Varsfontein Stud, one of South Africa’s leading stud farms, and former champion sire, Jet Master, enjoyed a tremendous afternoon at Kenilworth on Saturday. Varsfontein and manager Carl de Vos and wife Amanda (the couple are also the breeders of recent Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup hero Yorker), were responsible for breeding both of the afternoon’s feature race winners – Master Of My Fate (Gr2 Calulo Services Premier’s Trophy) and Jet Aglow (Gr3 Unical Shipping Victress Stakes). Jet Master, in turn, is the sire of both Master Of My Fate and Jet Aglow, as well as impressive 3yo Helderberg Blue, who stamped himself as a potential feature race contender with a smart win on Saturday.
Remarkably, Jet Master had no fewer than six winners on Saturday – with Taegan’s Jet ,Be Mine Tonight and Control Tower winning for their sire at Turffontein.
Saturday’s graded double further ensured Jet Master’s status as log leader on the 2013-2014 South African general sires title. Jet Master’s progeny have been in outstanding form of late – his progeny have won the following features during the season already – Gr2 Choice Carriers Fillies Championship, Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup (Jet Master sons ran 1-2), Gr1 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas, Gr2 Calulo Services Premier’s Trophy, and Gr3 Victress Stakes.
To date, Jet Master has sired 57 stakes winners – 20 of which are Grade One winners. Jet Master’s son, Top Jet, is one of 15 runners for the Gr1 Grand Parade Cape Guineas to be run on Saturday – a race won by his sire back in 1998.
Varsfontein Stud have bred numerous stars over the years, and in the magnificent Master Of My Fate, they have bred what looks to be a very special horse.
A R3 000 000 buy at the 2011 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, Master Of My Fate took his record to five wins in just six outings with a comfortable victory over 1600m on Saturday. In landing the 1800m, Gr2 Premier’s Trophy, Master Of My Fate, winning his fifth consecutive race, not only stamped himself a leading contender for top honours in the 2014 Gr1 J&B Met, but also, in all probability, ensured his future stud career.
The handsome colt, who is very highly regarded by trainer Dennis Drier, looks a natural feature race contender, and, should he reach those exalted heights, could prove a very exciting stud prospect as well.
Master Of My Fate, who is now second favourite for the 2014 J&B Met, is out of former Equus Champion, Promisefrommyheart (by Elliodor), and hails from a spectacular female line.
The latter, South Africa’s Equus Champion 3yo filly of 2003, won five feature races during her career, including the Gr1 Triple Tiara, and Gr1 SA Fillies Guineas, before embarking on a very successful stud career. To date, Promisefrommheart has produced four winners including Need To Know (a winner in Dubai), the high-class Justthewayyouare (winner of the Listed Spook Express Handicap), and Master Of My Fate.
Varsfontein’s Carolyn Erasmus describes Promise’s current yearling, a Captain Al colt, as a “big, good looking colt who should furnish into a cracking racehorse.” The champion mare is currently in foal to leading sire Var, and could visit Judpot if all goes to plan.
Promisefrommheart is herself from an exceptional family, whose members include South African superstar London News, Equus Champion Kings Gambit, and former Breeders Cup winner, and sire, Pluck.
What price any yearling from this family can only be imagined!
The Carl and Amanda De Vos bred Jet Aglow stamped herself as one of the leading fillies of her generation last season. The daughter of Jet Master was placed in no fewer than four features, and was a fine second to champion Beach Beauty in the Gr1 Maine Chance Paddock Stakes.
Jet Aglow, who is likely to run next in the Gr1 Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes, picked up the first feature race win of her career when scoring a very brave win in the Victress Stakes on Saturday. Given a superb ride by Sean Cormack, Jet Aglow looked beaten by the talented Hammie’s Hooker, but fought back bravely to prevail in race described by Stan Elley as “if you didn’t enjoy that, you don’t like racing!” She has now won or placed in nine of her 11 starts and has earned over R500 000 in prize money.
Jet Aglow, who established herself as an extremely valuable broodmare with this win, is out of the Argosy mare, Lighthouse Girl, who is also the dam of the useful filly Light The Moon (herself now back at Varsfontein). Lighthouse Girl, a smart, stakes placed sister to Nursery winner Ghostly Galleon, was covered by Var this season.
With the likes of Grade One winner Forest Indigo and Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes hero Captain America set to do battle for them in Saturday’s Gr1 Grand West Cape Guineas, Varsfontein’s recent run of success could continue for a good while yet.