If Dr Jill and John Warner invite you to join them as racehorse owners, the wise move is to gratefully accept the offer without a moment’s hesitation. From a relatively small band of horses, the lucky Warner’s have already owned two champion sprinters in Carry On Alice (who recently produced a 1,1 million Australian Dollar sales-topping colt by renowned sire, Snitzel) and Rio Querari, together with several other well-performed thoroughbreds.
On April 5th Tout A Fait added to the Warner’s burgeoning tally when winning the Cape Point Stakes at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth over 1400m. Mark and Beti Jones as well as their daughter Ellen (all UK based) were tempted by the good doctors, sight unseen, into joint ownership of the first horse they’ve owned in South Africa. Other partners in the now 5 x time winner are Caroline Gregson and vastly experienced bloodstock guru/stallion manager, John Freeman.
Tout a Fait, an honest pace presser despite breathing issues, has taken his form to the next level since trainer Justin Snaith equipped him in blinkers. Jockey Keagan de Melo (now 2 from 2 on the Varsfontein Stud bred son of Master of My Fate) was kitted out in Cambridge University College type silks designed by Ellen, who, proudly donned the same colours when leading the horse in.
Jono Snaith indicated that Tout a Fait will remain in Cape Town during the Winter to contest races on an improved Stakes program that now caters appropriately for top division horses with official merit ratings above 100.
With Jill Warner describing their first foray into horse ownership through Carry on Alice as “life-changing”, the BSA National Yearling Sales taking place in Johannesburg on the 21st and 22nd April 2023, appeals as an opportunity to find that next equine star.
Realistically, owning thoroughbreds is an expensive pursuit, without any guarantee of success. Yet horses can provide infinite pleasure to connections, and, occasionally as in the Warner’s uplifting experience shared with their special friends, even the wildest dreams are exceeded – and lives transformed.