SA Takes On The World

Four SA Runners On The World Stage This Weekend

Yorker wins the Gr1 Horse Chestnut at Turffontein 2014-03-29

Yorker runs at Chantilly today

It’s a big weekend for South African runners in Europe with no less than four South African runners flying the flag on the international stage.

First to step out is the 7yo SA-bred Yorker, who takes his place in the Gr2 Qatar Prix Dollar over 2000m at Chantilly on Saturday, 1 October.

Yorker is conditioned by Newmarket trainer William Haggas and will be ably piloted by Piere Strydom who has been in Chantilly this week to prepare himself for rides on both Yorker and Harry’s Son.  The team have drawn 5 in a 9 horse field and the Qatar Prix Dollar runners will be under starters’ orders at 2:50pm.

The strapping son of Jet Master, out of the four time winning Al Mufti mare Little Indian was bred by Varsfontein’s Mr & Mrs Carl de Vos and was a R1,8 million purchase on the 2011 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.  During his SA campaign, he raced in the interests of Messrs B Kantor, MJ Jooste, FEJ Lewis & Mrs I Jooste and was trained by Randjesfontein-based trainer, Geoff Woodruff.  On home soil, Yorker won 6 times from 14 starts, including the 2013 Gr1 Summer Cup, 2014 Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes and 2014 Gr1 President’s Champions Challenge.

During mid-2014, Yorker was exported to Dubai and joined Mike de Kock’s string for the 2015 International Racing Carnival.  However, he did not race in the UAE and was subsequently shipped to the UK to join the William Haggas yard in Newmarket.

After in excess of 800 days off the track, Yorker put up an exciting UK debut performance at the Ebor Festival at York,  finishing 1.25 lengths behind Scottish in the Gr3 Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes on 20 August 2016.

He made his second European appearance in the Listed Racehorse Sanctuary Fortune Stakes at Sandown on Wednesday, 14 September, where he was pipped in the shadow of the post by Quebee.

Yorker remains among 55 entries for the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot on 15 October 2016.

Smart Call

Smart Call

Team SA (photo:  Alec Laird Racing)

Across the Channel, on the same afternoon Alec Laird’s 2016 Gr1 J&B Met winning filly Smart Call steps out in the Gr1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile.  The field has 9 runners, most of which have not run at the Newmarket track.  However, Smart Call galloped there a fortnight ago and Anthony Delpech, who will be in the saddle on Saturday, arrived in Newmarket earlier this week to get acquainted with the filly and familiarise himself with the track.

Smart Call has drawn 5 and the field will be under starters’ orders at 4pm UK time (5pm for fans watching from South Africa).

Laird has cautioned that it is a prep run to bring her on for their ultimate mission, the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on 5 November.

“She’s been in Newmarket for three months and luckily there’s been no hiccups as we’ve hardly had a week to spare in her preparation.  It’s hard to imagine she’s race fit, but the way it’s gone she’s fit enough to give a good account of herself. We don’t know where we stand but all I know is that she’s the best filly I’ve ever had and certainly the best filly back home in South Africa.”

Mauritzfontein Stud’s 4yo homebred Smart Call (Ideal World – Good Judgement) qualified for the Breeders’ Cup on the ‘Win And You’re In’ initiative by winning the 2016 Gr1 Paddock Stakes on 9 January.  Shortly after her 2016 Gr1 J&B Met triumph, Smart Call entered quarantine, arriving in Newmarket in late June.

She will be the first runner in Britain for Alec Laird since London News finished third to Bosra Sham in the 1997 Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

Arc Day

On Arc day on Sunday, two more South African runners will fly the flag in the Gr1 Qatar Prix de la Foret over 1400m, Harry’s Son and Same Jurisdiction.  Harry’s Son will be ridden by Piere Strydom and Same Jurisdiction has the services of William Buick in the saddle.  The two horses have drawn 4 and 3 respectively and the field will face the starter at 5:15pm.

Same Jurisdiction

Same Jurisdiction - a quiet opener to Cape campaign

Same Jurisdiction

Drakenstein Stud Farm racing manager Kevin Sommerville spoke to us ahead of their filly’s French debut.   “Basically it’s going to be her second race back, but she’s in a good space at the moment and Ed Dunlop is very happy with her work.  Because the filly is so well, Gaynor was keen to get one or two more starts in before the season is out.  We looked for races around there and this is the one that best suited her.”

“While it is an extremely competitive race, it’s probably the race that ticks the most boxes for her, even though the competition is the strongest.”

“We always thought she was a very good 7 furlong filly and she likes going around the turn as she did when she won her two Gr1’s.  She’s got everything in her favour, even though the competition is extremely tough, so we’re just hoping for her to run a nice race.”

“For us that’s really what it’s about.  She’s in a good space and we just wanted to find another race for her.  This is obviously a very tough race and we’re throwing her in the deep end – we realise that – but at the same time it offers a lot of the factors which she requires to perform to her best.”

“Mrs Rupert made the decision.  She weighed up all the options and then committed to this race.  She’s very excited about the prospect and would be thrilled to see a South African horse perform well.”

The 5yo Same Jurisdiction is from the first crop of Mambo In Seattle out of the lightly raced one-time winning Captain Al mare, Diana De Carlo.  Same Jurisdiction was bred by Klawervlei Stud (and pinhooked by Duncan Barry and John Gatt for R25 000 at the 2012 Cape Mare & Weanling Sale) before being purchased by Howells Racing for R270 000 on the 2013 KZN Yearling Sale.  She was trained by Duncan Howells and raced in the interests of Messrs I.F.M. van Schalkwyk, D.C. Howells, L.C. Vermaak, Dr R.H. Katzwinkel and Mrs M.A.M. Powell before Drakenstein Stud Farm purchased an interest at the end of her 2yo racing season.  After finishing second to Smart Call in the 2016 Gr1 Majorca Stakes, Drakenstein Stud bought out the remaining partners and decided to campaign the filly abroad.

Same Jurisdiction is in the care of Ed Dunlop and made her UK debut on 9 September 2016 in the 7 furlong Gr3 Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster, finishing a promising 4th behind Roger Varian’s Spangled.

This will be her second European start.

Harry’s Son

Harry's Son and team - walking the ,long road to Dubai

Harry’s Son and team

Paul Lafferty, who flew off to France on Friday afternoon, told the Sporting Post, “Look, we’re born optimists and horse racing is the dream factory.  We’re all going out to watch him run on the 2nd.  The race is a 1400m around the bend.  Harry ran in Dubai, then he’s been spelling and training in Spain and then he transferred to Chantilly and he’s been galloping there for the last 4 weeks.  We got Gerald Mosse to gallop him one day and he came back and said he’s a very very nice horse, so that’s praise indeed.”

“I’ve got videos from Roy of him working 6 furlongs with 3 other very good horses and Harry was going better than both of them.  Of course, he’s not had a prep run, but we have found that he runs better fresh.  In the 2014 Graham Beck Stakes he had a 3 month break and had to take a 5kg penalty because he was the only Gr1 winner in the field and he blew them away.  His first run in Dubai came after a long break and he finished second to a top horse, so he runs well fresh.”

“Piere Strydom flew out on Monday and will be riding him in the big race on Sunday.  Overall we’re pretty happy with how things have gone, although we’re pretty realistic at the same time – a Gr1 in France is a helluva thing to do.  But the weight’s right, everything’s right in that sense and we just had to hope for a bit of luck with the draw.”

“Arc weekend is being held at Chantilly, rather than Longchamp, but we think the track configuration will suit us a bit better.  Harry will be running in Martha Bilro’s colours (the Spanish decided Roy’s colours look too much like a swastika and they weren’t having that), so he’ll be in the red, white and black.”

“Other than that, we’re all on song.  Everything hinges on the run, but we’re very happy with him and all set to go.  We’ve looked at all the options and we’ve sent a note to the owners with options to consider.  Depending on how things go there’s a $3 million race in Hong Kong or a Gr3 in France two weeks later.”

“We’ve seen the comeback of Same Jurisdiction and Smart Call is due to run on he weekend – it’s exciting times for SA racing.”

“I fly out on Friday.  I’ve been very fortunate – to get a horse like Harry’s Son is very difficult.  He’s afforded me some great travels and I’ve really appreciated it.  We still have the option to go to the Breeders’ Cup, but like I say, it will all depend on how he runs.  Opportunities like these come along infrequently, so one’s got to make the most of it.”

“It’s particularly rewarding that we’ve produced him all the way through, which is great.  He’s still entire and the plans are basically  not to think too far ahead – things can change overnight – so we’re hoping for the best.  We’ll be sitting together to look at options after the race.”

Harry’s Son was bred in Australia by Cranton Bloodstock and is by Haradasun out of the Anabaa mare, Dash On Ruby. The good looking colt was signed for by Phil Georgiou for A$ 60 000 off the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

During his South African campaign, he raced in the interests of well known KZN owner Roy Moodley and a host of owners, including the travel supremo, Phil Georgiou for 11 starts and 4 wins, including the Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes, the Gr2 Bettingworld Gauteng Guineas and the Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes.

Exported to the UAE for the 2016 Dubai season, Harry’s Son had 4 starts in Dubai, finishing 2nd in the Gr2 Al Fahidi Fort on debut, 4th in both the Gr2 Zabeel Mile and the Gr1 Jebel Hatta and finished off his campaign in the Gr1 Dubai Turf on World Cup night.

This will be his European debut.

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