A Tribute to Aquanaut – Part One

A Tribute to Aquanaut – Part Two

The eighties belonged to our extraordinary broodmare Envious, each of whose first four foals was a graded stakes winner. The first of these was Envy, who won her first five starts, including the Computaform Nursery, in which she became the only filly ever to defeat Wolf Power.

Envious’ second foal was Entourage, who had a septum deviation as a result of getting kicked. We ended up racing him in partnership with the owners of Envy, and he picked up the Smirnoff Plate as a two-year-old. Then followed Expertise, who laid claims to being the best of his generation over 1400 metres. Enforce, Envious’ fourth foal, picked up the 1200 metre Johannesburg Merchants and Durban Merchants.

What made her a great broodmare is open to debate. She was dark bay, without any markings, and each of her foals was the same. Her own athletic ability was above average, without being exceptional, which could also describe her female line. However, her broad forehead with ears set slightly askance bore a striking resemblance to her paternal grandsire, Tom Fool.

For similarly imponderable reasons none of her daughters achieved anywhere near the success she did.

The eighties delivered our first classic winner as owner-breeders, in the form of In Camera, who was co-owned with Laurie and Jean Jaffee. Her win in the Stuttafords (Cape) Fillies Guineas was facile, and followed on a preparation that included wins in both the Diana and Sceptre Stakes.

Also in partnership with the Jaffees we bred Bond, who won the Durban Merchants and the Stewards Cup.

But for all the achievements of these fine horses, our star of the eighties was unquestionably Aquanaut, who proved himself the Champion Stayer in the land by carrying big weights to victory over the country’s premier 3200m events – the Gold Cup and the OK Gold Bowl. He was bidding for a third win in the Gold Bowl when he tragically broke his leg in a stable injury.