IT was perhaps fitting that Mike de Kock would saddle the first winner of the high class Timeform 122 rated Golden Sword, reports Sporting Post.
The son of High Chaparral’s athletic daughter Belle Rose opened her account over a mile at her third start, at the inaugural meeting held on the Vaal Classic track on Thursday.
Bred by Summerhill Stud and racing in the internationally recognisable Al Adiyaat South Africa blue and yellow, Belle Rose showed her appreciation for the very fair track when staying on strongly to beat the much fancied Legend Seeker.
Belle Rose quickened nicely under JP van der Merwe.
De Kock’s admiration of Golden Sword is well documented: “He was the best horse of a classy generation in my overseas string. At his best, he was a serious international competitor,” he said.
The lovely Belle Rose was purchased by Form Bloodstock for R475 000 at the 2015 CTS Johannesburg Ready To Run Sale.
Interestingly she caught the eye of a few judges on the esteemed RTR panel – she was a selection on the short-list of such noted experts as Joey Ramsden, Michael Roberts and Sean Tarry.
Belle Rose is well related, being out of the four-time winning Qui Danzig mare, Vin Fizz, which makes her a half-sister to the exceptional Gr1 performer Pierre Jourdan (Parade Leader) and more recently, Champagne Haze (Kahal).
European racing fans will remember the Graded Stakes winning Golden Sword, a winner of four races from 1400 – 2400m, and more than R6.7million in prize money, for his consummate victory in one of the principal Derby trials, the Gr3 Chester Vase.
It is arguable though that Golden Sword’s finest moment came in the Investec Derby at Epsom, where he was beaten a tad over two lengths by the world champion, Sea The Stars.
With less than 200m to go, Golden Sword looked to cause the upset of the decade, as he battled it out with Sea The Stars going to the line.
While in the care of Mike de Kock, South Africans and those in the Gulf will recall his rattling finishes from behind in Dubai, where he ran the fastest 2000 metres ever, a record which still stands
He is by dual Breeders’ Cup-winning sire High Chaparral, producer of such stars as Wrote (Breeders Cup) and So You Think.
Like former champion SA sire, Royal Prerogative (Relko), Golden Sword is a descendant of the mighty mare, Lost Soul.
Summerhill, head stallion man of three decades, Greig Muir, remarked “Golden Sword is a big, elegant horse much in the mould of So You Think, and provides breeders with a welcome source of one of the most valuable bloodlines in the world.In any other year, he might’ve been a Derby winner, and he would not have been in South Africa if that were the case.”
Golden Sword stands at Summerhill for a fee of R20 000.