eLAN GOLD CUP (GRADE 3) – R1,250,000 – 3200m – Hollywoodbets Greyville
1st R781,250, 2nd R250,000, 3rd R125,000 – July 27
1. DYNASTY’S BLOSSOM
4yo b.f. by Dynasty – Crimson Blossom (Danehill Dancer)
2nd dam: Dabtara (Kahyasi)
3rd dam: Dabtiya (Shirley Heights)
Owners: Mrs J Magnier, Jagessar Limited and Maine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd
Bred by Highlands Farms Stud and Ms G Jaffee
Trainer: J Ramsden
Jockey: N Juglall
2. Made To Conquer
5yo b.g. by Dynasty – Festive Occasion (Casey Tibbs)
Owners: E A Braun, C T Crowe and N Jonsson
Bred by M de Broglio
4yo ch.c. by Twice Over – Nepeta (Tale Of The Cat)
Owners: Mr A N and The Hon Mrs G R Foster
Bred by Mr A N Foster
Then came: Ali Bon Dubai, Shenanigans, Dark Moon Rising, Roy Had Enough (Aus), Flichity By Farr, Gimme One Night, Strathdon, Secret Potion, Dawn Assault, Onesie, Sunshine Silk, Wealthy, Liege
Time: 0.75 – 0.50 – 0.50
DYNASTY’S BLOSSOM became the first member of the fairer sex to win the Gold Cup since Colonial Girl in 2000 and also gave Joey Ramsden a second victory in this iconic two-mile race.
Dark Moon Rising took the initiative in the back straight and still had five lengths on his field going through the 400m mark. It momentarily looked as though jockey Keagan de Melo may have hijacked the race, but Dynasty’s Blossom went in hot pursuit and the filly quickly erased the deficit and stretched clear to score by the best part of a length from the stable companions Made To Conquer and Doublemint.
Winless since February of last year, this was a deserved first stakes success for the filly, who has been the bridesmaid in a number of staying races. A courageous runner-up behind Gold Cup absentee Walter Smoothie in the Gr3 Gold Vase on July day, she also boasted seconds in the Gr2 Western Cape Stayers and Listed Winter Oaks.
“She hasn’t been a easy filly to train and has had her ups and downs,” Ramsden explained afterwards. “The lack of pace in Cape Town staying races also didn’t suit her. She has certainly come into her own in Durban.”
Dynasty’s Blossom made it back-to-back wins for her sadly deceased sire Dynasty, following the victory of It’s My Turn in last year’s race. The former Highlands standout also dominated this year’s renewal by siring the first two past the post.
The Gold Cup victress is owned by a truly international partnership and was purchased for a session topping R4.5-million on Day 2 of the 2016 Cape Premier Yearling Sale. This third victory, a career-best, skyrocketed the filly’s earnings to R1,193,350.
A half-sister to East Cape Guineas hero Brilliant Crimson (Trippi), she is the second foal of Gr3 Final Fling Stakes victress Crimson Blossom, a grandaughter of Ballyroan Stakes winner Dabitya (Shirley Heights), from the high-class Aga Khan-family of Darshaan, Darara, Daliapour, Diaghilev and Darasim.
CHAMPIONS CUP (GRADE 1) – R1,000,000 – 1800m – Hollywoodbets Greyville
1st R625,000, 2nd R200,000, 3rd R100,000 – July 27
1. RAINBOW BRIDGE
4yo b.g. by Ideal World – Halfway To Heaven (Jet Master)
2nd dam: Pas De Basque (Rambo Dancer)
3rd dam: Our Elegant Girl (Our Casey’s Boy)
Owner: Mr and Mrs M L P Rattray
Bred by Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein
Trainer: A E Sands
Jockey: R Fourie
2. Soqrat (AUS)
3yo b.c. by Epaulette – Elzeeza (Hussonet)
Owner: Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum,
Bred by Shadwell Stud Australasia Ltd
3yo b.c. by Pomodoro – Miss Wordsworth (Lake Coniston)
Owner: C J H van Niekerk
Bred by Riverton Stud
Then came: Twist Of Fate, Buffalo Bill Cody (Ire), Infamous Fox (Aus), Eyes Wide Open, Kampala Campari, Matador Man
Non-runner: Undercover Agent
Won by: 0.50 – 1.75 – head
Met winner RAINBOW BRIDGE made amends for his July defeat with a game if narrow victory, his second at the elite level and first in the colours of octogenarians Mike and Norma Rattray. The anticipated ‘boat race’ between the Met winner and Mike de Kock’s much-vaunted Buffalo Bill Cody came to naught, as the Irish-bred failed to cut the mustard in this exalted company and finished off the board.
Keen early on as Twist Of Fate set modest fractions up front, Rainbow Bridge set off after Soqrat and Anton Marcus at the top of the straight after the pair went for broke and had pinched a length or two on his rival. Rainbow Bridge willingly responded and drew level with the three-year-old at the furlong mark. Although he once again drifted to the inside, he asserted his authority to subdue his game rival close home. The stewards called for a race review but the result was a formality.
Winning rider Richard Fourie also maintained his flawless record on the quirky bay, having ridden him to victory in his first three starts. Yet to finish out of the first four, the seven-time winner was purchased by the Rattrays following the passing of his previous owner the late Chris Gerber, for whom he had won the Gr1 Met, Gr3 Matchem Stakes and Gr3 Winter Guineas.
This well-deserved victory, which pushed his earnings to R5,257,500, caps a somewhat frustrating winter campaign. A narrow defeat in the Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes was followed by an unlucky third in the Gr1 Gold Challenge and last time out only old adversary Do It Again proved his superior in the Durban July.
Bred by the Wilgerbosdrift/Mauritzfontein team, the four-year-old is by Mauritzfontein-based Ideal World and is the first foal out of Jet Master’s Gr3 winning daughter Halfway To Heaven, who likewise was trained by Sands, until she was sold to Mauritzfontein, in whose silks she raced for Mike de Kock until the end of her career. She is also the dam of triple Gr1 winning three-year-old winner Hawwaam (Silvano), a juvenile colt by Philanthropist and a yearling filly by Silvano.
MERCURY SPRINT (GRADE 1) – R800,000 – 1200m – Hollywoodbets Greyville
1st R500,000, 2nd R160,000, 3rd R80,000 – July 27
4yo b.g. by Captain Al – Aquatint (Peintre Celebre)
2nd dam: Sakieh (Green Desert)
3rd dam: Sigy (Habitat)
Owners: W P Drew, B Kantor and Mesdames A M Doyle, D Nagle and P Shanahan
Bred by Drakenstein Stud
Trainer: S J Snaith
Jockey: R Fourie
2. Celtic Sea
3yo b.f. by Captain Al – Ireland (Mark Of Esteem)
Owners: Mr A R and Mrs A B L Beck
Bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein
3. Palace Chapel
3yo b.c. by Potala Palace – Gem Quality (Special Preview)
Owners: H C N da Costa and Hyperpaint Syndicate
Bred by Alado Project
Then came: Snowdance, Africa Rising, Van Halen, Bold Respect, Chimichuri Run, Alyaasaat (Aus), Will Pays, Search Party, La Bella Mia, Frosted Gold (Nz), Vision To Kill
Won by: 0.50 – neck – 1
KASIMIR notched up a second top level success when he outduelled Celtic Sea in a pulsating finish to the Mercury Sprint.
Justin Snaith’s four-year-old slipped through on the inside to join the filly, who had taken the lead at the top of the straight. She was the proverbial meat in the sandwich, as Palace Chapel also loomed on her outside. The trio had the race to themselves, but in a driving finish, Kasimir inched ahead to take the honours by a half length.
A R1.2-million graduate of the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, Kasimir pushed his earnings past R3.2 million with this latest success. Also victorious in the Gr1 Cape Flying Championship in January, he showed similar fighting qualities when a shorthand winner of the Gr2 Diadem Stakes a month later. Rested until June, he returned to action in the Gr2 Post Merchants over the course and distance and was clearly in need of the run when a not-disgraced fourth.
The result proved a triumph for the late Captain Al, who sired three of the first four finishers. In fact, he was also responsible for the first two past the post in 2015, when Captain Of All defeated Carry On Alice, prior to which his daughter All Is Secret won the 2013 renewal, which was contested up the Clairwood straight. All three were champions, and it would come as no surprise to see Kasimir follow in their footsteps at the Equus awards.
The gelding is the second Gr1 winner out of Peintre Celebre’s Australian-bred daughter Aquatint. Successful three times on the track, she is also the dam of Gr1 Golden Horseshoe hero Afrikaburn (Trippi) and Gr2-placed The Slade (Philanthropist). Grandam Sakieh (Green Desert) is a daughter of the lightning-fast Sigy (Habitat), the champion French juvenile whose scored a career-high victory in the Gr1 Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp.
THEKWINI STAKES (GRADE 1) – R750,000 – 1600m – Hollywoodbets Greyville
1st R468,750, 2nd R150,000, 3rd R75,000 – July 27
2yo b.f. by Kingsbarns – Se Agabor (Trippi)
2nd dam: Roxy Cafe (Royal Chalice)
3rd dam: Jungle Class (Jungle Cove)
Owner: Drakenstein Stud
Bred by owner
Trainer: G H van Zyl
Jockey: W Kennedy
2. Mill Queen
2yo b.f. by Querari – Moulin Grise (Grey Eminence)
Owners: S Poriazis, W G de Koker and W Volschenk
Bred by Digteby Stud
3. Snow Palace
2yo gr.f. by Potala Palace – White Oleander (Lecture)
Owners: Dr M Taljaardt and Messrs R P Macnab and X Spies
Bred by Favour Stud
Then came: Victoria Paige, What You Are, Jack’s Bird, Keep Smiling, Cockney Pride, Castellano, True To Life, Gallic Princess, Ardenne, Kayla’s Champ, Swept Off My Feet
Won by: 0.75 – 1 – 0.50
The premature loss of young stallion Kingsbarns was underlined when his first-crop daughter GABOR became her late sire’s first Gr1 winner.
Sent off a warm favourite, she was always in contention and went in pursuit of pacemaker Mill Queen, who stubbornly stuck to her guns. In fact, it was only over the final 50m that Gabor managed to wear down her gallant adversary to assert close home.
This was a second win from three starts for the Drakenstein homebred, who had cruised to a 4.50 length debut victory and followed up with a creditable third in the Gr2 Golden Slipper.
Gabor is one of four winners to date from just 14 first crop foals sired by Kingsbarns, himself a Gr1 winning juvenile of the Racing Trophy for Aidan O’Brien. The son of Galileo died of colic in May last year at the age of eight. Initially retired to Coolmore’s Castlehyde, Kingsbarns was found to be sub-fertile, yet Drakenstein owner Gaynor Rupert was prepared to take a chance on the handsome bay, who hails from the female family as Rip Van Winkle and Halling.
Gabor is the first foal of Breeders Guineas third Se Agabor, whose half-sister Roxanne (Western Winter) won this race in 2005 and is the dam of the smart juvenile colt Putontheredlight (Pomodoro), a narrow loser of last month’s Gr2 Golden Horseshoe. Grandam Roxy Cafe is a half-sister to Polar Art (Western Winter), who produced Gr2 Senor Santa winner and Gr1 Golden Horse runner-up Polar Moon (Victory Moon), while another half-sister Going Astray (Foveros) is the grandam of Gr2 Peninsula Handicap hero Lion In Winter (Western Winter). The next dam is the fleet-footed Jungle Class (Jungle Cove), who scored a career high in the SA Fillies Sprint.
PREMIERS CHAMPION STAKES (GRADE 1) – R750,000 – 1600m – Hollywoodbets Greyville
1st R468,750, 2nd R150,000, 3rd R75,000 – July 27
1. GOT THE GREENLIGHT
2yo b.c. by Gimmethegreenlight – Command Chi (Commands)
2nd dam Chivana (Fusaichi Pegasus)
3rd dam Giovana (Blues Traveler)
Owners: D Chinsammy, H Adams and J A Soma
Bred by Nadeson Park Stud
Trainer: J Soma
Jockey: A Marcus
2. Liberty Hall
2yo c. by Querari – Liberty Star (Fort Wood)
Owners: D G Abery, R L Gabler, M I Fullard and J H Drew and Mrs C L Gabler
Bred by Mr and Mrs J R Slade
3. Rock The Globe
2yo b.c. by Seventh Rock – Pacific Lights (Al Mufti)
Owners: C J H van Niekerk and M J, M L and M P Sham
Bred by Klawervlei Stud
Then came: Kaydens Pride, Promiseofamaster, Fools Gold, Eden Roc, Putontheredlight, Special Blend, Wave, Enjoy The View, Loosen Your Tie, Master Of Illusion, Double Alliance
Won by: 3 – 0.75 – 1
The judges will have their work cut out to decide who will be crowned champion two-year-old after the runaway victory of GOT THE GREENLIGHT in this, the final Gr1 juvenile race of the season. The colt opened his stakes account by inflicting a sound defeat on his rivals, amongst which the unbeaten favourite and fellow Gr1 winner, Eden Roc.
Joe Soma’s charge mounted his challenge up the stand side and with a flick of the reins from Anton Marcus, he cruised into the lead before powering away for a dominant four-length victory.
On the go since his debut second in February, the colt has now won four of seven starts and clearly relished the mile trip, considering he had finished fourth in the SA Nursery and Gold Medallion, both run over six furlongs.
As his name suggests, Got The Greenlight is by Varsfontein Stud’s hugely successful Gimmethegreenlight and is his sire’s third Gr1 winner amongst a tally of 20 stakes winners.
Bred by part-owner Hassen Adams at his Nadeson Park Stud, Got The Greenlight is the first foal of the winning Australian-bred mare Command Chi. Her dam Chivana ran third in the Listed Gibson Carmichael Stakes and is out of the outstanding racemare Giovana (Blues Traveller). Voted New Zealand’s champion female stayer, this dual Oaks winner won four Gr1s and is a grandaughter of another well-performed New Zealand-bred mare Tristina (Sir Tristram), who defeated male rivals in the Gr1 Queenland Derby.