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by Sarah Whitelaw

When Alula’s Star captured Saturday’s Gold Rush Sprint at Turffontein, she again bought the spotlight onto her G1 Mercury Sprint winning sire Red Ray.

The latter, whose son Red Saxon captured the previous week’s G1 WSB SA Classic, enjoyed a 100% strike rate at Turffontein on Saturday, with Alula’s Star being Red Ray’s sole runner on the day.

Red Ray had also enjoyed success two days prior to the Gold Rush Sprint, when his son Black Burner broke his maiden over 1000m at the Vaal.

The son of Western Winter, who is now the third Leading Second Season Sire in South Africa for the current season, has now been responsible for nine first crop winners, from 25 starters, with a further six of Red Ray’s first crop having finished in the money.

Red Ray’s female line has also been in the news with Chambre, Red Ray’s Rakeen half-sister, dam of the inform Roy’s Command, a winner of three of his last four starts. Roy’s Command was sired by What A Winter, like Red Ray, a son of Western Winter.

Alula’s Star, who was knocked down for R80 000 at the 2020 CTS Ready To Run Sale, is out of the durable racemare Solar Voyager.

The latter, who made 52 starts during her career, won six times from 1000m to 1200m (Solar Voyager was placed a further 19 times), and she is already dam of three winners, with Alula’s Star her most successful to date.

A full-sister to Listed Thukela Handicap runner up Space Captain, Solar Voyager is out of the useful Solar Express, a daughter of Sportsworld who won four and who ran second in the Listed Spook Express Handicap.

Solar Voyager, who is bred on the same Captain Al/Sportsworld cross as 2014 G1 J&B Met winner Hill Fifty Four, is a daughter of Captain Al.

The latter, twice champion sire and leading sire of 2yos on eight  occasions, is currently second on South Africa’s Leading Broodmare Sires list, with his daughters’ flagbearers this season headed by G1 World Sports Betting Cape Town Met winner Kommetdieding.

Captain Al’s five time G1 winning daughter, and dual Equus Champion, Carry On Alice could bring further fame to her deceased sire, with Carry On Alice set to be represented by a Snitzel colt at the upcoming Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

Alula’s Star’s pedigree is an interesting mix of speed and stamina -she is a daughter of a G1 winning sprinter but her relatives include G1 New Zealand Derby winner Cavallieri and AJC Derby victor Summer Fiesta.

Picture: The Stuart Pettigrew-trained Alula’s Star winning Saturday’s Gold Rush Sprint under apprentice Philisande Mxoli (JC Photos).