Impressive debut for Rain’s brother
The Highlands Farm bred Splendid Garden won impressively on his highly anticipated debut at Turffontein this past Saturday.
The 2yo colt, who was dispatched as the 14-10 favourite, broke his maiden at the first time of asking, when scoring by three parts of a length over 1000m.
Trainer Michael Azzie raved about Splendid Garden following the latter’s debut success, describing the juvenile as a “top class horse” who would prefer further but had the class to win over the sprint trip.
Owned by Adriaan and Rika Van Vuuren, Splendid Garden was an R800 000 purchase at the 2013 Cape Premier Yearling Sale (Book 1).
The colt is a son of Maine Chance Farm’s resident sire Black Minnaloushe, who has enjoyed an excellent season in 2013-2014. The son of Storm Cat had a remarkable SA Derby/SA Oaks double on Champions Day in April, when son Louis The King completed the SASOC Triple Crown and daughter Ash Cloud obliged in the fillies classic.
Black Minnaloushe is also well represented at Greyville on Gold Cup day this weekend. His promising juvenile Littleblacknumber is a runner in the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes, while the sire will have no fewer than three runners in the Gr1 Gold Cup itself (Gold Onyx, Serissa, Ash Cloud).
Splendid Garden is out of the winning Giant’s Causeway mare Gardener’s Delight, who made a name for herself through the deeds of her outstanding son, Soft Falling Rain.
South Africa’s Equus Champion 2YO Colt of 2011-2012, Soft Falling Rain went unbeaten through his first seven outings. Unbeaten in four local outings, Soft Falling Rain ended his juvenile campaign with a facile score in the Gr1 SA Nursery before being exported to Dubai, where Soft Falling Rain reeled off three wins on the bounce. The colt became the first 3yo ever to win the Gr2 Godolphin Mile when successful in 2013 and he also ran second to another South African bred champion, Variety Club, in the same race a year later. Soft Falling Rain also picked up a devastating win in the Group 2 Joel Stakes in Britain and has won major features in three different countries.
Gardener’s Delight, whose own dam is by US Triple Crown winner and champion sire Seattle Slew, is from an outstanding North American family, whose members include Gr1 Kentucky Oaks winner Gal In A Ruckus, Breeders Cup hero Eldaafer, and multiple Gr1 winner Habibti.