Player’s Plan

First local crop of foals born in 2016 are outstanding

After two seasons in South Africa, Gr1 Racing Post Trophy winner Kingsbarns has been found to be subfertile, but his first local crop of foals born in 2016 is so outstanding that Drakenstein Stud plans to breed the son of Galileo on both northern and southern hemisphere time to enhance his chances of success.


Kingsbarns was undefeated at 2

The unusual plan was suggested by Gary Player.

“Kingsbarns has a fertility issue. We only got about 50 per cent of his mares in foal, so he’s not commercially viable,” said Gaynor Rupert last month in the midst of social events for the l’Ormarins Queen’s Plate festival.

“But he’s such a wonderful – looking specimen and he’s the only Gr1-winning son of Galileo in South Africa. The 14 foals born this year are so good-looking.”

Gary Player said “Why don’t we breed him on northern hemisphere time and we can either send [the foals] to England or wait and race them here.”

Bred by Annemarie O’Brien and trained by her husband Aidan, Kingsbarns is from the prolific family that produced champions Rip Van Winkle and Halling, Dubai World Cup winner African Story, and QE II Challenge Cup winner Danish.

Kingsbarns – the stallion

His fourth dam, Mesopotamia, was Britain’s top juvenile filly of 1963.

Rupert said she would like to race some of Kingsbarns’ progeny in Britain and believes his first foals have the potential to be good runners anywhere.

“The more of his offspring we can manage to get, the better,” she said, adding that breeders will have ample opportunities to be sure their mares are serviced since any who might not get in foal on northern hemisphere time could be bred back on regular southern hemisphere scheduling.

Drakenstein advertises Kingsbarns’ fee as R15.000. The stallion will be available to breeders for the northern hemisphere breeding season that begins in mid-February.

(by Michele MacDonald –

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