Following a recent article highlighting top South African broodmares, the focus this week is on their imported counterparts, in particular a trio of mares whose progeny have made a considerable impact on local racing over the past few seasons.
OUR TABLE MOUNTAIN
The achievements of 2016 Equus Broodmare of the Year Our Table Mountain is testament to the legacy left by the late Graham Beck of Highlands Farms Stud.
Prior to his death in 2010, the larger than life breeder, coal magnate and wine producer had the foresight to replenish the stud’s broodmare band with well-bred yearling fillies sourced and imported from the Northern Hemisphere, mainly America. Put into training, they eventually returned to the Highlands broodmare paddocks.
When he imported a Fusaichi Pegasus filly in 2004, little did he know he had purchased a future Broodmare of the Year! Named Our Table Mountain, she enjoyed a successful career on the track, her six victories in the Beck silks including a black type score in the Listed Olympic Duel Stakes
Our Table Mountain took to stud an exemplary pedigree. A half-sister to Breeders Cup Mile hero and successful stallion Artie Schiller, she is by a Kentucky Derby winner, while her dam, the grand racemare Hidden Light garnered all of the Hollywood, Santa Anita and Del Mar Oaks.
Credentials like these promised a recipe for success and Our Table Mountain has not disappointed. Boasting a perfect record of seven winners from as many runners, she counts a brace of Gr.1 winning fillies amongst five Stakes performers.
Her first foal Careful Hiker, a daughter of classic sire Spectrum, was precocious enough to finish third in the Gr.1 Thekwini Stakes as a juvenile. Next came the Jet Master Colt Helderberg Blue, a talented individual, whose remarkable string of Graded Stakes places included a third in the Gr.1 Met.
Mated to Maine Chance’s champion Silvano, Our Table Mountain foaled the filly Silver Mountain. As a yearling, she caught the eye of Maine Chance owner Andreas Jacobs, who secured the diminutive filly for R1.3-million. She joined Helderberg Blue in the Bass stable and in due course, became her dam’s first Gr.1 winner with a five-length romp in the Cape Fillies Guineas.
Cloth Of Cloud, her year-younger half-sister by Captain Al, went through her juvenile season undefeated. Following a runaway six-length debut score, she won the Gr.3 Pretty Polly Stakes, was hammered down to 15-10 favourite for the Gr.1 SA Nursery and duly lived up to the hype with a breathtaking defeat of her male rivals, a performance good enough earn for an award as the season’s champion juvenile filly, while earning her dam the title of Broodmare of the Year.
Our Table Mountain’s next foal, the Dynasty colt Wonderous Climber became his dam’s fifth Stakes performer when successful in the Listed Aquanaut Handicap over 2400m.
Success on the track invariably spills over into the sales ring and to date, six of Our Table Mountain’s foals have sold for a combined total of R9.6-million. Her Silvano yearling colt is destined for the National Sale and could well become the sixth sales millionaire for his dam, who has a weanling filly by the same sire.
Aquatint is a rarity among the powerful broodmare band at Drakenstein Stud, for in contrast to so many of her Stakes performed paddock mates, she was no standout on the track, winning just three races. However, the Australian-bred daughter of Arc hero Peintre Celebre has outperformed many of them as a producer of not just one, but two Gr.1 winners!
On pedigree, there was always a likelihood that she would excel as a broodmare. Out of unraced Green Desert mare Sakieh, she is a grandaughter of the exceptional speedster Sigy, who became the first juvenile in twelve years to claim Longchamp’s Gr.1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp, scoring by an imperious three lengths. As a broodmare, the daughter of Habitat produced three stallion sons, the dual Gr.3 winner and Prix de l’Abbaye third Sicyos, Gr.3 Prix Eclipse winner Radjhasi and English Stakes winner King’s Signet.
Aquatint retired to the Drakenstein paddocks at the conclusion of her four-year-old season and quickly made an impact with her second foal, Afrikaburn, a son of resident champion Trippi. A R900,000 yearling trained by Dean Kannemeyer, the colt broke through at Gr.1 level as a juvenile when defeating paternal half-brother One Fine Day in the Durban Golden Horseshoe on July day. A durable galloper, this millionaire went on to score seven times and was still winning at age seven.
Mated to Philanthropist, Aquatint produced The Slade, who chased home Cape Derby winner Eyes Wide Open in the Gr.2 Peninsula Handicap. He was followed by the Captain Al colt named Kasimir, a R1.2 million yearling purchase trained by Justin Snaith for an international partnership. He has lived up to his speedy female line and was crowned the country’s Champion Sprinter following a four-year-old season which yielded two Gr.1 sprint successes and a back-to-back victory in the Gr.2 Diadem Stakes. After claiming the Cape Flying Championship in facile fashion, he completed a Gr.1 double when outgunning subsequent champion three-year-old filly Celtic Sea in the Gr.1 Mercury Sprint at Greyville.
Now the dam of five winners from six runners, Aquatint has a yearling colt by Duke Of Marmalade catalogued for the National Sale. She foaled a much wished-for filly by Trippi in 2019 and is currently in foal to resident newcomer Lancaster Bomber.
Speaking of champion filly Celtic Sea (pictured), she was bred at Mauritzfontein from the dual winner Ireland, a Brazilian-bred by the excellent miler Mark Of Esteem, whose daughters have also produced the classic winners Treasure Beach (Irish Derby), Avenir Certain (French 1000 Guineas) and Masked Marvel (St. Leger), as well as the speedy Middle Park hero Amadeus Wolf. Mark Of Esteem successfully shuttled from Dalham Hall to Brazil, where he a mating with unraced Dear Celina produced Ireland. Also dam of Gr.1 winner La Defense (Nedawi) and a daughter of five-time leading stallion Roi Normand, Dear Celina was a half-sister to the champion Tiptronic and to Art Variety, a Gr.1 winner in his native Brazil before placing multiple times at Gr.3 level in the States.
Twice a winner at three, Ireland commenced her broodmare care on a promising note as the dam of the twice Gr.3-placed Fort Wood filly Cashel Palace. However, she hit pay dirt with her fourth foal Celtic Sea, who was purchased by Gainesway Stud master Anthony Beck as a yearling. Sent to Sean Tarry, the daughter of Captain Al rated amongst the leading juvenile fillies of 2018, winning the Gr.2 Golden Slipper and finishing second in the Gr.1 Allan Robertson Championship. She came into her own at three last season and put the finishing touches to her sophomore campaign by defeating Horse of the Year Oh Susanna in the Gr.1 Garden Province Stakes. That victory came off a storming win in the Gr.1 SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville and was good enough to earn her an Equus award as the season’s Champion three-year-old filly.
Ireland’s next foal, a Flower Alley filly, will race in the Mauritzfontein silks, she was barren in 2019 and is currently in foal on an early cover to Gimmethegreenlight.
-Ada Van Der Bent
Image: Candiese Lenferna