Love In Winter – On A Cape Summer’s Day 

Unbeaten son of What A Winter makes it 4 from 4

The magnificent Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas romp by Charles Dickens elicited a flood of superlatives and rightly so, for when last did an undefeated contender put a field of Gr1 opponents to the sword in such emphatic style?

Love In Winter (Corne Orffer) charges clear ahead of Sun Dazed (Aldo Domeyer) and Trivial Matter (Keagan de Melo) (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

However, the Drakenstein homebred was not the only undefeated horse in action on the day. With all the focus on the Guineas, budding sprint star Love In Winter looked in danger of falling through the cracks.

After all, the What A Winter colt made it four wins from as many starts when he led home a scintillating trifecta for his sire in the preceding sprint race, a fine achievement which was understandably all but lost in the Guineas euphoria.

Proud owners Martin and Steven Karunga were on course and joined breeder John Koster in welcoming their colt back to the winner’s enclosure.

We subsequently caught up with John, who elaborated on the lightly raced four year old.

“There’s quite a story behind him. He was actually sold twice and both times, the deal fell through; the first buyer didn’t pay, while the second one thought he had bought a two-year-old, when in fact Love In Winter was a three-year-old!”

Enter the Johannesburg-based brothers Steven and Martin Karunga.

“They were looking through the sales list and approached me. Five or six emails later, we cracked the deal!” John remarked. The rest as they say, is history, for the colt hasn’t looked back since his facile debut win in September.

“He’s a real fighter and doesn’t want to be beaten,” John added.

Love In Winter is trained by Vaughan Marshall, whose relationship with top Klawervlei-breds stretches back many years. He handled the likes of Captain Al and many of his best offspring – William Longsword, One World, Always In Charge, All Is Secret – were all bred at the Bonnievale farm.

Watch the replay of his victory on Saturday 17 December:

Granted, Love In Winter has yet to scale similar heights, yet Vaughan’s comments on the colt are more than enlightening.

“He shows nothing in training, that’s the reason we didn’t fancy him first time round. He’s improving all the time and he’s done everything that is expected of him.’

Given the fact that Love In Winter has scored three times over 1000m and just held on over 1100m in his penultimate start, his optimum distance appears to be the minimum trip, and that’s where he will be campaigned for now.

With a perfect record in tow, temptation would be great to throw the colt into the deep end and yes, the Gr1 Cape Flying Championship readily comes to mind. However, the trainer is adopting a far more cautious approach and for now, it’s a matter of small steps.

Owner Martin Kalunga shows his joy (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

“We will take him along quietly,” Vaughan said. “He’s not a big horse and we will pick his races carefully. Sadly, there is such a shortage of black type races over 1000m, I may just take him to Durban and prep him for the Computaform Sprint.”

A lofty target indeed for a colt who remains an interesting prospect and will be on many shortlists to make his mark in the sprinting ranks come autumn and winter.

From a pedigree perspective, it is no surprise that Love In Winter’s metier is sprinting first and foremost.

As mentioned, he is by a champion sprinter in What A Winter, whilst speed, rather than stamina, is the hallmark of his female line, which is that of champion sprinter Dandy Man, the juvenile Gr1 winner Sudirman and stakes-winning speedsters Hamza and Anthem Alexander.

His Irish-bred dam Lost In Love is a once-raced daughter of Middle Park hero Dark Angel, who has sired such outstanding flyers as Battaash, Harry Angel and Mecca’s Angel. The next two dams are by champion French juvenile Common Grounds and Gimcrack winner Doulab respectively, so there’s plenty of speed on the bottom line.

Klawervlei no longer owns Lost In Love, but has retained her first foal, an unraced daughter of Frankel imported in utero. Named Quite Frankly, she is now doing broodmare duty for the farm and as John reported, has a One World foal at foot and is in foal to Querari.

The latter is also sire of Lost In Love’s last known foal, a juvenile colt who is now in training with Dean Kannemeyer.

Read more here:

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