Promising young Gary Player Stud Farm resident Russian Sage was represented by his first winner at Kenilworth on Sunday.
The latest South African bred first crop sire off the mark, Russian Sage’s initial winner came when his David Southey bred son Russian Speed made a winning debut over 1000 metres in the style of a horse with a bright future ahead of him.
Russian Speed, who hails from the yard of veteran Cape trainer Eric Sands, is just the second runner for sire Russian Sage, who has gotten his stud career off to the perfect start.
The latter, one of 16 Grade One winners by former champion sire Jallad, was himself a R450 000 purchase from the 2006 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale. Russian Sage, who was bred by Highlands Farm (also breeders of leading first crop sire Warm White Night) was a top class athlete, who was amongst the best of his generation at three.
Russian Sage, who picked up six victories during his career, scored a pair of Grade One victories at three, with his wins including the Investec Cape Derby and Daily News 2000. He also finished second in both the Grade One Cape Guineas and Grade Two KZN Guineas, and earned in excess of R1.5 million during his career.
Out of the five time winning Badger Land mare Sage Blue, Russian Sage is a half brother to G2 performer Sage Throne, who finished first past the post in the 2011 G2 Gold Circle Derby but was later disqualified and placed second.
Sage Blue, herself a half sister to former G1 SA Derby hero Silver Sliver, is from the same family as champion fillies Cerulean Blue and Grey Swift.
Remarkably, Russian Sage is a total outcross for most of the stallions standing at stud in South Africa, with his pedigree including not a single strain of either Northern Dancer or Mr Prospector blood.