Named after the province of Piemonte in Italy where the Scribante’s family home remains, Piemonte Stud is a family owned business with the father and son duo of Lee and Dino Scribante, both sharing a common love of speed and competition in a variety of sports and disciplines.
Lee competed and achieved his colours provincially and nationally in both athletics and boxing and this played a part in his selection of his first racehorse.
“As a young student at the University of Cape Town, I received a call one Friday evening from my father telling me to go to Milnerton training track at 5:30 the very next morning, to see a Mr Willie Kleb,” Lee explains.
“I duly got there at 5:30am and introduced myself to Mr Kleb who happened to be one of the doyens of South African trainers in that era. He showed me six horses that were circling in the ring and told me that I had to choose one of them. All I knew about horses at that time was that they had a head and a tail and that they eat 24/7 – I asked him to help me choose one. His answer was “no, your dad said you must choose!”
Lee adapted his philosophy of what he believed an athlete should look like, selecting a horse called Sonata. “Mr Kleb asked me why I chose him. I said that the horse looked the most athletic and capable to me. He then pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket, and said “no matter what you chose, that was the one you were getting anyway!”
Sonata went to Port Elizabeth at the time and raced in the HB Christian Memorial Handicap three weeks later and won over 2000m. Lee says excitedly, “I thought well, this game is quite easy! However the 44 years since then have proven to me that the game is actually not so easy, and definitely not for the faint of heart.”
Despite this Lee admits to having enjoyed plenty of success with his family in racing, “We have been fortunate to have raced successfully with the horses we have had, going back to my father. We have run second and fourth in the Met, fourth in the Durban July and we have won numerous Group races including at the time the Gr1 Gold Vase in Durban. Our good horses included the likes of Western Wind, Western Boy, Captive Prince, Knockout, Ziplock and Scripture.”
The Scribantes also race, in partnership with Steven and Jessica Jell, current high-class filly Santa Therese. The latter, a daughter of Flower Alley, reeled off seven wins in a row between December 2020 and October the following year, with Santa Therese’s winning streak including success in both the Listed East Cape Paddock Stakes and Listed Jockey Club Stakes.
A constant fixture at the National Sale, Piemonte will once again be offering a high-class draft at this year’s National Yearling Sale. This consignment is made up of yearlings by a host of proven and popular stallions including Erupt, Master Of My Fate, Rafeef and the sensational Vercingetorix, and Piemonte will also be offering yearlings from the first crops of exciting young sires Danon Platina and Fire Away.
Potential standouts in this string include a Vercingetorix half-sister (Lot 255) to the very smart Filippo, a Rafeef half-sister (Lot 273) to the speedy, stakes placed filly Nawaasi, and a Danon Platina filly (Lot 296) out of a multiple stakes winning daughter of champion sire Gimmethegreenlight.
This imposing draft can be viewed in Block E at the TBA Complex in the days leading up to this year’s National Sale.