One of the finest thoroughbreds ever raised at Ceres’ Boland Stud was former champion and G1 Holiday Inns winner Welcome Boy.
A son of the smart, six time winning handicapper Welcomed, Welcome Boy was his sire’s sole G1 winner and by and away the best horse sired by Welcomed during his 12 seasons at stud.
Welcome Boy was leased to Drs Vorster and Meyer by trainer Henry Eatwell, after the pair had assisted the trainer with various medical services, which the SA Racehorse of 1978 suggested possibly saved Eatwell’s life.
The champ, who was trained by Henry Eatwell, was out of the three time winning mare Mor Glas, a daughter of the great champion Sea Cottage (also damsire of champion Evening Mist). Mor Glas, who won from 1000-1400m, was a half sister to Miss Hungary –dam of SA Derby hero Kadarko.
Welcome Boy was above average at two, when he won twice and placed five times from nine outings. A winner first time out (when sauntering home by 6.5 lengths over 1000m), the colt was hoisted into feature race competition at his very next outing when finishing fifth in the G1 Allan Robertson Memorial (beaten 4.5 lengths by top class colt Wagga Wagga). After a fair fourth next time out, Welcome Boy was then beaten a neck in a juvenile plate over 1300m. Welcome Boy made amends for this defeat by landing a similar race next time out before ending his 2yo campaign with a third in the G1 Administrator’s Champion Juvenile Stakes and a runner up berth in the Listed Natal Free Handicap.
The colt raised his game to a new level at three, when he won his first two on the bounce before finishing second to Wagga Wagga in the G1 Benoni Guineas. Welcome Boy then stamped his class when reeling off a hatrick of feature race wins –the G2 Dingaans, G1 Richelius Guineas (beating subsequent Horse Of The Year Over The Air by 1.25 lengths) and the G1 SA Derby. That classic saw the wonderfully versatile Welcome Boy romp home to score by seven and a half lengths.
The SA Racehorse said of Welcome Boy’s Derby win, “This was the easiest Derby victory gained at Turffontein since Hengist ran away from the opposition in 1958. If the future of Welcome Boy turns out as bright as was that of Hengist, there will be no complaints from the connections of Welcome Boy…. He is third Derby winner trained by Henry Eatwell following Bridesman and Home Guard.”
After finishing a close third in the G1 SA Guineas and sixth to champion Politician in the Rothman’s July, Welcome Boy ended his sophomore campaign with a win in the G2 Dick King Stakes, defeating the top class performer Furious, at Greyville. He was subsequently named South Africa’s Champion 3YO of 1977-1978.
After failing to win at four, Welcome Boy scored the final win of his illustrious career when slamming a top class field in the G1 Holidays Inns of 1979. Among those beaten by the entire were Gigantic (G1 Holiday Inns), Artistry (G1 SA Derby), Beau Art (G1 Rothman’s July), and Anytime Baby (G1 SA Guineas).
Retired to stud, Welcome Boy unfortunately failed to match his impressive racecourse feats at stud, and failed to sire a single stakes winner (albeit from very limited opportunities).