Written by Ada van der Bent
R1,000,000 Forus Cape Guineas G1 – TAP O’ NOTH (Captain Al – Wintersweet by Western Winter)
wins by 0,5 lengths from White River and Like A Panther. Tap O’ Noth was bred and raised at Varsfontein Stud
on behalf of long-standing clients Alec & Gillian Foster.
DECEMBER brought a rich haul of stakes success for the farm, with horses bred or raised at Varsfontein claiming no less than four of the 14 stakes races offered country wide. The month started on a high when Gimmethegreenlight’s son Surcharge set up the quartet by leading home fellow Varsfontein-bred Harlan County in the Listed Secretariat Stakes at Turffontein. A fortnight later, the Guineas meeting at Kenilworth proved a memorable one for owner/breeder Alec Foster and wife Gillian. Their homebred three-year-old Tap O’Noth (Captain Al) claimed the day’s classic event, the Gr.1 Cape Guineas, while his talented Silvano half-brother Strathdon made it a red-letter double by landing the Gr.3 Cape Summer Stayers Handicap in the same Foster silks.
Both were foaled and raised at Varsfontein and hail from a successful female family nurtured by the Fosters. Their homebred dam Wintersweet (Western Winter) has a lovely Dynasty filly at foot and she is back in foal to the top-five stallion.
Gimmethegreenlight’s four-year-old son Legend continued the farm’s fine run on Boxing Day when second in the Listed Christmas Handicap at Greyville. Bred by Carl and Amanda de Vos, he is out of Colour Fast, a Spectrum half-sister to Champion Consensual, the dam of last season’s Gr.1 Cape Fillies Guineas queen Just Sensual (Dynasty), who took on and defeated a field of sprinters in her seasonal debut, the Gr.2 Southern Cross Stakes.
Finally, Varsfontein-bred Hashtagyolo (above) closed out the month on a high with an emphatic first black type win in the final feature of the year, the Gr.3 Flamboyant Stakes over the Greyville mile.
Returning from a ten-week break, the daughter of Dynasty was following up on an impressive all-the-way victory in the KZN Fillies Guineas Trial over the course and distance. This time she came off the pace, boldly reached the front a furlong out and galloped on strongly to score by two lengths under regular pilot Anthony Delpech, who said afterwards: “She really gave me a feel today. She’s something special –she’s a star!”
Now undefeated in three starts, the Highveld features could be likely targets for this fine classic prospect owned by Tinus Gericke and KwaZulu-Natal breeder Bruce le Roux, who outlayed R1.1-million to secure her at the 2016 National Yearling Sale.
She is out of Master Of My Fate’s half-sister My Guiding Star (Jallad), who produced an own sister to Hashtagyolo in November and has been covered by Gimmethegreenlight. Her yearling Dynasty colt will be going to the National Sale.
CPY SALE FEATURES CHOICE LOTS BY VARSFONTEIN STALLIONS
ALL our stallions will be represented at the forthcoming Cape Premier Yearling Sale on 20 and 21 January. Gimmethegreenlight’s power-packed draft of 14 lots include the first foal, a colt, out of Gr.2 Southern Cross Stakes victress Fairyinthewoods (Lot 2); a filly (Lot 12) out of Gr.2 Tibouchina Stakes winner Fragrant Al; a colt (Lot 53) out of Gr.1/2 placed stakes winner Las Ramblas; an own brother to Ruffian Stakes third La Bella Mia (Lot 77); a half-brother (Lot 119) to Gr.2-placed stakes winner Red Flyer; a three-parts brother in blood to Gr.2 KZN Fillies Guineas victress Gimme Six (Lot 142); the first foal, a colt (Lot 189), out of Gr.3 Jacaranda Handicap winner Amber Orchid; a filly out of Fairyinthewoods’ stakes winning half-sister Comet Chaser (Lot 223); a filly (Lot 228) out of Gr.3-placed stakes winner Country Girl; and a filly (Lot 234) out of dual Gr.2 winner Dance With Al.
Master Of My Fate has two blue-blooded colts catalogued, both siblings to Gr.1 winners: a half-brother to Gold Cup winner Ancestral Fore (Lot 10) and a half-brother to Gr.1 Mercury Sprint hero August Rush (Lot 211).
Judpot’s sole offering, a colt from Lammerskraal Stud, is out of the Western Winter mare La Belle Helene, an own sister to Gr.2 winner Buran and Gr.1-placed Ice Belle.
Double delight: UK-based Varsfontein clients Alec and Gillian Foster, pictured below with winning trainer Vaughan Marshall after the Gr.1 Cape Guineas victory of their homebred Tap O’Noth (top pic). His half-brother Strathdon (above), completed a Foster double in the Gr.3 Cape Stayers Handicap.
PIETRO MASCAGNI REGAINS WINNING THREAD
“Pietro Mascagni is a smart horse, he will improve more.”
Those were the words of trainer Mike de Kock following the Varsfontein-bred colt’s second victory. A game winner on debut, Sheik Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s handsome bay fluffed his lines second time out in a slowly-run Gr.2 Dingaans but made no mistake on his return when coming home a length and a half clear of his field over the Vaal 1500m.
A R2.3-million purchase at the 2016 National Yearling Sale, Pietro is out of Jodie, a Western Winter own-sister to Champion juvenile Ice Cube, Gr.1-placed Jagged Ice and to Alula, the dam of stakes winning stayer Arezzo.
Pietro Mascagni strikes for the second time in three starts.
BEATABOUTTHEBUSH AS GOOD AS EVER
Varsfontein-bred Beataboutthebush added more black type to her already impressive resumé when second in the Listed Lady’s Bracelet at Fairview. Entering the final 100m, the four-year-old daughter of Gimmethegreenlight looked set for a third stakes success but was run out of it in the closing stages by Cape Town visitor Merysagos.
Beataboutthebush was gallant in defeat, considering she was conceding 6 kg to the year-younger filly. Raced in partnership by the Greeffs and the Scribantes, Beataboutthebush is out of our Gr.3 winner Bushra (Badger Land), who has a full sister to the dual stakes winner at foot and is back in foal to Gimmethegreenlight.
MASTER OF MY FATE OFF THE MARK
Our young first-season stallion Master Of My Fate’s 2yo’s have been contesting the first juvenile races of the season. Twist Of Fate WON FIRST TIME OUT when the Joey Ramsden-trained won impressively on the first day of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate festival. The colt quickened up nicely to take the 1000m dash by a length and a half to become Master’s very first winner. Bred by Favour Stud, he is out of Listed Breeders Guineas winner Crescent Lily (Counter Action). From a total of 4 starters Master Of My Fate’s other runners include Lucky Dancer – finished 4th first time out at Kenilworth over 1000m, Lucille – finished 5th first time out at Kenilworth over 1000m and Master Silva – finished 4th first time out at Scottsville over 800m.