|Graceland Farm Welcome First Visionaire Foal|
Alec Hogg of Graceland Farm has announced that the first foal by Summerhill’s exciting first season sire in South Africa, Visionaire, was born at Graceland last night in the cold, snowy conditions the Midlands has experienced over the last few days.
“Dancing Gift delivered what we think is Visionaire’s first South African foal, a colt, at 11:30pm on the 8th of the 8th at Graceland Farm,” Alec confirmed. “He is a pure bay, is a very good size and nicely put together.
“Seven days past the unofficial due date of 1 August, a strapping pure bay colt was produced by our best mare Dancing Gift. We believe he is the first local foal for Barry Irwin’s Grade 1 winning American stallion Visionaire, a horse many of us believe is going to be a sensation in South Africa.
“Graceland’s farm manager Glynis van der Merwe, who sent through pictures, and our grooms Four Hadebe and Doctor Nene, worked against the odds to help Giftie deliver the colt we’re hoping to call Snowdancer – for the unusual covering of the landscape right now and, of course, his Mom who carried part of her name from her dam, the great Champion racefilly Dancing Danzig. Giftie is a big girl, her colt is huge and needed human assistance to arrive safely.
“Welcome Snowdancer. The son of a Champion out of a four-time winning mare who is herself the daughter of two Champions. The genes are brilliant and the force really strong in this young man. And congrats Team Graceland. Would have loved to have been there with you.”
Putting the pedigree of this foal into G1 Goldmine pedigree software shows this pedigree similarity has already experienced success with Grade 1 Cape Guineas winner Solo Traveller.
The dam Dancing Gift is beautifully bred, by Jallad out of Dancing Danzig by Shoe Danzig, herself a 4-time winner over distances of 1400 – 1800m, placing 11 times. She is the dam of two previous foals – Diamonds by Strike Smartly is a winner, and her son by Kahal named Blue Suede Shoes has placed twice. Dancing Gift’s dam, Dancing Danzig, was crowned ARCSA Champion Two Year Old Filly in 1993 as well as Champion Three Year Old Filly in 1994. Amongst her nine wins were the Grade 1 Garden Province Stakes (twice), Grade 1 SA Fillies Futurity and the Grade 1 JB McIntosh Fillies Classic. She produced three runners, and three winners including Fort Danzig who ran a second in the Gr 1 Premiers Champion Stakes.
A large, very strong chestnut stallion that stands over ground, Visionaire(USA) covered his first book of South African mares last year. “Visionaire stood for a year in Kentucky but was brought to SA in 2011 in line with Barry’s vision of mating the blood of high class American speed with quality South African stamina whose value he says is under-rated worldwide,” says Alec. Barry Irwin of Team Valor, a keen supporter of the South African breeding and racing industry, won the Kentucky Derby last year with Animal Kingdom.
Visionaire, by Grand Slam out of Scarlet Tango by French Deputy, won five races in the USA over distances of 1300 – 1700m, retiring with a Timeform Rating of 126. His wins include the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes (previous winners included Distorted Humor and More Than Ready), which in itself was a phenomenal win with Visionaire coming from the back of the field to win by over two lengths. His Grade 3 win was the Gotham Stakes, won in the past by the likes of Secretariat, Gone West, Seeking The Gold and Gulch.
Summerhill have described his first USA-bred foals as being in his own mould: ‘Big, athletic, good limbed, powerful.’ Visionaire stands at Summerhill Stud for a fee of R20 000 + vat this season.
KZN Breeders wishes Alec and his team at Graceland Farm all the best for the future with this first son of Visionaire.
Extract and information courtesy of Alec Hogg’s blog of Graceland Farm. Read more about Graceland Farm at www.gracelandfarm.co.za