Apollo Bears Witness To Religify’s Cup


Leading Hong Kong-based bloodstock consultant, Apollo Ng, well remembers the first horse he ever purchased in Australia.

“It was at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale back in 1993,” Apollo recalls. “I bought the Kenmare colt from English Wonder, who entered the ring as Lot 7. He was a half brother to Geoff Chapman’s wonderful horse, Dr Grace (four Group Ones) and raced in Hong Kong as Supreme Monarch. He ended up winning four of his first five races.

“I’ve been happy to come to Australia ever since!”

Apollo has continued to play a prominent role at Australian sales in the past quarter century, buying numerous top liners on behalf of clients, but on this occasion he comes under the spotlight as a breeder.

On Saturday, the Apollo Ng bred, Religify broke through for his initial back type success by capturing the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup over 1400m at the Gold Coast, but the Choisir 6YO has hardly been dragging the chain in the fiscal stakes. The Prime Minister’s Cup was Religify’s 27th outing and the speedy gelding has now banked $675,660 from his 11 wins and seven placings.

Sold to Star Thoroughbreds for $135,000 at the 2012 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, Religify is out of Apollo’s El Moxie mare, Sacred Witness.

“I purchased Sacred Witness as a yearling in 2007 for just $34,000,” Apollo adds. “I was very keen to get a close relation to Silent Witness and you don’t get much closer as Sacred Witness is a blood sister.

(A superstar in every sense of the term, Silent Witness won his first 17 races in Hong Kong and was twice named Horse of the Year. He is by El Moxie out of Jade Tiara, while Sacred Witness is by El Moxie out of Jade Tiara’s sister, Jade Cherie).

“I got the name Sacred Witness from Silent Witness and another Australian-bred champion in Sacred Kingdom.

“Religify is one of three winners from the mare and is her first foal. A half sister in Annata Lady won in April, while the full sister – Prosecution – is a 2YO with Darren Weir who ran third on debut at Moonee Valley in February.

“I sold the Redoute’s Choice half brother to Religify at the Magic Millions in January, she has a Redoute’s Choice filly that was foaled last spring and she’s back in foal to him. It made sense to keep sending her back to Redoute’s as Silent Witness’s half sister and 3-time Group winner, Sister Madly, is also by the stallion.”

Not surprisingly, Coolmore Australia’s Sales, Marketing & Racing Manager, Sebastian Hutch, was more than pleased with Religify’s stakes success and other weekend results: “I think we would all like to own a horse like Religify … he is so consistent and this was a well-deserved stakes win for him.

“Denise Martin said that when she bought him, she liked him so much that she would have been happy to race him on her own, but as it turns out, he is proving a great performer for Denise and Kathryn Wood.

“Denise bought another Choisir colt from our draft at the Magic Millions in January and I would imagine she’s hoping that he is another Religify. If he turns out to be half as tough and talented, she and her clients will have a hell of a lot of fun with him too.

“Choisir is enjoying an incredible run of success at the moment, with Taking Aim (Group Three Ken Russell Memorial) and Religify becoming his 80th and 81st stakes winners respectively and it’s only a matter of time before he works his way past the 100 stakes winner mark.

“Fastnet Rock passed that milestone in October of last year and his stakes winner tally has soared to 114 since then, while High Chaparral looks like he’ll be the next Coolmore stallion to achieve 100 stakes winners, having sired his 98th and 99th stakes winners respectively during the past week.”

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