Legacy of Cheveley legend continues

One of the very best South Africa broodmares of recent times is the Royal Academy matron, Mystic Spring.

Cheveley’s Vaughan Koster remembers his first impression of Mystic Spring well, saying, “Mystic Spring arrived a small, light, narrow mare with a fierce temperament. Not your ideal broodmare! However, she has settled down well tremendously. Her first foal by Jallad was the most crooked individual who didn’t score more than 2/10 by the inspection panel. He didn’t ever see a sale. He ended up being Rabiya who won the Daily News and the Cape Derby.”
Unplaced on her sole racetrack appearance, Mystic Spring took a world class pedigree with her to stud.

Her sire, Breeders Cup Mile winner Royal Academy, was a champion sire, who left behind him no fewer than 167 stakes winner.

Royal Academy’s stock also did very well in South Africa, with the likes of Eyeofthetiger (Vodacom Durban July) and Express Way (Cape Guineas) both winning at the highest level.
The son of Nijinsky II also did very well as a broodmare sire, with his daughters to date having produced 116 stakes winners, including leading Australian sire Fastnet Rock, and classic winners Finsceal Bio, Frozen Power and Rule of Law.

Mystic Spring’s dam, Secret Sunday, was a full sister to Mystiko – who gave Michael Roberts his first British classic when winning the 1991 English 2000 Guineas.

While she may not achieved much on the track, Mystic Spring more than made up for that at stud.
Her seven foals to reach the track all won – and, indeed, won a total of 20 races between them. Four were stakes winners, and two of Mystic Spring’s daughters have produced stakes winners to date.

Mystic Spring’s best runner was ill-fated champion Rabiya, who tragically suffered a fatal break down in the running of the 2005 Durban July. Before his untimely death, Rabiya had won over R1 000 000, and landed both the Gr1 Cape Guineas and Gr2 Cape Derby, as well as Gr1 Daily News 2200.

Her 2002 foal was the striking grey, Secret of Victoria. A very fast filly, Secret of Victoria won four features, including the Cape’s two graded sprint races for fillies – the Gr2 Sceptre Stakes and Gr2 Southern Cross Stakes. The daughter of Goldkeeper has been equally successful at stud. At the 2011 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, a filly by Captain Al out of Secret of Victoria fetched R850 000. Named All is Secret, the grey went on to become the Equus Champion 2yo of 2012, winning both the Gr1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship and Gr1 Thekwini Stakes.

A year later, a brother to All Is Secret was sold for R1 250 000 at the National Sale!

Following this success, Mystic Spring went on to produce the stakes winners Spring Lilac (Gr3 Fillies Nursery) and Rafiya (East Cape Oaks).

Three of her stakes winners Rabiya (Jallad), Secret of Victoria (Goldkeeper) and Spring Lilac (Joshua Dancer) were produced by different sires, with Rafiya a full sister to Rabiya.


Understandably, offspring of Mystic Spring have proved very popular in the sales ring. Remarkably, five of her yearlings to sell fetched over R7 600 000.

This year, Mystic Spring will again feature in the Cheveley Stud Draft. She is the second dam of lot 173, a filly by former Equus Champion 2yo and promising young sire Argonaut and Gr3 winner Spring Lilac.

The latter (who has a 100% winners to runners strike rate) has already produced the Gr2 placed stakes winner Victorian Secret – who is due to contest the Gr3 Poinsettia Stakes next Sunday.

Mystic Spring herself has a lovely Dynasty filly at foot, and is in foal to Captain Al.

Her unnamed half-sister looks to have the world at her feet and this looks a family dynasty of note.


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