The former Mike de Kock trained Toreador gelding Misty Birnam registered his first win in the UK when he scored with ease in a Class 5 Handicap over 1400m at Redcar on Saturday.
The gelding was raced here by his breeder Anton Procter in partnership with Mike de Kock.
He won twice in KZN and was runner-up in the Gr2 Golden Horseshoe of 2016 before running third in the Gr1 Premiers Champion Stakes behind Gunner and Zodiac Ruler.
Misty Birnam, now a 4yo, was bred by the Procters and is by the deceased Toreador (Danehill) out of Verglas mare In The Mist.
He is trained now by Ian Williams and owned by Paul Wildes.
In Saturday’s race, his sixth start in the UK, Misty Birnam reared and was slow away under jockey PJ Mcdonald. He hit the front at the 200m to win easing up.
His sire, the Bush Hill-based Toreador, who was euthanaized after an unfortunate accident in December last year, was a Houghton Sales 250 000 guineas yearling, who won 4 races and ran 17 places from 1200m to a mile in England, Ireland and South Africa.
Toreador, an Irish-bred sprinter-miler by Danehill, won three races in South Africa having been imported here after his two-year-old season in Ireland in which he won one race. He was trained by Mike de Kock and besides his wins, his best achievements were runner up finishes in all of the Gr1 Gold Challenge over 1 600m, the Gr2 Hawaii Stakes also over 1600m and the Gr2 Sentinel Stakes over 1 200m. He also ran third in South Africa’s premier mile, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate.
He started his stud career in 2005 in the Western Cape and produced our Champion 2yo Colt of 2010, Link Man – who was also trained by Mike de Kock – and a host of stakes winners.
Toreador is the sire of multiple KZN Breeders Award winner Matador Man and last season’s twice Gr1 winning 2016/17 KZN Sprint Champion, Bull Valley.
He produced multiple Graded Stakes winners including the fast Lazer Beat, Jackadore, She’s A Stunner, Prospect Strike, Rikitikitana, Las Ramblas, Deliver The Power, Roc ‘n Rose, Prince Paseo and Straight Forward, amongst others.
Remarks from the website of Misty Birnam’s trainer: “Bought at the Newmarket Guineas HIT Sale in May 2018. Group One placed as a juvenile in South Africa, he ran at Goodwood last time in the Magnolia Cup and came a fine second over 5.5f. He backed that up with a first UK win in first time cheekpieces at Redcar (25th August). Latest handicap mark 70.”