Bloodstock South Africa alumni dominated proceedings at Turffontein on Champions Day, with BSA graduates capturing no fewer than four graded races run at the course on Saturday.
Cherry on the cake for BSA came when the Riverton Stud bred Astrix caused a 66-1 surprise when he won Saturday’s G1 TAB The Premier’s Champions Challenge over some of South Africa’s top gallopers.
Under JP Van Der Merwe, the Paul Peter trained gelding showed plenty of heart when fighting off the well fancied Sparkling Water to claim Saturday’s first prize of R1 200 000 by a head. Among those further back in running in Saturday’s Champions Challenge were this season’s G1 World Sports Betting Cape Town Met winner Kommetdieding, and Astrix’s recent G1 Wilgerbosdrift HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes winning stablemate MK’s Pride.
Astrix, a R60 000 buy from the 2018 Cape Yearling Sale, races for Gary Tooch in partnership with the Hyperpaint Syndicate.
A son of Maine Chance Farms’ sensational stallion Vercingetorix, Astrix was produced by the unraced Victory Moon mare Victory Dance, who also ranks as the dam of the very useful Indlamu.
Five-year-old Astrix, now a seven time winner from 32 starts, was one of four graded race winners on Saturday for his trainer, with Paul also capturing the G1 Computaform Sprint with Master Archie, the G2 Heineken SA Nursery with Miss Cool and the G2 4Racing SA Fillies Nursery with Maharanee.
Both Miss Cool and Maharanee are past graduates of Bloodstock South Africa sales, with Miss Cool, consigned to the sale by Boland Stud, knocked down to Paul Peter for R60 000 at the 2021 National Sale, while Maharanee was sold to Paul Peter for R80 000 at last year’s August Two Year Old Sale.
Miss Cool who races for Allan Peters and the Hyperpaint Syndicate, was bred by Mike Jolly Breeding, while the unbeaten Maharanee, owned by Koos Nkale in partnership with the Hyperpaint Syndicate, was bred by Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein.
Winter Smoke was yet another Bloodstock South Africa to land a graded feature race on Saturday with that Ashley Fortune trained four-year-old running out a convincing, three-parts of a length winner of the G2 Racing 420 Camellia Stakes over some of Gauteng’s speediest fillies and mares.
Like Miss Cool, a daughter of Drakenstein Stud’s sensational sire What A Winter, Winter Smoke was a R150 000 buy from the 2019 National Yearling Sale, where she was consigned, on behalf of Mr Fitzgerald, by Spring Valley Stud.
Winter Smoke, who races for Messrs F Vahab, Deon Anthony, M E Wilken and Andrew Fortune, has now won five times with her past wins including the 2020 G3 World Sports Betting Magnolia Handicap.