It is hard to believe that it is more 30 years ago since the brilliant racemare Olympic Duel claimed the 1990 Gr1 Paddock Stakes, a race she would go on to capture the following year.
The sister to July winning champion Dancing Duel was one of the finest racemares ever to set foot on a South African racetrack, and, unlike many champion fillies, Olympic Duel has also gone on to make her mark at stud as well.
Olympic Duel, who was sired by top broodmare sire Dancing Champ, was an official South African champion three seasons running.
Her seven Gr1 scores included triumphs over males in all of the J&B Met, Champion Stakes and Mainstay International, also finishing runner up in the 1990 Rothman’s July and Queen’s Plate.
Retired to stud, Olympic Duel produced a trio of stakes winners headed by Gr1 Daily News 2000 winner Flying Duel (Foveros), as well as the stakes winning dam of Gr1 Gold Cup winner, and champion, Thundering Star (Fort Wood). Her Java Handicap winning daughter Supreme Duel (Royal Chalice) ranks as the dam of three black type winners – notably the graded stakes winning females Supreme Sunset (Western Winter) and Northern Heritage (Western Winter).
The champion, whose dam Mashka (New South Wales) was South Africa’s Broodmare Of The Year in both 1991 and 1992, was directly descended in female line from one of the most important broodmares in the stud book – Double Life (Bachelors Double). Herself winner of the Cambridgeshire, Double Life foundered a remarkable dynasty of her own, with her own progeny headed by the likes of Casanova (Dewhurst Stakes), and successful sires Persian Gulf (Coronation Cup) and Precicpitation (Gold Cup). (Persian Gulf would also make his mark in South Africa as the sire of six times South African champion sire Persian Wonder).
Double Life also ranks as the third dam of triple classic winning filly Meld (Alycidon) –whose son Charlottown (Charlottesville) captured the 1966 Epsom Derby. Other notable members of this family include Twice A Prince (second to Secretariat in the 1970 Belmont Stakes), Judicate (Irish St Leger) and Shahtoush (Epsom Oaks).
Olympic Duel’s grandson Gold Standard (Trippi) could further enhance his remarkable granddam’s record in the coming seasons.
A fine poster boy for the Cape Yearling Sale (he was knocked down for R725 000 at the 2015 Val De Vie Yearling Sale), Gold Standard captured both the Gr2 Selangor Cup and Racing Association Stakes at three, when he also finished runner up, to William Longsword, in the 2016 Gr1 Cape Guineas.
Gold Standard, who is out of Olympic Duel’s daughter Olympic Dam (Model Man), is a half-brother to Spook Express Handicap runner up Gottalottalov.
The bay has seven members of his first crop on offer at the 2021 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, with Gold Standard also represented at this year’s Cape Yearling Sale in February. It will be interesting to see what mares Gold Standard fares well with, with his female line having enjoyed success when mated to Western Winter, Var and Fort Wood among others.