The second Varsfontein bred Summer Cup winner in 3 years…a feat well worth celebrating. In 2013 Master Sabina found himself in second place behind Yorker, beaten by a half length but this year it was his turn to take the lime light in this Gr 1 Highveld feature. For the Varsfontein team it’s even more satisfying to see this accomplishment come from a family steeped in the stud’s history, which goes all the way back to Master Sabina’s great granddam, Kendal Green.
Kendal Green was one of the foundation mares with which owner, Anthony Kalmanson, started Varsfontein. She was bred by Godfrey Gird and was purchased by Terrance Millard for Mr Kalmanson at the National yearling sales. She turned out to be a quite a filly by winning the Fillies Guineas after which she retired to stud. Kendal Green had a tendency to twins – and even foaled down a colt and a filly one year. She lived a long time and had plenty of foals right up to the end. Two of these were bold black type performers, This England and Peppermint. Peppermint still resides on Varsfontein.
This England was a star yearling but it was the year everyone went crazy about heart scores and he had a dismal one, so it put lots of people off resulting in the potential top lot colt being sold way under his value. However, buyer Robbie Maroun was unperturbed by the heart score and he went on to train him to win the Gr 1 Adminstrators.
In 1993 Kendal Green had a filly by Model Man who was named Batimamselle. She was kept to race for Varsfontein and won one race as a three year old. Batimamselle retired to stud in 1997 and has had a long career here on the farm producing a total of 13 foals so far. Sabina Park was her second foal and is sired by Sportsworld. Varsfontein’s broodmare band includes one sister of Sabina Park named Pimento who is a Fort Wood mare.
Sabina Park was taken to the Cape Yearling Sale in 2002 where she was not sold and then went on to the National Two Year Old Sale where she was purchased by Michael De Broglio for R55 000. She was De Broglio’s first racehorse and what an adventure it turned out to be. Sabina Park won 5 races including two Gr 2 races, the SA Oaks and the SA Fillies Nursery. She also placed 5 times in other graded races.
“My first horse Sabina Park was a superstar who had the bad luck to race not only with injuries and then a heart problem, but also a race season that was cut short due to a horse flu that saw all horse racing stop in Gauteng for 4 months when she was at the peak of her career. She had faster finishing times in her last big win than the subsequent winner of the July Handicap, Greys Inn, recorded on the same day at the same track and distance. A truly talented horse whose brilliance was never truly acknowledged other than in the R3 million I was offered to sell her to Australia. Unfortunately, in South Africa unless you win one of the big one’s people never really understand how good your horse is and Sabina Park may well have been the best horse I ever owned, but also the unluckiest. A documentary was made at the time and aired on Tellytrack which featured me and her over 3 episodes and ended with me saying I would breed with her and I would one day be very proud of her children. “- Michael De Broglio
It was only fitting that she should return home for her stud career. With an owner that felt she only deserved the best it was not surprising that she should visit top sires like Jet Master, Western Winter, Silvano and Dynasty. In 2009 she produced Master Sabina, the handsome Jet Master colt who was her second produce. He was born and raised on Varsfontein, and being a “not for sale” yearling was able to spend his first two years at leisure in the Varsfontein paddocks before being sent in for pre-training. Well…the rest is history as they say. Now an eight time winner as a 6 year old and peaking his career, Master Sabina has both the Gr 1 Summer Cup and the Gr 3 Tabgold 2200 in his trophy cabinet.
Michael’s thoughts after the win”…Not at his very best he was still good enough to win the 2015 Summer Cup. His first Grade 1 victory, the biggest race any of my horses has ever won and the first Grade 1 for his mother also. So for me Saturday had nothing to do with money at all – it was all about the dream coming full circle for me and Sabina. Master Sabina may never win another race in his already amazing career but he truly made me happy and proud on Saturday to not only own him, but have bred him also.”
Sabina Park has a yearling colt by Dynasty, American Landing, who looks to be developing into a big, strong horse like his brother. She has recently foaled a beautiful Silvano filly who will hopefully follow her mothers footsteps on both the track and in the stud barn.