Picture: Narrow Creek’s dual Gr1 winning flagbearer, Isivunguvungu (Credit – Chase Liebenberg)
The Sporting Post
The festive season is over, a new year has commenced, and John Everett of Narrow Creek Stud is quietly putting the finishing touches to his draft destined for the Cape Racing Premier Yearling Sale powered by Tattersalls on 25 January.
To put that into perspective, the stud enjoyed arguably its best season in 2021/22 when represented by no more than 58 runners, a fraction of its more prominent peers, yet put them all in the shade with a strike rate of 60,3% winners to runners.
An enviable achievement indeed and one which included a bounty of nine stakes winners, a figure only bettered by Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein and Drakenstein Stud!
Recent stakes winners born and raised at Narrow Creek include Gr1 SA Classic winner Red Saxon, Gr1 Computaform Sprint ace Isivunguvungu, as well as the Gr1-placed stakes winners Big Burn, Catch Twentytwo, Sprinkles, Homely Girl, Pinnacle Peak and Elusive Heart.
This year’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale will be the launching pad for the first yearlings by champion Hawwaam and Narrow Creek’s first lot through the ring, a filly, is by the son of Silvano.
An August foal, Cool Wind (Lot 13) is out of a winning Captain Al mare and as John describes her, “she’s a ‘racy type with lots of strength, she could be a classic type and should go a mile at least.”
Next up is Lot 29, a What A Winter own sister to Gr2 Camellia Stakes winner Cold Fact, which John describes as “very nice, she will be like her sister, speedy. She oozes quality. If I breed them all like that, I’ll be very happy.”
A pair of youngsters by Rafeef round out John’s quartet.
Aquarius (Lot 85), a ‘tall and racy’ filly, is the first foal out of a half-sister to Gr3 winner Star Express, who has the distinction of being the dam of last season’s Equus champion three-year-old Filly Bless My Stars.
“What a family, it couldn’t have happened at a better time,” John remarked.
Narrow Creek’s last lot is a striking, virtually pitch-black colt (Lot 135) and is out of a Querari half-sister to Gr1 Champions Cup ace African Appeal and Gr2-placed stakes winner Mary Lou, who produced Gr1 Allan Robertson winner Brave Mary.
Named Spirit, the colt is close to John’s heart, for as he explains: “I bred and raced this racy colt’s dam Cover Page. She injured herself as a yearling and never reached her potential on the track, although she managed to place on a number of occasions.”
Speaking of Rafeef, he of course counts the grey speed machine Master Archie amongst his trio of Gr1 winning progeny. The Computaform Sprint winner has just completed his first covering season at Winterbach Stud, who head to the sale with a draft of six, and it is his own brother which is sure to spark a flurry of bids.
Stud owner Hendrik Winterbach also foaled and raised Master Archie and he recalls selling the Querari half-brother for R900,000 at last year’s sale:
“The Querari was a big boy and built like a tank. This colt is very nice, but different. Although he’s a bay, he’s very like Master Archie, the way they move, although at this stage, I would say he is a better looking individual. The mare (La Volta) stamps them, she throws a type of look and athleticism.”
Running the rule over the rest of the Winterbach draft, there are two colts by Hawwaam and from Hendrik’s comments, he is clearly very high on the young stallion.
“His foals are out of this world,” he enthused. “I was over the moon with them when they were born, they are classy and athletic, of good size and correct. I was so impressed, we immediately sent mares back to him. And dare I say, although he is by Silvano, his progeny looks like they could come early. That’s why we nominated two for the first sale of the year.”
Buyers will have to look sharp, as the first of the stud’s pair sells as Lot 27 and this fella is none other than a half-brother to Gr3 Cape Mile winner Montien.
Said Hendrik: “This colt is a great mover and a good size. Montien winning the Gr3 couldn’t have come at a better time, and I think he wasn’t disgraced in the King’s Plate, he finished just four lengths off them. He has been nominated for the Met, and I will be selling his half-brother on the Thursday before the race, what more could I ask for?”
Hah Lah Lah, the second Hawwaam colt (Lot 47) is out of stakes-placed Moonlight ‘N Roses, a Captain Al daughter of Gr1 Garden Province winner Soft Landing.
“The mare’s first foal Mister Monocle won three races despite having just one eye,” Hendrik elaborates. “This is a classy colt who covers ground and moves well,” before adding a bit of trivia, “he’s well named too, as the Springboks always shout Hah Lah Lah! before a match!”
Those lucky enough to be selling a yearling by One World must surely be in the pound seat, as the champion son of Captain Al is off to a flying start. That early success could well spill over to the sales ring.
Winterbach consigns Lot 69, a filly out of a three-time winning Elusive Fort full-sister to Safe Harbour who was runner-up in all of the Gr1 SA Fillies Classic, Cape Fillies Guineas and Paddock Stakes.
“The sire looks exciting, doesn’t he? This filly is tall and, on the leg, with strong hindquarters and is from a solid family. She’s the mare’s second foal, the first, also by One World, is in training with Vaughan Marshall.”
The next lot on offer, Lot 91, a September-born What A Winter filly out of stakes-placed Talitaha Borealis is “a typical sprinting filly and will come early.”
“This is a nice filly and whoever buys her should get an early return in one of the sales races,” Hendrik added.
Finally, there is Lot 105, a Querari colt out of a winning Captain Al half-sister to multiple Gr1 performer Second Base from the successful Kiss Of Peace family. Named Parental Guidance, he too, looks a likely candidate for the lucrative sales races, according to Hendrik.
“A very nice colt who also looks an early type. He’s a typical Querari, strong-quartered and correct. The mare’s first foal won at two last seasons, and she has a Gimmethegreenlight juvenile to race for her.”
The full catalogue can be viewed by clicking here: