Extract from John Freeman’s newsletter dated 1 August: Gimmethegreenlight’s spectacular Gr1 and Gr2 winners at Greyville yesterday pushed his earnings for the season to R1.76m, a clear R1m ahead of his opposition and confirmed that he is not only SA’s newest Champion Freshman Sire but also one of a select few to produce winners at the highest level from their first crop. Gimmethegreenlight covered four really good books of mares coming into this season – laying that sort of foundation is important for any young sire but it’s just as important to make sure that his 5th book gives him the back-up needed to pose a serious statistical challenge later on. He is now fully booked for 2016, one just hopes that he gets even better mares. His first dozen winners made him look like a really bright new star but wow! Look at him now.
I wrote last week to say that I had spoken with Dennis Drier about Hack Green’s progress. Dennis has always been a big fan of the Varsfontein based son of More Than Ready and told me that he was very happy with this colt’s prep. A fluent winner on debut, Hack Green’s draw was my only concern coming into the Gr2 Umkhomazi. Sean Veale decided to run him from off the pace rather than be forced wide all the way around the turn. He was close to second last at the top of the straight – then he just exploded into action halfway up the straight to win going away by three lengths. A very impressive win which sealed Gimmethegreenlight’s bid for the Freshman Sire Championship.
Hack Green, a R950,000 Val de Vie Sale yearling, was bred by Varsfontein from the Master Of My Fate family that has done them so well. His pedigree is the product of an internationally proven cross; his dam Secret Mission (by Fort Wood) is an own-sister to Secret Heart, the dam of Pluck, also by More Than Ready who won the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Gr2 and is now at stud in Australia.
So this win is a double advertising bonus for Varsfontein based sires and it reaffirmed not only Dennis Drier’s oft-stated admiration of Gimmethegreenlight but his loyalty to the family that produced Master Of My Fate, the star son of Jet Master that he trained now also a very popular member of the Varsfontein Stallion barn.
Hack Green, who races for Messrs Dally, Abery, Adams, Buhr, and Loubser, is from the same family as another of Varsfontein Stud’s popular young sires, Master Of My Fate.
There was more to come – as in the case of Hack Green we had our hopes pinned on a good run from Gunner in the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes to put Gimmethegreenlight further into the lead on the Freshman sire log and even see him challenge the older sires on the 2yo log. In his race, Hack Green had jumped from stall 8 and Gunner had to step up to the challenge from gate 7. Here again a son of Gimmethegreenlight had to run from off the pace and wide. I have watched that race over and over; a truly gutsy performance. He raced from the back of the field all the way around the long Greyville turn – Brandon Lerena pushed him wide just before the straight to try and get closer to the pace. As the field fanned across the track he made steady progress but about 50m from home I couldn’t see him getting the best of that cavalry charge. Then he powered his way into the lead under a brilliant ride by Brandon Lerena who got him rocket propelled in the finish. I am quite sure that we will hear from this Paul Gatsby trained colt in the Cape Season – looks to be a Guineas prospect.
Gunner who is out of a Captain Al mare (Captain Al’s third Gr1 winner as damsire) provided his sire with not only an important graded double – but also became Gimmethegreenlight’s and Nadeson Park’s first Gr1 winner. Nadeson Park sold Gunner at the CTS Sale for R200,000 last year, like Hack Green, he races for Hassen Adams (Gimmethegreenlight’s racing owner) and partners.
Gunner is Gimmethegreenlight’s 16th winner. Gimmethegreenlight not only won the Freshman Sire Championship with the most stakes but he also has the most winners, races won, number of stakes winners and AEPR at a fantastic R42,304.