Hoping for a pot ’o gold
BUSH Hill Stud staff will be making history at the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, when they will be selling their first horse on auction, a handsome grey colt by Judpot.
Warwick and Karin Render of Mooi River, KZN purchased Lot 336, named One Kiss, as a weanling and donated him to their staff at Bush Hill to prepare for the yearling sale.
Although this is a private initiative by the farm, it is part of a greater drive by the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of SA, to encourage transformation at all levels within the stud farm industry.
“This gives our staff equity in the business and a tangible stake in the results from a sale,” says Warwick.
Preparing yearlings for auction sales is a very hands-on, intensive process, as the young horses require a lot of attention, grooming and handling so that they are well-presented and perfectly turned out.
The stud grooms are the front line in raising and handling these young Thoroughbreds and are usually the first to spot any problems or injuries that may occur.
“Our staff work incredibly hard, year-round, but particularly in the run up to a sale when day to day running of the stud farm must continue but getting our yearlings ready to show them at their becomes a priority.
“Giving our team their own horse means that they too have a vested interest in the preparation and outcomes, rather than just being participants.
“They get to experience the real results of buying and selling yearlings and we hope that the upside to this endeavour is that they will have equity to further invest in bloodstock, and will have learnt more about how the business works”, emphasises Warwick.
Catherine Hartley, CEO of the TBA added: “These initiatives driven by the stud farms are vital to the ongoing success best, of our industry and our transformation goals. We are also on a continued drive to upskill staff and formalise accredited training across our breeding industry. As the association, we encourage the stud farms to participate, offering their staff a chance to gain knowledge and qualifications, especially since many are situated in rural areas with limited access to further education.
“As an add-on the training, a grooms’ co-operative scheme was introduced for staff who have successfully passed the first three training modules. These co-ops apply for funding through the DTI and Small Business Development in order to pursue their own business endeavours such as buying weanlings to sell as yearlings or mares to produce their own foals.
“Mentorship and guidance is provided by the industry but the long-term objective is to enable our stud staff to be more fully vested in the industry and the outcomes.”
Look out for the grey Lot 336 at the Emperor’s Palace National Yearling Sale where he will be in the ring on day two of the sale, Wednesday, April 25. The colt is out of Caesour mare Akississtillakiss. WASHED out a fortnight ago, the re-scheduled Kwazulunatal Stakes (Listed) takes centre stage at Scottsville today and Michael Roberts will know exactly where he stands with his filly Statute come evening.
The race has attracted one a competitive line-ups ever and will be a tremendous warm-up for the Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint to be run towards the end of next month.
Statute may well be the younger sister of Legislate but while the former Vodacom Durban July winner was more at home over a mile and further, Statute appears to be more of a sprinter – at this stage of her career anyway.
Statute has only had four starts and is unbeaten over the Scottsville straight, winning her maiden by five lengths and putting two lengths over the useful Miss Varlicious in her other start on this track.
Given her pedigree and the ease of her debut victory, Roberts was tempted to pit her against much more seasoned opposition in the Gr3 Flamboyant Stakes over 1600m on the last day of last year. “Unfortunately, the race didn’t pan out for us,” said Roberts. “I didn’t think she could win it but was hoping for a place. But she’s got class, there’s no doubt about it.”
She is up against some seriously quick opposition that includes Captain’s Girl, Jo’s Bond and Neptune’s Rain amongst others.
Louis Goosen saddles three quick fillies in Captain’s Girl, Effortless Reward and Hashtag Strat. Best of the trio could prove to be Captain’s Girl in spite of finishing behind Effortless Reward last time out. She was the stable elect that day but she blew her chances when getting upset at the start.
She put up a smart piece of work at Ashburton on Friday so certainly looks competitive.
Neptune’s Rain is the highest rated filly in the race but this five furlongs may be on the sharp side as confirmed by Duncan Howells. “She is not well weighted and she would prefer 1200m.”
Stable companion Lunar Rush seldom runs a bad race but would also prefer an extra furlong or two. Last year’s winner Jo’s Bond may prove to be a better proposition. Justin Snaith’s filly has been winless since that victory but has been up against some smart opposition and is a must inclusion in all bets.
Others in with winning chances are Effortless Reward who found her best form last time out, revelling in the soft ground which she is likely to get today with the pen reading at 27 and officially soft and Sommerlied, who is far better than her recent Cape form.
Bush Hill staff with their Judpot colt ready for the three-day National Yearly Sales that start in Johannesburg on April 24.