Media Release: Admire The Man

Media Release: Admire The Man

Admire Main (JPN). Image: Summerhill Stud

School Of Excellence, Summerhill Stud, Mooi River
20 February 2013

It’s remarkable how often we turn to history for our lessons when little else makes sense. In the early fifties, the mighty American breeding industry was doing just fine with the Calumet stallion, Bull Lea, in full cry. But it wasn’t the international giant it was destined to come. Just about then, a new prophet emerged in the form of the legendary “Bull” Hancock who had recently taken over the reins of the family property, Claiborne, from his father. His vision was that if America was to fulfil its potential, it had scour the world for the best genetics. He realised that if America was to leverage the best results from what was already the largest breeding industry in the world, as well as putting the country’s new-found prosperity to best use, he would have to trawl the gene banks of the world for that magical beast that outbreeds his own bloodlines and performances.

Bull Hancock went out and paid the Irishman, Joe McGrath, a world record sum for Nasrullah, whose legacy lives on through the most potent American dynasty of the modern era, A.P. Indy. Nearby at Spendthrift Farm, the indomitable Lesley Combs was not to be denied, acquiring Nasrullah’s three-quarter brother, Royal Charger, who founded the enduring male lines of Roberto and Halo. While at one time, the former looked like making the greater impression, the tribes greater destiny appears to have landed firmly in the lap of Halo, through the likes of Southern Halo in South America, More Than Ready in North America and Australia, and decisively in Japan, where Sunday Silence is all-powerful.

In a more modern era, Hancock repeated the dose with the great Nijinsky, while a fresh force emerged at Gainesway, which snatched the spectacular likes of Blushing Groom, Lyphard and Riverman from under the noses of our friends in France.

At Summerhill, in our own small way, we’ve been no less adventurous in our quest at capturing the best bloodlines in the world, and in the process we brought to South Africa the most successful son in the Southern Hemisphere of the most successful stallion of all-time, Northern Dancer, himself a product of a parallel instance on the part of the Canadian E.P.Taylor, of acquiring the bluest blood in Europe. Hancock’s policy of plundering the best resources wherever they were found, produced a rich vein of success in Argentina, too, with the acquisition of Forli, whose largesse spread to the other side of the Atlantic, and eventually to Summerhill. Home Guard left three Group One winners in Europe, before concluding his career in KwaZulu-Natal, where, in an abbreviated stint, he sired Group One winners from 1000m to 3200m, including a two-year-old champion in Hot Guard, the multiple champion sprinter Taban, and S.A. Classic hero, Last Watch, and the Gold Cup ace Floating Casino.

While there is always hope that there are several Northern Guests and Home Guards in our present band, if you were to ask which of our gambles we would like most to pay off, if only for its uniqueness and if only to prove the value of reaching out to the nether regions of the world, our choices would include Admire Main, son of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Staying horses are never easy to subscribe, and while this handsome son of Sunday Silence oozes class at almost any trip, his sin was to excel at 2400m, so filling him has not been as easy as it might’ve been were he an exceptional miler. Yet his brief record at stud in Japan tells us that he does not need numbers to prove his merit, as he’s already had seven juvenile winners from 14 runners, with another four earning cheques in their first couple of starts. Two of these (and we must remember they’ve just completed their two-year-old programmes) have earned cheques in Group class races; for the nation’s sake, we can only hope that the Admire Mains are as adaptable to the conditions of the South African veld as the tribe has shown themselves to be in America and Europe. Of course, we already have the exceptional record of Lionel Cohen’s champion mare, Sun Classique, to advertise the virtues of the strain, and it has to be said, those that turned up the Emperors Palace Ready To Run in November, waived their catalogues with gusto, rewarding him with an average in excess of R200,000 for his first offerings.

On Wednesday (tomorrow), you get a second stab at these jewels.

Please advise Summerhill if you will be attending tomorrow, for catering purposes.

The catalogue for the Emperor’s Palace Summer Ready-To-Run Sale is available for viewing at and includes video footage of each horses gallop.

2013 Emperor’s Palace Summer Ready-To-Run Sale
School Of Excellence, Summerhill Stud, Mooi River
Wednesday 20 February 2013

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