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Surcharge continues to impress

Posted 4 February 2018 at 08:19

TONY RUFFEL STAKES (GRADE 3) - R250,000 - 1400m - Turffontein

1st R156,250, 2nd R50,000, 3rd R25,000 - February 3


Ian van Schalkwyk’s Surcharge underlined his still-untapped potential with a rousing come-from-behind victory in this precursor to the Gr.2 Gauteng Guineas.

Held up at the rear of the field as Wonderwall (Querari) led Sir David Baird (Dynasty) up front, Stuart Pettigrew’s talented colt had it all to do as they swung for home. Favourite Yakeen (Teofilo) briefly flattered in midstretch, but it was Sir David Baird who took it up from Wonderwall 300m from home. Surcharge, who appeared somewhat flat-footed at the top of the straight, he began to motor over a furlong out and making up the deficit, powered past the leader in the shadow of the post to win by a widening half-length. Sir David Baird had a length to spare over third-placed Wonderwall.

The winner built on an impressive win in the Listed Secretariat Stakes on December 3, and has now won five of seven starts to go along with earnings of just under R430,000.

Bred by Varsfontein Stud, he is one of 11 stakes winners amongst the first two crops sired by resident stallion Gimmethegreenlight. The colt is the fourth foal out of English import Congestion Charge (Diktat), who hails from the sire-producing family of Milly Moss, ancestress of the stallions Count Dubois, Imperial Stride and Daggers Drawn. The mare has returned to Gimmethegreenlight after foaling an Oratorio filly in November. -  AvdB




THREE TROIKAS STAKES (GRADE 3) - R250,000 - 1400m - Turffontein

1st R156,250, 2nd R50,000, 3rd R25,000 - February 3


Fish River has the classics firmly in her sights after a smooth, no nonsense score in the fillies equivalent.

After looking on from third under Anthony Delpech, the Australian-bred was switched out for her stretch run, quickened smartly and surged into the lead with 150m to go. Favourite San Fermin (Charge Forward) did her level best to get on terms, but Mike de Kock’s charge kicked again and ran on stoutly to win unextended by two lengths from San Fermin, with Dame Kelly (Dynasty) a length behind in third.

Sourced in Australia as a yearling, Fish River is the latest stakes winner to race in the famous Oppenheimer silks.

Her victory will no doubt please Highlands Stud part of Ridgmont, who imported her sire Canford Cliffs late last year. The champion older miler in Europe in 2011, the five-time Gr.1 winner accounted for both the Irish 2000 Guineas and Sussex Stakes. He retired to stud in Britain in 2012 and also did shuttle duty in Australia. The sire of nine stakes winners in both hemispheres, he will stand his first South African season this year.

Fish River is out of unplaced Zabeea (Exceed And Excel), a daughter of dual Gr.3 winner Arrabeea (Zabeel). The third dam Trotanoy (Lord Seymour) was a Gr.3-placed stakes winner in New Zealand and also produced Gr.1-performed Marie Claire (O’Reilly), the dam of juvenile stakes winner The Soultaker (Iffraaj). - AvdB

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