One of the greatest horses to race in South Africa, the six-year-old Dynasty mare Beach Beauty, is to be honoured at Greyville in Durban on Gold Cup Day with a major feature event bearing her name and a special farewell parade and handing-over ceremony as she leaves racing for a new career at stud.
In honour of her outstanding contribution to racing, Gold Circle is to link her name to the Grade 1 Champions Cup which will be known this year as the Beach Beauty Champions Cup – a fitting honour to a great champion.
Adorned with a Champions Sash, Beach Beauty will lead the field out for the race and, as the field makes its way to the 1 800m start, she will be led into the Gold Horseshoe in front of the grandstand by her owners and trainer Dennis Drier. There, to the strains of Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys, she will be unsaddled and the Champions Sash replaced by a Drakenstein Stud sash as she is symbolically handed over to and then led out by Drakenstein’s Kevin Summerville.
Closing off her racing career with her second victory in the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes, Beach Beauty is to go to the Drakenstein Stud in the Cape. She won 17 of her 31 races including five Grade 1 events in KwaZulu-Natal and the Cape. She earned R5 330 225 in stakes for her owners, the Shanks Syndicate, whose nominee is Mr Warren Kidd.
Trained by Dennis Drier throughout her career, in addition to two wins in the Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes, she also won the Grade 1 Maine Chance Paddock Stakes at Kenilworth two years running as well as the Grade 1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes also at the Cape track. One of her spectacular victories was in 2012 when she took on the boys and gave them a galloping lesson in the Grade 2 Betting World 1900.
She finished second in the last two runnings of the Grade 1 Rising Sun Gold Challenge, the first just a length behind the world-beating Variety Club and, again against the boys, won the Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes two years running.
Graeme Hawkins, Racing and Marketing Executive for Gold Circle, said Beach Beauty’s achievements as a truly great horse were too impressive to allow her to just “disappear off into the mist” and that she deserved the acknowledgement of having the Champion’s Cup named in her honour and to be given a fitting public send off.
“She truly is a great horse and was the darling, not only of racegoers in KwaZulu-Natal but around the country. She has undoubtedly been one of the best horses of modern times with a fantastic record of five Grade 1’s, six Grade 2’s and a Grade 3 win, here and in the Cape, that showed she was not just a one-centre wonder.
“We felt that the occasion of Gold Cup Day presented a perfect opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to her and to give the public a final chance to see her before she goes off to stud.”
Gaynor Rupert of Drakenstein Stud said: “All of us at Drakenstein Stud regard it as an honour and a privilege to have Beach Beauty coming to us for her broodmare career. We will name a paddock in her honour and will welcome her connections when they come and visit her in her new home.
“We are still deciding on the best mating for her but at the moment we are leaning towards Trippi or Duke Of Marmalade.”
Warren Kidd, nominee for the owners Shanks Syndicate, said it was fantastic that Gold Circle was going to honour Beach Beauty and, while everyone was sad to see her go, it was wonderful that she will be going to such a fantastic home.
“She has been a magnificent performer and all the people love her. What Gold Circle is doing means a lot to us. It is a fine tribute to her from all of us and we hope the people come out to say farewell to her.
“It will be a very happy ending to a very happy story,” he said.
Dennis Drier described Beach Beauty as “a trainer’s dream.”
“She was unbelievable and it was an honour to train a filly like her. She was all courage and heart and never gave a moment’s problem. We all had a soft spot for her and while we will be sad to see her go, fortunately she will not be lost to this country.
“We only hope she will pass her courage and heart on to her offspring and we wish her well for the future.”
By: Gill Simpkins