The two Grade 1 wins by the offspring of National Colour at Saturday’s Champions meeting at Turffontein will have a long-term beneficial effect for the South African breeding industry.
That’s the view of Robin Bruss who has been a leading bloodstock consultant for many years.
Commenting on the two wins, Robin says: ‘‘Kudos to advocate Altus Joubert of Riethuiskraal Stud, a former TBA chairman, who bred National Colour and sold her as a yearling to Chris van Niekerk and now the dam of two Grade 1 stars, Mustaaqeem and Rafeef.
‘‘National Colour not only thrashed the colts in the Computaform Sprint, and she also went over to the UK and was beaten a nose in England’s Nunthorpe Stakes.’’
The margin was actually 1.50 lengths. I was there!
“She looks set to become an important foundation mare in the history of breeding in South Africa because her two sons will become stallions and found their own dynasties while her daughters will build future family.”
“She therefore becomes a pivot for the breed, especially as Klawervlei, who maintain her in Australia, are mating her to world class stallions. It is also firm evidence once again that the breed progresses on the back of racing class.”
It is somewhat ironic that two horses Rafeef beat in the Computaform Sprint, Carry On Alice and Trip To Heaven, race for Chris van Niekerk, but there isn’t a more sporting owner in the land and he will have applauded the Mike de Kock stable.
When one looks back at Saturday’s meeting – excellently marketed by Clyde Basel and his team – t was a disaster for pundits and few punters will have returned home with money in their pockets.
In panel discussions during the week, pundits were all singing from the same hymn book. Legal Eagle was a Pick 6 banker in the Premier’s Champions Challenge, Heavenly Blue would justify favouritism in the Derby and the Computaform was a match between stablemates, Carry On Alice and Trip To Heaven.
The first hint it wasn’t going to be an easy meeting came with Ilitshe’s unplaced run in the Gold Bowl. I had told guests in the Ferrari tent – where I was MC for the day – that Ilitshe “can’t miss the first three so we’ve got a PA banker.” Talk about a red face!
Mustaaqeem’s SA Nursery win was about the only favourable result for pundits and punters and the Aussie import was far and away the most impressive winner at the meeting.
Mike de Kock also saddled Aussie-bred runner-up Naafer and I posed the question to the legendary trainer that – in the week of the National Yearling Sale – his shopping Down Under continues to pay dividends.
He replied: “Yes, but it’s not our sole place where we go buying. The trick in Australia is that we’re buying at the right level.”
My 9-2 double on Heavenly Blue went west as this particular Aussie import appeared not to stay the Derby trip, and Al Sahem scored a good win to put his hat in the ring for the Vodacom Durban July.
At a meeting which Callan Murray will forever look back on with fond memories, his best performance came on Deo Juvente who looked set to become the meat in the sandwich between Legal Eagle and Nother Russia in the Champions Challenge.
The 20-year-old took the gap on Geoff Woodruff’s enigmatic performer to land the big prize and Callan’s mum, who apparently handles his earnings, will have been busy with her calculator all weekend.
One can liken Geoff Woodruff to Arsenal in the Premier League. Just when you think he’ll have to play second fiddle behind Messrs Tarry and De Kock, he pops up for the big occasion like Arsenal did against Manchester United on Sunday.
Wind Chill’s win in the Wilgerbosdrift Oaks was another nail in punters’ coffin – only Computaform speed ratings selected Joe Soma’s filly for a place in Friday’s Racing Express selection box.