Prospector – a horse with a Gold Future
Gold Prospector, an impressive debut winner at the Vaal on Thursday, is the latest offspring of South Africa legend, Horse Chestnut to find the winners enclosure. To date, Horse Chestnut has been represented by four winners from his first local crop of 2yos, and is steadily building a reputation for himself back in his native land.
Gold Prospector’s dam, the diminutive Velvet’s Image, has been a gem for breeder, Gary Joliffe. To date, the daughter of Goldkeeper has produced four foals, including Gold Prospector, and the talented Tamburlaine filly, Reflective Image. The latter won the Olympic Duel Stakes and was third, to superstar Via Africa, in the Gr3 Southern Cross Stakes this season.
A small mare, Velvet’s Image was sent to Horse Chestnut, in part because she stands just 15.1 hands, and her breeders were hoping to add some her size and substance to the resulting foal.
However, Gary admits he was smitten by the mighty Horse Chestnut, when he first viewed him at Drakenstein Stud. The champion impressed Joliffe so much, that he vowed to breed to him.
Gold Prospector was one of the first results of this breeding theory. Gary says the 2yo is still a big, gangling baby, and he is unlikely to race in the immediate future, but will be saved for a crack at some longer races next season.
Velvet’s Image, one of a sparkling book of mares due to be covered the world class young sire Oratorio this season, has a Var foal at foot, and is back in foal to the sire of Variety Club.