Pathfork – The Profit Principle

In a rich vein of form

There’s no denying that Pathfork is currently riding the crest of a wave, three individual stakes winners in the space of as many weeks are proof of that. Not too shabby, considering that’s more than many stallions have sired this season.

Pathfork’s stakes treble was initiated on Christmas eve when Erico Verdonese-trained son Jimmy Don announced his arrival in the stakes echelons with a fluent victory in the Listed Secretariat Stakes at Turffontein.

Jimmy Don wins the Listed Secretariat Stakes (Pic – JC Photos)

Barely a week later, fellow three-year-old Royal Victory travelled from homebase KZN and promptly showed his Joburg rivals a clean pair of heels in the Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes, scoring by the best part of four lengths.

Natie Kotzen’s charge has clearly built on some fine juvenile form; after all he had chased home champion Cousin Casey in both the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes and Gr2 Golden Horseshoe.

This past Friday, Pathfork’s stakes treble was rounded out at Fairview, where Sharon Kotzen saddled four-year-old daughter And We Danced in the Listed Lady’s Bracelet. Following a battle royale over the final furlong, the filly showed true grit and determination to outduel multiple stakes winner Santa Therese for a hard-fought head win.

Not only was this her first black type success, she was winning for the fifth time in succession, which takes some doing.

This newly minted stakes trio brings Pathfork’s seasonal tally of black type winners to four.

In November, his faithful son Bingwa put the likes of subsequent Gr1 Summer Cup ace Puerto Manzano and last season’s Champion three-year-old Safe Passage in their place when landing the Gr2 Allied Steelrode-Onamissionmile for the second year running.

Bingwa wins the Gr1 Betway Summer Cup (Pic – JC Photos)

By the way, Pathfork also features as the sire of three-year-old filly La Pura Vida, a smart maiden winner at Kenilworth this past weekend. The money came in buckets for the Gareth van Zyl-trained miss, who fully justified her cramped odds to score over 1200m.

As for her sire, we have said it before, and will do so again, he has largely flown under the radar his entire stud career, yet continues to make his presence felt, as reflected by his latest stats, which are illuminating to say the least.

So far this season, his 39% strike rate of winners to runners is second only to that of elite stallion Vercingetorix (41%), while his tally of four stakes winners puts him on a par with former champion and current log leader Gimmethegreenlight.

Furthermore, he currently finds himself in good company as the country’s tenth leading active sire, notwithstanding the fact that he has no more than 72 runners on the track.

Jimmy Don, Royal Victory and La Pura Vida hail from Pathfork’s current three-year-old crop, which according to stud master James Armitage, is his biggest since the stallion exchanged Ridgemont Highlands for Sandown Stud in 2018.

Royal Victory charges home to win the Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes (Pic – JC Photos)

“That year, he got 70 mares, basically on the strength of his first Gr1 winner, the filly Mighty High, who won the Allan Robertson. Since then, he has barely covered 30 mares a season, most of which have come from Anton Shepherd and myself. Such a shame.”

James added further food for thought: “You know, his progeny are tough and durable, they sprint and stay. The Mauritians love them, which is a bit of a double negative, as local trainers pick them up cheaply as yearlings, win a race or two with them, and then sell them on at a handsome profit, which robs him of local representation.”

Pathfork (Distorted Humor – Visions of Clarity)

On a more positive note, he added: “Thankfully, it does look as if buyers are starting to pay for them and he is picking up respect in the sales ring. I sold a filly for R375 000 at the November 2YO Sale.”

Sadly, Pathfork has no representation at the forthcoming Cape Yearling Sale, which is a travesty in itself, for as James pointed out: “Ironically, the two most profitable stallions when it comes to production cost vs progeny earnings are Pathfork and Elusive Fort.”

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts