Superfast's win after Washington VC's death "perfect result"

By Jonny Turner

Superfast ran the race of her life at Ascot Park on Saturday, just a day after the death of her sire Washington VC.

The mare charged out of the pack to win the Waikiwi Tavern Mobile Pace for owners Keith and Tracey Norman who stood Washington VC in Southland during his incredible siring career.

The stallion passed away 24 hours before Superfast’s win after living at the Normans’ Bryleigh Stud property near Edendale for 24 years.

Superfast was prepared by Keith Norman’s brother Brian, a member of the Washington VC Syndicate who helped import the sire, making the mare’s victory even more special.

“It was the perfect result,” Keith Norman said.

Washington VC will be remembered as an outstanding sire of his generation and he leaves behind an incredible mark on the Australasian standardbred breeding industry.

The stallion produced the second-highest stake earner in Australasian history in I’m Themightyquinn and is the dam sire of the fastest horse in Australasia in My Field Marshal.

Washington VC’s ability to leave quality stock meant his progeny was constantly in high demand with Australian buyers, which considering his modest stud fee, brought exponential returns for many who bred to him.

The sire recorded 28 Group 1 wins, with I’m Victorious, Georgetown, Report For Duty, Foreal and It’s Ella along with his best winner, I’m Themightyquinn.

“28 Group One wins is pretty incredible, especially considering we didn’t have a Group 1 race in Southland until very recently and most of the mares he was serving were in Southland.”

“We stood Son Of A Fella in Southland and we thought he was pretty successful, but he didn’t have 28 Group One wins.”

“You don’t realise what a great job he did until you look back on it, really.”

Washington VC left the winners of $9,401,442 in stakes in New Zealand and the winners of A$19,763,733 in Australia.

“He was a gentleman to work with over the years, some stallions can be nasty but he was a real gentleman,” says Keith Norman.

“He had been here for 24 years, and he never missed a feed until his last night.”

“It is sad, but it is good that he has been able to go out on his own terms.”

“He had four years in retirement and we kept him in the same environment.”

“We could have put him in a bigger paddock or gelded him and put him with other horses.”

“But we didn’t want him getting hurt, so we stuck with what he knew.”

Washington VC came to Bryleigh Stud in 2003 after Norman worked on a succession plan as Son Of Afella reached the end of his career.

“Son Of Afella was getting quite old, he was 23 and we knew he was getting very old very fast.”

“Bruce Kennedy, who used to buy for Ascot Stud and Nevele R Stud, told me about how he won the Adios and he pulled up lame afterwards.”

“We put an offer in on him, but then he was put up for sale, so we had to rush in and try to get him.”

A group, largely made up of Southlanders, formed the Washington VC Syndicate to help bring the stallion to New Zealand from the United States.

Among his mighty successes, I’m Victorious produced a highlight for the Normans with Washington VC.

“He would be the highlight for us, it is the dream to breed a Group 1 winner and he won three for us.”

Brian Norman has been among the most prolific sellers of Washington VC’s stock, and he has found Superfast’s best game.

The mare was in patchy form a year ago, but in 2024 she has been brilliantly consistent.

“We just got a call to say she won the Robin Dundee prize for the best performance by a filly or mare.”

“So that really tops it off.”

“She was thereabouts last year and we had some low offers to buy her.”

“But she has turned the corner, she’s had three wins this year which is pretty good going.”

Brian Norman also produced Sherwood Maggie to win on Saturday.

 

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