ONCE in a blue moon, rare opportunities come along in the bloodstock market, but they are often overlooked for that very reason – they present themselves under the radar and are gone before you know it!
There are, however, a few “shrewdies” in town who will be bidding on the progeny of multiple English Group winner and TF 126-rated Await The Dawn (USA) at the CTS Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, scheduled for 24 and 25 November at the Randjesfontein Training Centre in Midrand.
A son of Giant’s Causeway, Await The Dawn was a beautiful, young bay horse who stood for less than two years at Summerhill Stud before he died of a heart attack in October 2014, doing what proper stallions do. He threw himself at his mares with workmanlike abandon, perhaps on the fateful day of his death just one passionate grunt and a pointed push too many!
The fact that Await The Dawn’s father was recently rated the 5th leading stallion of all time by TDN and that, as a racehorse, Await The Dawn was superbly performed at Group level are not the only reasons he was highly regarded.
At the time of his death, stallion master Greg Muir commented: “You spend your life looking for a horse like Await The Dawn, who pulverised top-class opposition with uncommon ease.
“He was booked to capacity on the strength of both his own great appeal and a fantastic first crop of foals. He was as fertile a horse as I worked with, and I guess his unusually large heart was a contributing factor to a stellar career.
“There’s no replacing an Await The Dawn, but at least we’ll have some terrific foals to remember him by.”
Mick Goss and the Summerhill team are hoping that the members of Await The Dawn’s one-and-a-half crops will relish their racing careers with the same zest as their sire enjoyed his own spell on the track and his brief, yet bold stints in the breeding paddock. In bloodstock terms, his fewer than 100 foals sired are really just a “handful”, nothing more. Described as “classic types”, they could be the best value buys at the 2016 renewal of the CTS Ready To Run auction.
Summerhill’s Tarryn Liebenberg said of the 23 Await The Dawn two-year-olds at the sale: “I think buyers will be surprised with what they’ll see. The Await The Dawn’s were withdrawn from the Yearling Sales earlier this year because they didn’t reach their prices. They were immature and lacked substance.
“Now, months later, it’s a different kettle of fish. They are maturing beautifully and are great-looking, classic-types – big, tall and lanky like their dad. They’re strong and they move very well too, many of them with Await The Dawn’s big stride.”
Liebenberg’s personal picks among the colts are Lots 61, 99 and 205, while Lot 38 is her favourite among the fillies.
Lot 61 is the bay Genesis, the eight foal of multiple Gr2 winner Dignify, who has already produced Distinguished and Coby. “He’s a great looker, a must-see,” said Liebenberg.
Hero’s Honour (Lot 99) is the second foal of the small black-type Galileo mare, Grail Maiden, who won four times and was Listed placed. “He’s a well-made horse with a lovely action.”
Decision Time (Lot 205) is the second foal of a Russian Revival-mare Sophie’s Choice, who won five times up to a mile. This one hails from the immediate family of Rusty Pelican and Princely Heir and Liebenberg said: “Sophie’s Choice’s first foal by Visionaire was a top seller last year, she is as yet unraced but is highly thought of.”
The filly It Had To Be You (Lot 38) is described as “quite mature, a good looking filly with substance”. She’s a daughter of the Gr1 winner Bridal Paths, by Brashee, who has produced five decent individual winners and whose visit to Await The Dawn may have produced a star this time.
The catalogue for the Emperors CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale can be viewed online, here.