Twice Grade 1-winner Rabada was very well received by a packed Summerveld clubhouse in an unusual stallion day on Saturday for which he was transported down form his home at Wartburg’s Bloomhill Stud down to the KZN’s only major training centre.
The former Mike Azzie-trained Brave Tin Soldier stallion won the Gr 1 Premier’s Champion Stakes as a two-year-old and the Gr 1 Daily News 2000 as a three-year-old.
He is proving to be a fine stallion, despite the limited opportunities he has had, and last season had a 47.8% winners to runners strike rate with eleven winners of 14 races from 23 runners.
This compares to the national champion stallion Gimmethegreenlight’s percentage of 48.2% and although the latter obviously had a lot more runners he also enjoyed a lot more opportunities being an in demand Western Cape-based stallion.
Included among Rabada’s runners is the like of the promising MJ Odendaal-trained gelding Addabar, the Doug Campbell-trained gelding Ermelo and the Weiho Marwing-trained filly Soldier’s Eye.
Addabar, now a four-year-old, has been the subject of a big offer from overseas after cruising to a comfortable win over 1800m last time, meaning he has won all three of his races contested over distances of a mile and beyond in impressive style.
Mohammed Sheik has been brokering a deal between the interested parties in Bahrain, but it will not be easy to complete with the export protocols as they are and also with the timelines in place for travel and the accompanying red tape involved.
He is also the ideal horse to promote the up-and-coming Odendaal stable and if he does not go overseas MJ plans to target him at the next SA Champions Season. As a horse he does not need to rush, he aims to get him there with a competitive merit rating.
In a twist to the stallion day, MJ rode Addabar to the clubhouse grass and he was also paraded.
Ermelo, now a three-year-old, is a big, long-striding individual who has won two out of four starts and he finished a fine 3,25 length third in his last start over 1400m in the Listed Gatecrasher Stakes to the talented Mike de Kock-trained Gimmethegreenlight colt Gimmeanotherchance.
He is merit rated 96.
The Weiho Marwing-trained filly Soldier’s Eye is merit rated 97 having won two races before finishing fifth in the Gr 1 Douglas Whyte Stakes over 1600m at Hollywoodbets Greyville in the last race of her two-year-old campaign.
That high merit rating did not stop her running a close second in a fillies and mares handicap over 1750m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville in her first start as a three-year-old.
Sandra Tretheway of Bloomhill Stud said there had been an excellent turn out on Saturday by a mixture of breeders, owners and trainers to see Rabada in the flesh and there had even been the like of farriers and veterinarians in attendance.
The Summerveld clubhouse was packed.
Onlookers were very impressed by Rabada’s excellent temperament.
He handled the one-and-a-half hour wait to be paraded perfectly calmly and behaved himself impeccably while being shown.
He had to parade in front of 65 onlookers and he also stood perfectly still for photographs.
It was important to show prospective breeders, owners and trainers Rabada’s “most magnificent temperament”, because Brave Tin Soldier’s progeny can sometimes be up tight.
The stallion day has led to more business for Rabada and since Saturday and yesterday he had already gained an extra ten mares.
Tretheway said about the day, “It was fantastic. He was well received and it was a positive, good event for our industry which needs positive vibes.”
There have also been clients who could not make it to the stallion day who have visited the stallion at the farm instead.
There has also been interest from the Cape.
Rabada stands for R10,000 payable on a live foal, but as an incentive Bloomhill Stud have given a special incentive offer in which a breeder sending two mares will get one cover free of charge.
Another incentive for the resulting Rabada crop of this season’s coverings is that the first one of them to win a Gr 1 in KZN will earn a R50,000 bonus for the owners.
Tretheway said these incentives confirmed Bloomhill Stud’s belief in Rabada as a stallion and their commitment to both him and to the horseracing industry.
Bloomhill Stud is one of the newest thoroughbred breeders on the block.
Sandra has always loved horses and the family farm just outside of Wartburg has always had a riding horse or two for their use.
Hence she travelled to the Summerhill dispersal sale a few years ago intending to buy one or two riding horses.
Instead she returned with a number of broodmares.
She has been advised on breeding by Mick Goss, the owner of the multiple champion breeders Summerhill Stud.
Sandra concluded, “Rabada is going to be one of the commercial stallions and he just needs the support. I said to the people on Saturday, ‘With the stats he has got, which is not an emotional thing, can you afford to ignore him.’”
Images: Candiese Lenferna