Equus Award winner, Whisky Baron getting into stride at Newmarket, UK

After leaving Brett Crawford’s main yard in Cape Town, Whisky Baron spent three months in Mauritius before moving to the Northern Hemisphere – Abington Place near Newmarket. He arrived there on the 21st June and has settled in fine at the well-appointed facility. Crawford is taking responsibility for the son of Manhattan Rain’s international campaign, so he jetted over to supervise “Whisky’s” first grass workout this week.

Speaking after the breeze up, Crawford said, “I’m pleased with the manner he handled the gallop. His recovery signs were fairly good considering that he has not worked on the grass since January. We are all on track for a prep run here at Newmarket either at the end of September in the Joel Stakes over 1600m or else in mid- October in the Challenge Stakes, which is over seven furlongs.”

The high- flying trainer who is now 47th on the TRC Global Trainer’s rankings on the back of six Grade 1 wins in South Africa this past season, continued, “I’m happy with Whisky Baron’s progress and he looks exceptionally well. Really, his temperament is amazing and he does not fuss about much here – he’s just taken it all in his stride since being in Newmarket.”

Both Whisky Baron and stable-mate Edict of Nantes were honoured at the Equus Awards in Johannesburg on Tuesday night – receiving the Champion Middle Distance and Champion Three -Year Old Colt trophies respectively. This is deserved recognition at National level for Whisky Baron’s Grade 1 SunMet defeat of Horse of the Year, Legal Eagle, multiple Grade 1 winning stable mate, Captain America and super-smart three- year old, Gold Standard in what was a potent vintage of an iconic South African race.

Edict of Nantes won the Investec Cape Derby that same day at Kenilworth, and went on to confirm his excellence at the right handed Greyville circuit by scoring in the Daily News and running a close third in the Durban July. He is currently resting up after those exertions, and will get underway again to target prominent Feature races during the Cape Summer.

All trainers love handling quality thoroughbreds that are blessed with good temperament’s, and see those attributes as essential for a shot at success, yet Crawford is quick to acknowledges that it’s a long and winding road when planning high level Stakes campaigns, either locally or abroad. Even with impeccably detailed logistical arrangements in place, plenty of variables still need to turn out fine to travel a horse around the world and shape against stern opposition. Crawford understands the extent of the challenge, being deeply motivated to add an international Grade 1 to his resume, and try realise a dream for the Kieswetter family, owners of Whisky Baron and Highlands Farm Stud, part of Ridgemont.

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