Variety Club in command of Queen’s Plate

Erstwhile Magic Millions buyer Markus Jooste wasn’t sighted on the Gold Coast last week – he was otherwise engaged winning the G1 Queen’s Plate (1600m) with Variety Club at Kenilworth.

Jooste was a major player at the Magic Millions spending over $15 million in a four year period until 2008.  Several factors, including a dwindling exchange rate, has seen South African investment dive in recent years.

Variety Club (4c Var – La Massine by Secret Prospector) jumped straight to the front from an outside gate and was always in command of the Queen’s Plate – winning jockey Anton Marcus could even afford to sit up and salute the crowd before the finish.

South Africa’s reigning Horse of the Year has now won 12 races from 17 starts and has banked over R3.20 million for Jooste.  The chestnut was a R475 000 buy at the Equimark Vintage yearling sale.

Jooste and trainer Joey Ramsden have several options with Variety Club beginning with the G1 J&B Met on February 2.  Connections may even seek special permission to send him straight into quarantine for a start in either the G1 Dubai Duty Free or G1 Godolphin Mile at Meydan on March 30.

Variety Club also became the first horse to officially qualify for the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita in November.  He is by Kentucky-bred sire Var (Forest Wildcat) who was a G1 winner of the Prix de l’Abbeye before retiring to Avontuur Stud.

Group 1 winner of the South African Queen’s Plate