The Circles Of Life

Who remembers Ingleside?

As friends and family bade farewell to former KwaZulu-Natal breeder Robin Scott at a memorial service held in Hollywoodbets Greyville’s sun-drenched parade ring on Saturday, it brought home the loss of yet another doyen of the racing and breeding industry.

Together with brother Des, Robin’s name became synonymous with an enviable array of top horses bred at their Highdown Stud over almost five decades, many of which descended from the quality fillies they imported from the Northern Hemisphere, Robin’s favourite Devon Air being a prime example.

Highdown Scott Bros

It is therefore quite remarkable that one of their mares would make the reverse trip, this being Josey Wood, a daughter of nine-time champion Foveros.

A member of the fabulous Drohsky clan and descended from her fine grandaughter, the Durban July winner Diza, Josey Wood was a product of the famed Birch breeding operation and was bred by the late Chris Birch.

She could run a bit too and retired to his Bradgate farm a five-time winner.

After dropping her first foal, the National Assembly filly Miss Espin (who would become the dam of Gr3 winner Maggie Kay), Chris sent Josey Wood to Highdown to visit then resident Sadler’s Wells horse Dolpour.

Bred by His Highness the Aga Khan, he was a Gr1-placed, Gr3 winner out of French 1000 Guineas victress Dumka.

A wonderful broodmare, her six stakes winning foals included the English 2000 Guineas hero Doyoun and future star stallion Dalsaan.

Ingleside – a top class son of Dolpour (Pic – John Lewis)

The result of that mating was Ingleside, who would stamp himself as one of the leading lights of the new millennium.

Owned by Bernard Kantor, he won both the 2001 Gr1 Champions Cup and Gr1 Summer Cup, the latter in record time.

He was trained at the time by Mike de Kock, whose first stakes winner was none other than Ingleside’s ‘aunt’, the champion Evening Mist, a half-sister to Josey Wood’s dam Ocean Haze.

Josey Wood, who had left Bradgate after Ingleside was foaled, was by then roaming the Highdown paddocks with an Among Men colt at foot. In 2002, she was sent to France, where in 2005, she foaled a filly to the Nureyev horse Fasliyev. Named Eleonora, she crossed the channel to join the stable of young William Haggas and after scoring in the Scott silks, she was sent to South Africa.

Fate once again intervened.

In 2015, Eleonora was offered as part of a dispersal of Scott mares and was in foal to Mogok.

Birch Bros

Birch Bros

Young Colin Birch, who had just ventured into horse breeding at the family’s Vogel Vlei Stud, noticed that she was from one of their old families and together with breeding partner Jurgen van Heerden, purchased Eleonora.

Colin sent her to Duke Of Marmalade in the spring, and for a good reason. At the time, the Drakenstein based stallion had a very good four-year-old racing in England in the fine stayer Big Orange, who had captured both the Gr2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Gr1 Goodwood Cup.

Colin noticed that he was out of a Fasliyev mare, so Eleonora made the trip to Drakenstein for a liaison with the son of Danehill. In 2016, the mare gave birth to a filly aptly named Miss Orange.

Talented Duke Of Marmalade stayer Miss Orange (Pic- Pauline Herman)

As Colin recalled: “She was a lovely, scopey foal but needed a little bit of time and not be rushed through sale preparation. We really liked her and she flourished here on the farm, given the time necessary to mature into her frame. We made the partners an offer and bought them out. We eventually sent her on lease to Alan Greeff and as back-end two-year-old.” History repeated itself, for many of the Birch’s fine broodmares were trained by Alan late father Stanley!

As for Big Orange, he went on to repeat the Princess Of Wales/Goodwood Cup double as a five-y ear-old and at age six, enjoyed his finest moment when victorious in the Gr1 Ascot Gold Cup.

Big Orange – soldier staying son of Duke Of Marmalade

Miss Orange, too, has shown plenty of stamina and captured the Listed Glenlair Trophy over 2800m earlier this year. Now a seven time winner, she stays in training this season.

So the saga of Birch-bred Josey Wood has come full circle. Fate decreed that the Scotts would send her abroad, that Eleonora would return to South Africa and that she would eventually join the Birch fold.

May her daughter continue to flourish, both on the racetrack and eventually in the Vogel Vlei paddocks!

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