The Future Looks Bright

Gr1 Success Must Be On Horizon For Futura

Champion stayer Future Pearl underscored the oft-used phrase that form is temporary while class is permanent, with his fluent win in the Tabgold Gr3 Derby at Hollywoodbets Greyville last Saturday.

Future Pearl storms home under Richard Fourie in the Betway Gr3 Derby

Future Pearl storms home under Richard Fourie in the Betway Gr3 Derby (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

It was a welcome return to form for the Beck-owned four-year-old, who had gone winless since he landed last season’s World Pool Gold  Cup, a victory which clinched him the Equus Champion Stayer award.

Patience is a virtue, in particular in horse-racing, and trainer Sean Tarry deserves all the kudos for bringing his charge back to best. This latest success couldn’t have come at a more opportune time as it goes a long way to strengthening his claims for a berth in the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

Future Pearl is by Futura, who never won beyond 2000m, yet is quietly adding his name to the list of stallions capable of siring horses with a touch of stamina.

Future Swing under Jockey Richard Fourie get home

Future Swing (Richard Fourie) powers up the inside to grab the determined Oriental Charm under JP van der Merwe to win Gr2 World Sports Betting 1900.(Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

In addition to Future Pearl, his progeny also include Light Of The Moon, winner of the Oaks Trial and runner-up in both the SA Oaks and Track and Ball Oaks, whilst fellow Hollywoodbets Durban July hopeful Future Swing won the Gr3 Chairman’s Cup over 2500m, as well as the Gr2 World Sports Betting 1900.

That said, Future Pearl is no plodder, and as he showed in the Derby, flashing acceleration rarely found in a stayer.

Bred by Drakenstein Stud, Future Pearl boasts a dam line second to none, a dyed-in-the-wool South African family which continues to exert its influence on the racing industry.

It all started when the Drum Beat mare Bluebell Girl visited the magnificent chestnut Royal Prerogative at Broadlands Stud, a logical choice, since he had sired her Gr1-placed half-sister Regal Blue – who by the way, would become the dam of J&B Met winner Imperious Sue.

The filly which resulted from that mating was named Wild Hyacinth. She displayed early talent when runner-up to Broadlands-bred champion and paternal half-sister Tempest Queen in the Gr1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship before winning the Majorca Stakes at three.

Given her track record, Wild Hyacinth warranted only the best consorts as a broodmare. To champion Foveros she threw Wild Cocktail, a Gr2-placed stakes winner of nine races; the stakes-placed Fov’s Flower; as well as unraced Garden Verse, who became the dam of the high-class globetrotter Imbongi and the Graded stakes winners Spring Garland and Mahubo.

Future Pearl descends from Wild Hyacinth’s second foal Dancing Flower, a high-quality filly by powerhouse stallion Dancing Champ. Bred by Des Scott and Luke Bailes, she won three races and was purchased at the old Maritzburg Sale by Litchfield Stud.

As a broodmare, the chestnut added to her fine roots as the dam of five stakes performers, amongst which two champions, Victory Moon and Kelly, winner of the (then) Gr1 Gold Bowl.

Dynasty son Futura at Drakenstein

Dynasty son Futura at Drakenstein (Pic – Hamish Niven Photography)

Dancing Flower’s crowning achievement was her Al Mufti son Victory Moon. Successful in his only start as a juvenile, the colt was exported to Dubai where he earned Horse of the Year honours, his tally of stakes wins including both the Derby and Guineas.

He returned to South Africa for stallion duties but died after standing just four seasons at Maine Chance Farms. In hindsight, his premature loss was a tragic one, considering he sired the dual champion Princess Victoria and Gr1 winner War Horse, besides featuring as the broodmare sire of Gr1 winner Astrix, as well as Futura’s Gr1 placed son, Nourbese.

Needless to say, Dancing Flower’s daughters became hot commodities, one of which, Pagan Princess, commanded R1,7 million as a yearling. Although she failed to live up to that exalted price tag, she became the dam of Gr1 Cape Guineas hero and sire William Longsword, and of Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint victress Real Princess, who in turn bred the dual Gr1 winning sprinter, Gimme A Prince.

Future Pearl is out of Victory Moon’s full sister Arabian Pearl. Whilst not in the same league as her illustrious brother, she was no slouch either. Raced by L’Ormarins (now Drakenstein), her finest moment on the track came in the Gr1 Woolavington 2200, where she almost upstaged Sun Classique, the Bass-trained champion getting up on the line to score by a neck.

Also, third in both the Spook Express and Queen Palm Handicaps, run over 2450 and 2400m respectively, she clearly stayed well, as did her Western Winter daughter, the East Cape Oaks runner-up Arabian Winter, who produced Jacaranda Handicap winner Bureau Des Legende to Legislate, like Futura a son of Dynasty.

Stamina also manifested itself in Arabian Pearl’s grandaughter Explosive Bond, who succeeded in this season’s Spook Express Handicap. By Fire Away, she is out of Arabian Pearl’s Trippi daughter Liwa.

As for Future Pearl, his Derby success served as a clear sign that he is on track to defend his Gold Cup crown, but first there is still that little matter of a coveted first Gr1 win, not just for himself, but also for his sire.

Perhaps the first Saturday in July will see that wish come true.

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