South Sydney saviour George Piggins loves the Sport of Kings and his latest winner arrived when Mr Branahdan won a Gulgong maiden on Sunday.
Mr Branahdan (3g Temple Dane – Branahdan by Marwina) carries South Sydney’s famous red and green colours and he broke through a fortnight after failing on debut at Hawkesbury.
Piggins and his wife his wife Nolene stand his sire Temple Dane at stud. The 10 year-old stallion covers a handful of mares every year and was last advertised at a $1,100 (inc gst) fee.
Temple Dane is the third son of Danehill to sire his first winner this month following Saint Thomas who opened his account with Threescoreandten at the Gold Coast on Saturday. Five Dynasties had added his name to the roll-call when Starlight Dynasty scored at Warwick on Saturday, June 1.
Coolmore Stud sold Temple Dane for $325,000 at the 2004 Inglis Easter yearling sale to current BRC Chairman Kevin Dixon. He was from Danehill’s penultimate crop and retired to stud as an unraced five year-old.
Mr Branahdan’s dam Branahdan won 6 races in either side of the NSW – Queensland border before Piggins bought her for $2,500 at a mixed sale in 2007.
Piggins also stood former NZ based sire Prince Of Praise at his Bowral property from 2001 until 2006. But breeding thoroughbreds is only a sideline for the revered Rabbitoh.
His formative years at Mascot revolved around Rugby League and he represented South Sydney in 251 games between 1964 and 1978. He then coached the club before taking over as chairman.
Piggins was at the helm when South Sydney was threatened with expulsion from the NRL. He led the “Save our Souths” crusade that kept the Rabbitohs alive and kicking during its darkest hours in 1999.
Sadly, Piggins has since distanced himself from the club’s owners Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court. Souths are one of the favourites to win this year’s premiership but George vows he won’t be there if they make the Grand Final.
– Karl Patterson