Drakenstein Stud’s resident sire and former champion sprinter What A Winter received yet another boost to his stellar female line when the undefeated Twilight Son lifted the G1 Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday.
Trained by Henry Candy, Twilight Son (by Kyllachy) made it five wins from as many outings when lifting the 1200m race when he prevailed in a thrilling finish. Partnered by Fergus Sweeney (enjoying his first Group 1 success), the three-year-old narrowly beaten out fellow 3yo Strath Burn and Magical Memory to pick up the biggest win of his brief career thus far.
The winning trainer (who also handled sire Kyllachy) was delighted with his colt’s win, saying, “”I just feel a great sense of relief. I thought I might be made to look incredibly stupid, but Fergus said he was incredibly tough. His first two horses this year might have looked a bit messy, but he’s just kept on improving.
“I wish I’d taken a picture of him last year as he’s twice the size now that he was then.
“I would imagine the owners would like to race him on next year, but if he has one more run it might be the Champions Sprint at Ascot.”
Twilight Son, whose five wins have all come over 1200m, is a descendant of the very speedy Tudor Melody mare Hayloft, winner of the G3 Molecomb Stakes.
Best known as the dam of G1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner Wassl, Hayloft is also the third dam of multiple Equus Champion What A Winter (by Western Winter).
The latter, set to be represented by some superbly bred first crop yearlings in 2016, was an exceptional racehorse who won 15 races and more than R3.3 million in stakes. The Mike Bass trained star’s victories included four at G1 level –the Cape Flying Championship, twice, Mercury Sprint, and Computaform Sprint, and What A Winter lifted another four listed or graded races.