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The Curved Balls Are Coming!


Curved Ball at the Bush Hill Stud Stallion Day. Image: Candiese Marnewick

From 19 horses to race, Bush Hill Stud’s Curved Ball produced his sixth winner this afternoon at the Vaal for breeders Cathy and Jonathan Martin of Hadlow Stud – who also bred the first ever winner by Curved Ball, a juvenile filly in the previous season named Fast And Rocking.

Fast And Rocking, out of an Australian import Terrestrial Rose by Archway, sold for R30 000 at the National Two Year Old Sale and has doubled her purchase price in stakes, in the process defeating the consistent Might As Well  (by Just As Well) into second place, a filly that has won twice and placed 10 times – six of those in second place.

Rivers Edge, a three year old gelding trained by Mr S Ferreira and owned by Miss MM Van Wyk, won third time out this afternoon by almost two lengths after placing in his previous at the Vaal, both races over 1600m. Rivers Edge sold for just R40 000 at the 2015 National Two Year Old Sale, and is out of Badger Land mare River Maiden. This is the dam-line of champions Jeppe’s Reef, Freedom Fortune and Studio Fify Four as well as Disco Al.

Rivers Edge. Image: JC Photos

Curved Ball is a winner of the Gr2 Dingaans and the only son of the sensational Coolmore sire Fastnet Rock, to stand at stud in South Africa. Fastnet Rock was crowned Champion sire in Australia 2011/12 & 2014/15, a Champion 3-y-o colt and Champion Sprinter in Australia 2004/05.

His top European performers include Fascinating Rock (Champion Stakes-Gr.1, Tattersalls Gold Cup-Gr.1), Intricately (Moyglare Stud Stakes-Gr.1), Qualify (Oaks-Gr.1), Diamondsandrubies (Pretty Polly Stakes-Gr.1), Rivet (Racing Post Trophy-Gr.1, Champagne Stakes-Gr.2), One Foot In Heaven (Grand Prix de Chantilly-Gr.2 & Prix du Conseil de Paris-Gr.2), Cougar Mountain (Joel Stakes-Gr.2), Turret Rocks (May Hill Stakes-Gr.2).

The most striking point to come from Fastnet Rock’s title is the class of stallions he bested – champions such as Lonhro, Redoute’s Choice and More Than Ready.

Curved Ball. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Curved Ball had three wins from only seven starts in South Africa, taking the Gr2 Dingaans as well as the Sea Cottage Listed. Curved Ball was probably best over a mile like many top sires, scoring his biggest victory in the G2 Dingaans. He met and defeated such top-class performers as Bulsara, Exhilaration, Smanjemanje, Club Victor and Galileo’s Galaxy.

Described as one of the best horses Charles Laird had ever trained, Curved Ball stood for a fee of only R8 000 this breeding season. We will be hearing more from his three year old’s this season!




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