Flying machine Harry Hotspur’s lasting legacy
The blindingly fast Harry Hotspur, whose breeding was advised by Dr Frank Freeman of Boland Stud, has certainly left his mark on the South African stud book. Harry, whose name features prominently in the pedigree of this season’s Listed Storm Bird Stakes winner Flying Myth, sired 572 foals –of which 386 (67%) won. His offspring included an impressive 56 stakes winners (or nearly 10% of his foals won black type races).
The beautiful chestnut (described by Form as “Harry Hotspur is a deep golden chestnut with black markings, closely resembling his illustrious great-grandfather Gold Bridge, to whom he is inbred. Taller and with more scope than his own sire Mexico II, he is medium-sized, high quality and extremely athletic. He has an excellent shoulder and powerful forearm, strong quarter and loin, and a beautiful, finely chiselled head elegantly set on a strong attractive neck.”) left behind at least 24 individual graded winners- of which eight were grade one winners.
Harry Hotspur’s top performers included champion 2yo and G1 winner Bold Speed (himself the sire of G1 Germiston November Handicap winner Please Be True), G1 SA Derby winner Agitator, G1 Gilbeys Stakes winner Harry’s Echo, champion filly Harry’s Charm, Oaks winner Danseuse Classique, G2 SA Fillies Guineas heroine She’s A Treat, G1 Mercury Sprint winning sire Super Magic, the blindingly fast G1 Computaform Sprint hero Tommy Hotspur, and G1 Cape Flying Championship winners Alnwick and Lord Randolph. The former star sprinter also enjoyed marked success as a broodmare sire –with his daughters producing such G1 winners as Fov’s Dancer (Foveros), Hot Guard (Home Guard) and champion sprinter Mythical Flight (Jet Master)- to name but a few.
Former Equus Champion, and G1 Summer Cup/Gold Cup hero Aslan (Silvano), is out of a daughter of Harry’s Oaks winning daughter Danseuse Classique. Harry Hotspur’s planned mating came when Frank Freeman suggested Mrs Barnett, a small breeder who had just two mares at the time, send her Silver Tor mare to the then Daytona based sire Mexico II. The resulting mating produced Harry Hotspur –one of the fastest horses of his era.
Harry, whose sire’s lack of inches saw him move quickly from Wittehart Stud to Daytona, was a half brother to 7 winners, including 11 time winner and Gilbeys Stakes winner Rotterdam. The latter, a son of ill-fated sire Jan Ekels, also retired to stud, but unlike his famous half brother, proved a disappointment.
His sire Mexico II did extremely well at stud, from limited opportunities, and was champion sire of 2yos. Mexico II sired 519 foals –of which 29 (6%) were stakes winners. They included not only Harry Hotspur but also star filly Marie Galante, champion 2yos Moccasin and Smackeroo, and SA Guineas winner Foreign Agent.
Rejected as a yearling due to his faulty frontlegs, Harry Hotspur was raced by his breeder, who saw her homebred colt win nine of 11 outings, under the care of trainer Colin Palm, with his sole unplaced effort coming in the Cape Guineas. Winner by nine lengths on his only juvenile start, Harry won four of six outings at three, and also finished second to the great champion Sentinel in the Jack Stubbs Memorial Trophy (now the G1 Cape Flying Championship).
Harry Hotspur, who stood 15.31/2 hands high, would go on to win all four starts at four and five, with his final victory seeing Harry defeat the brilliant Brer Rabbit in the G1 Natal Flying Championship (now the G1 Mercury Sprint) by a head. Boland Stud, who were responsible for the breeding of this great horse, have a stellar draft of seven yearlings on offer at the upcoming National Yearling Sale.