The Lammerskraal Stud bred Red Ray showed his class in no uncertain terms when romping to victory in Saturday’s G1 Mercury Sprint.
The five-year-old entire, who races for owners Ingrid and Markus Jooste, proved himself as good as ever and romped to victory over a field, which included the top rated thoroughbred in South Africa.
However, Talktothestars (and the field’s three other Grade One winners) proved no match for Red Ray who ran out an emphatic two length winner of the R800 000 contest.
Red Ray, who was second previously in three other Grade One contests, has now won or placed in 11 of his 13 South African outings and has banked more than R1.87 million in stakes.
No doubt, Red Ray will rate an extremely exciting stud prospect –he is good looking horse with a great temperament, and was a G1 2yo who trained on to be a Grade One winner at five!
The Mercury victory also paid further and fitting tribute to Red Ray’s wonderful dam Nacarat, who sadly died last week.
A daughter of former Horse Of The Year Pas De Quoi, Nacarat’s ten individual winners included five stakes winners. Red Ray is the second Grade One winner produced by Nacarat, with his Western Winter own sister Nania having lifted the G1 Thekwini Stakes.
Another smart performer produced by Nacarat is this season’s exciting 2yo Bishop’s Bounty, who looks a top class prospect for 2016-2017!
However, Red Ray’s victory also provided further confirmation as to what a legendary stallion his sire Western Winter (who spent his entire stud career at Lammerskraal) was.
He was the 20th individual Grade One winner for the late sire (who died in 2013), with Western Winter’s other top liners including such champions as Argonaut, Bad Girl Runs, Ice Cube, What A Winter, Winter Solstice and Yard-Arm. The latter two horses were both subsequently named Horse Of The Year, and between them won the G1 Queen’s Plate on three occasions.
Western Winter, whose first crop sire son What A Winter has made such a pleasing start to his stud career, is also enjoying considerable success as a broodmare sire, and is dam sire of this season’s high class gallopers Black Arthur and Carry On Alice, as well as former Equus Champion, and G1 J&B Met winner, Past Master.