Variety Club and the 2x giants (now stallions) that beat him

from left; Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) | Variety Club | Jackson

Variety Club

.. a true champion of SA beating the best repeatedly whilst racking up 13 wins along the way (the last 8 of which were in-a-row) before heading abroad. First stop Dubai.. the wins continue and another 2x GSWs (Graded stakes wins) in the book. Then on to Hong Kong to compete in the prestigious Group 1 International Mile. No horse outside HK had ever won or even placed in this race before and VC’s performance was to turn out one of the greatest moments in SA racing history. Not only did he win the race but he did it in breathtaking fashion to gallop away down the straight for a facile, big margin win. And that was it.. a momentous end to a momentous career spanning 3x continents for 17x wins incl. 5x Gr1s, 4x Gr2s and 4x Gr3s.

The famed moment : Variety Club and the Gr1 Hong Kong International mile

As a 3 & 4yr old Variety Club was only defeated on 2 occasions on home soil..


Whilst Jackson managed to overhaul variety Club the first time they met, it was over 2000m a distance beyond Variety Club’s optimum, yet ideal for Jackson. From there the opportunity to set the record straight arose 3x more times, all over shorter (1400m and 1600m) where VC took no prisoners and defeated Jackson into 2nd twice and 3rd once.

Jackson and Variety Club in the Gr1 Investec Derby

Gimmethegreenlight (AUS)

For a long time the name Gimmethegreenlight came with a sticky slogan – ‘the only horse to ever beat Variety Club over a mile on home soil”. This career defining moment coming in the 2012 Gr1 Queen’s Plate where he grew wings and collared VC at the death. An incredible win albeit somewhat out the blue and in the end the only GSW of his career. However this wasn’t the first time they met, having bumped heads on 3 previous occasions. Back as 2yr olds GTGL easily accounted for VC over 1200m (Som. listed) and then the tables were turned later in the year over a mile, where the pair drew clear of the field to cross the line together in the Gr3 Selangor. A month after that, they were back at it again in the Gr1 Cape Guineas where GTGL failed to launch a challenge and got whipped.

Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) and Variety Club in the Gr1 Queen’s Plate

Back to current times and both Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) and Jackson now stand as stallions in SA. GTGL has done so well so quickly (1st season 12x graded stakes wins from 108 runners) that his previous ‘Variety Club tag’ has been all but forgotten. He’s now a highly sort after donor and his progeny popup with regularity at the highest levels. He’s making his mark as an emerging stallion and is already comfortably seated in as a Top 5 stallion (last 2 of 3 his seasons to date). Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) has 13x yearlings on the forthcoming Cape Premier Yearling Sale (23rd Jan)

Jackson on other hand started a season later and has had no such success or barn support to date. But there could be something in the works for him because if he can throw a horse like lot 30 (Jackson – Trip to Eden) at the recent CTS R2R, then it’s only a matter of time before he’s in the news again. Jackson has 2x yearlings on the forthcoming Cape Premier Yearling Sale (23rd Jan)

..when an unraced 16.3 monster gallops like a 15.1 precocious sprinter.. 16Trip to Eden (Jackson – Trip to Eden) lot 30 at the 2018 CTS R2R trackwork showcase. View his full profile here