Sporting Post: “Land Of Giants” – KZN Breeders Race Day



Sporting Post: “Land Of Giants” – KZN Breeders Race Day

Image: John Lewis

A proud history of tradition and outstanding achievement are the foundation stones of an innovative raceday at Clairwood on Sunday. The exciting R1 million KZN Breeders Million Mile has attracted a top quality field as the feature event on an innovative raceday, the like of which we have never seen in this country previously.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. In a testing and competitive economic climate the KZN Breeders’ Club embarked on their most ambitious project yet when brainstorming a concept to revive interest and reward participation in the grand scheme of purchasing horses bred in KwaZulu Natal.

The KZN Breeders’ Day is an exciting and unique concept that provides well deserved incentives for loyal racehorse owners. Supporting the R1 million KZN Breeders’ Million Mile are six races carrying a stake of R200 000 each but restricted to horses that qualify as KZN-breds.

This meeting is strategically placed the weekend prior to the KZN Yearling Sale and will give added incentive to prospective buyers to invest in KZN-bred stock. Traditionally run a week before the Durban July, the historic KZN Breeders 1600 underwent a name change and was baptised the KZN Breeders Million Mile in 2012, with the stake rocketing four-fold. The inaugural running was won by the Muhtafal gelding Knock On Wood, for father and son owners, Ormond(also the trainer) and David Ferraris.

Long established breeder George Rowles of Ivanhoe Stud bred that first winner. Rowles received his beautiful trophy from the Scott Brothers, who were on course to present the Des and Robin Scott Floating Trophy.

Robin Scott handed over the trophy and gave a very moving speech, particularly against the background of the strategic role played by both Ivanhoe and Scott Bros in the proud history of breeding in the region, and in South Africa horseracing at large. Quality

The quality of this year’s field is tangible, with any of the fifteen runners capable of winning the race. SA Champion breeders Summerhill Stud hold a very strong hand with eight runners carrying the famous banner.

Festival Of Fire Top Class. Mike De Kock’s Festival Of Fire won the KRA Fillies Guineas at this venue and looks set for another big effort.

Mike De Kock is strongly represented by two daughters of Kahal. The highest rated runner is the KRA Fillies Guineas winner Festival Of Fire, who was bred by Mr Chris Saunders and Lady C O’Reilly. A winner of six of her twelve starts, Festival Of Fire showed good pace in the Gr1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge, until weakening to finish just over four lengths adrift of Variety Club. She returns here to the scene of probably her smartest victory, and is a major contender from a good draw with Bernard Fayd’herbe in the saddle. Her stablemate Saucy Savannah was bred by Summerhill Stud and ran a fair race in the KZN 2000 when making steady headway behind Hot Ticket. This may be a touch on the short side, but she is well drawn and lightly weighted.

The SA Classic winner Love Struck is yet another Summerhill Stud bred. The son of Kahal is arguably at his best over this trip and won the SA Classic at his penultimate start on pure guts and courage. He never showed in the Gr1 Daily News 2000 last time when well beaten by Vercingetorix and will be ridden again by Sean Cormack, who knows him well. Love Struck has not drawn well at 14, but has the proven class and ability to challenge. Garth Puller’s Cataloochee gelding Corredor was bred by Summerhill Stud and looks well weighted if his merit rating is a true reflection of his worth.

He ran on very smartly when a 2,30 length third to Vercingetorix in the KRA Guineas over the course and distance, but never showed in the Daily News. He appeared to be not striding out and made a respiratory noise, so that run should best be ignored. His trainer will know what to do to get his mind back on the task at hand on Saturday. Alec Laird’s Mullins Bay gelding Gitiano was bred by Valjub CC and has drawn widest of all. The three time winner has a winning turnaround with Love Struck on their SA Classic meeting and was not disgraced when unplaced behind Vercingetorix in the Daily News 2000. If Gitiano was drawn better, he would be a serious contender in our book.

Sean Tarry has two runners in the race. Baracah was bred by Keivan Stud and the four time winning son of King Of Kings looks overdue for a form return. He ran a fair fifth in the Colorado King Stakes, but then never showed in the Gr1 Presidents Champion’s Challenge, won by his stablemate Heavy Metal. Piere Strydom rides him and this represents a step down in class. His stablemate Tinchy Stryder was bred by Summerhill Stud and was unbeaten in her first two starts.

Alesh Naidoo's Love Struck at the VDJ Gallops on 27 June. He will be looking for a double with a win in the KZN Breeders Million Mile and Gr 1 Vodacom Durban July. Image: Candiese Marnewick

The daughter of Mullins Bay comes in on joint bottomweight and may prefer the mile after being run off her feet in the Var Durban Dash last time. She is very difficult to assess.

Distance Suited. SA Classic winner Love Struck has not drawn well but is at home over the mile Distance Suited. SA Classic winner Love Struck has not drawn well but is at home over the mile.

Summerveld based Dennis Drier has had a fantastic season and is a longstanding supporter of KZN bred horses. He is represented by a duo, which is headed by the 4yo Cataloochee gelding King Neptune, who was bred by Bush Hill Stud. Keagan De Melo takes the reins from regular rider Sean Cormack, who likely cannot ride at the allotted weight and rides the topweight, Love Struck.

We are aware that the experienced Cormack thinks a lot of King Neptune, who has excellent recent collateral references to the likes of Big City Angel, Rock Cocktail and Hot Ticket. A course and distance winner, King Neptune is well drawn, fit and a big runner is he gets into a position where he does not have to go too fast out front.

The Kahal gelding Cookie Monster was bred by Summerhill Stud and is the second of trainer Dennis Drier’s two runners. He was formerly based in Gauteng with Roy Magner.

While only a one time winner, Cookie Monster has some good form on the fringes in strong company and comes in with a nice looking galloping weight here. He is a versatile multi feature placed campaigner, who has shown ability from 1000m to 1400m. He will be ridden by local specialist Alec Forbes, and while not well drawn, can be settled or run handy as circumstances prescribe

Charles Laird’s Distinguished was bred by Steve Sturlese and Summerhill Stud and is one of five progeny of top stallion Kahal in this field. Distinguished has won 3 of his 12 starts and ran a 3,75 length second to July favourite Run For It in a four horse field last time out. Distinguished was receiving a half kilo from the Snaith’s Dynasty star, but there are those that will argue that something had to run second.

Distinguished has drawn poorly, but will have the astute Kevin Shea in the saddle. Highly rated by his trainer Duncan Howells, the Mogok gelding King Of Torts was bred by Bruce and Nadine Le Roux and has won 3 of his 13 starts. A course and distance winner, the half brother to Vodacom Durban July winner Dunford ran a fair race in the Guineas Trial behind champion Vercingetorix and is capable of vindicating his trainer’s confidence in him. Snakepit

Robbie Sage’s grey Daylami filly Kalami was bred by Mr and Mrs R Pickering and steps into the snakepit of mixed company after being confined to her own sex for most of her career. She ran on strongly when under two lengths behind Secret Obsession in the Syringa Handicap over a mile at Turffontein last time. She has won 3 of her 19 starts, and looks good value for place money.

The Bezrin colt Coy Boy was bred by Golden Acres and is a winner of 2 of his 11 starts. Des Egdes’ galloper does not know how to run a bad race and tries the mile for the first time here. There is a measure of stamina on his dam’s side and his style of racing suggests that he will get the trip.

Adam Kethro’s Trippi gelding Romantic Balladeer was bred by Summerhill Stud. Marco Van Rensburg rides him for the first time and he jumps with plenty in his favour from the 1 draw. A very fit two time winner from ten starts, he tries a mile for the first time and if seeing it out could have an outside chance of burgling a place.

Negev was bred by Summerhill Stud and Louis Goosen’s Stronghold filly looks under a measure of pressure to win this race from an 11 draw, although she is handily weighted and cannot be excluded.

She showed her ability with a terrific second to Rock Of Arts in the 2012 Ready To Run Cup and would only need to get back to something of that level of performance to run a big race. She ran 3,20 lengths behind Louvre in the Tibouchina Stakes at Clairwood earlier this month and would have come on with that prep.

The KZN Breeders will be thrilled by the field that lines up here. For punters it presents a fascinating headache of diversity. Class, distance suitability and favourable weight terms are the cocktail of consideration. Festival Of Fire and Love Struck represent the class. Gitiano’s draw is a negative, but he is first class.

But there are plenty of rising stars that have yet to be seriously tested. The likes of King Neptune, Cookie Monster and Corredor fall into this category.

A proud history of tradition and outstanding achievement are the foundation stones of an innovative raceday at Greyville on Sunday. The exciting R1 million KZN Breeders’ Million Mile has attracted a top quality field as the feature event on an innovative raceday, the like of which we have never seen in this country previously.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. In a testing and competitive economic climate the KZN Breeders’ Club embarked on their most ambitious project yet when brainstorming a concept to revive interest and reward participation in the grand scheme of purchasing horses bred in KwaZulu Natal.

The KZN Breeders’ Day is an exciting and unique concept that provides well deserved incentives for loyal racehorse owners. Supporting the R1 million KZN Breeders’ Million Mile are six races carrying a stake of R200 000 each but restricted to horses that qualify as KZN-breds.

This meeting is strategically placed the weekend prior to the KZN Yearling Sale and will give added incentive to prospective buyers to invest in KZN-bred stock.

Thank you to the following farms who have sponsored our KZN Breeders Race Day:

The Fort Stud
Kinmount Stud
Midlands Thoroughbreds
Roski Stud
Middlefield Stud
Backworth Stud
Summerhill Stud
Spring Valley Stud
Irish Flame Syndicate


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