Crusade off the mark

PUBLISHED: 10 January 2017

Miss Millionaire (Nkosi Hlophe)

The impeccably bred first season stallion Crusade got off the mark at Greyville yesterday when the Belinda Impey-trained filly Miss Millionaire won the first race over 1000m on her debut under Alec Forbes.

KZN Breeder’s former chairman Koos de Klerk was on course and confirmed the Scott Brothers-based USA-bred sire remained KZN’s big hope.

Miss Millionaire led from the off and kicked on to win by 1,25 lengths at odds of 7-1 for Pat Gounden, Joe Jacobs and EH Seedat.

Miss Millionaire (Nkosi Hlophe)

Miss Millionaire (Nkosi Hlophe)

She was bred by Bruce le Roux and was bought at the Sibaya Yearling Sale last year for R70,000. Impey went into the race confident as Miss Millionaire had been working well at home. She confirmed Crusade’s progeny have precocious speed and believed they would mostly be sprinters. This has been the opinion of most trainers.

Robin Scott, who describes Crusade as a “big, strong stallion”, has always believed he would produce horses with precocious speed who would train on and perhaps stay further in time.

However, he had expected them to predominantly be sprinters and Scott Brothers had planned their own matings with that in mind.

On Saturday the Candice-Bass Robinson-trained Crusade filly Romantic Crusade finished second in a hot Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1000m at the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate meeting. She has also finished second on debut and won’t be long in winning.

Crusade, who is by Mr. Greeley, won the Gr 1 Middle Park Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket as a two-year-old for Aiden O’Brien and was retired after only one run as a three-year-old.

His dam La Traviata is something of a phenomenon. She had only four starts, all as a three-year-old, and won the first three of them from 5,5 furlongs to 6 furlongs by a combined margin of 27,5 lengths. In the last of those victories, in the Gr 3 Victory Ride Stakes over six furlongs at Saratoga, she stumbled at the start yet still won by 9,25 lengths. As a broodmare she has produced two Gr 1 winners and a Gr 1 placed horse from her first four foals to have raced.

La Traviata acquired her speed from her sire Johannesburg, whom Aiden O’Brien sent out seven times as a two-year-old and he finished the season unbeaten. His seven victories included four Gr 1s from six furlongs up to 8,5 furlongs. Johannesburg had an exceptional turn of foot.

At the National Yearling Sale last year Crusade’s 21 lots sold at an average of R162,380.

By David Thiselton