More than 300 guests from around the country turned up to welcome one of South Africa’s greatest equine athletes to Klawervlei Stud on Sunday.
Variety Club, the third top rated racehorse in the world in 2014, looked an absolute picture as he paraded before an admiring audience.
The son of Var’s human connections, jockey Anton Marcus, breeder Anton Shepherd and racing manager Derek Brugman, spent time discussing their great champions’ many strengths before the chestnut champion paraded.
Variety Club, a dual Horse Of The Year in South Africa and one of the finest milers ever to race in this country, was very relaxed and took the parade in his stride. He is set to cover an exceptional first book of mares in 2015, with the champion’s mates including the likes of Broodmare Of The Year Sunshine Lover and Serious Side, dam of champion sprinter elect and new Klawervlei sire Captain Of All.
The latter, another exciting addition to the Klawervlei stallion band, also looked a picture as breeder Duncan Barry and trainer Dennis Drier proudly introduced him to the crowd.
As the first Gr1 winning son of recently crowned champion sire Captain Al to retire to stud in South Africa, Captain Of All understandably attracted plenty of interest as he walked calmly around under the Bedouin tent.
Invited to the 2015 Hong Kong Sprint, the handsome Captain Of All was an exceptional athlete whose three Gr1 victories included a weight defying victory in the Gr1 Tsogo Sun Sprint and a four and a half length romp over his paternal half sister Carry On Alice.
Newly crowned champion sire Captain Al, who also recently picked up his seventh consecutive 2yo sires title, was another to impress. The magnificent son of Al Mufti continues to be a crowd pleaser, and he too will cover some outstanding broodmares in 2015.
July winner Pomodoro, whose owner Chris Van Niekerk was on hand to view his former star, impressed many a shrewd judge. The athletic looking son of Jet Master has let down really well and looked a picture on Sunday. Pomodoro’s eagerly awaited first foals arrive in 2015, and among the mares due to foal to him are Serious Side –the dam of none other than Captain Of All.
Seventh Rock always looks good, and the son of Rock Of Gibraltar once again caught the eye on Sunday. He has made a superb start to his stud career, with Gr1 winners Guiness and Seventh Plain hailing from his first two crops to date, and it is safe to say that Seventh Rock ranks as one of South Africa’s most exciting sires at stud.
Twice Over, whose relative Time Test rates as one of the most exciting 3yos in Britain, was an exceptional racehorse, and he exuded class at Sunday’s stallion day. One of the finest racehorses ever to stand at stud in this country, Twice Over’s four Group One wins included a pair of victories in the Champion Stakes, the Eclipse Stakes and the Juddmonte International Stakes.
Globetrotting superstar Jay Peg has had a good couple of weeks with his winners including promising 2yo Exit Here and the talented Zubbadubbadoo, with the latter having reeled off four wins on the bounce. Their sire was another who looked in great form prior to the start of the breeding season on Sunday.
Warm White Night has made a pleasing start to his stud career, with the multiple Gr1 winner ending last season as one of South Africa’s leading first crop sires. Hailing from the great Gone West male line, Warm White Night is one of three nominees for the Cape Breeders Award of Outstanding New Stallion.
Ever reliable Count Dubois had a wonderful season in 2014-2015 with his runners including the outstanding French Navy, who won both the Gr1 SA Classic and Gr1 Daily News 2000. Now a sire of sires, with his son Biarritz having made an excellent start to his stud career, Count Dubois bounced around and looked a picture of health. He is clearly ready to go for the new season.