Going Gaga over Australian-bred winners

Richard Fourie rides Ngaga to victory

Richard Fourie rides Ngaga to victory (Denzil Govender-Gold Cicle)


Another rock-solid weekend for Australian-breds with black-type success in South Africa, Macau and Malaysia, by stallions standing in three different states of the nation.

The Sabine Plattner-owned, James Bester-sourced Ngaga literally had them going gaga in South Africa with a brilliant performance to capture the Listed East Coast Handicap over 2000m at Greyville.

The Fastnet Rock filly has now won four of her nine outings – along with four placings – but this was her first win at stakes level for trainer Andre Nel.

Apart from Ngaga’s obvious talent, she has also caught the imagination of race fans as she is a half-sister to South African Horse of the Year, Igugu, the Galileo filly bred in Australia who won four Group Ones, while another half is the Sydney Group winner Honorius.

Ngaga was purchased from the Kia Ora Stud draft at the 2015 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $250,000 with Bester recalling that the “filly was a standout on physique … a big, strong, good-moving Fastnet Rock filly with a lot of quality”.

Buying her on ‘spec’, Bester adds, “Her front legs, however, left a little to be desired, which put buyers off her … I thought she was a near-million-dollar filly if her legs had been perfect, so was happy enough to buy her at the heavily-discounted reserve price.”

The ‘gamble’ appears to have well and truly paid off.

Ngaga and her well credentialled siblings are out of Kia Ora Stud’s Intikhab mare Zarinia, whose Deep Field filly was sold to Belmont Bloodstock for $300,000 at the 2018 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale. The dam also has a weanling colt by All Too Hard and was covered by Deep Field last spring.

Meanwhile, the Group Three Macau Sprint Trophy win of Bow Noculars at Taipa on Saturday was welcome news for Victoria’s Jubilee Stud which stands the Red Ransom stallion Red Arrow.

“Bow Noculars (three wins and 10 placings from 17 starts) is the first stakes winner for Red Arrow with hopefully a few more to follow,” Jubilee Stud’s Michele Denham enthused.

An eighty-acre property at Freshwater Creek, near Geelong, Jubilee Stud also stands Coroebus, a son of Choisir from Circles of Gold and closely related to Swettenham Stud’s Highland Reel; the Danehill stallion Apologia and; Rock Face, an Encosta de Lago half-brother to Bring Me Roses.

Red Arrow, who was multiple-stakes placed in Australia before campaigning in North America and winning the Group Three Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park, originally stood at Blue Gum Farm before shifting to Jubilee Stud four years ago.

“I bought Red Arrow from Blue Gum and while this might have been his first black-type winner, he’s also getting quite a few other winners and will stand for only $1,600 this season,” Red Arrow’s owner Ricky Pike explains.

And just to cap it all off, Australian-breds filled the first three placings of the Malaysian Group One Selangor Gold Cup on Sunday, the second leg of Selangor Turf Club’s Triple Crown Series.

(The first leg, the Tunku Gold Cup, was taken out last month by Magnus 6YO Volcanic General).

In a real nail biter, Excites 6YO Stick Seeker eventually edged out Captain Jazz (Captain Sonador) and Truson (Al Maher) over the 1600m to capture his first black type win.

Stick Seeker becomes the seventh stakes winner for the well related, Group One winning 2YO, Excites, who stands at Queensland’s Springfield Stud.

Excites is also the sire of Red Excitement who gave Winx a good old scare in last September’s Group Two Chelmsford Stakes.

The Selangor victory has likewise added to a big weekend for Rosemont Stud, which bred Stick Seeker while also raising and selling Goodwood Handicap winner, Santa Ana Lane (Lope De Vega) and breeding Saturday’s impressive Flemington winner Iconoclasm (Toorak Toff).

The Power of Passion