Investec Summerhill Stallion Day 2013

Investec Summerhill Stallion Day 2013

Mullins Bay in his investec day sheet. Image: Candiese Marnewick

The annual Investec Summerhill Stallion Day, traditionally held on the Sunday following the Vodacom Durban July, rounds off the busiest and most glamorous week in the South Africa racing calendar with the KZN Breeders Race Day, Suncoast KZN Yearling Sales and Vodacom Durban July.

Pierre Jourdan. Image: Candiese Marnewick

A beautiful and unusually warm winters day in the midlands at Summerhill Stud in Mooi River, guests were given an equally warm welcome by Summerhill staff at the School Of Excellence where the stallion day took place. The School Of Excellence lives up to it’s name in every way possible and has to be the best facility of its kind to be found anywhere in the world.

600 of horse-racing’s finest from around South Africa and the world gathered to view the stallions, including a number of international media from Australia, Canada, Japan and America. There was much excitment as just the day before the chestnut colt No Worries, a graduate of Summerhill’s Summer Ready-To-Run Sale – sold for R400 000 to owner Brian Burnard and trained by Gavin Van Zyl, ran fourth in Africa’s richest horse race.

Golden Sword(GB). Image: Candiese Marnewick

Mick introduced ‘the people’s horse’ – the recently retired champion Pierre Jourdan was presented to the crowd. A special gelding by Parade Leader out of Vinn Fizz by Qui Danzig, Pierre Jourdan was a R60 000 Ready-To-Run graduate who went onto win over R5-million in stakes – including running a courageous second to Igugu in the Vodacom Durban July and winner of the Gr 1 SA Classic amongst many other Group wins.

Summerhill have also announced the recent acquisition of a top sire prospect Await The Dawn, a son of Giants Causeway who Tom Magnier of Coolmore Stud has said might have been the best horse at Ballydoyle in his year – and Ato – a South African-bred horse by Royal Academy who won the Gr 1 Kris Flyer Sprint in Singapore, winner of nine races and over R14 million in stakes.

Traffic Guard(USA). Image: Candiese Marnewick

The stallions on show were passed through for a glimpse under their blue Investec day sheets, and thereafter an impressive display of Summerhill’s Zulu dancers gave an energetic and beautifully choreographed display of a war dance which left everyone spellbound.

The time had come for what everyone had been waiting for – the magnificent sires of Summerhill Stud. First to be led in was Golden Sword who covered his first book of mares last year. Golden Sword(GB) is a very balanced and athletic individual with a good length of rein, he would have been one of the top racehorses of the world had he not raced during the time of Sea The Stars and in fact ran just two lengths off the spectacular horse himself in the Epsom Derby. The first son at stud in South Africa of sire High Chapparal (by Sadler’s Wells) out of a Salse/Ahonoora mare, he attained a Timeform Rating of 122.

Brave Tin Soldier(USA). Image: Candiese Marnewick

The next was Traffic Guard(USA) who also covered his book of mares last season. A beautiful and substantial individual with a big walk, he is by More Than Ready (sire of Gimmethegreenlight) out of a Zafonic/Golden Fleece mare. Acheiving a Timeform rating of 123, he ran second in both the UAE 2000 Guineas Gr 3 and Irish Champion Stakes Gr 1.

Brave Tin Soldier was next to make an appearance and the record-breaking $3-million USD weanling has let down into a stunning bay stallion with a beautiful head and passing his good looks onto his progeny. A stallion that topped the average for first season sires at the 2013 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale with an average of R185 000 for each of his three yearlings, he carries an immaculate pedigree which reflects his good looks – being by world champion sire Storm Cat out of Bless by Mr Prospector. His second dam Angel Fever (Danzig out of Rowdy Angel by Halo) is the dam of Kentucky Derby winner, Fusaichi Pegasus.

Mullins Bay(GB). Image: Candiese Marnewick

Mullins Bay was presented next and what a strong individual he is, a very likeable stallion indeed. He has already produced his first winner this season in Croke Park and we are sure to see much more from the big son of Machiavellian as he has covered some of our top mares in KZN including Pelican Brief, the dam of Vodacom Durban July winner Dunford.

Solskjaer, by Danehill out of Lyndonville by Top Ville, is the sire of Mauritian Horse of The Year Ice Axe and recent sensation Shogunnar. Ice Axe has achieved 10 wins from 1400m to 2400m in South Africa and Mauritius, and Shogunnar has won over R800 000 in stakes – including placing second in the Gr 1 Summer Cup and various other Group races. He has also sired Black-Types Giggs and Waka Waka.

Solskjaer(GB). Image: Candiese Marnewick

A very big strong chestnut, Visionaire was very gentlemanly the son of Grand Slam has produced an exceptional first crop of foals – all big and strong like their sire. An impressive racehorse with a Time From equivalent of 126, he came from last to win the King’s Bishop Gr 1 by by two and three quarter lengths in a time of 1 minute 21.9 seconds over 1400m, defeating America’s top Three year olds in the process. Owned by Team Valor, and aptly named, he is going to be a sire to watch for the future.

Visionaire(USA). Image: Candiese Marnewick

The only son of Sunday Silence on the continent, Japanese bred Admire Main has already produced numorous Japanese winners from his first crop, and the talented local filly who won her second start out, Admiral’s Eye, who also ran fifth in a Group feature on Vodacom Durban July day. She has been entered into an upcoming Gr 1 by trainer Paul Lafferty. Admire Main earned US$ 2-million as a racehorse. His third dam is Yes Please, and she is sired by Mount Hagen(FR) – a sire that found his way and stood successfully for a time at Summerhill Stud many years ago.

Admire Main(JPN). Image: Candiese Marnewick

St Petersburg, the only son of Nureyev in KZN, joined Summerhill Stud last year and has made his presence known with just a two crops to race in South Africa – producing Gr 3 placed Blushing Peter and the talented two year old Peter Culture. Overseas in Australia, he is the sire of Grade 1 winner in Australia, Solzhenitsyn(NZ), the Gr 1 Toorak Handicap in Australia at Caulfield over 1600m and has also won the Gr 3 Lord Mayor Cup. St Petersburg has produced winners (and Stakes Winners) in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. St Petersburg won three races In Australia at age 3, 1000-1200m and placed twice. His wins include the Gr 3 VRC Chivas Regal Stakes (1200m) and the SAJC Fraar Handicap (1000m). He placed fourth in the Gr 1 VRC Lightening Stakes (1000m) and Gr 2 Ascot Vale Stakes (1200m) before a tendon injury prematurely ended a career that was going onto great heights.

St Petersburg(AUS). Image: Candiese Marnewick

The last stallion to make an appearance was the big 16.2 hand son of A.P. Indy, A.P. Arrow(USA). A powerfully built, short coupled stallion with a lovely top-line and handsome head, he was led by Stallion manager Greg Muir. A Time Form Rating of 125, he placed six times in Gr 1 company including the Dubai World Cup as a five year old. He won the Gr 1 Clark Handicap over 1800m and had to have been a very sound individual to have raced till seven years of age. A pedigree cross that has produced champion sires such as Pulpit, he is out of a Mr Prospector mare. Out of only a handful of runners to date, he has already produced black-type filly Free Flight, who placed third in the East Cape Breeders Stakes Listed.

Following a sabrage that was performed with Sophie Magnier, a sumptuous lunch was served courtesy of five-star restaurant and Hotel, Hartford House.

A.P. Arrow. Image: Candiese Marnewick

The Summerhill Sires’ DVD was played with an impressive cinematography of the stallions racing feats as well as spectacular footage of them on the farm, presented by Ikind Media.

Congratulations must go to Mick Goss and Champion breeders’ Summerhill Stud for another successful annual Stallion Day celebrated in style; we look forward to what is to come from their exciting new stallion acquistions Await The Dawn and Ato, which is equally exciting for KZN Breeders and South Africa alike.

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