“Redoute’s Choice winner in South Africa” is a headline that’s had more frequent use than most during the champion sire’s storied career.
This week it’s had two airings, after debut victories by Sheikh Hamdan’s home-bred Al Fahad at Tuesday’s Vaal meeting, and Springhills for Arrowfield and breeders Rob & Jenny Ferguson at the same course two days later.
Both 3YO colts are trained by Mike de Kock who said of Al Fahad, “He’s a nice type of horse with lots of scope and 1200 metres is his minimum trip, he’s from a mare by Zabeel and should go a mile or more.
“Al Fahad has been showing us good work and we thought that he could go on and win first time out if he was good enough, and he proved it. “
Al Fahad is the second winner out of Albakoor, a non-winning half-sister of Group 1 winner Rewaaya from the wonderful Easy Date family. That means Al Fahad’s relatives include Snippets, Forensics & Not A Single Doubt, as well as Ertijaal and Mushreq, both also trained by de Kock for Sheikh Hamdan.
De Kock was similarly happy with Springhills’ lead-up work, and he put up a very staunch effort to make ground on Mind Shade inside the last third of Thursday’s 1000-metre maiden, and then edge past him just before the line.
The third of four Redoute’s Choice colts out of Volksraad’s Group 1-winning daughter Velocitea, Springhills was sent to South Africa in July 2015.
His older brothers are both winners, Limehills showing talent as a stakes-placed juvenile, and Kepler’s Law winning in Victoria before being sold to Macau. Velocitea’s current 2YO colt by Redoute’s Choice was bought by Mick Price for $340,000 from Rheinwood’s draft at this year’s Magic Millions Sale.
Al Fahad and Springhills take Redoute’s Choice’s record in South Africa to 22 winners from 25 runners, among them six stakeswinners headed by Group 1 stars Majmu, Wylie Hall and Musir.