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Beechamwood Boy’s seventh career win on Wednesday was his sixth win of the season (Candiese Lenferna Photography).

 

The Wendy Whitehead-trained Bruce le Roux-bred Eightfold Path gelding Beechamwood Boy was as low as a 70 merit rating when having his second run of the season on November 7.

That was his first run as a gelding and it heralded the beginning of a remarkable run.

On Wednesday at Hollywoodbets Scottsville he registered his sixth win of the season, all six of them over 1200m, when scoring under Calvin Habib carrying 57kg in a MR 99 Handicap.

He has won seven times overall in a 24 race career.

However, this season he has had 13 starts for six wins, three seconds and two thirds.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club actually have a most improved horse of the year award and if there was one in KZN Beechamwood Boy would likely win it.

He gives the impression he has more to come as he returns to the ring without blowing much and he also always seems to find more when challenged at the end of his races.

He should provide owners Ian Gibson, Peter Gibson, Matt Sharkey and MDH Sinnema with more fun.

Peter Gibson was at one stage the racing manager for Mr Guo from China, whose ownership and breeding operation in South Africa was called Hartley SA.

Included in the deals Peter did on behalf of Harley SA was the purchase of the stallion Eightfold Path from the Niarchos family.
 
The Group 3 winner in France was retired after having four unplaced runs in SA for Mike de Kock.
 
However, Eightfold Path was superbly bred, being by “the iron horse” Giant’s Causeway out of the brilliant five-times Grade 1-winning mare Divine Proportions (Kingmambo), whose only career defeat was to Dubawi in her tenth and final start.
 
He seemed worth taking a chance on at stud.
 
Peter noticed one of the best cross’s with Giant’s Causeway was provided by Seeking The Gold mares.
 
Therefore, he deliberately sought a Windrush (Seeking The Gold) mare to buy for himself to send to Eightfold Path.
 
He found one called Time To Laugh and bought her for a mere R2,000 from Midlands thoroughbred stalwart, Jill Fox.
 
Time To Laugh’s first and only win in her seven start career had been on debut and she did it by 4,75 lengths over 1200m at the Vaal trained by Erico Verdonese after being backed in to 33/10.
 
Time To Laugh was in foal to The Apache at the time of purchase, but the foal unfortunately passed away.
 
Peter then sent her to Eightfold Path and she produced a colt, which Peter called Smuts, the same name as his father Ian’s first childhood horse.
 
Smuts showed promise and after a close second in his sixth start he was sold to Mauritius where he has won one race.
 
The next foal of Time To Laugh was named Beechamwood Boy after a  Transkei fishing camp Peter has a share in.
 
Beechamwood Boy was well balanced as a  yearling.
 
Beechamwood Boy, born and raised at Bruce le Roux’s Blue Sky Thoroughbreds farm, showed immediate promise, running on strongly on debut on the Greyville poly for a close third despite starting odds of 67/1.  
 
He has gone on to prove himself a useful horse and is among the best ever, alongside the like of Aberconway and Danzig’s Mast, to run in nonagenarian Ian Gibson’s eyecatching all maroon silks which he has had since the 1970s.