Skip to main content

by Sarah Whitelaw

Sons of What A Winter dominated the finish to the second race at Kenilworth on Monday, where Alpine Challenge pulled clear to beat his paternal half-brother Winning Single by an emphatic three and a quarter lengths.

Alpine Challenge has an intriguing pedigree -and he is certainly bred to be above average.

Sired by a multiple champion sprinter, two-year-old Alpine Challenge is out of a mare who won up to 2400m. Alpine Challenge’s dam Distance Done was sired by Dynaformer (whose progeny included a Melbourne Cup winner (Americain) and a St Leger winner (Lucarno)).

At the time of writing, Alpine Challenge was the fourth two-year-old winner for triple Equus Champion What A Winter this season. Currently second on the Leading Sires of 2YOs premiership for 2021-2022, What A Winter is no stranger to enjoying success as a sire of two-year-olds with the son of multiple champion sire Western Winter having headed the 2YO premiership last season.

What A Winter, who supplied 23 two-year-old winners last season, has already sired a number of stakes winning two-year-olds notably the graded stakes winners Armando, Dutch Philip, and Snow Report. (Another son of What A Winter, Whatever Next, captured both the Listed East Cape Nursery and Listed Dahlia Plate last season).

Alpine Challenge, a R150 000 buy from the 2021 Cape Premier Yearling Sale, is a half-brother to four winners including Listed Racing Association Stakes third placegetter Never Ending Rain. His dam Distance Done won six times, from 1600m to 2400m, including the Listed C B Sun Classique Handicap of 2009 -where her beaten rivals included subsequent star producer Aquatint.

Distance Done herself was produced by talented racemare Al Desima -a three time winner who was third in the G1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes and whose sire Emperor Jones was a full-brother to useful South African stallion, and high-class broodmare sire, Qui Danzig.

Distance Done is herself a direct descendant of Irish 1000 Guineas winner Annetta -whose numerous high-class descendants include Epsom classic winners Oath and Snow Fairy, as well as the likes of 2000 Guineas victor Mister Baileys, and G1 winning sprinters Patavellian and Avonbridge.

Alpine Challenge’s broodmare sire, the notoriously bad tempered Dynaformer, proved that looks and temperament are not everything in a stallion, leaving behind more than 130 stakes winners headed by ill-fated Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, five time G1 winner Point Of Entry and English classic winners Blue Bunting and Lucarno.

Dynaformer also features as broodmare sire of G2 Lake Placid Stakes winner Sharp Susan -dam of former South African Horse Of The Year, and G1 Sun Met heroine, Oh Susanna.

Picture: What A Winter (Freeman Stallions).