Talented four-year-old Balance Sheet has proved to be a tremendous flag-bearer for Eastern Cape stud farm Riyo Stud.
The Gill Thomson owned farm, still a young farm, is based in Bathurst and Balance Sheet is the top horse bred there thus far.
Balance Sheet, who looks a leading contender for this year’s Gold Cup, was an impressive winner of the G3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup over 2400m at Greyville last time out where the gelding accounted for the talented Helderberg Blue by a neck with R2 000 000 plus earner No Worries further back in third place.
The Lonsdale was the first feature win for Balance Sheet, who was second in last year’s G1 eLan Property Group Gold Cup, where he was beaten just 1.25 lengths by subsequent Equus Champion Stayer Wild One.
Owned by Bryn Ressell and Marsh Shirtliff, Balance Sheet, who was a R300 000 buy from the 2013 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, has won or placed in eight of 14 outings and earned more than R600 000 in prize money.
He is a son of champion sire Silvano and one of two winners for the Al Mufti mare Vita-Louise, whose Lecture sired daughter Leylani has won twice up to 1400m. Vita-Louise herself is out of Listed Durbanville Cup winner Abby’s Girl (by Sportsworld) and is very closely related to Touch Of Tuscan (by Al Mufti) –dam of this season’s top class 3yo filly Negroamaro.
Riyo Stud’s Cliff Dell (who is excited about the stud’s draft for August’s National 2YO Sale) remembers Balance Sheet as “a good looking yearling, with a great temperament. He was easy to work with.” Cliff says the mare was sent to Silvano, as Gill Thomson believed strongly in the Silvano/Al Mufti cross –it had previously resulted in champions Bold Silvano and Kings Gambit.
Unfortunately his dam, who has a weanling colt by the hugely successful but ill-fated Sail From Seattle at foot, is not in foal –Vita- Louise missed to Ideal World, and is set to return to Silvano this season.