Hall of Fame
On the 27th of June 2002 a two-year-old stepped out on the Scottsville track and not too many may have realised what was to come in the years that followed.
After running out a winner by a quarter of length in a maiden plate, with jockey Kevin Shea in the irons, a horse called Victory Moon would next find himself on a plan, bound for Dubai and the start of a campaign that would help put South African racing on the map.
In the care of jet-setting trainer Mike De Kock the bay colt, a son of Al Mufti out of Dancing Champ mare, Dancing Flower garnered plenty of attention for his exploits on the track in the United Arab Emirates.
In December 2002, Victory Moon was raced twice and came through both tests – one over 1200m at Jebel Ali and the other over 1700m at Nad Al Sheba – with flying colours.
Fast forward a few months and Mike de Kock’s charge claimed the UAE 2000 Guineas (Gr 3) and the UAE Derby (Gr 2) giving followers back home plenty to cheer about. From there, a flight to England for the Eclipse Stakes (Gr 1) at Sandown where he finished fifth to Falbrav and then an unplaced run in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Gr 1).
As a five-year-old, Victory Moon continued to flourish and scored in the last two rounds of the Maktoum Challenge, both of those in fine style under Weichong Marwing before being aimed at the Dubai World Cup (Gr 1).
As it panned out, the showpiece on the Dubai calendar ended up being a two horse race between eventual winner Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglia d’Oro but Victory Moon had the beating of the rest of the field as he claimed third.
It was to be his last run and he made a welcome return to South Africa where he stood at Maine Chance Farms before his death in 2009. Included among his most successful progeny is multiple Group One winner Princess Victoria.