FORT Wood gelding Cinchona took five months and seven runs to chalk up his first success, winning a Maiden Plate over 1900m at Clairwood on Thursday, but he raced with more enthusiasm fitted with blinkers first time. This will hold a measure of promise for his Dubai-based owner, Rupert Plersch.
The three-year-old was raised at Varsfontein Stud and is stoutly bred by Fort Wood from Visionary, herself a half-sister to classic performers Fanciful and Cover Look. While he is unlikely ever to race for his owner in the UAE, Cinchona will probably pick up more wins over ground on his way to recovering his R350,000 purchase price.
There are no guarantees in racing, however, and Plersch, who has owned Group winners on four continents including Linngari and Tiza, knows that patience is truly a virtue in this challenging industry in which he also has significant breeding interests.
Plersch likes to invest in horses from the best bloodlines who appear to have everything in the right places. If one doesn’t make the grade, his next carefully selected purchase may well do!
Jockey Anthony Delpech only gave Cinchona two smacks on his way to victory and commented: “Nathan (Kotzen) had this horse cooking today. I’ve never felt him this well. He is limited, but he improved with the blinkers on and can win again.”
Kotzen pointed to the average quality of the steeds that finished behind Cinchona, but agreed that the gelding had enough scope to pick up another win or two. Cinchona looked somewhat green around the bend and must have a few more lengths of improvement pending.
It is worth nothing that his dam, Visionary has a 100% record of winners to runners. Her first eight foals all won at least two races, the best of them being Gr1-placed School Assembly, the four-time winner Miss Lovita and five-time winner Rickenbacker (both also owned by Plersch) and Detectorist, who won six.
The bidders who secured Cinchona’s half-sister by boom sire Judpot for only R100,000 at this year’s Emperors Palace National Two-Year-Old Sale will be looking at the prolific Visionary’s nine-from-nine record with high hopes that number ten will top them all for ability. It wasn’t Mr Plersch or one of his bloodstock agents who signed the sales slip this time, but he’ll be wishing them well and will already be looking for his next potentially shrewd buys in 2014 sales catalogues!