DUAL SA horse of the year Variety Club was honoured at the prestigious second Longines World’s Best Racehorse Ceremony held on Tuesday at the iconic Claridge’s Hotel in London. Ingrid and Markus Jooste’s racing manager Derek Brugman attended the function.
The third place 5-way tie between our Gr1 Champions Mile winner Variety Club, Gr1 Hong Kong Mile winner Able Friend, Gr1 Qipco Irish Champions Stakes winner The Grey Gatsby, European Champion Miler and European Horse of the Year, Kingman and dual Derby hero Australia, showed just what a competitive year 2014 was on the international front.
The international champion son of Var was retired to stand at champion breeders Klawervlei Stud in December 2014 and the Longines award is yet another recognition of the brilliance of one of our modern day champions.
Variety Club won 17 of his 23 career starts.He won 4 Gr1’s in South Africa for trainer Joey Ramsden, including the breed-shaping Gr1 Cape Guineas, the Gr1 L’Ormarins Queens’ Plate (WFA) and was a dual winner of the Gr1 Rising Sun
The Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are established by international handicappers according to the performance of the horses in elite races.
Japan’s Just A Way, who led the way for the majority of the year on the strength of his dominant triumph in the Gr1 Dubai Duty Free Stakes, was crowned the best racehorse of 2014.
And what a great career when we reflect back on the ‘Club’.
After being crowned SA Horse of the Year for the second consecutive time in 2013, Variety Club was ready to take on the world’s best.
Transferred to Mike de Kock, he opened his account with a win in the Gr3 Firebreak Stakes at Meydan in the UAE.
He then ran a creditable 2nd in the Gr3 Burj Nahaar in his next start, after which he was freshened up for the Gr2 Godolphin Mile on World Cup night. With a superb display of brilliant gate speed he had the appreciative crowd aghast with amazement as he flashed past the post, defeating another star studded field.
With two International Group victories under his belt, Variety Club travelled to Hong Kong, to take on the world’s best in the Gr1 Champions Mile. Brilliant milers from around the globe assembled for the clash and despite another shocking draw, the SA Champ, under the masterful guidance of Anton Marcus, produced a career best performance, disposing of the best Hong Kong had to offer to win comfortably by four lengths.
The performance earned him a rating of 126 and left one of the world’s leading jockeys Joao Moreira expressing in amazement “he didn’t just beat us, he broke us into little pieces!”