Paul Peter described the feeling of landing his first Grade 1 on Saturday as “unbelievable, especially to have done it with a filly like that.”
His star Silvano filly Summer Pudding remained unbeaten and took one step closer to the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara when cruising to victory in the Grade 1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic.
The win catapulted Peter into second place in the National Trainers Championships and his R8,673,625 in stakes is just under R3 million behind leader Sean Tarry.
Summer Pudding relished the step up in trip and won cosily by a length, having had to go all out to win the first leg of the Triple Tiara, the Grade 2 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas.
She will take a power of beating in the final leg, the Grade 2 SA Oaks over 2450m.
Peter referred to her as “the people’s horse” in the after race interviews.
He explained to the Racegoer, “She is a big, striking, black filly and the crowds just go crazy for her. She brings such a nice atmosphere to the course. She has such a nice temperament too, she loves people and loves to be spoilt and patted.”
Peter has had about seven or eight runner up finishes in Grade 1s and did go into Saturday’s race with one or two concerns.
He said, “The draw (10) was against her and was always going to be her biggest hurdle. But when they are that class they can overcome it. Warren (Kennedy) rode a great race and gets on well with her.”
Peter was thrilled to have won the race for the breeders Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein Studs and the owners Mauritzfontein.
He has a number of horses from this stud operation in his yard and said, “They are tough and sound and have good appetites. One of the main things about a horse is appetite, the more they eat the more you can work on them.”
He described Mary Slack of Wilgerbosdrift and Jessica and Stephen Jell of Mauritzfontein as “very nice people.”
The big meeting was a triumph for the Turffontein community as not only do Paul Peter and Joey Soma, who won the Grade 1 SA Classic with Got The Greenlight, train out of Turffontein but they also grew up in the area.
Peter and Soma’s respective fathers were friends and were regular racegoers.
Peter’s brother-in-law is in fact a cousin of Soma’s.
Turffontein trainers won eight of the 12 races on the card including a four-timer for Peter, who also won both of the Listed two-year-old features, the Ruffian Stakes with Springs Of Carmel and the Storm Bird Stakes with War Room. He later won a sprint handicap with Chief Of State.
Turffontein trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren won the Grade 3 Acacia Handicap with Lady Of Steel and other trainers from the centre, Weiho Marwing and David Nieuwenhuizen also won one race apiece.
By David Thiselton