Picture: Trainer Darryl Moore and owner Preggie Somasundram and loved ones celebrate their win with Canadian Summer in the Grade 1 Thekwini Stakes on Saturday (Candiese Lenferna).
Summerveld trainer Darryl Moore landed his first Grade 1 on Saturday with Canadian Summer just over eleven years after his grandfather and mentor Ivan Moore won the Grade 1 Golden Horseshoe with Fighting Warrior on July day in 2011.
It was a fairytale result because it was also a first Grade 1 win for both jockey Jason Gates and owner Preggie Somasundram.
Darryl has had many fine mentors as a trainer.
He was with former national champion trainer Charles Laird for seven years in which time he was associated with such good horses as Our Giant, Contador, Merlene De Lago and many others.
“I learnt how to train a Group 1 winner from Mr Laird, that’s for sure,” he said.
He continued, “I joined up with my grandfather in 2014 and we’ve been working together since then. He’s a great horseman and has forgotten what we are still learning!”
The yard is still under the name of Ivan and Darryl, but the former is in the background these days and Darryl does all the hands on work.
Darryl said about Canadian Summer, “After her first start we thought she was a good filly (second over 1000m on the Hollywoodbets Greyville turf at 20/1 odds). Then when she won the Listed race (her second career win in just her third start) I thought, here we go, we have a serious horse on our hands. I really thought after that race she would have a good chance in a Group 1.”
There was not much stress during the preparation and Darry recounted, “We had her well the whole time and her races were all on top of each other, so we haven’t had to do much in between. She is such a laid back filly, she takes everything in her stride. Even before the Thekwini she was falling asleep when we were putting the saddle on. She’s got a big race temperament.”
Darryl confirmed that some of the big jockeys had phoned to try and get the ride and he added, “Preggie has taken a lot of time with Jason. He has taken a lot of interest in his career. We put him on first time out and we stuck with him. He’s rewarded us for having faith in him. It is a proud moment for Preggie.”
Preggie describes himself as Jason’s coach and said, “I think he is a lad full of promise and we are just grooming him to be a better jockey. But he is a very good jockey we are just working on improving his style.”
Jason did have a few temperament issues early on and Preggie admiited he had been very hard on him.
He added, “But it is for his own benefit. He has matured and well done to him and also well done to Della (Jason’s wife).
Preggie Somasundram does his own buying and picked up the Oldlands Stud-bred Canadian Summer for just R80,000 at the BSA August two-year-old sale last year.
He said about his buying process, “It is firstly on conformation and looks and thereafter breeding.”
He then takes a more detailed look at the horse and if it passes he will then bid.
He said about the Oratorio filly, “She looked compact, she looked racey, she looked very strong. She looked like she could run.”
Oratorio is also one of those good sires who is not very fashionable, so some bargains can be landed.
The son of Danehill has produced nine individual Grade 1 winners.
Preggie also liked the female line.
Canadian Summer is a half-sister to six time-winner Path To Glory (Pathfork) and also to four time-winner Senescence. It was in fact the latter who caught his eye as that Sean Tarry-trained filly possesses a fine turn of foot and has probably never quite fulfilled her potential.
Preggie has been in the game for a long time and has learnt the sales selecting and buying ropes along the way. He has had some good mentors among his trainers over the years.
His career in horseracing began when he was invited to a box by a friend and soon thereafter he got his first share in a horse.
His first horse was with Tony Rivalland more than twenty years ago and he has also had horses with the like of Geoff Woodruff and Vaughan Marshall.
He added, “That is not to forget all of the other trainers who I have learnt a lot from including Old Man Moore (Ivan).”
Darryl received Canadian Summer at the beginning of this year after she had been spelled on Adam Kethro’s farm.
He said, “I told Preggie let’s just be a bit patient with her. We started cantering her and built her up. She showed us promise from the start. Obviosuly being a small yard we could not test her out to see just how good she was. But in her racing she soon showed us how good she is.”
Preggie is not a punter so did not take advantage of some of the high value odds Canadian Summer has been available at on occasion, including opening at odds of 20/1 for the Thekwini, jumping at 10/1, and yet starting Tote favourite.
“People forgot she came in as a Listed winner,” said Darryl.
She had won the Listed Hollywoodbets Super League Devon Air Stakes over 1400m on June 11 and then finished second on Hollywoodbets Durban July day in the BSA Sales Cup for fillies over 1300m behind the exciting prospect Feather Boa (Flower Alley).
She looks to be favourite to be named Equus Two-year-old Champion filly and hopefully she will train on and help attract more owners to the yard of Darryl, a third generation stalwart horseman (Ivan was a many-times Zimbabwean champion jockey and Darryl’s father Robert, also a former jockey, is now the chief riding master at the South African Jockeys Academy).