Esploratore wins on debut impressively at Turffontein for sire Eightfold Path. Image: JC Photos
Esploratore wins on debut impressively at Turffontein for sire Eightfold Path. Image: JC Photos

Eightfold Path’s second winner Esploratore came quickly after the first, along with an impressive debut run from Jet Path in the last race.

Bred for owner Michael Leaf and trained by Alec Laird, the three year old filly is a half-sister to Michael’s Ready To Run Cup winner, Chilli Con Carne.

Peter Gibson, who manages Eightfold Path on behalf of the stallion syndicate headed up by Hong Kong owner Hartley SA,  said Esploratore had won convincingly over the 1000m at Turffontein, beating the odds on favourite in the process and showing a lovely action and sustained finish.Peter continues:”She was bred by Anton Proctor for Michael Leaf, his Windrush mare Wonder Glow, already having produced the Ready To Run Cup winner Chilli Con Carne. Her mating with Eightfold Path is thus based on the very successful Giant’s Causeway/Seeking The Gold Cross.”

“To cap a lovely day for No.8 [as the stallion is fondly known], Roski Stud’s strapping Jet Path gelding ran a blinder on debut, finishing a close fourth (1.5 lengths) despite being intimidated by the winner and running green. A son of Jet Master mare, A Thousand Jets, he showed good pace throughout the journey and looks sure to improve when stepped up in trip by trainer, Johan Janse van Vuuren. Hartley SA has some outstanding individuals out of Jet Master mares, so we are more than hopeful!

Eightfold Path. Image: Candiese Marnewick
Eightfold Path. Image: Candiese Marnewick

“Paul Matchett’s Eight Cities placed again when tried with blinkers, only finding one better on the day and his winning turn is surely not far off. The same can be said for War Demon who ran a blinder when touched off by subsequent BSA Million third, Silva Bullet.

“On Friday,  Awesome Angel One and Noble Duke are carded to race in the fourth race at Greyville over 1400m on the Polytrack. Both have decent bits of form to their names and hopefully can build on that. On Sunday, Eight Summers comes back after a short break and hopefully shows improved form for Belinda Impey.

“Looking further ahead, it is our belief that Eightfold Path’s best days are ahead of him – the quality of his mares has improved with each season, in fact some of his best mares are carrying to him now!”

Eigthfold Path had 10 runners in his first year which saw nine of them place. The French Gr3 winner stands for a fee of R10 000 this season at Scott Bros’ Highdown Stud.