Varsfontein stars shine at Kenilworth
Varsfontein Stud, one of South Africa’s leading stud farms, enjoyed a tremendous afternoon at Kenilworth on Saturday. Varsfontein were responsible for breeding arguably the three most impressive and talked about winners on the card. All three – Jet Aglow, Master Of My Fate and Captain America looked destined for bigger and better things.
While Varsfontein bred Master Of My Fate and Captain America, the stud’s Carl and Amanda De Vos are the breeders of the very classy filly, Jet Aglow, who made her intentions felt in no uncertain terms when winning the afternoon’s second race in convincing fashion.
Varsfontein Stud have bred numerous stars over the years, and in the magnificent Master Of My Fate, they have bred what looks to be a very special horse. A R3 000 000 buy at the 2011 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, Master Of My Fate took his record to four wins in just five outings with a comfortable victory over 1600m on Saturday.
The handsome colt, who is very highly regarded by trainer Dennis Drier, looks a natural feature race contender, and, should he reach those exalted heights, could prove a very exciting stud prospect as well.
A son of six times champion sire Jet Master (also sire of Saturday’s Gr2 Choice Carriers Fillies Championship winner In The Fast Lane), Master Of My Fate is out of former Equus Champion, Promisefrommyheart (by Elliodor).
The latter, South Africa’s Equus Champion 3yo filly of 2003, won five feature races during her career, including the Gr1 Triple Tiara, and Gr1 SA Fillies Guineas, before embarking on a very successful stud career. To date, Promisefrommheart has produced four winners including Need To Know (a winner in Dubai), the high-class Justthewayyouare (winner of the Listed Spook Express Handicap), and Master Of My Fate.
Varsfontein’s Carolyn Erasmus describes Promise’s current yearling, a Captain Al colt, as a “big, good looking colt who should furnish into a cracking racehorse.” The champion mare is currently in foal to leading sire Var, and could visit Judpot if all goes to plan.
Promisefrommheart is herself from an exceptional family, whose members include South African superstar London News, Equus Champion Kings Gambit, and former Breeders Cup winner, and sire, Pluck.
What price any yearling from this family can only be imagined!
Another impressive Varsfontein bred winner on Saturday came in the form of talented 3yo Captain America. The latter, a son of Captain Al and Fort Wood mare Requista, took his tally to three wins from just four outings with a 4.5 length romp over 1600m. Captain America, who looks a natural classic contender, was an impressive horse from birth. Carolyn describes him as a”monster..” and the reason why Requista was sent back to Captain Al. Unfortunately, she was barren that year, and has no yearling this season. However, Requista has a lovely Captain Al colt foal at foot, and has been covered by the very exciting young sire Oratorio this season.
Captain America, who bears a striking resemblance to his big, rangy dam (who won five and was stakes placed), is a direct descendant of one of the greatest mares in the stud book – Absurdity. The latter is the ancestress of numerous champions and classic winners including Royal Palace, Fairy Footsteps, Light Cavalry, Picture Play, Jest, Black Jester, and the ill-fated Epsom Derby hero Humorist, to name but a few.
The Carl and Amanda De Vos bred Jet Aglow stamped herself as one of the leading fillies of her generation last season. The daughter of Jet Master was placed in no fewer than four features, and was a fine second to champion Beach Beauty in the Gr1 Maine Chance Paddock Stakes.
Making her debut for trainer Dennis Drier (who ironically also saddles Beach Beauty), Jet Aglow took the lead in the 1500m progress plate from the jump and never looked in danger of defeat.
This lightly raced four-year-old is out of the Argosy mare, Lighthouse Girl, who is also the dam of the useful filly Light The Moon (herself now back at Varsfontein). Lighthouse Girl, a smart, stakes placed sister to Nursery winner Ghostly Galleon, was covered by Var this season.
With the likes of Forest Indigo, Along Came Polly, and impressive recent debut winner La Chouette, Varsfontein could be on track for a 2013-2014 racing season!