Exciting Australian two-year-old for IRC and partners


We are in the process of extending our ownership of runners in the UK – Joao Da Mata has found new prospects for us with the help of trainer Tony Carroll and he will soon be telling us about them. Today, however, we have some news on our Australian acquisition, a colt in training with Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock at their Cranbourne base.

To help us with our vision of racing around the world for our members, Robbie, Mathew and their team found an “entry-horse” for us in Australia at the Inglis Melbourne Yearling Sale in February. He was shortlisted as a value prospect, presented to us and bought for what the team agreed was a bargain $60,000.

Lot 714 was our colt by Sooboog, a son of Snitzel who entered his fifth season at stud in 2021 – following immense support from breeders and shareholders during his first 4 seasons – covering over 500 mares to date.

If the sale was next year, this colt would have fetched double his price, because Sooboog’s 2-year-olds have now started hitting the track, and he sits in the Top 3 First Season Sires by Winners Table and Top 10 General Two Year Old Sires by Winners Table. He’s had seven winners from his first 19 runners, including a stakes-placed colt – that is phenomenal for a freshman in Australia!

You can view his pedigree and his appearance at the sale here. The colt was named Zuurberg and he comes from a potent female line with black type from the first dam down and some fantastic racers notable in the line, including Mahbooba, Slew The Red and Godolphin’s Dubai Warrior.

Zuurberg, well built colt.
Zuurberg, well built colt.

Mat de Kock described him as “leggy and tall” when he first arrived at Cranbourne, and, to strengthen and grow some more, he was sent to Justin Sterley’s pre-training facility (Sterley Horsemanship Solutions). South African-born Sterley, who has extensive horse-handling experience, came to Australia in 2005, received a Diploma in horse business management from Oldham College before starting his pre-training business near coastal Banbra, about half an hour from Geelong and a further hour-and-a-half from Melbourne in the State of Victoria.


Sterley tells: “Mat likes to use my services, because I have access to the beach and our horses here do beach work often, they love it here. Zuurberg did plenty of work on the beach, he is quite a strong horse, but has a placid, laid-nature. He has strengthened up nicely and we’ve just sent him back to Robbie and Matt last week.”

Here is a video of Zuurberg, stretching out in a morning canter on the beach.

Mat confirmed that all was well, Zuurberg is an exciting first dip for us into Australian racing and we’re grateful to Arun Chadha, Mike de Kock, Suzette and Basie Viljoen and several smaller investors for taking the shares with us. The minimum stake for a Saturday race meeting in Australia is $100,000 and let’s hope we can get some loot back in the not too distant future.

Griffiths and De Kock posted the second Listed win of their short partnership when King Magnus won the Cranbourne Cup at the weekend and we are very happy to be involved with a stable clearly going places.  -IRC.


Leave A Comment

All fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required