ASBESTOS II (FR) 1932, a bay horse by ASTÉRUS (FR) out of CNIDOS (FR) by ORPHEUS (GB).
Bred by Lord Derby in France and originally named ASBESTOS, he was sent to England in 1935. He won 3 races in France in 1934/5 as a 2&3yo and had 6 unplaced runs during 1935 in England (all sprints), before being brought to South Africa in 1936 as a 4yo and registered as ASBESTOS II. He was the last import to arrive in South Africa before the start of the 2nd World War.
He won 5 races in South Africa (A.D. Lewis) while owned and trained by the legendary SYD GARRETT, including the 1937 Cape Met and started favourite for the 1938 Durban July Handicap, where he finished a close second to the 3yo, Extinguisher II. ASBESTOS II was successful in the July Handicap as a sire, with his son, ST PAULS, winning the great race in 1946. He also had success in the race as a broodmare sire, when the Birch Bros. bred filly, DIZA, won in 1962 (she was out of MUSCOVY, by ASBESTOS II out of the great Birch Bros. foundation mare, DROHSKY).
ASBESTOS II was a son of the great French stallion, ASTÉRUS (FR), who was bred by the highly acclaimed French breeder of the 20th Century (perhaps of all time), Marcel Boussac – he also stood ASTÉRUS at his famous stud in Normandy, Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard.
* Another imported French horse, KIPLING, who we will deal with next on this platform, was also by ASTÉRUS.
ASBESTOS II joined the Birch Bros. at their VOGEL VLEI STUD when his racing career ended in 1938 (first crop of foals on the ground in 1939). He achieved incredible success as a sire and headed the National Sire’s List on 5 occasions from 1946 to 1950. He’s on record as having 17 of his sons stand at stud and was also the broodmare sire of 7 stallions at stud.
His run at the top of the list may well have continued had he not died in 1950 as an 18yo.