Last year’s SA Classic winner, English Garden, recently got back on the winning track with a smooth success at Greyville. The son of Camden Park has been entered in the Vodacom Durban July and, no doubt, will have gained even more admirers off his convincing latest win. English Garden’s already impressive race record is made more commendable by the fact, that the gelding is a bleeder.
His breeder, Barbara Sanne, remembers English Garden as being well built as a foal, but not a stand out. She says he grew into a good looking yearling, but had two other equally attractive Camden Park yearling colts at the time. Barbara feels that English Garden was not a stand out early on, but has matured into a terrific racehorse.
She did the mating as she loved English Garden’s female line (it is the same one responsible for such high-class performers as Gold Cup winner Colonial Girl, top juvenile Brilliant Cup and G1 winner Lord Shirldor). She also liked the Danzig factor (broodmare sire of Camden Park) in the pedigree of the future Classic winner.
She still has the gelding’s dam – Royal Habit. One of just over 30 mares kept at Barbara’s Oldlands Stud, the flashy, chestnut, Royal Habit is very typical of her sire, Dominion Royale. She is currently in foal to Judpot – which would make the resulting foal a three parts sibling to English Garden (as both Judpot and Camden Park are sons of A P Indy).
Barbara is hoping to possibly have two runners in the G1 Vodacom Durban July this year, with both English Garden and Astro News having been entered in South Africa’s most famous race. English Garden ran a cracker in the race last year, when beaten just two lengths into third place by Horse of the Year, Igugu.
As good as English Garden is, Barbara believes the best horse she has bred was the high-class performer Lucky Find (Rich Man’s Gold – Little Erna). The earner of over R8 million in prize money, Lucky Find was placed in both the KZN Guineas and Daily News 2000 before being sold overseas. Sent to Dubai, Lucky Find won the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge, and competed in the 2008 Dubai World Cup, where he finished sixth to US Horse of the Year Curlin. The gelding also went on to win in Britain.
Barbara says she has liked what she has seen of the first Judpot foals, and she is also a big supporter of stallions such as Lateral, Silvano, Querari, Var and Black Minnaloushe. She has also used young sire Judpot this season, and sent Astro News’ dam back to Silvano for a full sibling to that talented performer.
Many of the Oldlands broodmare band were smart racetrack performers in their heydays, and they include the likes of Lets Be Cool, Light Fandango as well as Egyptian Reign (dam of Go Indigo). The latter is currently in foal to brilliant sire Var – and the foal is keenly awaited!
Oldlands has just two daughters of Dominion Royale – Royal Habit (dam of English Garden) and Orange Moon (dam of this season’s G3 Graham Beck winner Astro News).
Barbara has enjoyed a wonderful season in 2011-2012, having bred all of Astro News, English Garden and G2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner, Go Indigo. She is, however, planning to cut down on her broodmare band in the future, citing rising costs as one of the major reasons.
Barbara feels strongly that South Africa should bring back Breeders Premiums, citing the success of that scheme in Europe. She believes that South African breeders should receive a percentage of racing tax, which would give them some breathing room.
She also feels strongly that the current market is a difficult one for unproven stallions, and believes that a session in some of the country’s yearling sales should be solely devoted to the selling of first and second season sires.
Drawn to Hermanus because of its climate is similar to Southern Ireland, Barbara started her Oldlands Stud in the Hemel ‘n Aarde Valley back in 1995 and is based just ten minutes outside of Hermanus itself. Her son Ian is also keenly interested in horse racing, and Barbara’s granddaughter, Francesca, is a very talented dressage rider – despite being only 13 years old!
Oldlands is currently home to Indigo Magic, the son of Gone West and Oaks winner Lady Carla. Indigo Magic, whom Barbara has leased from Arc-En-Ciel, is enjoying his best ever season at stud this year, and is represented by G2 Merchants winner Shades of Indigo and G2 Fillies Guineas winner Go Indigo in 2012.
Barbara has enjoyed a superb season, and hopefully it can only improve with better things to come from some of her star performers!