Situated just outside Port Elizabeth, the Parker family’s Ascot Stud has long ranked among South Africa’s top thoroughbred breeders.
The farm, which was started in 1966, with Ashley Parker taking over and running the farm after qualifying as a veterinarian.
It has gone from strength to strength over the years, with Ascot Stud boasting an impressive list of past alumni.
Among the equine stars bred by the Parker family are Ascot’s former resident sire, and globetrotting champion, Bold Silvano, and such G1 winners as Bold Respect, Coral Fever, Elusive Gold, Gulf Storm and Pacific Trader. The farm also bred current East Cape champion Global Drummer who took his tally of wins to 15 when he won the recent Listed East Cape Sprint Cup.
Ascot also bred the brilliant Rock Opera, a champion filly who went on to make her mark on the international stage as a broodmare. A daughter of the farm’s Seeking The Gold sire Lecture, Rock Opera was South Africa’s Champion 2YO Filly of 2004-2005, with her wins headed by a score in the G1 Allan Robertson Fillies Championship. Rock Opera, however, proved even more successful at stud, producing G1 Criterium International winner, and now Australian sire, Royal Meeting, as well as Heavy Metal, a G2 winner both in Britain and in Dubai.
Remarkably, Rock Opera was not the only star bred by Ascot to have made her mark in Australia. The Ascot Stud bred Warning Zone, South Africa’s Champion 2YO Filly of 2003, produced Australian G3 winner Pittsburgh Flyer, and the latter in turn produced current Australian star September Run. The latter recently claimed the G1 3 Point Motors William Reid Stakes, with September Run having also triumphed in the 2020 G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
The farm has been home to a number of high-class stallions and mares, with its past sires headed by the very influential Al Mufti. The latter, South Africa’s Champion Sire of 1999, left behind numerous high-class horses headed by Cape Guineas winner and multiple champion sire Captain Al, as well as the dams of such standout performers as the aforementioned Bold Silvano and fellow globetrotting champion Jay Peg.
(Remarkably, Ashley assisted in returning the blue blooded Al Mufti back from a suspensory injury to finish second in the 1991 July, despite losing a shoe in the race).
The current roster at Ascot is headed by Galileo’s well performed son Global View and Snitzel’s G1 SA Classic winning son Heavenly Blue.
The latter has some very well bred members of his first crop on offer at the upcoming National Yearling Sale, with Ascot set to offer two Heavenly Blue colts at April’s auction. This pair is headed by a half-brother to current East Cape star Global Drummer and G1 winning sprinter Gulf Storm.
Other standout lots in the Ascot Stud’s National Sale draft this year include Stormy Choice (Lot 198), a Querari filly out of a stakes winning daughter of Fort Wood, and Adderley (Lot 269), a Silvano half-brother to G1 Computaform Sprint winner Pacific Trader.