Summerveld trainer Paul Lafferty is enjoying a fine run at present, especially with his juveniles, and despite having a string which totals just 45 horses he said there were more promising youngsters waiting in the wings.

Lafferty has one of the most exciting two-year-old fillies in the country, Touch Of Magic, who was landed for a bargain price at a Magic Millions Sale in Australia last year.

On debut over 1000m at Scottsville on March 1, this strongly built bay sat in behind the leaders, showing good cruising speed, and after being switched out by Diego De Gouveia quickened effortlessly to win by 3,75 lengths. The runner up Rose Hill finished a close second next time out to frank the form.


Lafferty described Touch Of Magic as a “real machine” and was thrilled for owners Brian Riley, Michael Leaf and Sherwin Jerrier, whom he described as “absolute gentleman to train for.”

He added, “The Allan Robertson is her aim. She is a bomb and we are just keeping her ticking over. If we find the right race she could come out before then, but I wouldn’t worry at all about sending her straight into the Allan Robertson.”

Touch Of Magic already has considerable paddock value.

Earlier this year her dam Moccasin Bend, who is by the USA-bred Majestic Light stallion Eternity Range, made headlines.

Her Not A Single Doubt colt fetched Aus$725,000 at the Magic Millions sale on the Gold Coast knocked down to the Shadwell Stud of Sheik Hamdan’s.

Three years earlier new breeder Gary Castledine had bought Moccasin Bend, a Gr 2 W A Guineas winner, for Aus$135,000 in foal to four-time Gr 1-winner Sepoy. The latter was both the champion two-year-old and three-year-old colt in Australia.

Lafferty liked the look of the resultant foal, Touch Of Magic, and with Brian Riley accompanying him secured her for what now looks a bargain Aus$75,000.

Lafferty has five young Judpots in his string as he regards him as an excellent value stallion.

On Sunday his Judpot colt Sniper Shot won a Juvenile Plate over 1200m at Greyville from pillar to post under 4kg claimer Ashton Arries, beating among others the smart Cape colt Sir Frenchie into third by 1,5 lengths.

Touch of Magic

Touch of Magic

That was his second win in succession and Lafferty said, “He is useful and speedy. Our Captain Al colt Freddie Flint, who finished fourth in the Sentinel Stakes, is also promising. But we have some unraced two-year-old colts who are better than them, including a couple of Australian-breds and one by Count Dubois.

He hoped some of his two-year-old males would prove to be Gr 1 class, although he recognised the strength and depth of the Cape and Gauteng campaigners among the crop.

The yard’s Elusive Fort filly Crymeariver “could be anything” after winning a Juvenile Plate over 1200m at Scottsville on debut, beating the well regarded winner Neptune’s Rain. On paper her form compares favourably with her Maiden Juvenile Plate-winning stablemate, the Rebel King filly Simply Scrumptious. However, Lafferty believes these fillies are not up to the class of Touch Of Magic.

Lafferty has sent out eleven winners since March 1 at a strike rate of 27,5%.

His puts his recent success down to team effort and also made particular mention of the benefit of a Faradic Machine. This impulse therapy machine treats horses every day at the yard. It has double benefit to owners, who are not charged for its use, as it keeps the veterinarians at bay. An example of its positive affect can be seen in the filly Pearl Emblem. She was transformed from a battling one-time winner into a horse who won a further six races in the space of six months.

Lafferty’s horses have been turned out in magnificent condition lately and he attributed this partly to the two very good “clippers” (who could be termed equine hairdressers) he has working for him.

By David Thiselton