Var colt shines in Dubai
Avontuur Thoroughbred Farm’s outstanding sire Var is the sire of one of the top 3yos currently competing in Dubai.
The brilliant Mastermind, who had been a good second on his Dubai debut, went one better when he made all to win Thursday night’s Meydan Classic Trial by half a length in the style of a top class performer. Runner up Volatile is a highly talented sort in his own right (winning on debut by more than 16 lengths and finishing third in last year’s G3 Cornwallis Stakes) – yet the Mike de Kock trained Mastermind conceded him 4kgs a beat him half a length.
Bred by Avontuur and owned by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Mastermind was is out of the Jallad mare Model I Q. He was a R1 million buy from the 2013 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
Mastermind clearly made a most favourable impression on jockey Paul Hanagan, who said of his mount, “”He ran very well the other day,” Sheikh Hamdan’s retained rider, said. “We had a great draw…so the idea was always to be positive. He always seemed happy bowling along in front and when I have needed to ask him for an effort he has found plenty.
“He should stay further and can hopefully go on from this.”
Mastermind, runner up to fellow Var colt Harry Lime in last year’s Gr2 Umkhomazi Stakes, has now won or finished second in all four outings to date. He looks a leading contender for the Dubai classics this season and is yet another high class representative for his sire.
However, Mastermind is not the first son of Var to come good in Dubai. Former dual South African Horse Of The Year Variety Club had a brief if highly successful stint in the UAE, when the magnificent chestnut won two of his three outings. The champion’s victories included a facile win in the G2 Godolphin Mile and a win, on his Dubai debut, in the G3 Firebreak Stakes.
His sire Var, whose yearlings sold up to R4 million at the recent Cape Premier Yearling Sale, has long been regarded as one of South Africa’s elite stallions. His offspring have won over R50 million in stakes, and include champions Variety Club, Val De Ra and Via Africa.
Var, who currently heads the leading 2yo sires log, has two lots on offer at this month’s Val de Vie Yearling Sale – a half brother to the brilliant filly Control Freak (Lot 26) and a half sister to two fillies placed in Oaks (Lot 97).