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Picture: Team Gold on the way to the start before winning the Listed Topbet Spring Spree Stakes under JP van der Merwe on Saturday (JC Photos)



by Sarah Whitelaw

When Team Gold captured Saturday’s Listed Topbet Spring Spree Stakes at Turffontein, he became the third stakes winner produced by his prolific dam Kelly’s Olympics. The latter, who hails from one of the most potent female lines in the American stud book, is currently responsible for five black type horses in total with Kelly’s Olympics already dam of graded stakes winners Olympic Owen (G3 Protea Stakes) and Speedy Suzy (G3 Pretty Polly Stakes).

The regally bred Kelly’s Olympics, who is also dam of Listed Syringa Handicap runner up Fly Philippa and the G3 placed Dame Kelly, always looked likely to enjoy success at stud.
A daughter of outstanding sire and broodmare sire Kingmambo (whose daughter Deceptive Charm is dam of last season’s G2 World Sports Betting Fillies Guineas winner Under Your Spell), Kelly’s Olympics was a smart, speedy performer who won four times from 1000m to 1200m. She put up arguably the best performance of her career when finishing third, to Equus Champion Texan Summer, in the 2005 G3 Southern Cross Stakes.
Out of a mare by Ogygian (whose daughters have also produced such notable G1 winning sires as Johannesburg and Street Boss), Kelly’s Olympics’ dam Ophidian, a half-sister to G2 Forego Stakes winner and successful sire American Chance, was a smart four time winner who captured North America’s Goodbye Halo Stakes.
Team Gold is directly descended in female line from the important taprootmare Exclusive. A daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Shut Out, Exclusive produced five stakes winners notably Arlington Classic winner Exclusive Native. The latter was twice Champion Sire in the USA where his flagbearers included Triple Crown winner Affirmed and fellow Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk.
However, Exclusive’s influence was not limited to Exclusive Native -as she is the ancestress of numerous G1 winners including Blair House, Chief Honcho, Dance To Bristol, George Vancouver, General Assembly, Muhtarram, Poet’s Voice, and Versailles Treaty. The Trippi sired G1 Spinaway Stakes winner R Heat Lightning is another descended from Exclusive, while R Heat Lightning’s close relative East Breaks came to stud in South Africa.
Team Gold’s success also once again underlined the merit of his sire Twice Over. The latter, who made a sensational start to his stud career with his first crop headed by dual G1 Vodacom Durban July winner Do It Again and G1 Gold Medallion victor Sand And Sea, had a tremendous season in 2021-2022 where Twice Over was represented by G1 Cape Guineas winner Double Superlative as well as the graded stakes winners Do It Again and Smorgasbord.