(Photos : Bruno Cannatelli/Aushorse)
Entries in Marsh Shirtliff (17)
INGLIS MELBOURNE PREMIER YEARLING SALE
What A Winter (SAF) - Diadem Stakes (WFA) (Grade 2)
(Photos : Gold Circle)
L’ORMARINS QUEEN’S PLATE (Grade 1)
Kenilworth, Turf, 1600m
12 January 2012
Mike Bass is determined to take on Horse of the Year Variety Club in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate on Saturday week after What A Winter blitzed the opposition in the Diadem Stakes for the second successive year at Kenilworth on Saturday.
“Now he is back to his brilliant best” said Bass, referring to his last few starts where he had been affected by an infection which he took a long time to recover from. “He is also still a colt so he is challenging, and at times a frustrating horse to train especially him as I know how good he is and what he is capable of achieving. I have trained a few good sprinters in my time; Sweet Chestnut and TobeorNottobe come to mind, and while both were champions I think he is the best I have trained, he is special and when he is on song I don’t suspect there would be too many sprinters in the world that would keep up with him. I have eyed out the Queen’s Plate for some time now and always thought to myself if I could get him to his very best, his talent would see him through as a miler at the highest level. He settles well in his running and he is bred to go a mile so we will drop him in and be running at them at the finish. It’s certainly worth a crack.”
Bass was thinking of having a crack at last year’s Queen’s Plate too but the horse was drawn wide and he decided not to risk leaving the Betting World Flying Championship behind. There is again a fortnight between the two Grade 1’s. Bass said: “I don’t care if there was only five days. He smashed his field on Saturday, making good horses look ordinary, and he will again smash the opposition in the Cape Flying. There is no reason why he shouldn’t get the mile of the Queen’s Plate. I just need things to go his way. When he ran in the Cape Guineas he was drawn wide and raced wide, and it turned into a disaster. He tried again in the Gold Challenge at Clairwood in June but nothing happened for him.”
But it certainly did happen for him on Saturday when the 9-20 shot swept past the pace-setting Cap Alright nearing the 200m mark and came home nearly three lengths clear without being shown the whip in a time only a fifth of a second outside the course record. Stable companion Castlethorpe (Aus) came from the clouds to take second and is also Queen’s Plate-bound.
Bernard Fayd’Herbe said: “What A Winter is back to his best. I bounced him out and I was quite prepared to go on if I had to. This just shows what he can do when he is at his peak.”
This win took What A Winter’s career record to 11 wins and 5 places from 20 starts with earnings exeeding the R2million mark.
Owners Marsh Shirtliff, Bryn Ressell, Guy Shirtliff and Mike Bass will be sending What A Winter to stud at the end of the season and this impressive performance will certainly have added to his breeder appeal.
For more information, please visit :
Click above to watch What A Winter winning the Mercury Sprint (Gr1)
(Photo : Gold Circle - Footage : Racing International)
Mercury Sprint (Grade 1)
Clairwood, Turf, 1200m
14 July 2012
I sometimes wonder whether racehorses don’t exist to remind us of our fallibility. The enigmatic What A Winter is undoubtedly one of the most talented racehorses in the land; for all his marvellous attributes, on his day, I’d love to see him take on Black Caviar at Royal Ascot or at Royal Randwick, you name it. When he’s on song, he literally purrs, and on Saturday he was back to his best in the Mercury Sprint (Gr.1), where he gave the dual Group One ace, Delago Deluxe, a galloping lesson.
Granted, unlike Black Caviar, our man is a bit quirky. When he’s at home he verges on the unbeatable, but he’s not big on away games. That much he’s told us on two visits to Scottsville, and unlike the Randlords, he’s not mad about Jo’burg either. You can send Black Caviar anywhere, and she’ll produce the “after-burners”, but this fellow likes it his way. If you didn’t know it, you might have said that Clairwood Park was away from home too, but then you’d be forgetting that this is his winter home, the place from whence Mike Bass sent forth Pocket Power to his Vodacom Durban July victory among many others, so What A Winter is almost as at “home” at Clairwood as he is in Cape Town.
This is no ordinary horse though; he’s a man-mountain as a specimen, a V8 in his backside, great depth of girth, and a powerful sloping shoulder. To cap it, he has a grand head, broad and masculine with a big, genuine eye. And when you see him turn it on, you quickly forgive the odd flop; here is the perfect running machine, an easy, elastic action which rakes the ground barely an inch above the surface.
I know Mike Bass thinks he can get a mile, and perhaps he does, but what’s the point? At his best trip and at his best, he’s virtually unassailable. Whether he’ll get the opportunity to vindicate our views of his class with a trip to Ascot remains to be seen. Knowing Marsh Shirtliff though, and the competitor he is, I think this fellow’s got wings.
Marsh Shirtliff with Pocket Power
(Image : Sporting Post / TAB Online)
EMPERORS PALACE NATIONAL YEARLING SALE
27 - 29 April 2012
We did say to anyone who asked during the course of the week, that we’d liked to have seen more customers on the sales grounds, and that was evident in the trade for the elite offerings at South Africa’s principal bloodstock auction, the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale. The “big-hitters” in the domestic bloodstock market, Markus Jooste, Bernard Kantor and Chris van Niekerk were noticeably absent, having apparently filled their order books already at local and international auctions, and their lack of presence in the ring was apparent in both the reduced average and the clearance rate, when measured against last year. However, accounting for this missing element, an average of R240,000 was a fair achievement (last year R249,000 at the same stage). One soldier often associated with Messrs. Jooste and Co., Marsh Shirtliff of Pocket Power fame, was however, his usual stoic self. One thing we know from our rugby playing days and what he did to save Cape Town’s oldest rugby club, Hamiltons, is that when you’re in the trenches, you can always count on Shirtliff. If you were going to war, he’d be anybody’s general. There were just 4 millionaires last evening, and he bought two of them.
Given that we had a number of first season sires among those in our draft, we’d have to be more than satisfied with an average of R319,000, and while there was the odd disappointment, those that fell into this category are obvious Ready To Run types. Over the years, many an overlooked Summerhill horse at the National Yearling Sales, has gone on to make very good money in November, given the opportunity to mature and prove its worth as a runner.
Bloodstock South Africa’s chief yearling selector, John Kramer, has been generous again in his praise for the debut crop of A.P. Indy’s best racing son worldwide in 2009, A.P. Arrow, and this was evident in a solid performance by his first offspring in the ring. Equally, there’s obvious respect for the Mullins Bays, evident in those that signed for them on the vendors roll, and Backworth Stud will have been happy with the R140,000 for the first (and only) daughter of Admire Main to debut at any South African sale. Anyone who saw Sun Bay (a “Mullins”) helter-skeltering at the leaders in the closing stages of the Juvenile sprint on Thursday, would have to have been impressed, and we take some confidence from the fact that whoever we talk to with Mullinses in their yards, are bullish about their prospects. It’s not often you see a two-year-old quicken like Sun Bay did, particularly in a sprint, and he looks pretty decent on that effort.
Speaking with Marsh Shirtliff late last evening, it’s obvious that he shares the view with a number of experts that Sunday’s catalogue carries the biggest guns in the sale, and we will be looking for a solid performance from our five sons and daughters of Stronghold, none of whom have seen any action so far. Timeform’s champion handicapper son of Danehill has five winners from his first six runners, giving him the best strike-rate in the land right now, and he has quietly cultivated a bit of a cult following. There’s scarcely a visitor to our premises at Block A that doesn’t call for the Strongholds, besides a glass of the finest red in our cellar.
Click above to watch Stacelita winning the Beverly D. Stakes (Gr1)…
(Image : ESPN - Footage : Arlington)
BEVERLY D STAKES (Grade 1)
Arlington Park, Turf, 1900m
13 August 2011
South African mare, River Jetez, added another US$45,673 (R328,238) to her career earnings after running a typically honest third in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes over 1900m at Arlington in the USA on Saturday. The Mike de Kock-trained eight-year-old Jet Master mare, who landed the J&B Met when trained by Mike Bass before embarking on her money spinning international career, has now earned a total of about R15,216,347.
River Jetez is owned by Cedric Amm and Marsh Shirtliff and was bred by Out Of Africa Stud. Christophe Soumillon piloted her from her draw of six where she jumped off as the second favourite at 39-10 behind the four times Group 1 winning five-year-old French mare, Stacelita, who started at 9-5.
Soumillon had River Jetez in about fifth place in the running, while a steady pace was set by Dubawi Heights, whose career in the UK in 2009 included being beaten over seven furlongs by the now Mike de Kock-trained South African-based Gibraltar Blue.
Stacelita sat in third place and quickened into the lead along the rail as they turned for home. Soumillon followed her and was unable to move out as Dubawi Heights was also running on well. River Jetez however didn’t have the pace to catch Stacelita who won by 1,25 lengths, and failed by only a head to catch Dubawi Heights. The rest of the field were 2,5 lengths behind River Jetez.
Extract from Gold Circle