Bush Hill Stud held their Stallion Day recently and once again, in beautiful warm Mooi River winter weather, which is becoming somewhat of a tradition for Bush Hill's showcase of their line-up of quality sires for the upcoming 2014 breeding season.
Once again the Stallion Day was supported strongly with owners, trainers and breeders attending, with all indulging in Sushi and prawns prior to the start of the days proceedings and lunch thereafter.
Bush Hill had also extended the invitation to other farms to showcase their stallions, with The Assayer, A.P. Answer and Just As Well making the trip.
Warwick offered a warm welcome to all those in attendance: "It has always been our firm belief that the only way forward for all of us in the breeding, and indeed racing, fraternity is if we can work together and support each other."
Warwick acknowledged the passing of KZN's Champion sire Kahal, owned by Shadwell Stud. "Sadly as you all know, Kahal passed away recently and it would not be right for us to hold this day without paying tribute to this special horse and his owners - who between them have contributed hugely to breeding in KZN. His achievements have been well documented already, so I will not go over them again. Suffice to say it was both an honour and a privilege to have him stand at Bush Hill for the last couple of years. However we must also take this opportunity to thank and recognise all those who contributed over the years to making him the success he was. I have no doubt he will continue to have a positive impact on our stud book for some time to come."
Bush Hill Stud have placed themselves in an enviable position - having three sons at stud that are the first for their Champion Sires to stand in South Africa and KZN. Their 2014 stallion prospect Redoute's Promise is the first for Australian sensation Redoute's Choice, followed by Irish Flame being the first for Dynasty in South Africa, with Curved Ball representing yet another top Australian sire - Fastnet Rock. Irish Flame has already had his first foal arrive this week at Bush Hill, while the progeny of Curved Ball have become yearlings as of 1 August.
Bush Hill presented their new stallion prospect for 2014, Redoute's Promise. With the recent and very saddening loss of KZN's champion sire, Redoute's Promise bears an uncanny resemblance to the late great Kahal in his looks and conformation, as well as his manner in the way he walked and looked at everyone sitting on their haybales in anticipation of seeing him. A great testimony to his very balanced temperament - Warwick Render announced that Redoute's Promise had only arrived at the farm the day before, as the imposing horse walked about quite unfazed.
Warwick introduced him to the breeders: "This is Redoute's Promise who is not only a son of the mighty Redoute's Choice, but is out of the South African flag-flying multiple Gr1 winning filly Perfect Promise. Sadly this young horse never got to fulfil his promise on the track due to an injury in training prior to him having his first start.
"Inheriting the crown from his sire Danehill, Redoute's Choice is the king of Australian Sires. In the last twelve months he has hit career milestones such as siring 114 stakes winners, reaching 24 individual Gr1 winners with World Champion Sprinter Lankan Rupee, siring his 64th million dollar yearling and covering an exceptional book of blueblood mares during his second season at the Aga Khan's stud in France. Redoute's Choice is an Australian legend, building his legacy through the deeds of his sire sons and broodmare daughters who continue to leave Group One stars of their own. He has already proven himself a dominant sire of sires - 12 sire sons of Redoute's Choice have already left Stakeswinners which include Snitzel, Not A Single Doubt and Stratum. Seven sons of Redoute's Choice have sired Gr1 winners: Stratum, Snitzel, Bradbury's Luck, Duelled, Fast 'n Famous, Nadeem and Not A Single Doubt."
"We all remember the exploits of Perfect Promise locally where she won the Gr1 Cape Fillies Guineas, but she made all South Africans proud when she became the first South African bred horse to win a Gr 1 in Australia in CF Orr Stakes.
Add to her accomplishments the feats of her full sister Irridescence, who like her sister, was a local Gr 1 winner - winning the Woolavington, she also when onto become a thorn in the flesh of the Aussies when she defeated their champion Ouija Board in the Gr1 QE II Stakes in Hong Kong. Finally lets not forget the other sister who is the dam of the six-time stakes winner locally Admirals Daughter.
"So in summary you have access here to a son of an international champion who has two international multiple Gr1 winners in his first dam at no money at all."
Irish Flame made an impressive entry, and he has let down into a stunning individual after covering his first season last year. The first son of Dynasty to go to stud, Irish Flame is beautifully put together and oozes quality and athleticism that made him the great racehorse he was, with his trademark big striding hindlegs. For a big horse standing 16.2, he was light and quick on his feet to produce some impressive displays for the crowd.
"Last year I introduced this horse as one that you had to take note of, and many serious breeders did exactly that and to be honest its not hard to see why" states Warwick Render as he introduced the big dark bay to the crowd. "The only Equus Horse Of the year to ever retire to stud in KZN, this dual Gr1 winner was also the first son of Dynasty to retire to stud in South Africa as was Dynasty the first son of his champion sire Fort Wood to retire to stud in South Africa.
"What a phenomenal sire Dynasty has turned out to be - a fact highlighted in the last three weeks with his first and third in the Durban July, followed later in the day by that incredible little filly Beach Beauty, and then yesterday his son winning the Champions Cup. Dynasty will probably have the accolade of having another son named Equus Horse Of The Year.
"Allow me to refresh your memories on just what a great racehorse Irish Flame was. He won seven races in total, two of them at Gr1 level, beating some top horses in the process and earning himself three Equus awards, including the most coveted of all, Horse of the Year, at the end of his three year old career ahead of horses of the ilk of Bold Silvano. In his victory of the Daily News he accounted for the likes of Bold Silvano, Noordhoek Flyer and Smanjemanje. While in the South African Derby he annhilated the much touted Pierre Jourdan by a massive 9.5 lengths. He went down by less than a length to Bold Silvano in the Durban July after suffering bad luck in running.
"His victories also included the Gr 2 Gold Circle Derby and the Politician Stakes. Importantly as we all know the biggest races in South Africa are run at the distances that this horse was at his best over, but to be a good racehorse and to win these types of races you must have some speed and he certainly had that. A fact highlighted by his victories over such top class sprint milers at their optimum distances. He possessed an incredible turn of foot which he put to devastating use in most of his races.
"On the pedigree side we have mentioned his sire already, but his dam who herself was a Stakes Winner from the famous old Corn family has continued to produce the goods this season, scoring a rare double for a broodmare with both of Irish Flames full sisters winning at the same race meeting. One of them followed this up with a win in the Winter Oaks, a little later in the season and she added another Stakes race win this week.
Finally a reminder of what pedigree guru, Karel Miedema, had to say about him and I quote "The female family of Irish Flame, and its major winners, represents everything that has worked for generations in South Africa and as such the sires of the major winners provide important opportunities to return to Irish Flame." This along with the fact that his pedigree is free of any duplications for the first five generations make him a remarkably easy stallion to mate so many of our mares to." Irish Flame stands for just R10 000 this season.
John Kostor of Klawervlei Stud introduced Curved Ball(AUS) to the breeders present, the first son of Fastnet Rock to stand at stud in South Africa. His first crop are now yearlings and eagerly anticipated.
Possessing a world-class pedigree, out of Zabeel mare Curvaceous, Curved Ball had three wins in South Africa from just seven starts over 1400m - 1800m. His wins include the Gr2 Dingaans and Sea Cottage Listed Stakes.
Standing just shy of 16.2, Curved Ball has let down into an imposing individual and posseses super temperament. He stands for just R8 000 this season.
At 15 years of age, Irish-bred Toreador arrived trotting besides his handler, looking an absolute picture. Owned by the Tawny Syndicate, Toreador is the most successful son of Danehill to stand his stud career in South Africa. The four-time winner who placed in six Group races, two of them Gr1, he has achieved much at stud.
"Toreador is one of very few proven sires we have on offer here in KZN." Warwick enthuses. "He offers incredible value as one of the most consistent sires in the country. To put this into perspective he has been in the top fifteen sires on the National log for the majority of this season with only one horse above him with as few runners representing them as he has had.
"Largely an influence for speed, he has produced stakes performers in every crop to date with an average winning distance of 1300m. His leading progeny to date include Champion Two Year Colt and winner of the Gr1 Gold Medallion - Link Man. Winner of the Merchants, Jackodore, multiple Gr1 placed and winner of the Strelitzia - She's A Stunner, winner of the Tommy Hotspur and Man O'War sprints - Deliver The Power, Gr2 winner Straight Forward who also ran second in the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe, and over a bit more ground he has had the likes of filly Las Ramblas who was beaten into second by superstar Igugu in the Gr 1 SA Fillies Classic.
"How reliable a sire he has proven to be, is backed up in no small measure by his continued popularity at the sales with his progeny - at the recent Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale making prices of up to R350 000. It has also been very interesting to note how many trainers who have a mare or two, have sent their mares to be covered by him. Consistently a top twenty sire in South Africa, this year he ends the season with only three active sires ahead of him who have had as few runners as he has had." Toreador stands for R15 000 this season.
The last in the line-up for the day is the big imposing liver chestnut son of King Of Kings, King's Chapel(AUS).
"King's Chapel was New Zealand's Horse Of The Year at the end of his three year old career, when he also took the titles of Champion Three Year Old and Champion Sprinter Miler."
"A winner of three Gr1 races over 1200m, 1400m and 1600m he broke the respective course records on all three occasions. He retired a winner of ten races, ranked as the second highest rated horse in the whole of Australasia after going down a short head to Australian champion Grand Armee in the Gr 1 George Main Stakes in Australia over 1600m.
"He has enjoyed fantastic support each season at stud here in South Africa from a wide range of breeders and all have come back each season on the strength of the progeny they have had. Just recently a highly renowned breeder who has supported him strongly from the outset, commented King's Chapel 'has upgraded on every single mare I have sent to him so far.'
"His results on the international stage have continued to roll in with him recording just recently the rare feat of three winners and a second in three countries in one weekend. From relatively few runners he has continued to produce winners in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
"Interestingly 74 % of King's Chapel's winners have won over 1000m to 1600m with3 % winning at below 1000m and obviously the other 23% being distances over a mile. He has produced stakes horses of both sexes and over a range of distances and ages from two year olds right up to five year olds.
"This year saw his first local progeny at the yearling sales where we were thrilled to see how many highly regarded trainers saw the same merits in this horse's progeny as we have. His top price was R350 000 for a smart colt bought by Sean Tarry.
"We believe there are indeed exciting times ahead!"
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