Maestro trainer Dennis Drier was based at Summerveld but has taken a string down to cape Town for the Cape Summer season every year for over a decade (Hamish Niven Photography).
Dennis Drier’s Pending Retirement Was A Tough Decision
Dennis Drier’s decision to retire, announced earlier today, was not an easy one and he did it with a heavy heart having loved what he had been doing for 55 years.
The stresses of training racehorses is partly due to the complex relationship between trainer and owner, which begins through a shared love of horses and can extend to friendship, but it is ultimately a business relationship, meaning the trainer will continuously be experiencing highs and lows.
He said about his pending retirement, “There are many who are under the impression I will be training a small string in Cape Town, but I will not be. I am handing over the reins to Stuey (Stuart Ferrie) and have no doubt he will be a success.”
Itsrainingwilliam Is The Cape Derby “Sneaker”
The Justin Snaith yard have declared seven horses for the Grade 1 Cape Derby and Jonathan Snaith said the sneaker among their entries would be Itsrainingwilliam.
Jonathan admitted their large number of entries had been simply in order to save the race as a spectacle.
He said, “Otherwise there would have been four runners … you can’t have that for a Grade 1.”
He said Charles Dickens, quoted at 1/4 by Hollywoodbets, would be extremely hard to beat.
He quipped, “I think we are in as spectators!”
On a more serious note he spoke of his scepticism of the form of the Grade 3 Politician Stakes, won by the Snaith-trained Rockpool, who is the Cape Derby second favourite at 5/1.
Rockpool won the race cosily by half-a-length from stablemate Without Question.
In third place, beaten 2,75 lengths, was the Brett Crawford-trained At My Command, who was coming off a 4,35 length third to Charles Dickens in the Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas.
Jonathan said, “We beat At My Command, but we were receiving 6kg and also, in my opinion, At My Command doesn’t stay.”
Rockpool does have a huge and interesting action to watch, throwing his front legs out unusually far, so is going to be a popular choice for second place.
However, Jonathan said, “I think the sneaker among ours is Itsrainingwilliam. Piere Strydom rode a fine race on him in the Gold Rush (to finish a close up 1,25 length third) and he is back aboard. Yes, he is by William Longsword, but he is a half-brother to Rain In Holland.”
The Gold Rush over 1600m was in fact the first time Itsrainingwilliam had run over further than 1250m and he stayed on with long-strides in eyecatching fashion.
He gave the impression he would stay the trip and his female line should help.
Jonathan said, “I think he is a sneaker for the first three.”
Jonathan did confirm that Itsrainingwilliam was not the easiest of rides, a concern expressed by Strydom before the Gold Rush. However, he certainly settled well and travelled comfortably throughout in that race, although a draw of eleven in the Cape Derby will be tricky.
The field for the Cape Derby is below:
|5||At My Command||Brett Crawford||114|
|3||Charles Dickens||Candice Bass-Robinson||132|
|4||Cosmic Event||Justin Snaith||86|
|1||King Regent||Glen Kotzen||105|
|7||Mucho Dinero||Justin Snaith||87|
|2||Nevada King||Justin Snaith||87|
|10||See It Again||Michael Roberts||104|
|8||Triple Time||Justin Snaith||104|
|9||Without Question||Justin Snaith||99|
Buffalo Bill Cody Makes His Sales Debut
Wilgerbosdrift Stud has 15 yearlings on offer on the 2023 BSA Cape Yearling Sale. Six of them are by the new kid on the block Buffalo Bill Cody.
Trained by Mike de Kock, the Irish-bred Buffalo Bill Cody (Redoute’s Choice) made an instant impression, despite being six months younger than his South African rivals, when he made a winning debut over 1160m in November 2017.
In the process, Buffalo Bill Cody accounted for subsequent G1 SA Classic winner Lobo’s Legend by head.
After finishing fourth next time out, Buffalo Bill Cody proceeded to reel off five wins in a row, while scoring by an aggregate of more than 15 lengths.
Among those beaten by Buffalo Bill Cody during his career were the graded stakes winners Cirillo, Eyes Wide Open, Kampala Campari, Lobo’s Legend,and Equus Champion Talktothestars.
His multiple champion trainer Mike de Kock described Buffalo Bay Cody as one of the best looking and most talented horses he ever trained. “I never got to the bottom of him, the best was still to come.”
Buffalo Bill Cody retired to stud in 2020 having won six of just ten starts, while stamping himself as one of the most exciting prospects around.
He is a son of multiple champion sire Redoute’s Choice, whose 170 plus stakes winners include fellow multiple Australian champion Snitzel and fellow successful sires Not A Single Doubt and Stratum. Another of Redoute’s Choice star sons, five time G1 winner The Autumn Sun, is currently standing in Australia for a stud fee of AUS$66 000 -or more than R770 000.
Redoute’s Choice has enjoyed tremendous success in South Africa where his representives include champions Majmu, Musir and Mustaaqeem, as well as such G1 winners as Rafeef and Wylie Hall.
Buffalo Bill Cody is out of top-class racemare and high-class producer Buffalo Berry, who won four times including the G3 Reeve Schley Jr. Stakes (on turf), and who is also dam of G3 Transylvania Stakes winner Chattahoochee War.
Buffalo Berry’s granddam is G1 Spinaway Stakes winner PrayersN Promises, one of the best two-year-old fillies of her year in North America.
This is the same family as G1 King’s Bishop Stakes winner, and top-class sire, Hard Spun. Hard Spun himself was sired by Danzig- the grandsire of Redoute’s Choice himself.
Oscar Foulkes On Harry Hotspur, Drum Beat And The Sprinting Sire Question
“If anything, we have a shortage of reliable sources of Classic ability”Yesterday’s newsletter questioned whether South Africa needed to source a specialist sprinting sire.It touched on some of the great stallions of the past, including Harry Hotspur, who gained the reputation as a specialist sprinting sire, as well as Drum Beat and others, who all looked capable of producing world class sprinters.Oscar Foulkes of Normandy Stud responded with a fascinating and insightful letter which is published below:There was something magical about Harry Hotspur. One could start with his looks, his fragile brilliance on the racetrack, or the way he stamped his progeny. It’s impossible to not highlight his inbreeding to Gold Bridge, one of the world’s great speed influences, or his broodmare sire, Silver Tor, the ill-fated Kings Stand Stakes winner by the breed-shaping Grey Sovereign.But any discussion about Harry Hotspur is surely incomplete without referencing his grandam’s sire, Persian Gulf, a late-maturer who won the Coronation Cup. There are further stamina influences in Harry Hotspur’s pedigree: his fourth dam was by the St Leger and Ascot Gold Cup winner Solario, and his fifth dam was by another St Leger winner, in Hurry On.While Harry Hotspur was undeniably a speed influence, one has to wonder to what extent these great stamina influences supported the brilliance of the speed influences.Drum Beat, who also stood at Noreen Stud, was a similarly mythical stallion, possessed of as much quality as one could imagine in a Thoroughbred. As a Kings Stand Stakes winner by breed-shaping Fair Trial, he was an extraordinary stallion prospect. He was inbred 3×4 to the Stout influence Son-In-Law, and one has to wonder to what extent this was critical to his stud success.To invoke Drum Beat is to do something bold. He sired 67% winners from foals (yes, foals, not runners), and over 10% stakes-winners from foals. Plus, his sons and daughters were also successful at stud, his daughters especially so. Opinions are easy to express; stats like that are something else altogether.My view is that we have more than enough sources of speed in South Africa. Yes, none have the dominance of Drum Beat, but stallions like him come along very rarely.If anything, we have a shortage of reliable sources of Classic ability. The two most sought-after stallions at present, Vercingetorix and Gimmethegreenlight, do not reliably sire runners that will get 2000m (or even 1600m, in many cases).Anecdotally, Australia is one of the best resale markets for British horses with proven ability over 10+ furlongs, because they struggle to breed those horses themselves. Their mania for speed has had an inevitable impact on their local breed. If our export markets ever open up, we’d have instant customers if we could breed horses that have top-class ability over classic distances.Silver Tor and Drum Beat were not the only Kings Stand Stakes winners to stand at stud in South Africa. We also had Fearless Lad and Flirting Around, both substantially less successful as stallions. Indeed, the list of winners of the world’s great sprint races has very little overlap with the list of breed-shaping (or even Champion) sires. If you have any doubt, simply compare the winners of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with the Breeders’ Cup Classic.On the other hand, the top seven furlong races in New York, such as the Vosburgh, have a decent record as sources of future breed-shapers. Perhaps the answer lies in the different aptitude required to win races like that. Speed is critical, but so is stamina.Oscar Foulkes
Calvin Habib (picture via Singapore Turf Club press release)
Singapore Turf Club Introduce Calvin Habib
Noble Mission, the 2014 CARTIER Champion Older Horse in Europe, stands at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky (https://www.champsofthetrack.com)
NB Please wait a few seconds for fields to appear.
Lane’s End Farm, where the current highest Timrform rated horse in the world, Flighline, will be enjoying his first season of covering mares.