The victory of Wild West in the J&B Metropolitan Stakes was yet another great triumph for one of the great families at the great stud at Zandvliet. Paul de Wet imported foundation mares that have handed on their prepotence through each generation with fillies coming to replace their dams and hand on the line. Wild Ash may well owe her potency to the close inbreeding with only three generations to Donatello (with a duplicity of Hyperion through a son and a daughter). Another close inbreeding was practised in the next generation by the mating of Wild Ash to Roland Gardens; this time with only three generations to Abernant. This continued inbreeding to the good sources in the mate's pedigree in each following generation was the regular practise to which Lord Derby resorted to build up his stud in the early decades of this century and to produce numerous champions of both sexes to hand on their ability at stud and in the paddocks.
It was five years or so after the last war that Miazzina arrived here from Italy. She had won four races in each of her first two seasons over there and her sister, Messagra, added a touch of class for she has won the Italian One Thousand Guineas. Her sire was Niccolo Dell'Arca, the only good stallion got by the Derby winner Coronach, except for the freak Montrose, who would have been unknown except for the wonderful record of his progeny in this country.
Fiorella was Miazzina's third foal; she raced in her breeder's colours and was trained by Terrance Millard. This little chestnut filly started at odds-on to win impressively at Kenilworth from Pippykin and Country Cousin. She was odds on for her next race too, the Juvenile Invitation Staikes also at Kenilworth. Those who laid the odds on might not have done so had they been able to see into the future, for the winner was the famous big bay Jerez.
With a change in the weights in her favour of 7lb she met Jerez again in the Festival Juvenile Handicap and this time she did better, beating Cannon Ball by a short head with Country Cousin a length away third. Her next race was the Western Province Nursery in which she was never sighted. She went to Durban and in her first race the next season she won a second division sprint in a desperate affair of head; neck; short head. She had really failed to improve and after being unplaced several times she ran fourth. After running third in the second division this charming little filly retired to stud where she was a great success.
To the Birch Brothers stallion, Herculaneum (GB), she thre Ashplant who raced well over four seasons. Like her dam she was trained by Terrance Millard. She ran third in the Western Province Nursery behind the three to one on chance Tarma, before winning her maiden at Kenilworth by 4 lengths. She ran many times and won a couple of races the next season but her best effort was to very nearly (all but a neck) upset the long odds laid on Tarma in the Breeders Trial Stakes for three-year-old fillies at set weights. At four, she ran five times winning twice and second once and the next season thirteen times for a win and three places. She retired to her breeder's stud to produce a classic winner in Wild Ash.
Wild Ash ran several times at two-years-old winning a maiden, she made steady progress the next season to win three races off the reel, before going to the post in the colours of her breeder to collect the Fillies Guineas for her trainer for the fifth year in succession. A long way out it was obvious that Bert Abercrombie had only to move to win at her leisure. After being touched off a head in the second division race at Kenilworth, Wild Ash went to Natal where she was in the winner's enclosure in a similar sort of race and then won the Natal Guineas, retiring to stud to produce Wild West as her first foal. Her second was Macadam by Mecca Road (USA). She then bred a filly Silk Wood to Jamaico (Fr) before slipping a foal to the same horse.by Mordaunt Milner for February 1986 SA Racehorse
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