CHAMPION filly Via Africa and two other high quality runners from local trainers will be joining Mike de Kock for participation in races at the Dubai International Carnival in 2015.
Mike said on Wednesday that the four-year-old sprint sensation Via Africa, who has three Gr1 trophies among her 10 wins, five-year-old sand ace Pylon and promising three-year-old Atomic Rush will be on the 2014 shipment to the UAE. More new names will be added to the list later this week.
He commented: “The trio will join the runners we have earmarked for next year’s Carnival. They will be going into quarantine this coming Sunday and Monday. We are pleased to have been entrusted with thoroughbreds of such high calibre. Thanks, respectively, to Duncan Howells, Mike Azzie and Stuart Pettigrew, who have done such good jobs with them.
Via Africa with owner-breeder Andre Hauptfleisch (left) and fellow owner Albert Boshoff. Jockey Kevin Shea gives his blessing, post-SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville.
“We have a star filly, a top sand horse and a three-year-old with decent form at Gr1 level here, they’ll be running adverts for our industry, with more international exposure for SA-breds to follow on the big year we’ve had so far.”
Howells, whose most recent Gr1 success with Via Africa was posted on 24 May when she won the SA Fillies Sprint at Scottsville, had high hopes for her pending international career and said: “Via Africa will now have a break of six months or so while she travels and I think that will do her a world of good. If she comes back to her best she will be competitive overseas. I have far too many horses at Ashburton to be able to travel over there and oversee her. Mike knows the environment well, so it is the right decision to have moved her over to him.”
Via Africa, by VAR, was bred by Gordon’s Bay-based Andre Hauptfleisch and is owned in partnership with Albert Boshoff, whose home-bred colt Lizard’s Desire achieved phenomenal success after he sold it on to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum five years ago.
Boshoff, whose other previous export Classic Oasis won in Qatar, is an unusually shrewd owner, breeder and businessman who recently took up farming in the Koster district, North West. He commented: “I am delighted to be involved with Via Africa and my personal ambition is to see her line up in the UK in 2015, hopefully at Royal Ascot.”
He joked: “I’d like to receive a winning trophy from Queen Elizabeth, I want to ask her if I can bring the Cullinan diamonds back to South Africa along with the trophy!”
Pylon, high sand rating.
Mike Azzie has won nine races from 21 starts with five-year-old galloper Pylon, a gelding by Fort Wood rated 121 on sand, the highest assessment for this surface ever allocated in South Africa. He will race for Azzie’s patrons Adriaan and Rika van Vuuren, who will be over the moon that Meydan will be reverting to a dirt track from next year.
Azzie’s ill-fated superstar National Currency was Gr1 placed in Hong Kong and won a Listed race for his trainer and owner Graham Beck in Dubai and Azzie will be looking forward to representation for his stable for the first time since 2004.
Stuart Pettigrew is another who has seen successful exploits by runners he had taught the ropes in South Africa. The popular Tyson was sold and exported after Pettigrew pulled off a memorable training feat with him in 2004, winning the Gr1 Summer Cup after bringing Tyson through Graduation ranks just four months prior to Jo’burg’s biggest race.
Stuart Pettigrew, with compliments.
“Stuart recommended to his owners that Atomic Rush should join us in Dubai. He knows what it takes so we look forward to working with this one,” said Mike.
The scopy Atomic Rush is another home-bred colt – he was produced from a mating planned by Pettigrew’s chief patron Peet Diedericks. A son of spectacularly maturing stallion Dynasty and a Casey Tibbs mare, Atomic Rush was only five lengths adrift of Triple Crown winner Louis The King in the SA Derby and franked the form when getting within four lengths off rising star Legislate in last weekend’s Gr1 Daily News.
Atomic Rush, a two-time winner from only six starts, is owned by Laurence Wernars and family along with Mr. G Stephen.