Top horses including Marinaresco to race in America
Legal Eagle, Marinaresco, Rabada, Silver Mountain and several others of the best horses in South Africa will leave the country at the end of the Western Cape season to race in America.
If this high class, ground-breaking initiative proves successful it promises to end the long-running near isolation of the country’s bloodstock industry from the world stage and it could pave the way for exports of yearlings and mares on a previously unimaginable scale.
Derek Brugman is the man behind it and he said: “The idea is to fill a plane with 15 of the best horses. We have written to trainers and already the owners of Marinaresco and Silver Mountain have said they want to join us. We are waiting to hear from others while we will probably throw in the July winner The Conglomerate.
“The horses will do whatever South African quarantine is required, probably a fortnight for the various injections and vaccinations to be done. The horses will then fly to New York at the end of February or the beginning of March and do a 60-day lockdown in the quarantine station there.”
This avenue has been open to South African horses for quite some time but previously owners and trainers have shied away from it because of the lockdown but Markus Jooste’s racing manager, unhappy with both the time involved in the Mauritius route and in bringing those horses back to race fitness, has been making arrangements for the US option to be less prison-like.
He said: “It has become too cumbersome to travel via Mauritius and our horses will now be able to use a treadmill when they are in the quarantine station. We can decide about who will train them at a later stage but the idea is that they will take on the turf horses in the States.”
Brugman is already thinking ahead to the next stage when American buyers, impressed with what South African horses can do on the racetrack, start realising how cheaply they can be bought.
He said: “We need to get trading with the US as well as compete there, and that trade will be phenomenal as well as of the utmost importance to our entire bloodstock industry.”
In the meantime Table Bay, so impressive in the Jooste Mayfair Speculators colours in the Cape Classic, heads the 20 nominations for the Selangor Cup and the colt could line-up at Kenilworth on Saturday week after all, so giving Joey Ramsden an outstanding chance of winning the mile test for the fifth time in six years.
Brugman said: “It probably fits in with his planned programme of Guineas and Derby to go for the Selangor although it is not imperative that he has to run. We will make a call nearer the time.”
The decision will be important for Mike de Kock as he has three of the next four highest-rated while the Vaughan Marshall-trained Gold Medallion winner Always In Charge heads the 28 nominations for the R2.5 million Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes on the same card.
Dean Kannemeyer will decide this morning whether City Of Pietermaritzburg Fillies Sprint winner Real Princess reappears under top weight in the Laisserfaire Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday.
He said: “Real Princess enjoyed herself in Durban where she proved herself against the colts. I gave her a break afterwards but now I want to get her going for the season. She is going to go for the fillies sprint races as well as the Khaya Stables Diadem Stakes in January.”
William Longsword is to be aimed at the Cape Guineas (Dec 17) and the CTS $500 000 mile race on Sun Met day after chalking up his third consecutive win with a most impressive performance under MJ Byleveld in the Soccer 6 Handicap at Kenilworth last Saturday.
Marshall said: “We have always had a high opinion of him and I was very impressed with this win -it wasn’t the strongest field but it was the way he did it.”
This was the middle leg of a treble for Byleveld and Donovan Dillon also went home with three winners including the day’s good thing, even money shot Lloyd’s Legacy in the last. The Dennis Drier-trained colt romped home over four lengths clear.
By Michael Clower