Cape Superstars sensational in Dubai!
Two Cape bred champions made South Africa proud at Saturday’s rich Dubai World Cup meeting.
The Klawervlei bred Shea Shea and Soft Falling Rain, bred by Highlands Farm, gave the SA racing industry a remarkable double when landing the Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint and Gr2 Godolphin Mile respectively.
Shea Shea, who had broke the track record when winning easily last time out, again smashed the five furlong track record at Meydan when landing the $1 000 000 Al Quoz Sprint.
Remarkably, it is the third time in five years that a South African bred horse has captured the Al Quoz – with champion J J The Jet Plane landing the spoils in both 2009 and 2011.
Shea Shea, a son of Klawervlei’s late resident stallion National Emblem, is now likely to take on the great Black Caviar at Royal Ascot. The pair could clash in the Gr1 King’s Stand Stakes – which promises to be a race for the ages.
A R550 000 buy at the 2009 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale , Shea Shea is owned by Myron Berzack and Brian Joffe. Trainer Mike de Kock has done a superb job with his horse, who has won two of his three Dubai outings in the style of a world-class sprinter.
A multiple Gr1 winner in South Africa, Shea Shea has now won ten of his 19 starts and nearly $1 000 000.
He once again emphasises the high-quality of bloodstock being bred in South Africa. Among the horses beaten by Shea Shea in Saturday’s big race were former Al Quoz Sprint winner Joy And Fun, Eagle Regiment – a G1 winner in Hong Kong last time out, Sole Power (winner of the G1 Nunthorpe Stakes), US Gr2 winner Varsity and G1 Nunthorpe Stakes runner up, Spirit Quatz. Another top horse in the 2013 Al Quoz Sprint defeated by Shea Shea was former G1 July Cup winner Starspangledbanner.
His sire, the recently deceased National Emblem, will have five yearlings on offer at the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, which is due to take place in Germiston on April 26th. National Emblem’s yearlings include a half-sister to the stakes winning Golden Dawn, and a half-sister to classy filly Feel My Love.
Soft Falling Rain was one of Saturday’s most impressive winners, as the unbeaten 3yo had to endure a wide trip throughout the running of the $1 000 000 Godolphin Mile.
His jockey, Paul Hanagan, said after the race,”It was an amazing race, and great thrill. It ranked with my best ever wins. Before this my best was on Mayson in the July Cup last year.”
Now unbeaten in seven outings, the sensational Soft Falling Rain has won all three of his Dubai starts, and was a two and a quarter length victor in the Gr3 UAE 2000 Guineas last time out.
Owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Soft Falling Rain was a R350 000 buy at the 2011 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
Soft Falling Rain, South Africa’s Equus Champion 2yo colt of 2012 , is an exceptionally well bred, whose dam is by the champion sire Giant’s Causeway.
A truly outstanding racehorse with an international pedigree, Soft Falling Rain will, no doubt, prove an exciting stallion prospect when he eventually retires from the track.
An attractive horse, he truly ticks all the boxes , as he sports a great pedigree, and is one of the finest horses bred in South Africa over the past two decades
Saturday’s Dubai features were also a triumph for the now retired Highlands’ stallion National Assembly.
The latter is the sire of Soft Falling Rain, while another of National Assembly’s sons, National Emblem, is responsible for Shea Shea.
Without question one of the most influential sires to stand in South Africa over the past two decades, National Assembly is represented by his last crop of 2yos this season.
His 22 crops have, to date, produced 70 stakes winners – and another 73 horses who were stakes placed.
National Assembly’s 16 G1 winners include champions of both sexes, and he is also becoming an important sire of sires, and broodmare sire.
This tally includes three other stars who won in Dubai – the ill-fated National Currency, Gr2 Godolphin Mile hero Grand Emporium and Horse of the Year, National Colour.