Coolmore Stud sire Henrythenavigator (USA) is currently exploring South American climes and didn’t shuttle to the Hunter Valley this year.
But those with yearlings and foals by him will eagerly be following the progress of his three year-old West Africa, an electrifying debut winner at Kilmore on Tuesday.
West Africa (3c Henrythenavigator – Stripper by Danehill Dancer) was the most expensive yearling from Henry’s first Australian crop at $350,000 and he looked worth every dollar and more with a 9 length victory over 1112 metres that had to be seen to be believed.
Trained by Mark Kavanagh, West Africa was taken on early, yet shook off his rivals, opened up full throttle down the straight and was still going away at the post.
“Kav could have thrown his leg over that and steered him around,” Michael Rodd said after the win. “He’s always shown us a bit at home, especially in his jump-outs, but you’ve just got no idea until they get to the races.”
Bred by John Cordina, West Africa was bought from the Kitchwin Hills draft by the same James Bester/Demi O’Byrne combo that found Atlantic Jewel, Irish Lights, Hips Don’t Lie, War, Bull Point and others and runs for a partnership involving Coolmore Stud, Sir Owen Glenn, Robert and Barbara McClure, John and Cath Murray and Peter Barnett.