|2012 Equus Award Nominations|
The annual Equus Awards take place 8 August at Emperor’s Palace and it is not surprising to see the likes of KZN-bred Dancewiththedevil and Summerhill raised-and-grazed Igugu(AUS) who may be competing for the Horse-Of-The-Year title, with their incredible performances over the last racing season.
In the Older Filly/Mare category (four +), Dancewiththedevil has multiple nominations and in this category she is up against Ebony Flyer, Europa Point, Igugu and Val De Ra. Igugu(AUS) has won both her Graded races in the last season – The Ipi Tombe Challenge Gr 2 by five lengths and Gr 1 J&B Met from Bravura. Igugu is a 10-time winner and has just placed second twice from all her starts. Incredibly, nine of her wins were all Graded Stakes wins.
The Older Male category (four +), Summerhill-bred Smanjemanje earned himself a place after being gelded last year which has seen an improvement in his form, running a strong race to finish a close second in the Gr 1 Vodacom Durban July this year to KZN-bred Jet Master’s son, Pomodoro. He competes with Shea Shea and What A Winter for this award.
In November last year Smanjemanje won the Gr 2 Victory Moon Stakes by almost four lengths from Ilsanpietro, going onto defeat Scott Bros’ champion colt The Apache but a nose in the London News Stakes Gr 3. He has been very consistent this year, following with Group places Champions Challenge Gr 1 and Jubilee Handicap Gr 3. In total he is a five-time winner (two Group wins) and placing thirteen times (five in Group company).
Middle-distance (1400 – 2200m) Horse sees the daughter of Modus Vivendi, Dancewiththedevil, once again nominated, along with Europa Point, Igugu(AUS), Jackson, Pomodoro, Princess Victoria and Variety Club.
Dancewiththedevil walked away with the Gr 1 Sansui Summer Cup in November last year, and went onto to win the the Gr 1 Horse Chestnut Stakes in March this year. She placed twice Group company too, running a second in the Joburg Spring F&M Challenge Gr 3.
Dancewiththedevil is currently in quarantine in Mauritius with Igugu(AUS), destined for the UK. In total, Dancewiththedevil has achieved five Gr 1 wins in her career, in total a nine-time winner.
The Stayer (2400m +) nominations has recent Gr 2 Mango Gold Vase winner Seal nominated, along with Blake, In Writing(ARG), Gorongosa(IRE), and Pomodoro. Seal, bred by Dr Ian Heyns and born and raised at Bush Hill Stud, not only won the Gold Vase on Vodacom Durban July day but went on to place in the Ladbrokes’ Gr 1 Gold Cup a month later carrying top weight and coming off a wide draw of 17.
Seal also took home the Wolf Power 1600 Listed Stakes in March this year, from Galanthus and placed fourth in the London News Stakes Gr 3, as well as the Drum Star Listed over 1800m in the last season. In total, Seal is a five time winner (three of them Group/Listed wins) and placing nine times (four of them Group/Listed) in total.
Congratulations to Bush Hill Stud, Dr Ian Heyns, St John Gray (Graystone Stud) and Summerhill Stud for their award nominations, we look forward to the results of the KZN-breds on Wednesday evening.