Backworth Stud At The Upcoming National Yearling Sales

Backworth Stud At The Upcoming National Yearling Sales

Ian Todd and Keith Russon receiving the KZN Breeders Award for Outstanding Breeding Achievement in 2012. Photo: Taryn Crawford

A recent visit to the beautiful Backworth Stud in Eston revealed a quality draft of yearlings. Last year’s winners of the KZN Breeder’s Breeders Achievement Award, Keith Russon and Ian Todd look to have, yet again, a string of impressive yearlings that will no doubt be attractive to a range of buyers.

A boutique stud, last season Backworth achieved an impressive figure of 54% runners to winners – in a season which saw many of the progeny Keith and Ian had bred to win a number of Bold Black-Type races across tracks in South Africa. Keith and Ian prefer to keep their farming operation small and hands on. Backworth stands approximately 30 mares each with classy pedigrees – and the results are being seen on racetracks nationwide.

The mares are brought into their stables every day for feeding and each mare and foal are given plenty of personal attention – Keith points out that a number of trainers have said that Backworth-bred horses are a pleasure to start, own and train, owing to the horses’ easy-going temperaments – but with an internal fire to win.

Keith has a talent for raising fast horses. He is an astute businessman, but someone who also happens to have trained in horse veterinary. Besides a great love of horses, he has a passionate knowledge of pedigrees. Keith and Ian also attribute Backworth’s success to the ‘hands on’ way in which their mares and foals are taken care of and reared, in an environment where ‘soul’ is omnipresent.

Backworth-bred Gr 1 winner Chocolicious, has raced in South Africa and Dubai - now on her way to Royal Ascot. Photo: Gold Circle

When questioned about what the key to the ongoing success of Backworth is, Keith has an interesting theory which clearly works for Backworth Stud – not only in the pairing of suitable sires and dams, for conformation and pedigrees. “My horses are all very well taken care of and want for nothing. I like to think they know this. They are proud of themselves, and want to prove their worth!”

Not only have Backworth Stud produced the likes of Gr 1 Allan Robertson Championship winner Chocolicous (who has since been sold and exported to run in Royal Ascot – with plans of covering by Frankel thereafter), but also the likes of Raise The Bar, Varlet, Variometer, Glitter Star and Devonella. It must also be pointed out that Keith sold the mare Emperor’s Warning in foal to Kahal, which produced Gr 2 Drill Hall Stakes winner Tales Of Bravery.

Keith mentioned that his draft of yearlings scored impressively this year – between 8.5 and 9.5 (out of 10 A stand-out yearling is a magnificent grey named ‘Aquinata’, Lot 228 oozing presence and quality, who scored 9.5 at her yearling inspection. A well-grown athletic filly with substance by Silvano, she is out of Tsunami by Shaamit and Keith is very excited about her future racing prospects.

Lot 113, a bay yearling ‘Spangle’, by Trippi out of Refined Gold by Rich Man’s Gold has attracted the attention of buyers – with Keith saying he has fielded calls from across the country with buyers interested in the eye-catching filly. Her dam, Refined Gold was a winner over 1400m and has to date produced a winner from her first foal – White Tiger. She comes from an exceptional dam-line, fourth dam is London Wall – famous for producing one of the best racehorses to come from South Africa who returned recently from the USA to stand in South Africa – Horse Chestnut – and this family’s descendants include plenty of Bold Black Type, almost too many to mention – but the likes of Cape Badger, Monyela, West Wall, Iron Curtain, and the second dam’s full-sister Sport’s Chestnut are all present.

Lot 228 Aquinata, a beautiful grey filly by Silvano out of Tsunami by Shaamit headed for the 2013 National Yearling Sales. Photo: Candiese Marnewick

The rest of Backworth’s National Yearling Sales draft include Lot 26 Lady Matic by Muhtafal – a half-sister to Gr 3 placed Varlet and Private Collection; Lot 108 Style Flash by Miesque’s Approval, from the family of Signor Amigo; Lot 424 Big Ambitions by Miesque’s Approval – a half-brother to Gr 2 Ipi Tombe Challenge winner First Again, Lot 518 is a head-turning dark bay colt by Miesque’s Approval out of Lewinsky’s Lover named Humidor, a half-brother to the dam’s first foal and winner Caviar. Humidor comes from the family of London News and includes the likes of Pluck and Promisefrommyheart, to name but a few; and finally Lot 523 named Kadeze, a very good-looking daughter of Kahal – very much like her champion sire in looks – out of a Grand Lodge mare.

The Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale takes place between 26 and 28 April at Germiston in Johannesburg and Backworth Stud can be found in ‘G’ stable block.

Visit Backworth Stud’s website to view photos, pedigrees and video clips of each yearling that will be available at the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, 26 & 28 April.

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