A fairy tale or a legend?
Boland Stud are no strangers to producing flying machines of the highest order. Among the sprinting stars produced at the Ceres stud are such champions as Senor Santa and Rotterdam, as well as the latter’s outstanding half brother, and high class sire, Harry Hotspur.
Another champion sprinter with strong ties to Boland Stud is the late, great Craftsman.
Bred to be speedy, Craftsman was from the fifth crop of the Drum Beat horse Trocadero. The latter was himself a highly talented sprinter, and won 14 races, from 1000-1200m.
A son of outstanding sprinter and sire Drum Beat and from the same family as champion sire Elevation, Trocadero enjoyed success at stud with his 16 individual stakes winners including the G1 winners Allure, Main Man and Port Pegasus, as well as the champion Craftsman.
The latter was produced by the unraced Olean mare Footprint –whose daughter Hotfoot is the granddam of G1 Gold Bowl winner Eaton Lad.
This is the same family as flying filly, Palmistry, and shock November Handicap winner Grand Format.
Craftsman, who raced for Mr A J Black and trainer Ralph Rixon , was a tough and durable sprinter who raced from two to six. His nine wins, which came over distances from 1000-1400m, included the G1 Wild Coast Flying Championship (now Mercury Sprint), G2 Cape Of Good Hope Nursery, G3 Rupert Ellis Brown Memorial, and G3 Basil Starke Merchants.
He was placed in a further 13 graded races, with his placings including a creditable fourth, to champion Prince Florimund, in the 1982 G2 Clairwood Winter Handicap (now G1 Champions Cup), where Craftsman was beaten under two lengths (and had Met hero Queen’s Elect and July winner Jamaican Rumba well behind him).
Craftsman was named South Africa’s Champion Sprinter of 1982 and was later retired to stud.