Move to re-establish highveld as a breeding centre
Nigel Riley has developed Heversham Park, his Daleside Valley farm, into a showpiece for stallions
Nigel Riley is doing all he can to re-establish the highveld as a feasible alternative to the Western Cape for thoroughbred breeders, the way it was 40 years ago.
Riley has developed Heversham Park, his Daleside Valley farm, into a showpiece for stallions and retired champions, and he’s hoping that breeders based in greater Gauteng will support the farm’s four well-performed stallions with their mares.
Heversham Park’s latest acquisition is the Jet Master stallion Pomodoro, SA’s leading freshman sire of 2017/18. Now 16 years of age, the 2012 Durban July winner completes a formidable band of sires for Heversham Park, who now have three of the country’s most prominent bloodlines available to breeders in Jackson (Dynasty), Capetown Noir (Western Winter) and Pomodoro (Jet Master). They also stand Duke Of Marmalade’s best sprinting son, Moofeed (AUS).
Pomodoro is from the same family as one of history’s greatest sires in the form of triple US champion Danzig (Northern Dancer), whose numerous top-class performers include the outstanding sires Danehill, Green Desert and War Front.
Pomodoro has sired 15 stakes winners in his first three crops produced in the Western Cape. His initial crop was headed by Equus Champion Return Flight, whose four graded victories included both the grade 1 Thekwini Stakes (at two) and the grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic the following year. She was voted Equus Champion two-year-old filly. He also sired a grade 1 colt in 2019 Cape Guineas winner Russian Rock.
Last year’s Spring Challenge winner, William Robertson, returns to the inside track at Turffontein on Saturday for a Pinnacle Stakes over 1,450m, after the same preparation pattern for the grade 2 feature as he did in 2022.
Trainer Corné Spies said on Thursday: “He is fit and well, he has 62kg to shoulder which is never easy, but he has a good draw and this is a race we believe he can win.”
William Robertson (62kg) was beaten into second on September 10 last year by bottom weight Forever Mine (52kg) and if we were to see a similar result, the one that could trouble him this time is likely to be Tony Peter’s talented, Running Rifles, whose 50.5kg could make a telling difference.
Gavin Lerena is a significant jockey booking for Robyn Klaasen’s Tanganga in race 8 over 1,200m. Tanganga and Galla Vanting (race 9, 1,000m) are both due for competitive runs and present punters with a value double on the day.
1st Race: (1) Zoom Lady (3) Best Intentions (7) Chasing Happiness (6) Cocktail Girl
2nd Race: (4) Courageous (3) Shampimpi (1) Call To Glory (9) My Lady Soul
3rd Race: (6) Dungeons (5) Sage King (2) Moola Man (1) Wolffs World
4th Race: (1) William Robertson (9) Running Rifles (3) Eye Of The Prophet (8) Another Level
5th Race: (6) Arividicio (11) Emporium (5) Mo Jive (2) Global Impact
6th Race: (6) American Grayson (5) Rule Book (8) Over Two You (1) Battleground
7th Race: (3) Romeo’s Magic (1) Pewter Sky (4) Flag Bearer (2) Black Lightning
8th Race: (6) Tanganga (3) Ampersand (2) Viva De Janeiro (4) Lulu’s Boy
9th Race: (4) Galla Vanting (1) Kalahari Blue (3) Ambrym (8) Iventrix
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