Article written by Sarah Whitelaw
First South African winner for Fencing Master
Hemel ‘n Aarde’s promising young sire Fencing Master got off the mark in South Africa on Saturday when his son Mount Keith ran out a facile winner of the first race at Kenilworth.
One of only three South African runners for Fencing Master thus far, the Glen Kotzen trained Mount Keith simply outclassed his opponents to score by five and a half lengths over 1200m.
Owned and bred by Colin Bird, Mount Keith looks unlikely to stop here judging by the ease of this first win, and he could well provide Fencing Master with more success soon.
It was a case of twice as nice for Fencing Master, whose first crop also includes the very impressive Zimbabwean winner Shepparton, and Dontfencemein who has been placed on both his two outings to date.
Fencing Master was an outstanding 2yo, who won his first start at two before ending his 2yo campaign with a close second (beaten a neck by champion Beethoven) in the prestigious G1 Dewhurst Stakes, Britain’s most important 2yo event.
Among the top horses beaten by Fencing Master in the Dewhurst Stakes were subsequent G1 winners Xtension, Pure Champion, Buzzword and Dick Turpin, as well as subsequent Irish 2000 Guineas runner up Free Judgement.
A son of the hugely popular Oratorio (whose first local crop sold up to R3.2 million), Fencing Master is from the magnificent Danehill male line responsible for such sire greats as Dansili, Danehill Dancer, Choisir, Fastnet Rock, Redoute’s Choice, Exceed And Excel and Smart Missile, with the latter being Australia’s Leading First Crop Sire of 2015-2016.
Not only is Fencing Master (whose close relatives also include recent G1 Emirates Melbourne Cup runner up Heartbreak City) from one of the world’s great male lines but he is also from an exceptional female line. His first two dams are both French G1 winners, with his dam Moonlight Dance having won the G1 Prix Saint-Alary and his second dam, by outstanding sire Caro (also damsire of top stallions Unbridled’s Song and Maria’s Mon), being none other than the undefeated dual French classic winner Madelia.
This beautifully bred young sire also comes with an attractive bonus opportunity.In the proportion 50/25/25%, the owner, trainer and breeder of the best three black type FENCING MASTER 2 year olds conceived in 2016 will receive a bonus of R 500,000, 300,000, 200,000 respectively. This big bonus is excellent support for the breeding industry in South Africa at this time, attached as it is to a very exciting but not expensive horse, said David Allan. With breeders sharing in the spoils, they too may share in special bonuses.