“RED Ray is probably the most charismatic and handsome horse to pass through my care. To crown it all, he was as exciting to work with as his pedigree is to look at!” said trainer Joey Ramsden of his Gr1 winning sprinter.

Colin Birch of Vogel Vlei Stud saw Red Ray at the Klawervlei Stallion Day and was similarly taken by his smashing looks and charm.

Syd Birch tells: “My son Colin was so impressed with Red Ray he started talking to John Koster and later, in consultation with Derek Brugman, it was decided that the stallion would join us for the second half of this breeding season.

“In this economic climate breeders are cutting back on their mares, and on the support they were able to give before, but we’ll be helping with Red Ray because we like him so much. He is a blue blooded speed machine by champion sire and sire of sires Western Winter out of blue hen Nacarat, and he oozes class.

“We’ve got 22 of our own mares booked for him and from what we’ve gathered from other Karoo breeders we’ll be getting a further 10 mares from the region in support. There is a revival here, with Moutonshoek’s well-bred Admiral Kitten standing with David Southey and Red Ray with us, the Karoo’s looking good for the next few years and we are proud of it. There are a number of our mares who will nick well with Red Ray.”

Red Ray, through his female line, goes back to erstwhile Champion sire Plum Bold, who stood at Vogel Vlei. Syd recalls: “Yes, we had several good stallions here, including Plum Bold and High Veldt, the sire of Elevation.

“The last stallion we stood was called Akaam, who produced a few winners but didn’t make the grade, That was back in the 1990s when support for Karoo stallions was starting to dry up and it made more sense to send our mares away to stallions based in KZN and the Western Cape.”

Birch said that he and Colin are loving their recent greater involvement, their official return to the fray, and with several good results already on the board they’re hoping for another good season. “We’ve just leased a filly called Inan to Mike de Kock and we’re hoping she’ll do well. She’s a half-sister to our home-bred Gr3 winner Givinitsum, who was exported recently.”

– From Turf Talk Newsletter.