Notable owners Basie and Suzette Viljoen will be negotiating in the camp this festive season!
The two potential WSB Gold Rush’s, Royal Aussie (Royal Mo) and Stratospheric (What A Winter), will be the subject of discussions and Suzette jokes: “I think the talks could be very active!”
Here’s the thing: Basie holds the 4The tenth Prospector ticket for the R7,5 million race at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on January 28 but Suzette and co have the Royal Aussie rating, leader of the original Gold Rush record and still in the Top 6. Suzette is the outright owner of Stratospheric, rated 85 and he also has a chance to qualify for the final domain.
Suzette commented: “I’m not sure at this point if we should negotiate with Pacey or if he will come to us. Either way we hope we have a feud in the family and if he is a Royal Aussie my partners Dr Jill Warner and Dane Squance will be involved.” in excitement.”
Royal Aussie was originally held in the 2021 Cape Premier Sale by Grant Knowles and then sold in the Ready To Run Sale.
Suzette recalled: “I loved him, he was a lovely strong colt and asked Sue Sneath to give me her opinion. She confirmed he looked the part so we bought him. I had Dr. Jill Warner on my table that day, and she was keen on him too and asked if she could buy.” We don’t often race with partners but this was a special occasion.
Then, after the sale, Dane Squance called from Australia to ask if he could also get a stake. He liked Colt’s Australian female line. He’s an Abelia Australian, which also produced one of my previous purchases, the Angry Warrior (Vercingetorix). We like it. To follow the purebred families. We named him Royal Aussie on account of his dam, and for the interest of the Dane.”
Royal Aussie had long been considered strong favorites for the Gold Rush awards and led the record for several weeks after taking two wins and three finishes from five starts.
“He had a seizure before the Ready-to-Run Stakes in October and his preparations were interrupted, but still less than half a length away in third place,” said Suzette. “We had discussions with trainer Justin Snaith and decided to go through the Gr1 Cape Guineas to the Gold Rush, with a second race as his main task. We think he will do very well over 1600 metres.”
It’s still a stratospheric firstborn after seven runs, but it’s held well behind some of the leading lights of its generation so far, including Charles Dickens and Hero Warrior, and it’ll soon win. “Hopefully he can win before the Gold Rush, so his rating will go up. He’s a good support for us, a decent horse,” said Suzette.
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