The Andrews family combined forces with Lucinda Woodruff to bring off the biggest Winter Derby shock this century with Dharma at Kenilworth on Saturday.
The 50-1 Royal Air Force gelding was the rank outsider of the 11-strong field while owners Terry and Annabel Andrews bred both the horse and the jockey who greeted his parents with high fives.
“I was always travelling well,” Anthony reported. “In the straight I wasn’t worried about my horse – it was just a matter of how much those in front of me had left.”
Not enough was the answer and Geoff Woodruff’s daughter added: “This is my first feature win in Cape Town. Dharma had been running on at the end over 1 800m but I had a question mark about the 2 400m. Now it looks like the further the better.”
The jury is still out on whether Helen’s Ideal stays as far as the 2 200m of the Winter Oaks. Donovan Dillon had no doubt after coming in a well-beaten fifth on the 2-1 favourite – “In the straight she gave it to me until the 200m mark and then she was completely empty. It wasn’t the ground, she just doesn’t stay.”
But the NHA vet put a very different complexion on things, reporting to the stipes that the filly was lame on her left hind and, understandably perhaps, was abnormally fatigued. “I would have said that the distance was too far for her but equally it could have been the lameness,” said trainer Paul Reeves. “There will be another day for her although it would have been nice to make history (as the first to win the fillies’ winter series).”
The race was won by Duchess of Bourbon well handled by Richard Fourie who was completing a treble and who earlier on Alsflamingbeauty reached 100 Cape Town winners for the season. Less satisfactory was the seven-day suspension (July 7-13) he received for failing to keep straight on runner-up Nexus in the Winter Derby.
This was also the final leg of a Snaith Racing treble and Jono said: “The Winter Oaks was always our goal for Duchess Of Bourbon and I think she will get better and better. The Paddock Stakes might be a bit short for her but I expect she will have a go at it.”
Candice Bass-Robinson is optimistic that Langerman winner Snow Report will make a Guineas horse and said: “He is a bit headstrong and mentally he needs to settle, but hopefully that will come with time and racing.”
Runner-up Silver Operator only went under a by a short head and would have won in another two strides. He looks just as good a prospect and M.J. Byleveld reported: “I thought he was going to get up but he was a bit green – he had only had one run before – and the ground was holding.”
Glen Kotzen has Fillies Guineas ambitions for the Morne Winnaar-ridden Third Runway, his second successive Irridescence winner, saying: “She had only had one gallop, she is still growing and I didn’t think she would be suited by the sticky ground.”
Greg Cheyne, booked by Joey Ramsden for Fresnaye in the big one on Saturday, donned Gaynor Rupert’s colours to win the Ladies Mile on Platinum Class and said: “I had three rides in these colours today and I need to get comfortable in them as I’ve got a big job to do this week!”
By Michael Clower