heerden spoke to the Sporting Post and confirmed that he is selling his farm and calling it a day with breeding.
But Sudden Storm still has four years of covering left in him in Juan’s opinion, and could be a nice option for a breeder keen to take a chance on a mostly unexposed sire that was a top-class forward galloping racehorse – and bred on the same lines as top Varsfontein sire, Master Of My Fate.
“I’d love him to go to a good home where he could have another chance. He has only covered a handful of mares. He produces magnificent foals – strong boned, lovely specimens. My horse Sudden Star with the Robinsons won three on the trot and is consistent. Phillip Vermeulen astutely bought the Savannah Star family – he has two full-brothers and a full-sister to the Drum Star winner. But let him tell you about them when you chat to him.”
Sudden Storm was priced up an early favourite to win the Durban July in 2006, after winning 4 of his first 7 starts, including the Cape Breeders, where he set a new Kenilworth 1800m course record, and a smashing 5,50 length score in the Listed Easter Handicap at Clairwood.
Juan recalls proudly that his own mare, the 2008 Gr1 Paddock Stakes winner Badger’s Gift, was to go on and break Sudden Storm’s 1800m record – and it still stands today.
Sudden Storm did a tendon three weeks before the 2006 July and was off for a year.
He came back and was to win again – but had lost a yard or two of his deadly speed and was retired to Riverworld after a gallant swansong second in the 3200m Durbanville Cup, where he was beaten by the late Carl Burger’s subsequent Gold Vase hero, Grey Cossack.
Sudden Storm retired having raced over 6 seasons for stakes of R441 950. He won 5 races and ran 11 places from his 36 starts.
Juan concedes that he could probably have put more energy in to giving Sudden Storm more mares earlier on.
“He is a good looking horse. He was a powerful and versatile son of Jet Master and is out of an Elliodor mare, Erin’s Chant. So the blood is there. If any breeder wants to take a chance on him, please ask them to give me a call.”
Juan may be contacted at:[email protected] / or chat to Handre at C(084)976 7076
Ed – on Sunday we are chatting to Phillip Vermeulen