Three South African horses won internationally in the last week – Light The Lights scored a stylish win in last Thursday’s Listed Singspiel Stakes in Dubai, while Tellina scored in Germany and Five Up High won in Hong Kong.
Light The Lights, made a stunning, winning debut in Dubai last Thursday when downing a high-class field to land the Listed Singspiel Stakes over 1800m on turf.
Keen early on, Light The Lights was eventually settled by jockey Christophe Soumillon just off the early pace. When Soumillon asked his mount to quicken, Light The Lights dug deep to catch the Ahmad bin Harmash trained Championship with 100m to go. Light The Lights posted a neck win over a game Championship, who appeared to have the race in the bag with 300m left. The first two pulled well clear of third finisher Earnshaw, a former Group 1 Criterium International runner-up.
It was a cracking first up Dubai effort from the Mike de Kock trained Light The Lights, who was making his first start in nearly a year.
Soumillon said: “He has been off a fair while this horse, so he was entitled to need the run. Mike told me to settle him early on as he can be quite keen, and to try and challenge in the straight. We left it late but he ran on very well once he hit his stride and I always thought we were getting there.”
De Kock added: “I think after all the things our horses have achieved on the world stage, they are still under-rated. Year in and year out they do it!”
Light The Lights, a R450,000 buy from the 2013 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, has now won four times, with his previous successes including the 2016 Grade 2 Glorious Goodwood Peninsula Handicap. Bred by Hallmark Thoroughbreds, Light The Lights races in the world famous Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum silks.
The impeccably bred five-year-old is a son of former champion sire Western Winter and outstanding broodmare First Arrival, whose other notable progeny include the Equus Champion In The Fast Lane and Let’s Rock ‘N Roll.
A crack at the Group 1 Dubai Turf could be on the cards should he continue to progress.
Five Up High – a half-brother to Wilgerbosdrift’s exciting new sire and former Equus champion Soft Falling Rain – scored over 1400m at Sha Tin last Sunday, registering his third Hong Kong success.
Trained by former SA champion trainer Tony Millard, Five Up High (who raced in South Africa as My Nephew Eric) dug down deep to beat Money Boy in a 1400m handicap.
The son of Sail From Seattle, who won his only South African start before being exported, is out of Giant’s Causeway mare Gardener’s Delight, who has produced five winners from as many foals. Bred by Highlands Farm, Five Up High was a R1-million buy from the 2012 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.
Maine Chance Farms-bred Tellina impressed all when storming home to win by 14 lengths at Neuss last Saturday. Trained by Andreas Wohler, Tellina gained his first victory on German soil when landing the Preis der Neusser Trainingzentrale conditions race on the all-weather course.
Second in the German St Leger in Dortmund back in September, Tellina proved the drop in distance to 1500m was no issue when coming home a mightily impressive 14-length winner under jockey Jozef Bojko. He beat Belgian raider Mister Mackenzie, a previous course-and-distance winner.
After such an impressive performance, Tellina is expected to be among the favourites for his next scheduled race, the Group 2 Grosser Preis von St Moritz on the unique frozen lake at the famous Swiss ski resort on Sunday 26 February.
A son of former champion sire Silvano, Tellina was a R210,000 buy from the 2011 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.
The next BSA yearling sale is the Cape Yearling Sale on March 16 at the Mistico Equestrian Centre. – BloodStock SA.