Cru­sade gets off the mark

The Star Early Edition - - RACING - DAVID THISELTON

THE im­pec­ca­bly bred first sea­son stal­lion Cru­sade got off the mark at Greyville yes­ter­day when the Belinda Im­pey-trained filly Miss Mil­lion­aire won the first race over 1 000m on her de­but un­der Alec Forbes.

KZN Breed­ers vice chair­man Koos de Klerk was on course and con­firmed the Scott Broth­ers-based USA-bred sire re­mained KZN’s big hope.

Miss Mil­lion­aire led from the off and kicked on to win by 1,25 lengths at odds of 7-1 for Pat Gounden, Joe Ja­cobs and EH See­dat.

She was bred by Bruce le Roux and was bought at the Sibaya Year­ling Sale last year for R70,000.

Im­pey went into the race con­fi­dent as Miss Mil­lion­aire had been work­ing well at home.

She con­firmed Cru­sade’s prog­eny have pre­co­cious speed and be­lieved they would mostly be sprint­ers. This has been the opin­ion of most train­ers.

Robin Scott, who de­scribes Cru­sade as a “big, strong stal­lion”, has al­ways be­lieved he would pro­duce horses with pre­co­cious speed who would train on and per­haps stay fur­ther in time. How­ever, he had ex­pected them to pre­dom­i­nantly be sprint­ers and Scott Broth­ers had planned their own mat­ings with that in mind.

On Satur­day the Candice-Bass Robin­son-trained Cru­sade filly Ro­man­tic Cru­sade fin­ished sec­ond in a hot Maiden Ju­ve­nile Plate over 1 000m at the L’Or­marins Queen’s Plate meet­ing. She has also fin­ished sec­ond on de­but and won’t be long in win­ning.

Cru­sade, who is by Mr. Gree­ley, won the Gr 1 Mid­dle Park Stakes over six fur­longs at New­mar­ket as a two-year-old for Ai­den O’Brien and was re­tired af­ter only one run as a three-year-old.

His dam La Travi­ata is some­thing of a phe­nom­e­non. She had only four starts, all as a three-year-old, and won the first three of them from 5,5 fur­longs to 6 fur­longs by a com­bined mar­gin of 27,5 lengths.

In the last of those vic­to­ries, in the Gr 3 Vic­tory Ride Stakes over six fur­longs at Saratoga, she stum­bled at the start yet still won by 9,25 lengths.

As a brood­mare she has pro­duced two Gr 1 win­ners and a Gr 1 placed horse from her first four foals to have raced.

La Travi­ata ac­quired her speed from her sire Jo­han­nes­burg, whom Ai­den O’Brien sent out seven times as a two-year-old and he fin­ished the sea­son un­beaten.

His seven vic­to­ries in­cluded four Gr 1s from six fur­longs up to 8,5 fur­longs. Jo­han­nes­burg had an exceptional turn of foot.

At the Na­tional Year­ling Sale last year Cru­sade’s 21 lots sold at an av­er­age of R162,380.

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