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Gold Cup riches for It's My Turn

Posted 30 July 2018 at 08:57

ELAN GOLD CUP (GRADE 3) - R1,250,000 - 3200m - Greyville

1st R781,250, 2nd R250,000, 3rd R125,000 - July 28


A rousing victory by It's My Turn in the country's premier staying event capped a terrific Gr.3 hat-trick which should get him the nod as the season's Champion Stayer. That he won the Track and Ball Derby, the Gold Vase and the Gold Cup in the space of five weeks is a remarkable achievement indeed and testament to skill of trainer Dean Kannemeyer.

Given a peach of a ride by Anton Marcus, the five-year-old travelled in midfield for most of the way and came around the final turn four wide to avoid any traffic.Pacemaker Let It Rain (Dynasty) brought them into the straight but he soon cried enough and it was Wild Wicket (Dynasty) who took the lead in midstretch. That proved short-lived, as It's My Turn was now in full cry and storming up the stand side, he was punched out by Marcus to score by a widening two lengths. Last year's winner Hermoso Mundo (Ideal World), near last for most of the way, finished with a flourish to grab second on the line, while Wild Wicket just shaded Strathdon (Silvano) for third.

Marcus had employed similar tactics on the winner when successful in both the Track and Ball Derby and the Gold Vase on July day.

"I've been very fortunate getting involved with this horse at the right time and it was really a case of opportunity meeting fate”, he commented afterwards. "The trip was never a concern. After the very first time I sat on him in work I said to Dean, this is a Gold Cup horse."

"I was quietly confident when he went down so well. This is a race I really wanted to win and I'm absolutely elated. It was a long time between drinks,” he quipped, referring to his 1991 Gold Cup win aboard Icona, who had to survive a 45-minute objection before being declared the winner.

It was a third Gold Cup success for the trainer, who had saddled previous winners Colonial Girl (2000) and In Writing (2012).

Also successful in the Gr.1 Cape Derby when trained by Justin Snaith, It's My Turn has rewarded owner Fred Crabbia with earnings of just over R2,8 million, a fine return on the R400,000 he cost as a yearling.

Bred by Willem Engelbrecht, It's My Turn is one of 14 Gr.1 winners sired by Kannemeyer's former Horse of the Year Dynasty and is out of Jallad’s Queen (Jallad), a winning daughter of Olympic Duel Stakes heroine Lady Elle (Elliodor). - AvdB



CHAMPIONS CUP (GRADE 1) - R1,000,000 - 1800m - Greyville

1st R625,000, 2nd R200,000, 3rd R100,000 - July 28


Veteran Captain America's swan song came in the final Gr.1 of the current racing season and under a tactical ride, the strapping bay went out in a blaze of glory.

Second behind stable companion Sail South (Sail From Seattle) twelve months ago, Brett Crawford's popular seven-year-old was driven into the lead 700m from home off and turned for home at least five lengths clear of his rivals. Favourite Eyes Wide Open (Dynasty) gallantly tried to cut back the deficit but Captain America was not for the catching and crossed the line two lengths clear of stable companion Undercover Agent (Captain Al), who headed Eyes Wide Open on the line.

A formidable front-runner and a tip top miler, Captain America won last season's Gr.1 Golden Challenge under similar tactics and had initially earned his Gr.1 spurs in the mile H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes at four.

The son of Captain Al retires to a well-deserved life of leisure the winner of ten races and over R6 million in stakes earnings. Also successful in the Gr.2 Green Point Stakes and Gr.3 Matchem Stakes, his string of Gr.1 places include seconds in the Cape Guineas, Cape Derby, Champions Cup and Queen's Plate and two thirds in the Met.

Bred at Varsfontein Stud, Captain America is a half-brother to Gr.3 Jacaranda Handicap victress Aquitaine (Al Mufti) and is one of six winners out of Requista (Fort Wood), a stakes-placed half-sister to Gr.2 Gold Bracelet heroine Cruise Collection (Model Man), Prix Du Cap winner Dacha (Russian Fox) and Shiver My Timbers (Cordoba), who produced Gr.3 King’s Cup hero Pirate’s Gold (Rich Man’s Gold). Grandam Riding Light (Top Ville), a daughter of Prix Cleopatre third Flash On (Sea Hawk II), won twice in France and once more following her importation. Requista died in 2016, her last foal being a yearling filly by Judpot. - AvdB



MERCURY SPRINT (GRADE 1) - R800,000 - 1200m - Greyville

1st R500,000, 2nd R160,000, 3rd R80,000 - July 28


Supplementary entry Will Pays took the shortest way home to register a career-best first Gr.1 win over a distance just short of his best.

Settled well back early on, the seven-furlong specialist took full advantage of sizzling early pace set up front by Rocky Valley (Seventh Rock), who brought them into the straight. At the furlong mark, Sunset Eyes (Western Winter) and Black Cat Back (Black Minnaloushe) looked set to give the Crawford stable yet another big race one-two, however they had nothing left when Will Pays came charging up the inside rail and went clear to score by a length. Computaform Sprint winner Attenborough (Western Winter) motored home for an eye-catching second, finishing a neck in front of the flying Trip To Heaven, who once again blew the start.

Jockey Carl Zackey has certainly struck up a winning partnership with the winner, this being their fifth victory since teaming up a year ago. The duo also captured the Gr.2 Hawaii Stakes and Gr.3 Spring Spree Stakes earlier this season.

A first Gr.1 winner for the father and son combination of trainers Mike and Adam Azzie, Will Pays took his career earnings to just over R1.9 million.

Bred by Northfields Stud, he is by far the best and also the only Gr.1 winner sired by Gr.2 Scottish Derby winner Imperial Stride (Indian Ridge). His dam Rattlebag, a triple stakes winner by Jallad, won the Gr.3 Azalea Handicap and was runner-up in three classics, notably the Gr.1 SA Fillies Guineas and Gr.2 Oaks. In addition to Will Pays, she is also the dam of stakes-placed Chastity (Tamburlaine) and of Rattled (Alami), who produced Gr.2 Umkhomazi hero Harry Lime (Var).

Grandam Rattling High (High Top), won twice and is out of the French five-time winner and Gr.3 Prix Corrida runner-up Rattle (Riverman). - AvdB

THEKWINI STAKES (GRADE 1) - R750,000 - 1600m - Greyville

1st R468,750, 2nd R150,000, 3rd R75,000 - July 28


“My day is done,” commented an emotional Chris van Niekerk, following the stylish victory of his juvenile filly Return Flight, which also clinched the champion first-season sire's title for her sire, former SA Derby and Durban July winner, Pomodoro.

After tracking the pace, Sean Tarry's charge delivered the knockout blow at the top of the straight and strolled home to score by the best part of two lengths over young Chesney van Zyl's Rail Trip (Trippi), who finished well clear of the maiden Can You Feel It (Jackson), trained by brother Gareth.  

Runner-up on debut, the winner ripped through her next two starts by a combined margin of almost 20 lengths, including an 11.25-length maiden romp second time out. She suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Dagmar (Querari) last time out but exacted revenge in no uncertain terms here, as the Ruffian Stakes victress could only finish a well-beaten fourth.

"I've been screaming from the rooftops about Pomodoro," commented Tarry about the son of Jet Master he trained and who now does stallion duties at Klawervlei Stud.

Van Niekerk has placed enormous faith in his champion, but ironically, Return Flight was a R20,000 bargain buy from the March Yearling Sale

Bred by Highlands Farm stud manager Mike Sharkey, she is the first stakes winner out of Gr.3 Diana Stakes third Heading Home (Special Preview), whose half-sister Private Property (Just Personal) produced Gr.3 Winter Guineas third Abington (Victory Moon) and stakes-placed Hillbrow (Right Approach).

Third dam Windy Ridge (Golden Thatch) is an unraced half-sister to dual champion Up The Creek (Royal Prerogative), who accounted for the Gr.1 SA Fillies Guineas, Gr.1 Paddock Stakes and two renewals of the Gr.1 Garden Province Stakes. - AvdB



PREMIERS CHAMPION STAKES (GRADE 1) - R750,000 - 1600m - Greyville

1st R468,750, 2nd R150,000, 3rd R75,000 - July 30


Mike de Kock's Soqrat fully justified his cramped odds when he led home stable companion and fellow Sheikh Hamdan colour bearer Alyaasaat (Dawn Approach) to register a first Gr.1 success.

Under an audacious ride from recently appointed stable jockey Randall Simons, the Australian-bred son of Epaulette turned for home full of running and electing to go wide, stormed home up the stand side to score by two lengths. The runner-up, who had won his maiden just two weeks earlier, was slow away and ran green in his first outing at the Greyville circuit. He had a neck to spare over Somerset 1200 winner Twist Of Fate (Master Of My Fate).

The result proved a milestone for De Kock, this 117th Gr.1 victory matching that of legendary trainer Terrance Millard.

A wide-margin winner of his first two starts, Soqrat's only defeat in four starts came in last month's Gr.2 Golden Horseshoe, where he went down by a shorthead to stable companion Barahin (Gimmethegreenlight). Both (if not all three) colts will now enter quarantine, with Dubai as their next destination.

A Shadwell homebred, Soqrat hails from the first crop of his sire and is also his first Gr.1 winner.

From the female line of successful French sire Linamix, the colt is out of the dual winner Elzeeza (Hussonet), who in turn is out of Hawkesbury Guineas runner-up Lunasong. By Unbridled's Song, she is a half-sister to Morphettville Guineas winner Lunaspur (Flying Spur), whose liaisons with Hussonet produced Gr.2 winner Colorado Claire, Stakes-placed Moonlight Hussey and Lunar Lady, the dam of Gr.3 Champagne Stakes heroine Selenia (Not A Single Doubt). Lunaspur's other foals include Gr.2 and Gr.3 winner Moonovermanhattan (Manhattan Rain). - AvdB

GOLD BRACELET (GRADE 2) - R400,000 - 2000m - Greyville

1st R250,000, 2nd R80,000, 3rd R40,000 - July 28


Lightly-raced three-year-old Miyabi Gold (Silvano) got the better of stable companion Gimme Six (Gimmethegreenlight) in a blanket finish, with barely a length separating the first six home.

Elusive Heart (Elusive Fort) attempted to make every post a winning one and she was still very much in contention approaching the final furlong. Racing on her inside were Girl On The Run (Silvano), Gimme Six and Epona (Silvano), while Miyabi Gold loomed on her outside. In a pulsating finish, Gimme Six and Miyabi Gold claimed the advantage and it was the latter who put her head down on the line to score by a whisker. Epona was a head back in third and she in turn had but a neck to spare over Meryl (Tiger Ridge), who finished a similar margin ahead of Girl On The Run.

So victory went to the least experienced runner in the field on just her sixth racetrack appearance. Being by Silvano, she can be expected to come into her own at four and looks a fine prospect for owner/breeder Rob Hamilton, who races the filly in partnership with Nic Jonsson.

The result proved a triumph for both trainer Justin Snaith and Silvano. The former saddled both the winner and runner-up and will be crowned champion trainer for the second time when the season ends on July 31.

Silvano in turn sired three of the first five across the line and after leading the General Sires List for the best part of the season, the Maine Chance standout looks assured of a third Sires title.

Bred at Daytona Stud, Miyabi Gold is a half-sister to Ultimate Dollar (Jet Master), who won the Gr.3 'Consolation July' for the same partnership three seasons ago. Their dam, Queen Palm Handicap third Mkushi Gold (Western Winter), is out of the multiple Zimbabwean stakes winner Gypsy Silk (Del Sarto), who also bred the champion older female sprinter Disco Queen (Goldkeeper), multiple Gr.1-placed Gr.3 winner Big Bad John (Fort Wood) and stakes-placed Redoubtable (Elliodor), the dam of champion three-year-old French Navy (Count Dubois). Mkushi Gold visited Rafeef in 2017. - AvdB



THE DEBUTANTE (Gr.3) - R300,000  - 1200m - Greyville

1st R187,500, 2nd R60,000, 3rd R30,000 - July 28


Twelve months after Richard Fourie guided Chrigor Stud's Princess Peach to victory in this juvenile sprint for the Glen Kotzen yard, the same connections found themselves back in the number one box after Temple Grafin had bounded to her first stakes success.

Having overcome her wide draw, the Duke Of Marmalade filly settled just off the leaders as Miss Khalifa (Sail From Seattle) and favourite Inverroche (Ideal World) disputed the pace up front. She joined issue in mid-stretch and was patently going the better, taking command and drawing clear to defeat the previously unbeaten Arianos Shadow (Queari) by almost two lengths. Inverroche had every chance but finished almost a length behind in third.

A debut winner over the polytrack, Temple Grafin next took her chances in the Gr.2 Golden Slipper on July day. Racing wide, she showed plenty of toe and only faded late to finish sixth behind Celtic Sea.

A R300,000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate, Temple Grafin was bred by Fran Cowe and is the first local stakes winner for proven international sire and five-time Gr.1 winner Duke Of Marmalade. The son of Danehill stands at Drakenstein Stud and also counts Kenilworth Fillies Nursery second Santa Clara amongst his first-crop winners.

Temple Grafin is the second foal of Inner Temple (Greys Inn), whose half-brother Roman Wall (Count Dubois) landed the Listed Easter Handicap. Grandam Chica (Fort Wood) is a winning own sister to Gr.2 Emerald Cup hero Iron Curtain and to the champion female stayer and SA Oaks victress Monyela, who bred Gr.3-placed Tip Toe (Trippi) and also features as the grandam of Gr.3 winner Zen Arcade (Ideal World). Their own sisters The Moonstone, Great Wall and In The Shade likewise are stakes producers. The former is the dam of Oaks Trial victress and SA Oaks third Moon Storm (Strike Smartly), Great Wall bred Gr.3 Cape Classic winner Eighth Wonder (Captain Al), while In The Shade produced Port Elizabeth Gold Cup hero Shady World (Ideal World). The next dam West Wall (Plugged Nickle) won the Gr.3 Strelitzia Stakes and coincidentally, ran third in the Debutante as a juvenile. - AvdB



UMKHOMAZI STAKES (GRADE 3) - R300,000 - 1200m - Greyville

1st R187,500, 2nd R60,000, 3rd R30,000 - July 28


Godolphin Barb hero Cue The Music (Oratorio) was all the rage here following his narrow defeat in the Gr.1 Gold Medallion, but it was Chimichuri Run (Trippi) who bolted to a first stakes success in the familiar silks of co-owner Chris van Niekerk.

Always prominent, Sean Tarry's charge tracked Charlie-Fox (Ato) into straight, surged into the lead in mid-stretch and streaked away to score by almost five lengths, a margin which could have been double had he maintained a straight course. Desolate Road (Pathfork) picked up his first black type here in second and finished well clear of Ganesh Talai (Philanthropist).

Chimichuri Run set up a quick double for the Tarry stable, his victory preceding that of Return Flight in the Gr.1 Thekwini Stakes forty minutes later. The winning trainer commented: "He has had little niggles and is not easy to train. However, he is a talented horse and is not going to stop here!"

The colt had shown plenty of promise prior to the Umkhomazi. A facile maiden winner second time out in late April, he followed up with a fine third in the Gr.2 SA Nursery and chased home Van Halen and Cue The Music in the Gr.1 Gold Medallion.

Speaking of Cue The Music, the red hot favourite was carried out at the start and never got into the race, eventually finishing more than nine lengths behind his old adversary.

Bred at Drakenstein and sold for R1,1 million at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, Chimichuri Run is the latest stakes winner for resident champion stallion Trippi. He is out of Gr.1 SA Fillies Classic heroine Spiced Gold (Kahal) who foaled a full brother to the Umkhomazi winner in 2017.  

Grandam Little Legend (Complete Warrior), an own sister to the dual stakes winner Main Warrior, is a grandaughter of the Koster-bred Haiti (Oligarchy), who won both the Natalia and Flamboyant Stakes. - AvdB

Gr.3 FINAL FLING STAKES - R250,000 - 1800m - Kenilworth

1st R156,250, 2nd R50,000, 3rd R25,000 - July 28


Brave Move has trainer Adam Marcus dreaming big after she extended her winning streak to six with a facile victory in the Final Fling, her first at Gr.3 level.

The four-year-old tracked Konkola (Silvano) into the straight and despite having been forced wide, was clearly on a tight hold. Let loose by Aldo Domeyer, she swept to the front 300m out and cruised home by almost two lengths from Gr.1-placed Fresnaye (Western Winter), who was on a hat-trick stakes bid following victories in the Stormsvlei Mile and Winter Oaks.

The winner, who has gone from strength to strength this season, is undefeated since December and was coming off an impressive victory in the Listed Ladies Mile.

"She deserves a rest now but she will be back to take on the big guns next season,” Marcus said, indicating that the Paddock Stakes and the Majorca are on the radar for the daughter of Horse Chestnut.

This was the first Final Fling success for both trainer and jockey, who was in lethal form on the day, his four winners including both feature races. Domeyer, who has now partnered Brave Move in her last five starts, was lavish in praise and commented: "I can't fault her, she breaks well, settles well, she relaxes, she helps you with everything."

Owned by the Brave Bid Syndicate and the trainer's father Basil Marcus, the dual stakes winner has won seven of eleven starts, while her current earnings of R613,340 far outstrip her initial purchase price of R100,000 as a two-year-old.

Brave Move hails from a family which has served the Armitage family with distinction. She is out of Brave Bid (Qui Danzig), a three-time winning daughter of the multiple  Zimbabwean stakes winner Bold Bidder. By Goldkeeper, her stakes winning siblings include own brother On Option as well as Prime Site (Assail), the dam of Gr.3 Lebelo Sprint hero Gold Site (Goldkeeper) and Queen Palm Handicap victress The Pick (Kahir Almaydan). The next dam is Zimbabwean Broodmare of the Year On Offer (Buck's Bid). - AvdB



CHAMPAGNE STAKES (GRADE 3) - R250,000 - 1200m - Kenilworth

1st R156,250, 2nd R50,000, 3rd R25,000 - July 28


Freedom Charter unleashed a tremendous rally from the back to register a last gasp first stakes success at the expense of last year's winner Nordic Breeze (Windrush).

Nordic Breeze picked it up 200m out and once clear, looked set for a Champagne double. However, Freedom Charter had started her forward move wider out and once in full cry, came hard at the leader in the closing stages. Nordic Breeze was all out and in a driving finish, the younger filly swooped late to get the nod on the line. Goodtime Gal (Royal Air Force) finished just over a length back in third.

This was a third success for the newly-minted stakes winner, who was reverting to the 1200m trip for the first time in ten months. Winless since scoring over 1400m in November, she entered this sprint off a fourth behind Fresnaye in the Stormsvlei Mile.

Trained by Candice Bass-Robinson, the three-year-old is raced in a partnership which includes father Mike and the filly's breeder Peter de Beyer.

Freedom Charter is yet another feather in the cap of her sire Elusive Fort, who has emerged as a fine source of top class fillies. Coincidentally, all but one of his stakes winners are fillies, this being Freedom Charter's own brother, the Sophomore Sprint winner Ernie.

Out of the winning Captain Al mare Betty Burke, the female line is that of champion and Durban July winner Gondolier, Gr.1 winning sprinter San Carlos as well as former Champagne Stakes winner and runner-up, Dainty Di. - AvdB

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