GLOVES OFF NOW FOR THE JULY!
4 Muzi Yeni drives Got The Greenlight to victory as Second Base (Gavin Lerena) and Cirillo (Lyle Hewitson) chase
5 Chase Liebenberg
GR1 JOY FOR JOEY! A dramatic objection briefly overshadowed the champagne post-race celebrations of the victorious Joey Soma team at Turffontein on Saturday. Their magnificent multiple Equus champion Got The Greenlight had cruised home to win the R750 000 4Racing Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge – but drama was to follow! After being beaten three quarters of a length on the gutsy 3yo Second Base, jockey Gavin Lerena, who clearly demonstrated his dissent to winning rider Muzi Yeni at the pull-up, objected against the victor on the grounds of interference suffered at the 1600m. While Lyle Hewitson, who rode third-placed Cirillo (50-1), confirmed that there was ‘an incident’ -Lerena can be seen taking his mount back as Yeni shifts the eventual winner inwards – around the mile marker, the Stipes weren’t convinced that
it had any bearing on the outcome and overruled Lerena’s plea, with the deposit being refunded. The race was a clinically executed strategic plan for the Soma team, who will look to win their first Durban July with the Nadeson Park Stud-bred star, who now looks to be a favourite to pick up the SA Horse Of The Year title – an accolade that some felt he deserved last season. Billed variously as the duel of the decade, a clash of the generations, or even the titans, the hype was unprecedented in the build-up after the Paul Peter team sportingly agreed to take their chances with star filly, Summer Pudding. While history shows that the initial reservation about running her so soon after her Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes victory just two weeks back may have been spot-on, Summer Pudding’s presence, together with SA Triple Crown winner Malmoos, made for a
massive build-up. With no jockey willing to take up the pacemaker responsibility, the 2000m race was run at a dawdle early on until Calvin Habib took the initiative on the eventual runner-up’s stablemate Divine Odyssey. Muzi Yeni had Got The Greenlight relaxed in midfield and the long-striding star powered up the midfield at around the 400m as the anticipated challenges from Malmoos and Summer Pudding failed to materialise. With Second Base under a vigorous ride and changing legs late, Got The Greenlight convincingly held his advantage to three quarters of a length in a time of 125,95 secs. The Riverton-bred soldier Cirillo ran his heart out again and stayed on well for third, a further length back. An emotional Got The
Greenlight part-owner Dayalan Chinsammy spoke afterwards, paying tribute to his family, and after confirming that ‘they had tried to take the win away’, lauded his big horse as ‘a champion’. The winner was purchased by the astute Joey Soma for R110 000 off the 2018 CTS April Yearling Sale. He took his earnings to R3 150 500 with his eighth win and seven places from sixteen starts.
Got The Greenlight races in a partnership of Dayalan Chinsammy, Hassen Adams and Joey Soma. He boasts an Australian pedigree, being by Varsfontein sire Gimmethegreenlight (More Than Ready) out of the one-time winner Command Chi (Commands). Joey Soma will make a call in the next few weeks on the plans to either travel to KZN
early, or leave it to the eve of the 3 July spectacular at Hollywoodbets Greyville. The big horse is a new favourite for the Vodacom Durban July, priced up by Hollywoodbets at 4-1. Cover Image: Joey Soma and his partner Sandy Wilson celebrate as Got The Greenlight wins the Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge - image courtesy of Chase Liebenberg
Chase Liebenberg Joey Soma’s face tells the story
A GAME OF
The Turffontein Stipes boardroom was a hive of activity on a busy Champions Day on Saturday. Muzi Yeni and Grant van Niekerk each won a Gr1 on the day, but both could be in hot water.
Big winning trainer Joey Soma and jockey Gavin Lerena also received their rap across the knuckles Van Niekerk won the 4Racing Computaform Sprint on the smashing Snaith raider Rio Querari.
But en route to the winning line he caused a bit of commotion. An Inquiry will be opened to establish why Anna Capri had to check at the 300m, the reasons for Vernichey having to steady at the 200m, and why Bohica was brushed leaving the 200m. Soma and Lerena appeared before the Board and were spoken to regarding the quality of their evidence and their conduct before, during and after the objection proceedings of the 4Racing
Gr1 Premier’ Champions Challenge. And Lerena’s finger pointing at Yeni at the pull-up was the sign of things to come a few moments late as the objection drama unfolded. The Stipes reported that approaching the 1600m, Lerena’s mount Second Base had to check to avoid the heels of Yeni and Got The Greenlight. Thereafter Johnny Hero was bumped in and became unbalanced, and Barahin had to be steadied as
a consequence. Eventually running second on the aptly named Second Base, Lerena lodged an objection against Got The Greenlight on the grounds of interference at about the 1600m. The Objection Board, after considering the evidence that was put forward by both connections, was of the opinion that as this incident occurred at the 1600m, that there was sufficient opportunity for Second Base to overcome any prejudice suffered and that it could not be certain to the requisite degree that he would have finished ahead of the winner had this incident not occurred. In view of this, the objection was overruled and Lerena’s deposit was refunded. An Inquiry will be opened regarding this incident. As an aside, the fancied Malmoos hung in from the 400m. In view of his performance (betting 5/4, distance 6,50 lengths), the Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine this colt. Assistant Trainer A Ndzilana was requested to report back to the Board on the condition of this colt on return to stables.Nothing was found in the end.
Simanga Khumalo did not escape the Stipes attention and was charged with a contravention of Rule 58.10.2 (read with Guideline M on the use of the crop) in that he misused his crop by striking the smart winner Sheela more than twelve times in the 4Racing Gr2 SA Nursery. He signed an Admission of Guilt and was fined R2000. When assessing the penalty, the Board took into consideration the number of times (13), the status of the race, the fact that he won the race and his recent record with regard to this Rule and Guideline. More objection drama was to follow after the Gr1 feature and in the 4Racing Gr3 Gold Bowl, punters had to sit on the edge of their seats again. At the 200m, Smoking Hot was hanging out and was bumped by winner Don’t Look Back, which shifted in away from the Khumalo crop. After the incident, Smoking Hot was carried in marginally by Don’t Look Back, which shifted in slightly. Smoking Hot’s jockey Warren Kennedy accompanied by trainer Candice Dawson called a race review regarding this incident which was followed by an objection being lodged by Kennedy against the winner on the grounds of interference and intimidation in
the closing stages. The Objection Board, after giving due regard to the evidence put forward, reviewing the patrol films and giving consideration of the margin of 0,6 of a length between the two horses concerned, was of the opinion that they could not be satisfied to the requisite degree that the runner-up would have finished ahead of the winner had this incident not occurred and therefore overruled the Objection. Jockey Kennedy’s deposit was refunded. Khumalo appeared before the Board and was advised that his mount gave every indication that it was going to shift ground towards the inside, and that he is required to take all measures to keep his mounts on a straight course in future. In the same race, it was advised that an inquiry will be opened into the riding of Muzi Yeni on African Adventure in the closing stages of this race. Yeni reported that his mount did not stride out freely in running. The Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine this gelding and trainer Joey Soma was requested to report back to the Board on the condition of his charge on return to stables.
JULY MALMOOS OUT
SA Triple Crown winner Malmoos was withdrawn from the 2021 Gr1 Vodacom Durban July nominations on Monday.
This was the word from trainer Mike de Kock following the the son of Captain Al’s lacklustre run in Saturday’s Gr1 4Racing Champion’s Challenge over 2000m at Turffontein. Malmoos, without his usual zip, weakened over the last 250m to cross the line 6.5-lengths behind Got The Greenlight and Mike assessed: “Malmoos’ prep for the race was perfect, but in the race itself he was a little leg weary. “He’s travelled to the Cape and back this season. And then we had the Triple Crown – so perhaps this was
just one run too many and he showed us that he needs a break. On a line of form through the second horse, Second Base, Malmoos ran about eight lengths below his best.
“All that said, well done to Joe Soma and his connections for their big win. A good bunch of enthusiastic racing people and they deserve their success. Also well done to the other feature winners on the day.” “We’ll give him the rest he deserves and bring him back for the Gauteng summer season.” The stable’s Aragosta, an 8th individual winner from just 17 runners for freshman stallion Rafeef, is also likely to be ‘put away’ for a few months following his first win.
Mike said: “We are delighted with Rafeef’s good start and I’m not surprised. He’s by a world champion sire from the most wonderful of mares and he was a top-class horse himself. It looks like Rafeef will be a versatile stallion too.” A son of multiple champion sire Captain Al, Malmoos was a R4 400 000 buy, when selling under the name of Vasco Da Gama, from the 2019 National Sale. Bred by Varsfontein on the same Captain Al/Fort Wood cross as Gr1 winners Captain America and William Longsword, Malmoos is a full-brother to Gr3 East Cape Derby/Gr3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup winner, Captain Splendid.
Chase Liebenberg Grant van Niekerk looks around for the threats as Rio Querari powers home
SNAITH’S SPEED STAR Cape star combination Grant van Niekerk and Justin Snaith made their solitary runner count on 4Racing Champions Day. The Diadem Stakes winner Rio Querari defied the straight course inside draw myth and powered clear late to win the R750 000 4Racing Gr1 Computaform Sprint.
doing it. People were arrogant and the vibe was terrible. But today it’s completely different,” he added in an earlier interview – and that’s before he was celebrating his big win.
Responding to a persistent dare and challenge over many months by his senior colleague Mike de Kock, Snaith pitched up in Johannesburg for the 4Racing launch and picked up his first Computaform Sprint winner, in the process seeming impressed by the new management.
The super consistent 4yo Rio Querari paid for more than the petrol outlay from his SA Champions Season base at Summerveld when banking the first cheque of R450 000 and registering his first Gr1 success.
“When I visited here previously, I asked myself why I was
Generally regarded as the fastest 1000m in the country, the Computaform Sprint has been won by some serious sprinters over the years.
“He’s the best sprinter I have ridden,” chirped an elated Grant van Niekerk after he had stormed home on the 2-1 shot to hold off Bohica (8-1) by 2,25 14
lengths in a time of 56,03 secs.
True To Life (2-1) ran on well for third a further half length back and the evergreen Chimichuri Run (20-1) in fourth. Last year’s winner Rivarine lost valuable ground at the break and was never in it at his title defence. Bred by Normandy Stud, Rio Querari has now won 6 of 16 starts with 9 places for prize money in excess of R1,5 million. Rio Querari is by Maine Chance’ Oasis Dream stallion Querari out of the Windrush mare Arctic Breeze. He was a R625 000 purchase from the 2018 CTS Ready To Run Sale.
BLAME IT ON RIO!
16 From l to r, Prof John Warner, Dr Jill Warner, Grant van Niekerk & Justin Snaith
First run 51 years ago as the Castrol Sprint, the Gr1 Computaform Sprint is rated amongst South African racing’s prestigious tests of speed. With only a relative handful of horses to race here, British owner Dr Jill Warner celebrated a very special second victory in the 1000m contest in the space of just five years, last Saturday. We all have fond memories of the Sean Tarry speed machine Carry On Alice. The Klawervlei Stud-bred flyer blitzed to victory in the Computaform Sprint in a time of 55,74 secs under 57,5 kgs on 30 April 2016 to register her then third Gr1 success. It was a deserved victory - the previous year the daughter of Captain Al, who raced in a partnership of Dr Warner, Chris van Niekerk and Klawervlei Stud, had been runner-up behind Alboran Sea. On Saturday, Jill Warner again featured in the Gr1. This time it was with partners Richard Edmondson and Bryn Ressell, as the Normandy Stud-bred Rio Querari lumped his 60kgs on ground with some give, to win in 56,03 secs. Saddled by Justin Snaith, the son of Querari raided from Summerveld, and showed no signs of the step-up in altitude to assert his status as our
leading sprinter. An Immunologist by profession, Dr Jill and her Pediatrician hubby, Professor John Warner, who live between their homes in Winchester, Hampshire, and Val De Vie in Paarl, and are Honorary post-graduates of UCT, were on course to enjoy the great moment. They arrived at Turffontein having spent a few days in the Pilanesburg – the patch of paradise that kick-started their love affair with South Africa 27 years ago. “What a week. What a thrill, And what a team! A top horse, a top trainer in Justin Snaith, a top jockey in Grant van Niekerk, and a very important key man in Groom Nkosi Lwazi Mojodina. We are in awe of the synergy and connection between Nkosi and Rio. From the Muizenberg Beach outings. to the stables and the racetrack, Nkosi is one of the most dedicated professionals we have had the pleasure of dealing with. He has an amazing connection with this wonderful athlete.” And when it comes to horses, Jill, who grew up in Britain as a pony clubber from the age of 4, should know a thing or two. While her husband didn’t frequent the same equine crazy culture in his youth, he quickly learnt to appreciate horses.
That was his one chance to spend more time with the lady who would become his wife. Today Jill has called it time on the polo, while John is still active on the beautifully manicured fields of Val De Vie estate, the ‘Valley Of Life’ that they regard as their muchloved, ‘home from home.’ “I found that the better one got at polo, the faster and more demanding the game became. So for me it’s dressage now. So I really do still love my horses as much as I did as young child,” says Jill as she tells about her great enjoyment of South African racing. And she says that their grown-up daughters Abigail and Olivia, who have changed the family direction from medicine to the performing arts, are just as much in love with this country. “We have raced overseas. Simon Dow was a top professional and trained for us at Epsom. But nothing beats the all-inclusive nature of racing here in South Africa. In England, unless you are racing top horses at the top level all the time, it’s difficult to really feel a part of it and it’s ‘cliquey’! But we have made so many friends here in South Africa. That’s at all levels. A maiden runner at Durbanville in midweek is a
great day out, and one derives so much fun and pleasure from it. South African racing is special. We love it and we love the country,” she says enthusiastically. The Warner’s extraordinary gallop to glory started in 2013 with a chance visit to Klawervlei Stud. “We’d been having a particularly busy time at work and decided we needed a really organised holiday where we could just go along and someone else would run everything. We went to Horse Racing Abroad, which is now part of ITC Travel and they had this fantastic trip to South Africa. It consisted of 20 couples and included a trip to the 2013 Met, a stud visit and some sight-seeing around Cape Town. It sounded perfect. Unfortunately that year the Met date was moved rather last minute. So other than ourselves and one other couple, the rest of our tour group cancelled their bookings. We couldn’t change our dates and instead of 40, there ended up being 4 of us on the trip.” But sometimes things are meant to be - and the touring quartet landed up at the Bonnievale nursery of champions. “John Koster showed us
around and introduced us to Captain Al. He took us out for a lovely lunch at Van Loveren, where the conversation turned to golf – a sport I know nothing about. John noticed I was bored and handed me a sales catalogue. “I think you will probably enjoy reading that more than this conversation!” he quipped. “At that stage I knew nothing about SA racing or breeding. But paging through the catalogue, I got to Carry On Alice. I cannot tell you why, but the page was shouting at me. I turned to John and said if we were going to buy, it would be that one. He said she was the one horse on their draft he really didn’t want to sell.” The rest is history. Carry On Alice was to go on and become SA Equus Champion Older Filly/ Mare and Sprinter in 2016/ 17. She won Gr1 races at 2,3,4, and 5 and earned in 24 of her 29 outings. Today the champion is at stud in Australia where she has produced two beautiful colts by champion Snitzel. Jill laughs when we ask if they are still involved in the mare that took them on that glorious ride. “Of course. She is our darling!” And they have two other Captain Al mares here. Both are in foal for the first time.
“We also have a Horse Chestnut mare whose first offspring recently won in KZN. The thrill of watching a horse that you have bred win is a very special one!” Thrilled for the Warners, Normandy’s Oscar Foulkes pointed out to us that Saturday’s impressive 4Racing Gr2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes winner, and now a Vodacom Durban July fancy, Netta is from the same tail female line as Rio Querari. Saturday’s Gr1 win by Rio Querari all dates back to Normandy matriarch Veronica Foulkes’ purchase of the unraced Northern Guest mare, Nordic Vine, a little over 20 years ago. She was out of the stakes-winning mare Montrachet, a full-sister to the Gr1 winning Yquem, and therefore from one of Jan de Clercq’s top families. Nordic Vine produced the last of her 14 foals at the age of 24. Nine of them raced, and eight were winners. Crucially, two of them were graded stakes-winners - Rushing Wind and Nordic Breeze. She also produced the stakeswinning Ice Wine and the stakes-placed Nordic Wind. Normandy currently have four of her daughters at stud, as well as a granddaughter. The only one with runners is Rio’s Mom, Arctic Breeze, a mare
JC Photos Carry On Alice wins the 2016 Computaform Sprint with a perfect score of winners from runners. “All I can say is that Rio’s been a special horse his entire life. We entered him for the Ready To Run because he’s a November foal, and also to give his younger siblings time to shape. During his sales preparation he showed himself to have well above average potential,” added the enthusiastic breeder. Oscar says that Rio Querari’s actual RTR gallop - view that here - was sensational. “His super elastic action delivered a rush of excitement around the track, which is
what ultimately saw him sell for the price he did. He is not from a big family. In fact, his dam barely stands 15 hands, and he is probably no more than medium sized – although I am speaking under correction, because I’m not around him every day.” Jill says that Rio Querari was prepped by the Snaiths and they fell in love with him all over again at the sale. “John Freeman kindly put the partnership together. And, as things happen in racing, Richard Edmondson, in whose silks Rio runs, has become a firm friend. I will say again - that’s the great thing about racing here. We really have met
such wonderful people!” When quizzed on the origin of the name, Oscar says that Normandy don’t name their yearlings for sale. “But we started naming the Ready To Run horses, so that they would have passports and therefore be ready to race pretty much immediately. In Rio’s case, we’d exhausted all wind references, so I hit Google. He’s named after a river in the Querari region in Colombia. With ‘Rio’ as the first part of his name it’s just lucky that he turned out to be deserving of a good name.” Oscar points out that they still have two yearlings from
the family that have not been sold. “We have four for the sales next year, and three foals to be born. One will be a full-brother/sister in blood to Rio, and the other two are by Legislate. Obviously we can’t guarantee these things, but from what I’ve seen of the yearlings and foals, there should be worthy successors to Rio.”
Read this link for interest As for Rio’s Dad, Oscar tells that Normandy got heavily involved in Querari when he had his first few two-year-old winners. “Rio Querari is the result of one of those. We sent him 10 mares in 2015. It’s great to have been able to provide Querari’s first non-2yo GrI winner.” So will the Warners be blazing
the trail on the East Coast as Rio Querari looks to stake a claim for the SA Champion Sprinter title? “We have professional commitments in the UK soon, but are hoping, given the uncertainty of the Covid-19 restrictions in England, and the fact that South Africa is red-listed, to be back in time to enjoy some more racing here,” says Jill.
Rio Querari (Grant van Niekerk) is led in by Justin Snaith, Nkozi Lwazi Mojodina, Dr Jill Warner & Prof John Warner
QUINTESSENTIAL QUERARI Rio Querari continued his climb up the stakes ladder with a dashing first Gr1 win in the 4Racing Computaform Sprint, much to the delight of part-owner Dr Jill Warner, who was present to lead in the four-year-old with husband John.
Rio Querari also joins Gr1 Thekwini Stakes victress Querari Falcon as the second top level winner for Maine Chance stallion Querari, who had come close to success in the 2018 Computaform when Pinnacle Peak ran second to Attenborough.
Jill is no stranger to victory in this Gr1 dash, for she campaigned the 2016 winner Carry On Alice in partnership with Chris van Niekerk and Klawervlei Stud.
Since his arrival at the Robertson farm in 2011, the son of top British stallion Oasis Dream has put together an enviable record in that he has sired stakes winners in each of his first six crops.
In fact, it was a case of second success all round. Trainer Justin Snaith broke an 11-year hiatus, for it was in 2009 that the fabulous Dancer's Daughter's victory in the Empress Club Stakes provided him with a first Gr1 success on the Highveld.
Out of a mare by champion and German Derby winner Acatenango, it came as no surprise that Querari's best racetrack efforts were over 2000m - he won the Gr3 Euro-Cup and ran third in the Gr1 Premio Presidente della Repubblica.
Yet many of his progeny show plenty of toe, a trait which can probably be ascribed to Oasis Dream. A son of speed influence Green Desert, the Juddmonte linchpin was both Europe's champion juvenile and three-year-old sprinter and as a stallion, he has passed on his fine turn of foot to many of his best offspring. In that sphere, Querari has followed suit. In addition to Rio Querari, he is also sire of the fine sprinters Kangaroo Jack (Gr2 Post Merchants, Gr2 Joburg Spring Challenge), Wonderwall (Gr2 Spring Challenge, 3rd Gr1 SA Nursery), Cosmic Light (Gr2 Debutante), Mill Queen (Gr3 Starling Stakes and Pinnacle Peak (Gr3 Man O'War Stakes). Querari has also carved out a
fine reputation as a sire of two-year-olds, and has the distinction of siring the first three past the post in the 2018 Ruffian Stakes.
Falcon, the Gr2 Premier Trophy winner Head Honcho, Gr2 Dingaans hero Monks Hood and Gr3 Cup Trial winner Kampala Campari.
In 2018-19, his total of 18 juvenile winners, led by stakes winning daughters Caya Coco and Herrin, earned him a first Juvenile sires title at the expense of the incomparable Captain Al, a feat he narrowly failed to repeat last season when pipped on the post by Gimmethegreenlight.
He has even managed to sire a rare stayer or two in the shape of East Cape Oaks victress Solana and Desert Wisdom, who landed the 3200m Glenlair Trophy!
However, far from being a one-dimensional speed sire, a good number of Querari's 23 stakes winners have excelled over a mile and include the aforementioned Querari
Speed is very much a feature of Rio Querari's immediate female family. His dam, the unraced Windrush mare Arctic Breeze is an own sister to the fine sprinters Rushing Wind and Nordic Breeze. The former, a winner of the Gr3 Matchem Stakes, was runner-up in both the Gr1
Golden Horse Casino Sprint and Cape Flying Championship while Nordic Breeze won the Gr3 Champagne Stakes. Third dam Montrachet, a Foveros own sister to ill-fated Guineas victress Yquem, was a stakes-winning sprinter and also features as the grandam of Wynkelder, who twice reached the frame in the Gr2 Post Merchants. The hallmark of a top stallion is his ability to sire a steady stream of stakes performers who excel over a wide spectrum of distances. Querari perfectly fits that bill.
‘The hallmark of a top stallion is his ability to sire a steady stream of stakes performers who excel over a wide spectrum of distances’
26 The majestic Querari at home
The Cape Breeders Club will be hosting the ever popular CBC Golf Day this year at the Pearl Valley Golf Estate. Parties interested in
attending the Golf Day are asked to click on the image below to book their attendance.
the club's annual stallion services auction, will take place on 24 May.
The Cape Breeders Club Golf Day, which will be followed by
Watch this space for more details!
FUNDI’S ALL 4RACING 28
In the hotseat - racing welcomes Fundi Sithebe
Fundi Sithebe is the first Chief Executive Officer of 4Racing. Her appointment comes into effect on 1 June 2021. The announcement was made at the official launch of the 4Racing brand on Champions Day at Turffontein on Saturday 1 May. “I am very excited to have been presented with this opportunity and I look forward to engaging with all the stakeholders as 4Racing proceeds with the vital transformation and rebuilding of the South African horseracing industry,” said Fundi. Fundi holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Midrand University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Business Administration) from Wits Business School. She started her career as a management consultant at Deloitte, focusing on the areas of strategy and operations in organisational strategic projects. She was part of the expansion team for First National Bank of South Africa that crafted a way forward and was responsible for the successful establishment of operations in Africa. Fundi was previously the Chief Operating Officer of Airports Company South
Africa, from December 2017 until her departure on 30 April 2021, responsible for the integration and seamless operations across the network of 9 airports. In addition, she led the Commercial Division, which is mainly responsible for non-aeronautical revenue. Her passion in the aviation industry was sparked in 2003 when she obtained her Private Pilot’s Licence(PPL). Chairperson Mxolisi Zwane said he was delighted to welcome Fundi into her new portfolio at 4Racing. “While her recent background has been in the aviation industry, Fundi has an excellent track record in the business world and has the ability to help restore South African horseracing to its former glory. She understands the vision we have for the racing industry.” Fundi added: “I was very pleased with the news of the approval of the transaction from the Competition Commission. Now focus will be on attaining all the necessary licensing from the Gambling Boards. There is still plenty of work to be done, but 4Racing is optimistic that the necessary pieces will start falling into place.” A key objective of 4Racing in the short term is the Digital transformation of the industry as they seek to elevate South African racing, not only to improve the experience for
existing participants but to attract a whole new audience. Plans are being drawn up for large-scale investment into improving the product for the betterment of all stakeholders. Special attention is being paid to ensuring the products and services are easier for partners to carry and deliver to their customers, while 4Racing also aims to build on existing international partnerships to maximise revenue opportunities and improve the showcasing and broadcast of South Africa’s world-class racing product both locally and abroad. 4Racing will be engaging extensively with Government to create a platform to build a better understanding of horseracing and to gain the state’s support as they seek to rebuild the industry from the bottom up. 4Racing took over the sponsorship of Champions Day to launch the 4Racing brand to the wider industry, while simultaneously bolstering prize money for the day’s seven feature races.
Keep Up With The
MOUTONSHOEK’S MAN EATER!! The Gr1 SA Fillies Sprint is on the radar for the Drakenstein raced and bred The United States filly Sheela, after she took the top honours in her stride and remained unbeaten, winning the 4Racing Gr2 SA Nursery in the style of a class act at Turffontein on Saturday. While trainer Adam Azzie surprised punters with an impromptu SA Idol performance, producing a unique rendition of Darryl Hall and John Oates’s hit Maneater in the post-race interview, it was the smashing chestnut filly who deserved the limelight.
Corne Spies again had to be content with a Nursery third on the afternoon as the pacy Captain’s Run (20-1) was a further 5,25 lengths back in third. For Khumalo this was a third fairer sex triumph over the males after Carry On Alice and Cloth Of Cloud in years gone by.
and is out of the one-time winning stakes placed Trippi mare, Trip To India. The latter hails from the family of European Gr1 winner Continent, who struck in the July Cup and Prix de l’Abbaye, and Grand Prix de Paris scorer Zambezi Sun. Unbeaten in two jumps – both stakes race - Sheela has now earned R210 000. Unfortunately the Pick 6, with a carryover of R4 million, was the first exotic bet of the day that failed to reach it’s target of R12 million. It got to a respectable R10 992 015.
A daughter of exciting Moutonshoek stallion The United States, Sheela is bred and raced by Drakenstein Stud, JC Photos
After winning the Listed Storm Bird Stakes on debut
at the Vaal in February, Sheela (11-10) produced a polished showing under Simanga Khumalo to beat the smart debut winning colt Smorgasbord (2-1) by a facile length under a hands ride in a time of 67,13 secs.
31 Sheela beats the boys to stay unbeaten
HEAVEN’S ALIVE! Paul Peter and his overseas-bound SA champion rider Warren Kennedy got the 4Racing Champions Day feature programme off to a flying start with the Ndoro Stud-bred Soft Falling Rain filly Heavens Girl winning the R250 000 4Racing Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery. With the going leaning east of the official good to soft rating, the Turffontein outside going seemed to favour the runners drawn there and Kennedy took every advantage.
The rest were well beaten with Corne Spies’ Supreme Quest (33-1) pipping the unbeaten odds-on shot Under Your Spell, drawn down the inside, into fourth to the disappointment of Place Accumulator players. A R110 000 2020 BSA Cape Yearling Sale graduate, the winner is a daughter of Wilgerbosdrift’s ill-fated National Assembly sire Soft Falling Rain. She is out of the Dynasty one-time winner
Maggie Muggins. Heavens Girl took her stakes earnings to R272 750 with her second win and 4 places from 6 starts. The first two exotics on the big day both exceed target. The Bipot carryover of R50 000, with a projected R400 000, reached a nett of R523 653. The Place Accumulator carryover of R100 000, with a projected R800 000, reached a nett of R1 066 276.
Giving her the signal at the 350m, Heavens Girl (20-1)
drew away and held off the late challenge of the De Kock maiden Desert Miracle (8-1) by 0,80 lengths in a time of 66,73 secs.
33 Heavens Girl cruises to a smart win under Warren Kennedy
WHO SAID SA RACING IS LOSING OWNERS?
34 Netta is lead in by Laurence Wernars and friends
35 Chase Liebenberg
Chase Liebenberg Netta cruises home under Warren Kennedy
NETTA SPRINGS THE SURPRISE The Wernars family celebrated a terrific feature double at Turffontein on 4Racing Champions Day. While both their winners impressed, Vodacom Durban July entrant Netta’s victory in the R250 000 4Racing Gr2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes was sensational. A half hour after the victory by Celestial Love in the Wernars silks in the
Camellia Stakes, Netta became the second July entry after Expressfromtheus in the second race, to score on the big day Darting past the race favourite and powerful veteran front-runner Running Brave at the 600m, Netta grabbed a march on the small field and increased her lead to beat fellow 3yo Sparkling Water by 6 lengths in a time of 125,63 secs. An Oldlands Stud bred daughter of deceased Storm
Cat sire Where’s That Tiger, Netta is out of the one-time winning Indigo Magic mare Souplesse. She has won 3 races with 5 places from 13 starts for stakes of R483 500. She cost just R60 000 at the BSA Cape Yearling Sale.
SUMMER – A CALL WILL BE MADE A decision is likely to be made on SA Horse Of The Year Summer Pudding’s balance of season plans after the outstanding daughter of Silvano ran fourth in Saturday’s 4Racing Gr1 Premier’s Champions Challenge.
manger this morning. As far as the plans go for KZN, I will be meeting with Jess and Steve Jell later this week,” added the man who is currently second on the national trainer’s championship log and approximately R2 million behind Justin Snaith.
In a race run in a slower time than her stablemate Netta achieved when winning the 4Racing Gr2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes in a common canter an hour earlier, Summer Pudding finished 4,50 lengths behind Joey Soma’s sensational 4yo Got The Greenlight, but two lengths ahead of Mike de Kock’s SA Triple Crown winner, Malmoos.
Netta’s runaway victory in the Gerald Rosenberg put a big smile on her trainer’s face, but had the handicappers pushing her up to a mark of 120.
Trainer Paul Peter, who enjoyed a terrific feature double on Champions Day, was philosophical about Summer Pudding’s performance. “No excuses and well done to Joey Soma and his team on a good win. Summer Pudding didn’t enjoy the slow pace and it was quite a rough race for her. That happens when they go and take back in front. She was fine after the race and she emptied the
Her run on Saturday was something of the true reflection of her ability as she is now in fine fettle after a run of poor luck, health wise. “Before the Classic she suffered a medial heel ailment. I must laud my Vet and the Farrier for their work on her – they have done wonders. Then before the Oaks she cast herself in her box when she put her hind leg right through the wooden wall and pulled the muscles in her hindquarter! We moved her to the main barn and she is doing well. It’s been a battle but she showed what she is made of on Saturday,” enthused Paul as he labelled his charge ‘a Gr1 filly’. The plans are to run her in the
Woolavington and then go straight into the Vodacom Durban July. Heavens Girl was an impressive winner of the Gr2 4Racing SA Fillies Nursery when comprehensively turning the tables on Under Your Spell. Paul suggests that the Gr2 Golden Slipper on Vodacom Durban July day could be her target. “She will enjoy the 1400m,” he adds of the consistent daughter of Soft Falling Rain. At Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday, the Peter team had Catch Twentytwo, the only 3yo in the IOS Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes, and then MK’s Pride running in the WSB Gr2 Guineas. Paul was impressed by Drill Hall winner Rainbow Bridge. “I saw him in Cape Town at Eric Sands’ yard at Milnerton during the summer. I saw him again at the loading berth on Sunday. Rainbow Bridge looks absolutely outstanding and the way he won that 1400m race, he is going to be a major player this season.
Well done to Eric. He is an absolute master conditioner and Luke Ferraris brings out the best in the 6yo,” added Paul, who said that his own charge Catch Twentytwo had run a very satisfactory race in second. “Look, we had no chance with Rainbow Bridge. But Catch Twentytwo is a dual stakes winner and was placed in the first two legs of the SA Triple Crown. He never runs
a bad race. I am aiming him at the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge which is being run for a stake of R1 million on 12 June. My horse will be more at home over the mile.” On the run of his Hawaii Stakes winner MK’s Pride, who was beaten 2,65 lengths by the impressive Linebacker in the Guineas, Paul said the run probably confirms what he felt originally – that the son of Willow Magic is a sprinter.
“I’m looking at running him in the Golden Horse Sprint at Hollywoodbets Scottsville in May. I think sprinting is his A game.” There are 50 first noms still left in the Vodacom Durban July after the scratching of the De Kock pair of Malmoos and Barahin, Youcanthurry love and Peter Muscutt’s Baby Shooz.
Celestial Love is led in by Justin Vermaak, Gary Normand, Harry Wilson, Laurence Wernars, Jono Buffey & Jarryd Wernars
WHAT A WINTER 1-2 IN CAMELLIA Drakenstein Stud’s in-form resident stallion, and triple Equus Champion, What A Winter produced his second feature race winner in as many days when his daughter Celestial Love ran out a brilliant winner of the Gr2 4Racing Camellia Stakes run at Turffontein on Saturday. Just one day earlier, What A Winter’s son Whatever Next had claimed the Listed East Cape Nursery and Celestial Love provided her four time Gr1 winning sire with a quick feature race double when victorious on Saturday. The 2021 Camellia Stakes was a great result for What A Winter, whose daughters finished first and second.
Trained by Johan Janse Van Vuuren, three-year-old Celestial Love powered home, under Gavin Lerena, to down her year-older, paternal half-sister Sarah by a facile three lengths, while confirming herself as a very exciting sprinter in the making. The Hemel ‘N Aarde Stud bred Celestial Love has now won her last four in a row, and five of just eight starts, having previously won the Gr3 World Sports Betting Man O’ War Sprint by nearly four lengths. Yet to finish out of the first two, Celestial Love was a R120 000 buy from the 2019 KZN Yearling Sale. What A Winter had earlier enjoyed success at Turffontein
when his Stuart Pettigrew trained son Expressfromtheus had captured the second race, the Costa Livanos Pinnacle Stakes (1400m), in impressive fashion. Placed in both the G2 Ilha Bela Hawaii Stakes and G3 London News Stakes earlier this season, and winner of the 2020 The Grand Heritage, Expressfromtheus has now won six times with Saturday’s earnings pushing the Rooispruit Stud bred and owned gelding’s earnings to over R440 000. He is a Vodacom Durban July entry.
42 Jane Truter, together with Cheryl and Dr Reiner Gabler, lead their smart winner in
CAPE RAIDERS MEAN BUSINESS
The Cape raiders swept the boards on the opening day of the 2021 SA Champions Season at Hollywoodbets Greyville, winning all three of the Sunday features. A Vodacom Durban July purple patch initiated by Legislate all the way back in 2014 looks well set to continue for the Capetonians in the flagship race on 3 July, after some of their chief protagonists came through the opening day of SA racing’s national championships with flying colours. Following Eric Sands’ dual Met hero Rainbow Bridge (second in the 2019 Vodacom Durban July) storming home in the IOS Drill Hall Stakes over a trip short of his optimal stretch, Captain’s Ransom opened her own options with an emphatic strike in the WSB Gr2 Fillies Guineas. And then it was Cape Guineas grand-master, and a ‘KZN old boy’ in Vaughan Marshall’s turn to open his local Guineas account, as the impressive Linebacker winning the WSB Gr2
Guineas with ears pricked under the rampant Grant van Niekerk.
in the circumstance to earn a fourth cheque, a quarter length back.
The Jonsson Workwear Cape Derby winner at his previous outing, Linebacker (2-1) had the run of the race with a few traffic issues. But he turned it on when it counted to beat stablemate Seeking The Stars (12-1) by 0,60 lengths in a time of 96, 96 secs.
The highly vaunted Cape Derby third-placer The Gatekeeper never showed and ran just over 8 lengths off the impressive winner.
The quartet was filled by the Cape raiders, with the previously unbeaten Kommetdieding (7-2) running a game third, after bumping heads with Kannemeyer’s Cape Guineas winner Russian Rock (30-1) early in the contest. Making up ground from last into the home straight at a first start at Holywoodbets Greyville was never going to be on, but Kommetdieding gunned on well to be beaten just a fraction over 2 lengths. With a bit more luck over the 2000m, the son of Elusive Fort could prove an interesting proposition in the Daily News! Russian Rock is his own worst enemy in running, and did well
Linebacker has been a dream horse to race for staunch Cape owners Cheryl and Reiner Gabler, and Ken and Jane Truter Cheryl Gabler is the lady who famously quipped in the Gr1 Cape Derby post-race interview that she desperately wanted a Gr1 winner ‘before I die – and I’m ready now!’ A R425 000 Cape Yearling Sale graduate and bred by Klawervlei, Linebacker has the pedigree buffs puzzled as he is bred on sprinting lines. He is a son of an Equus Champion Sprinter in Captain Of All and out of the Australian-bred Redoute’s Choice mare Thin Red Line. The latter’s two career wins were both over 1000m – but she was placed over 1800m and 2000m.
Rainbow Bridge makes it look easy under Luke Ferraris
CHAMPAGNE & CHAMPIONS! Dual Met winner Rainbow Bridge produced a magical return effort at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday. Returning after a 13 week break following his cracking win on Cape Town’s big raceday, the son of Ideal World opened the 2021 SA Champions Season in
scintillating style, storming to an easy victory in the R300 000 Independent On Saturday Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes. Second in this race in 2019 behind Undercover Agent, the 6yo sent an ominous warning to his opposition over the next few months. He literally sprouted wings from
some lengths off the gallop under his now regular pilot Luke Ferraris, to win the traditional season launch pad in emphatic fashion. “I decided to ride him quietly similar to his Met run. As we cornered I showed him daylight. He did the rest. A great start to his campaign,” said the talented Luke
Ferraris, probably still mulling over Malmoos’ sub-standard showing at Turffontein 24 hours earlier. An elated trainer Eric Sands said that Rainbow Bridge was a lot more forward than he was last year. “A big thanks to Peter Muscutt and his team. I have to trust them and turn a blind eye. It’s a pleasure to saddle another winner for Mr and Mrs Rattray. And I’m not unhappy with Golden Ducat – he doesn’t have the same acceleration. He will be there in the July,” added the Milnerton veteran.
Rainbow Bridge (16-10) soared up the middle to accelerate away from his opposition and beat Gauteng 3yo Catch Twentytwo (3-1) in a time of 83,77 secs.
(Kingmambo) – a son of champion racemare Banks Hill, a full-sister to champion sire Dansili as well as the Gr1 sires Cacique and Champs Elysees.
The sprinter Ultra Magnus (16-1) was not disgraced as he stayed on for third ahead of Ashburton challenger, Trip To Africa (33-1). The latter’s performance would have made trainer Duncan Howells’ afternoon!
Rainbow Bridge, whose younger Philanthropist half-brother Golden Ducat finished out of the money, but will be a factor in the July, according to trainer Sands, is out of the seven-time winner and multiple SA Champion broodmare Halfway To Heaven (Jet Master.
Originally a R300 000 National Yearling Sale buy, Rainbow Bridge was bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein and is a 6yo gelded son of Ideal World
Rainbow Bridge has won 10 races with 11 places from 22 starts for stakes of R7 480 625.
Captain's Ransom hacks up under Richard Fourie
RANSOM IS AS RANSOM DOES!
The shortest-priced favourite on the opening day of the 2021 SA Champions Season, Justin Snaith’s dual Gr1 winner Captain’s Ransom opened her campaign on the East Coast in impressive style as she coasted to victory in the R250 000 World Sports Betting Gr2 Fillies Guineas at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday. After his breathtaking Gr1 score with Rio Querari at Turffontein 24 hours earlier, Snaith buried the ordinary showing of the yard’s duo of Pinkerton and Wild Coast in the Independent On Saturday Gr2 Drill Hall Stakes a half hour earlier as Captain’s Ransom bounced back from her 13 week break post her Majorca Stakes victory on Met Day at Kenilworth, to win with ease. Richard Fourie had Captain’s Ransom relaxed in midfield
as Gauteng raider Only The Brave set the gallop. In the home straight Captain’s Ransom (3-10) was switched out and she swept forward with minimal fuss to beat off the late challenge from fellow Capetonian Princess Calla (5-1) to win by 1,60 lengths in a time of 98,59 secs. Dennis Drier’s Freestate Star did little wrong and stayed on well for a third cheque, a half length back. Bar the likes of War Of Athena and even Netta, who put her hand up in the Gerald Rosenberg Stakes on Saturday, Captain’s Ransom looks well set for the Woolavington 2000. And in a lovely touch, Suzette and Basie Viljoen were on course to lead their champion in. On a great weekend for her Piketberg birth-place
Moutonshoek, after their sire The United States’ daughter Sheela maintained her unbeaten record in the SA Nursery at Turffontein, Captain’s Ransom looks set for plenty more. A daughter of deceased champion Captain Al (Al Mufti), she is out of the unraced Red Ransom mare Cinna’s Ransom. The latter, dam of multiple winners in Britain, is a half-sister to Gr3 Prix de Saint-Georges winner Black Rock Desert and multiple Japanese stakes winner Toyo Seattle. Cinna’s Ransom’s own dam, the Plankton Stakes winner, City Dance is a full-sister to multiple Gr1 winner, and successful sire, Slew City Slew. Captain’s Ransom has won 6 of her 7 starts for 1 place and stakes of R929 125.
Greg Cheyne keeps Whatever Next going to stave off Norton Sound (Marco van Rensburg) and Silver Salmon (Grant van Niekerk)
WHAT A WINNER! Drakenstein Stud’s four time Gr1 winning sire What A Winter has been firing on all cylinders and the former Equus Champion was to the fore again at Fairview on Friday, when his son Whatever Next won the Listed East Cape Nursery in convincing style.
Whatever Next (9-2) kept finding more in the closing stages and went on to score by half a length while clocking a time of 71,06 seconds.
One of two runners in the race for trainer Alan Greeff, the Alec Foster bred Whatever Next showed his class in Friday’s R85 000 contest for two-year-olds with a gutsy display.
Now a winner of two of just three starts, the What A Winter colt was a R100 000 buy from the 2020 CTS Ready To Run Sale.
Under Greg Cheyne,
Norton Sound (3-1) and Cape raider and favourite Silver Salmon (9-10) were right behind him in third.
Out of the Captain Al mare Petala, Whatever Next is one of ten South African two-
year-old winners for What A Winter this season, with the sire also responsible for this season’s Gr3 Kenilworth Fillies Nursery runner up Winter Mosaic.
He is the second son of What A Winter to win the East Cape Nursery, with the sire’s Fort Winter having prevailed back in 2017. South Africa’s Leading First Season Sire of 2016-2017, What A Winter is currently responsible for 30 black type horses, including graded stakes winners Celestial Love and Winter Smoke.
54 Mick Goss gives his invaluable advice
MICK - STILL ON TOP OF
THE MOUNTAIN 55
An icon of South African racing and breeding, Mick Goss may have taken a step back since the sale of his multiple champion operation, Summerhill Stud. But racing is in his blood and the deep thinker will always have his thoughts about the game he played a leading role in for over 40 years. Mick spoke to the Sporting Post from the top of a mountain on the Wild Coast, while enjoying time with his family this week. The Summerhill-bred recent
SA Triple Tiara winner War Of Athena is one of the horses proudly continuing his legacy.
great granddam was a 2400m champion filly in Europe, who was also really little.
Last month the Act Of War daughter became only the fourth filly in history to have accomplished this feat.
“She has the most amazing speed - placing in a Gr1 as a two-year old and having gone on to win the oaks over 2450m. She is clearly a versatile filly.”
“It gives us such joy to see the horses continue to succeed and be a part of something so exciting. “War Of Athena was not the most striking specimen at the BSA Ready To Run sale. She wasn’t much to write home about as a yearling either. She comes from a tiny family. Her
The magnificent Rabada- now standing at Spring Valley Stud 56
Mick says War Of Athena was sold ‘for a steal’ at R30 000. “But I really could not be prouder of the success she has brought her owners and the Summerhill Stud name – 11 major race winners for Summerhill since November
tell the story!” he adds with tangible pride. As the sun sets on a golden era at Summerhill Stud, many of the horses bred at the farm are still running, and will continue to grace our racetracks for many years to come. Another Summerhill bred, Bohica, placed in the Gr1 4Racing Computaform Sprint at Turffontein on Saturday. He is a handsome gelding who went through the 2018 BSA Ready To Run Sales ring and sold for R300 00 to the Azzie racing team. Mick’s also chuffed with his home-bred champion Rabada’s first crop selling so well at the 2021 BSA National Yearling Sale. The son of Brave Tin Soldier’s four lots sold for an average of R133 333.
“We could not be happier with his results – and, in fact, as a horse who stood for a modest fee, we are very pleased! We can only hope that this relays into his season at stud this year.” Rabada stands at Bruce Le Roux’s Spring Valley Stud and continues to impress the veteran with his well grown, athletic and very correct foals. Mick has pledged his full support- and the Summerhill honour roll of champions suggests it may pay to follow the smart money! “Rabada is a stallion that has quality in abundance, standing at 16.1hh. I cannot wait to see his progeny on the racetrack,” enthuses Goss. He has retained shares in a handful of mares- Jordie and Red Lady being two of the noteworthy. And his share in Rabada will mean that a
racemeeting won’t go by without him checking the results when the offspring hit the track next term. Reflecting back on the recent BSA National Yearling Sale, he thought it an overall success, given the current climate. “Like every sale there were the highs and lows. I thought it very positive though to see some new buyers entering the fray. And let’s face it, Covid-19 has struck our industry very hard. The Hong Kong support was also most encouraging, given the fact that we are still in limbo on the export protocol front. We just need to keep the vigour up, keep our heads down and keep going. We’ve been through times like this before and South African racing always finds a way to pull through.”
BBP QUINTET SELL IN ABSENTIA
Cape Thoroughbred Sales has advised buyers that five of nine lots offered by the BBP Syndicate at the 2021 CTS Mare and Mixed Sale on Thursday, 20 May, will be sold in absentia. The live sale will be staged at De Grendel Estate. Grant Knowles, Bloodstock and Marketing Director of CTS, explained: “Three mares and two weanlings from the BBP Syndicate will not be coming to the live sale, but they will be available for viewing at Klawervlei Stud ahead of the sale, and will be passed through the ring at De Grendel as if they were there. We will also be publishing their photos and videos on the CTS website.
especially with Secret Of Victoria being such a successful broodmare.We are selling the BBP lots to dissolve the partnership between myself and the heirs of the Miller estate, and I will be continuing with the syndicate after the sale. John Koster kindly agreed to make the mares and weanlings available for viewing at Klawervlei. Secret Of Victoria is 18 years old, and in foal to Vercingetorix, so we didn’t want her and the other mares to travel.” The catalogue for the CTS Mare and Mixed Sale can be viewed here. Online participation will be enabled via Meerkat. For more information please contact :
“The mares are Lot 28 (Entrench, by Oasis Dream), Lot 74 (Secret Of Victoria by Goldkeeper), Lot 82 (The Secret Is Out, by Captain Al) and the weanlings are Lot 96 (William Longsword colt out of Entrench) and Lot 109 (William Longsword colt out of Secret Of Victoria).” Basil Nelson, who formed the BBP Syndicate with the late Garth Miller in 2004, commented: “Garth and I formed the syndicate in 2004, and it brought us much joy,
• Grant Knowles: email@example.com • Amanda Carey: firstname.lastname@example.org Download the Meerkat app to register (before 19 May) and to bid on 20 May. Samsung and Android: https://play.google.com/store/ apps/details?id=za.co.dankospark.meerkat iPhone and IOS Apple: https://apple.co/2yDd362 OR ▪️https://portal.meerkatonline. co.za/authentication/login ▪️ www.meerkatonline.co.za
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individual winners, and at the time of writing is currently sixth on the Leading Sires of 2YO’s List for 2020-2021. Rafeef was purchased by Shadwell Australia for A$800 000 at the 2014 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
The handsome Rafeef (Redoute’s Choice – National Colour)
RAFEEF LEADS NATIONAL TABLE Ridgemont Highlands’ exciting Redoute’s Choice champion Rafeef produced a ninth first crop winner when his two-year-old daughter Franca won on the Vaal Classic track on Tuesday.
Bred by Piemonte Stud, Franca had finished fifth last time out, but made amends with a front running win in Tuesday’s All To Come Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1200m.
Rafeef also enjoyed success at Turffontein on Champions Day when his Mike de Kock trained son Aragosta won by three and a half lengths.
Under Calvin Habib, Franca was always prominent, and stayed on gallantly to post a neck win for trainer Ashley Fortune. Out of the Red Ransom mare Afnaan, Franca had finished in the placings twice, prior to
She is the ninth winner for her sire. Rafeef’s first crop also including BSA Cape Yearling Sale Cup winner Mounia, and the very impressive looking Ravensthorpe.
A full-brother to Equus Champion Mustaaqeem, and smart recent debut winner Beaven Lane, Rafeef has made a cracking start to his stud career. The former Gr1 Computaform Sprint winner is presently South Africa’s Leading First Season Sire by both stakes and
Just prior to his retirement from the track, the son of champion Redoute’s Choice grabbed the limelight at the Highveld Feature Awards and was also crowned Champion Sprinter and Champion Older Horse. The Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum-owned four-year-old raced six times during the 2016-17 season. Trainer Mike de Kock saddled him to win four races, including the Gr1 Computaform Sprint over 1000m and the Gr2 Hawaii Stakes over 1400m. He won a total of 6 races from 1000m to 1400m at 3 to 4, and achieved a highest official rating of 116.
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Muzi Yeni salutes on Got The Greenlight
IS THERE MERIT IN IT? After a busy weekend of feature race action, Joey Soma’s Got The Greenlight had his rating upped from 124 to a 128 following his win in the Gr1 4Racing Premier’s Champions Challenge. The Handicappers were of the view that 3rd placed Cirillo would not have run worse here than when he finished 5th in the Gr1 LÓrmarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth in January, where he ran to a mark of 123. Accordingly, he was used as the line horse here to a rating of 123, and therefore goes up to that mark from a rating of 120. The Handicappers felt that this was a somewhat
conservative view to take as Cirillo has regularly run to marks of 126 and higher in top flight races. But it was borne in mind that Saturday’s event was run at a very slow early pace and that – perhaps as a direct consequence of this – some of the higher rated horses in the field did not perform to expectations. It was also not overlooked that there was interference which occurred in the early stages of the race, notwithstanding this it was considered that Cirillo has been used on many occasions at pattern level as a yardstick to rate other pattern winners - and as such having him running lower than the 123 he achieved when 5th in the Queens Plate would undervalue Got The Greenlight’s performance, relative to other pattern winners
that have beaten Cirillo. It must be noted that Cirillo pre-rating of 120 is as a result of the drops he received due to recent below par performances. However, the panel believe that he appeared to have the run of the race and had at least equalled his Queen’s Plate performance of 123 which as mentioned earlier is below his best pattern efforts. It must also be borne in mind that the Champions Challenge was run at WFA terms and not at handicap terms. So Cirillo was not weighted off the 120 rating, and therefore did not benefit in this race from such a ratings drop. Runner-up Second Base was raised from 116 to 125, while as already noted Cirillo is up to 123 from 120. There were no other increases, but two horses were given a rating drop. Summer Pudding is down slightly from 129 to 127, while Barahin drops from 119 to 116. Please click here to see all the feature rating comments
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68 The Triumphant Kentucky Derby winners
LAND OF GIANTS 69
The late Giant’s Causeway Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina Spirit fought back after relinquishing the lead to Mandaloun at midstretch to post a half-length to win the 147th running of the $3 million Gr1 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve before a crowd of 51 838 at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The victory gave trainer Bob Baffert his record seventh Kentucky Derby victory and rider John Velazquez his
fourth. When Medina Spirit won the Gr1 Kentucky Derby, he became the first male line descendant of Giant’s Causeway to win the ‘Run For The Roses’.
Gr3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (a race also won by Cape sire Royal Mo) earlier in the year, hails from the first crop of Giant’s Causeway horse Protonico.
He is, however, the third Storm Cat line colt to win the Kentucky Derby in the past four years following Justify and Authentic.
The latter, whose first crop includes just seven runners to date, captured four graded wins during his career which saw Protonico win seven of his 16 starts and earn just under $1 000 000.
The colt, who had won the
Protonico scored his biggest
win in the 2015 Gr2 Alysheba Stakes, where the son of Giant’s Causeway accounted for the likes of Noble Bird (Gr1 Stephen Foster Handicap) and champion Honor Code. Medina Spirit is his sire’s only stakes winner to date, with Protonico’s first crop numbering just 19 foals in total. Out of the twice raced A.P. Indy mare Alpha Spirit, Protonico was bred on the same Giant’s Causeway/A.P. Indy cross as Gr1 Man O’ War Stakes winner, Imagining. He is not the only son of Giant’s Causeway showing promise as a sire, with Protonico’s paternal halfbrother Not This Time currently North America’s second Leading-Second Crop Sire by stakes and another son of Giant’s Causeway, dual Gr1 winner Brody’s Cause, 11th on the same list. Giant’s Causeway, broodmare sire of Friday’s Gr1 Kentucky Oaks third Will’s Secret (Will Take Charge), is also broodmare sire of 2012 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner Beauty Parlour – whose daughter Blowout (Dansili) captured Saturday’s Gr2 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes, with Blowout having finished a close second in last year’s Gr1 Matriarch Stakes.
Nicknamed ‘The Iron Horse’ due to his remarkable will to win, Giant’s Causeway also made his presence felt at Newmarket on Saturday. His Gr1 Phoenix Stakes winning great grandson Lucky Vega ran third in Saturday’s Gr1 Qipco 2000 Guineas – a race Giant’s Causeway ran second in – while confirming himself among the leaders of his generation. Lucky Vega’s dual French classic winning sire Lope De Vega had another excellent few days, with the son of Shamardal also responsible for Saturday’s Gr2 Prix du Muguet winner Duhail. Lope De Vega, whose Southern Hemisphere runners include the Gr1 winners Gytrash, Santa Ana Lane and Vega Magic, also made his mark in Australia over the weekend when his son Archedemus captured Saturday’s Gr3 Evergreen Turf Hawkesbury Gold Cup. A triple champion sire in North America, Giant’s Causeway, whose close relative Gleneagles is the sire of Saturday’s Gr2 Prix Greffulhe winner Baby Rider, made his mark in more than one hemisphere on Saturday. Another close relative of Giant’s Causeway, Decorated Knight, got off the mark when his first runner in Britain won on Sunday.
His greatest sire son Shamardal is broodmare sire of Saturday’s Gr2 Queensland Guineas winner Private Eye (Al Maher), while former South African champion Soft Falling Rain (who was produced by the Giant’s Causeway mare Gardener’s Delight) supplied Saturday’s Gr2 4Racing SA Fillies Nursery victress, Heavens Girl. Giant’s Causeway, whose daughters are also responsible for 2017 US Horse Of The Year Gun Runner – whose first crop have set the sales ring alight – and Gr1 Met winning sire One World (Captain Al), also continues to make his mark as a broodmare sire. The deceased champion, damsire of over 100 black type winners, is currently third on North America’s Leading Broodmare Sires list for 2021, with his flagbearer being Gr1 Dubai Turf victor Lord North (Dubawi). Giant’s Causeway is also broodmare sire of Higuita (Orb), who made an impressive winning debut over the weekend. If you missed the race – please click here to watch the replay
A stampede for Kentucky Oaks glory
BITTERSWEET OAKS FOR SHADWELL Shadwell Stable’s Malathaat, carrying the colours of the late HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, stretched her long neck across the finish line first in the Gr1 $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Saturday, just five weeks after her owner–the leader of the global powerhouse Shadwell operation–passed at age 75.
Trained by 2021 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame finalist Todd Pletcher and ridden by 2012 inductee John Velazquez, the blue-blooded $1.05 million Keeneland September 2019 purchase provided some solace for connections still feeling the sting of mourning such a global racing icon–a leader known for his generosity, kindness and tangible passion for the sport of horse racing.
The race itself, America’s top race for fillies, was a first for any member of the Maktoum Family in the classic. “A million things have been going through my mind,” said Rick Nichols, Vice President and General Manager of Kentucky’s Shadwell Farm and HH Sheikh Hamdan’s longtime friend and employee.
“The victory for Sheikh Hamdan’s family and all of our operations in the United States, (as well as) Derrinstown in Ireland, Shadwell Estate in England and all of his horses in Dubai–all the stables. I know they were all watching it. We heard that there’s several people in Dubai that stayed up late hours to watch. You know, losing the boss the way we did and him coming off a great year he was the leading owner in Europe last year– and we have many good horses in our stable this year. And having Malathaat to step up and give him an Oaks win is, you know, more than we could ask for. The race was not an easy one for the daughter of Curlin.
She and Velazquez were squeezed at the start and appeared to have to fight for the victory in the end. Her pilot, though, indicated after the race that the margin of victory was a bit deceptive. She forged ahead of chief market rival Search Results from the powerful Chad Brown stable and held her rival by a measured neck at the wire. “She didn’t get away the best, but I got a spot with her,” Velazquez. “She was running well and when I turned for home, I had a target (Search Results) to send her after. We got up next to her and my filly went by. Then she waited a bit; she does that. The other filly came back but I could tell I was still in control. I never thought I was going to do anything but win.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who was recently brought into the fold of training under the Shadwell banner, had trained Malathaat’s mother, Dreaming of Julia, to finish fourth as the 3-2 favourite in the 2013 Kentucky Oaks after a troubled start from which she never recovered. The win was Pletcher’s 165th Gr1, an astounding number. He was very pleased with how she came out of the race and did confirm that races such as the Gr1 Belmont Stakes are possible for the five-for-five charge.
Poetic Flare upsets in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas
POETRY IN MOTION
The Guineas are always the best guides to the Derby and the Oaks - so the old racing maxim goes. But last weekend the Classics produced close finishes, and the protagonists are all unlikely to go up in trip for the Derby or the Oaks. The QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Poetic Flare (16/1) trained in Ireland by the veteran Jim Bolger stayed on gamely to prevail by a short head from the Godolphin owned Master of the Seas. The runner-up quickened up best from off the pace to be denied in a photo finish. Shamrock writes that another
Irish raider, the Jessica Harrington trained Lucky Vega, was only a neck back in third. All three trainers post-race comments were that their charges would be kept to races over a mile. The Irish 2000 Guineas and the St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot were touted as the future targets. Fourth home was the front running Charlie Appleby trained Naval Crown, who stayed on well. His trainer stated that he would now be aimed at the Royal Ascot Jersey Stakes over 1400m.
The winner is sired by the 2013 2000 Guineas winner of Dawn
Approach, who was also owned and trained by Jim Bolger. It was a tough but inspired decision as the trainer had also entered Mac Swiney (fancied for the Derby) and stated he could not split them at home. One Ruler for Godolphin finished in sixth with his jockey James Doyle stating that the colt wants a trip and easier ground. Van Gogh, a son of American Pharoah for Aidan O’Brien, was eighth and these two were the highest finishers of those likely to head for Epsom next month. The QIPCO 1000 Guineas
winner Mother Earth trained by Aidan O’Brien returned an SP of 10/1; the stable second string behind race favourite Santa Barbara, won after leading over 400m out under a determined Frankie Dettori. Second home and beaten a length was Saffron Beach from the Jane Chapple-Hyam yard. A neck further behind in third was Fev Rover for Richard Fahey. Again, targets of the Irish 1000 Guineas and Royal Ascot were mentioned for all these placed runners. As for the favourite Santa Barbara, who placed in fourth, she ran a promising race as a once raced filly, travelling more freely than ideal on fast ground and fighting on with a bunch of seasoned Group raced fillies until drifting left up the final hill. Aidan O’Brien
clearly thinks she is much their best Oaks prospect, and with five weeks to Epsom and her high-class pedigree for middle distances, there is reason to believe that this performance will enhance her chances. The turf run Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes, won impressively by English King in 2020, is one of the important pointers to the Cazoo Derby at Epsom run on the first Friday of June. English Derby ante post favourite, the Aidan O’Brien trained son of Galileo, High Definition, is one of five entries for the stable. The other possibles are Carlisle Bay, Hector De Maris, Kyprios and Sir Lucan. All five are also entered for the Derby. Last seen at the Curragh in the Gr2 Beresford Stakes at the end of September, High Definition (unbeaten in two starts) won
79 Aidan O'Brien's Mother Earth wins the QIPCO 1000 Guineas smartly
comfortably. Charlie Appleby has entered four in this Lingfield heat – Adayar, Hurricane Lane, Yibir and Wirko all highly progressive colts while others in the mix include Lone Eagle for Martyn Meade and the Richard Hannon trained Etonian. Martyn Meade also has Technique in the Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes. Aidan O’Brien is responsible for four of the 15 Oaks Trial entries – Divinely, High Heels, Snowfall and Willow. Champion stable John and Thady Gosden have a pair of runners in Loving Dream and Regent while Godolphin include the interesting Dubawi filly and dual winner Nash Nasha.
Mr S J Snaith Mr P A Peter Mr S G Tarry Mr M F de Kock Mr P F Matche�
955 759 792 466 644
154 115 101 69 61
126 96 85 61 67
98 72 90 51 46
16.1 15.2 12.8 14.8 9.5
Other Places Place % 115 74 96 56 60
339 242 271 168 173
Win Stake (R)
35.5 31.9 34.2 36.1 26.9
Total Stakes (R)
7,922,625 11,672,850 6,445,700 9,652,925 4,803,050 8,131,075 4,502,600 6,470,550 3,429,388 5,428,488
Runs Wins Win%
Mr L Hewitson Mr W B Kennedy Mr S Khumalo Mr G M Cheyne Mr M A Yeni
1296 864 638 668 948
168 114 68 88 102
142 99 76 103 100
190 138 123 119 106
14.7 16.0 19.3 17.8 11.2
Other Places Place % 198 127 73 93 124
508 340 217 284 326
Win Stake (R)
39.2 39.4 34 42.5 34.4
Total Stakes (R)
8,088,475 12,591,850 8,053,975 11,573,250 5,886,500 8,562,863 3,619,200 5,756,850 6,335,900 9,681,825
B.T. B.T. Total Runrs Runs AEPR Wnrs Wins Winrs/ Places Winrs Wins Stakes (R) Rnrs %
Wilgerbosdri� & Mauritzfontein Klawervlei Stud Summerhill Stud (Pty) Ltd Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert) Varsfontein Stud
274 403 210
1387 52,539 2029 34,258 1083 41,712
131 135 67
185 185 113
47.8 33.5 31.9
469 678 295
8 10 6
13 14,395,738 12 13,806,013 12 8,759,488
712 54,274 617 56,529
Total Stakes (R)
10 5 5 7 3
8,860,800 7,354,250 7,317,625 7,133,500 6,823,250
SIRES Name Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) Master Of My Fate What A Winter Silvano (GER) Querari (GER)
Runrs Runs AEPR 180 172 158 150 188
907 1007 841 783 970
49,227 42,757 46,314 47,557 36,294
B.T. Wnrs Wins Winrs/ Places Winrs Rnrs % 79 75 70 64 67
121 105 110 93 98
43.9 43.6 44.3 42.7 35.6
293 370 292 230 336
See all the detailed standings - Click here 81
9 4 4 5 2
Manchester City and Chelsea meet at the Etihad Stadium this Saturday evening to lock horns in a high-quality Premier League clash that holds massive importance for the Blues’ aim to cement their top four position on the league table to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Meanwhile, the Citizens look to march on gloriously to their third league title in four seasons under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola with victory guaranteeing that the prestigious trophy will be adorned with Sky-Blue ribbons, leaving secondplaced Manchester United on the verge of being mathematically ruled out of the running. Manchester City vs Chelsea | Saturday 8 May | Stamford Bridge | 18h30 However, Chelsea have infamously made a habit of having the final say in the title-race in recent campaigns. Bryan Naicker writes that when the Blues aren’t celebrating winning the coveted prize themselves, they initiate celebrations of the eventual winners by damaging a title-chasing teams’ chances, most notably the party at Jamie Vardy’s home in Leicester’s win as
well as Liverpool’s celebrations last season. We are certainly in for a cracking match of football between two sides that come off Champions League semi-finals in midweek action. To Win Man City 8/10 Draw 5/2 Chelsea 7/2 Chelsea Firstly, I’m not a Blue, but I correctly predicted Thomas Tuchel to earn his first-ever win over Guardiola, in the sixth attempt of his managerial career, as Chelsea To Qualify came home flying at 2/1 odds, just three short weeks ago in issue #553 of Soccer Betting News. Secondly, the victory was fully deserved with in-form Christian Pulisic coming close on a few occasions but Timo Werner directly attacking City’s defence at top speed was too much to contain. Hakim Ziyech, renowned for his wand of a left foot, had a simple left-footed tap-in that he duly converted to decide the contest. Overall, the Blues impressed immensely in the previous encounter. The squad now fully understands the methods and tactics brought about from the arrival of their German mentor, coupled with the belief that
Tuchel has instilled in his players that has galvanized the Londoners to become a dangerous force. Not that anyone has to remind N’Golo Kante that he’s undoubtedly the best defensive midfielder in the world for the qualities he brings to the team, The Frenchman put on a brilliant performance in Real Madrid’s backyard that surely set the record straight to all of his doubters. There are four crucial Premier League games that Chelsea have left following this match. The Blues host both Arsenal and Leicester City before travelling to Villa Park on the final day. Along with Kante, goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has to maintain his top form to claim maximum points. The Senegalese shot stopper is enjoying one of the best starts to a career in English football, successfully keeping 16 clean sheets from 30 league starts. Manchester City It would be very foolish to take a team like Chelsea for granted and surely there would’ve been lessons learned from City’s failure in the FA Cup semi-final. However, the Citizens will want to get this one over with as soon as possible.
Interestingly, these teams could meet once more in the Champions League final, if both of them successfully get pass Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. Guardiola will want to take three points from this matchup so his team can put their full focus on winning the Champions League. City have been in sensational form on their travels, winning 19 of their last 20 games, only suffering defeat to Chelsea at Wembley. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus were both named in the starting XI last weekend against Crystal Palace which came as a surprise to many, seeing as Guardiola has adopted a system of playing with a false nine in recent weeks. The only goalkeeper to have kept more clean sheets than Chelsea’s Mendy (16), is City’s Ederson (18) and the Brazilian shotstopper will
reclaim his place in the team after missing out to Zack Steffen in the FA Cup defeat.
Silva, Rudiger; James, Kante, Jorginho, Chilwell; Mount, Pulisic; Havertz.
Ederson sets the team into solid starting positions with his excellent range of passing, thinking two or three moves ahead before releasing the ball to his teammates, which is very important to the way Guardiola’s teams play.
Manchester City: 4-3-3
The Brazilian has world class defenders protecting him, namely Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte that have essentially built an axis for the rest of the team to play from. Two centre-backs start, having the luxury of another resting on the bench with Ederson in goal and Rodri playing in the deeperlying midfield role. Probable line-ups: Chelsea: 3-4-2-1 Mendy; Azpilicueta, Thiago
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo; Gundogan, Rodri, De Bruyne; Mahrez, Silva, Foden. Prediction: (21/20) Home No Bet – Chelsea Win These teams have proven that they’re among the cream of the crop against the best opposition and it will be very difficult to separate them. I’ve found an option that could potentially make us some extra cash at decent value. I suggest going into the Home No Bet market and selecting Chelsea win. If the games end in a stalemate, you would’ve lost your stake, while a home win would mean getting your initial stake returned to you.
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