Powerful partnerships dominate South African horseracing and few can match strides with Mike De Kock and Wilgerbosdrift. The combination scooped a glorious two Gr1’s and two Gr2’s on the Champions Day feature bill at Turffontein today.
In the process Mike De Kock increased his unassailable lead at the top of the national trainer log when he scooped five of the nine Graded Race prizes this afternoon.
Two Gr1’s and three Gr2’s. That is five of the nine feature races on offer to seal a greatday at the office.
And to underline the importance of the role of keeping the company of top owners to successful training operations, four of the winners are owned by Wilgerbosdrift and the other by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum. That’s serious influence and power!
De Kock still has to turn them the powerful owners and good horses into winners though and he launched the landslide in the third race, the R500 000 Gr1 SA Nursery run over 1160m. Anton Marcus always had the undefeated son of National Assembly, Soft Falling Rain, at the head of affairs and he accelerated away to beat the courageous Ziparana with the PE visitor Greenacres dashing through for third.
Highlands Stud-bred Soft Falling Rain took his career earnings to just under half a million rand. He is now four from four. He looks a top sprinter in the making for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum
Wilgerbosdrift registered the first of their four Graded Race winners on the day when Welwitschia skated away to win the R200 000 Gr2 Camelia Stakes run over 1160m. The fancied Jackodore cut out a good pace up front but had nothing to come as Delpech produced Welwitschia to win going away. The daughter of Oasis Dream ran without blinkers and proved that she is really a sprinter at heart.
The UK-bred is out of the Pursuit Of Love mare Maid For Romance and has won five of her eleven starts for R700 000 ins takes.
Trainer Tyrone Zackey produced a shrewd tactical manoeuvre in the R2 million Gr1 President’s Champion Challenge run over 2000m. The Zackey plan was, however, not good enough to topple a rampant De Kock.
After Zackey’s Smanjemanje had dictated the sedentary pace followed by his stablemate Glanthus, Anthony Delpech produced Europa Point wide out for her sixth win from sixth starts this season.
Wilgerbosdrift’s Europa Point looks a logical successor to Dubai-bound Igugu and is on track for the Vodacom Durban July.Bred in Ireland by Rock Of Gibraltar out of the Woodman mare Gorband, she has won nine from thirteen for stakes of R2 350 000.
De Kock’s best bet of the day was Ilha Da Vitoria’s daughter Ilha Bela who took on twelve rivals in the R750 000 Gr2 SA Oaks. And the astute trainer proved spot-on as Anton Marcus rode a confident race wide out to win by an ever widening margin. Tyrone Zackey played second fiddle again to be runner-up with the game Katy’s Lane, who had no chance with the winner.
The De Kock-Delpech-Wilgerbosdrift combination closed the day in much the same way as they had played it the entire afternoon. The PE visitor Refined In Fire made the early pace in the R500 000 Gr2 Gold Bowl run over 3200m. Muzi Yeni’s efforts to crawl along were quickly stifled by Piere Strydom who took the Var filly Princess Of Light up to dictate a more civil pace.
Turning into the home straight Strydom went for the stick as Ilsanpietro flattered briefly with the Montjeu mare Gorogosa making good ground down the outside. With 450m to go Delpech let Gorongosa stride and she stayed on well with Princess Of Light plugging on but making little impression. It was left to Corne Spies’ Heyouneverknow to grab second away from Princess Of Light.
Gorongosa is by the recently deceased Montjeu out of the Ezzoud French-bred mare Parvenue. She was the second Irish-bred female to win on a memorable day for Mike De Kock.
Representing a different world entirely, and showing there is still hope and place for the small man in horseracing, trainer Corrie Lensley shook Turffontein to its core when his debutante King’s Temptress won the R400 000 Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery at odds of 150-1. She beat the Matchett-trained Genuine Leather and the previously undefeated odds-on Franny with ease.
The winner is a Waterford Stud-bred R70 000 National Sale graduate and was the only first-timer in the race. Trainer Lensley won’t mind us mentioning on his biggest ever payday, that he has trained only one 2yo to win in his career.
A full review of each of the nine features will be published in our reviews.
FEATURE RESULTS – CHAMPIONS DAYChampions Challenge (SAf-G1) (4/28) Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R2 million, 2000m, turf, good, 2.05.22 (CR 2.00.13). 1- EUROPA POINT (IRE), 57.5, ch m 5, Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE) – Gorband by Woodman. Owner Wilgerbosdrift Ltd; breeder T Molan & Westbury Bloodstock (IRE); trainer M F de Kock; jockey A Delpech (R1.250.000) 2- Galanthus (SAF), 57.5, b g 5, Silvano (GER) – Al Jestic (SAF) by Al Mufti 3- Smanjemanje (SAF), 58.5, b g 5, Kahal (GB) – In Style (SAF) by Model Man (SAF) Margins: 1, nose, ¾ Also ran: Sage Throne (SAF) 57.5, Seal (SAF) 60.0, Safwan (AUS) 58.5, English Garden (SAF) 60.0, Dancewiththedevil (SAF) 57.5, Flirtation (SAF) 57.5, Buy And Sell (SAF) 57.5, Bravura (SAF) 58.5 . SA Derby (SAf-G1) (4/28) Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R1.5 million, 2450m, turf, good, 2.35.69 (CR 2.31.69). 1- *POMODORO (SAF), 58.0, b c 3, Jet Master (SAF) – Golden Apple (SAF) by Northern Guest. Owner & breeder C J H Van Niekerk (SAF); trainer S G Tarry; jockey G Lerena (R618.750) 1- *ROYAL BENCHER (SAF), 58.0, b g 3, Greys Inn – Roman Circus (SAF) by Caesour. Owner M C Gerber; breeder Varsfontein Stud (SAF); trainer A G Laird; jockey A Marcus (R618.750) 3 -Brooks-Club (SAF), 58.0, b g 3, Strike Smartly (CAN) – Lady Brooke (SAF) by Fort Wood
Margins: dead-heat, 1, 1¼ Also ran: Zambucca (SAF) 58.0, E-Jet (SAF) 58.0, Baracah (SAF) 58.0, Perigrine (SAF) 58.0, Blaze Of Fire (SAF) 58.0, Ice Trigger (SAF) 58.0, Silver Flyer (SAF) 58.0, Wagner (SAF) 58.0, Changing Moon (SAF) 58.0, The Club King (SAF) 58.0 . Computaform Sprint (SAf-G1) (4/28) Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R1 million, 1000m, turf, good, 56.50 (CR 54.96). SHEA SHEA (SAF), 60.0, b g 4, National Emblem (SAF) – Yankee Clipper (SAF) by Jallad. Owner M C Berzack and B Joffe; breeder Klawervlei Stud (SAF); trainer G V Woodruff; jockey P Strydom (R625.000) 2 -Magico (SAF), 60.0, b g 4, Dupont (GB) – Magical Miss (SAF) by Al Mufti 3 -What A Winter (SAF), 60.0, b c 4, Western Winter – Waseela (IRE) by Ahonoora (IRE) Margins: 2¼, 1, ¾ Also ran: Deliver The Power (SAF) 58.0, Mannequin (SAF) 57.5, Winking Jack (SAF) 60.0, Moroccan (ZIM) 60.0, J J The Jet Plane (SAF) 60.0, Val De Ra (SAF) 57.5 . SA Nursery (SAf-G1) (4/28) Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R500.000, 1160m, turf, good, 1.07.68 (CR 1.05.12). 1 -SOFT FALLING RAIN (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, National Assembly (CAN) – Gardener’s Delight by Giant’s Causeway. Owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; breeder Highlands Farm Stud (SAF); trainer M F de Kock; jockey A Marcus (R312.500) 2 -Ziparana (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Trippi – Zanakiya (FR) by Doyoun (IRE) 3 -Greenacre (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Mogok – Kentucky Home (SAF) by Kentucky Slew Margins: 4½, 2¼, ¾ Also ran: Blushing Peter (SAF) 58.0, The Hangman (SAF) 58.0, Mogok’s Desire (SAF) 58.0, Love Struck (SAF) 58.0, Ryder Cup (SAF) 58.0, Istiqraar (SAF) 58.0, War Horse (SAF) 58.0, Zestful (SAF) 58.0, Francois Bernardus (SAF) 58.0, Donnie Brasco (SAF) 58.0, The Disciple (SAF) 58.0, Dundee (SAF) 58.0, Microstate (SAF) 58.0 . SA Fillies Nursery (SAf-G2) (4/28) Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R400.000, 1160m, turf, good, 1.08.44 (CR 1.05.12). 1 -KING’S TEMPTRESS (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, King Of Kings (IRE) – Model Mam’selle (SAF) by Model Man (SAF). Owner M B Govender; breeder Waterford Stud (SAF); trainer C Lensley; jockey F Chambers (R250.000) 2 -Genuine Leather (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Kabool (GB) – Rocky Rituals (SAF) by Rocky Marriage 3 -Franny (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Trippi – Scented Samantha (SAF) by National Assembly (CAN) Margins: 2, 1, nose Also ran: Ilha Da Rock (AUS) 58.0, Kleintjie (SAF) 58.0, Umneeyatee (AUS) 58.0, Sea Shadow (SAF) 58.0, Sweet Destiny (SAF) 58.0, Size Does Count (SAF) 58.0, Cotillion (SAF) 58.0 . Camellia S. (SAf-G2) (4/28) Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R200.000, 1160m, turf, good, 1.07.67 (CR 1.05.12). 1- WELWITSCHIA (GB), 58.5, b f 4, Oasis Dream (GB) – Maid For Romance (GB) by Pursuit Of Love (GB). Owner Wilgerbosdrift; breeder Sparsholt Stud (GB); trainer M F de Kock; jockey A Delpech (R125.000) 2- Kalaam (SAF), 57.5, b f 4, Kahal (GB) – Salaam (SAF) by Northern Guest
3 -Control Freak (SAF), 55.5, ch f 3, Tamburlaine (IRE) – Time Control (SAF) by Complete Warrior Margins: 3¼, nk, ½ Also ran: Variometer (SAF) 56.5, Jolly Poppins (SAF) 57.5, Jackodore (SAF) 57.0, Torra Bay (AUS) 58.0, Give Me Five (SAF) 60.0, Uptothemoon (SAF) 55.5, Fair Rosalind (SAF) 58.5, Carey’s Qui (SAF) 57.5, Sacred Feminine (SAF) 57.5, Pacific Dynasty (SAF) 57.5 . SA Oaks (SAf-G2) (4/28) Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R750.000, 2450m, turf, good, 2.36.91 (CR 2.31.59). 1 -ILHA BELA (SAF), 58.0, gr f 3, Fort Wood – Ilha Da Vitoria (BRZ) by Candy Stripes. Owner & breeder Wilgerbosdrift (SAF); trainer M F de Kock; jockey A Marcus (R468.750) 2 -Katy’s Lane (SAF), 58.0, b f 3, Tamburlaine (IRE) – Beautiful Piper (SAF) by Lustra 3 -Avenue Of Gold (SAF), 58.0, b f 3, Albert Hall (GB) – Circle Of Gold (SAF) by Al Mufti Margins: 6¼, ¾, ¾ Also ran: Tresco (SAF) 58.0, Monpazier (SAF) 58.0, Final Score (SAF) 58.0, Kalami (SAF) 58.0, Alessandria (SAF) 58.0, Markofdistinction (SAF) 58.0, Classic Illusion (SAF) 58.0, Sacred Temple (SAF) 58.0, Winged Foot (SAF) 58.0, Bermuda Bowl (SAF) 58.0 . Gold Bowl (SAf-G2) (4/28) Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R500.000, 3200m, turf, good, 3.27.21 (CR 3.20.71). 1 -GORONGOSA (IRE), 53.5, b m 5, Montjeu (IRE) – Parvenue (FR) by Ezzoud (IRE). Owner Wilgerbosdrift; breeder Lynch Bagar Ltd (IRE); trainer M F de Kock; jockey A Delpech (R312.500) 2 -Heyouneverknow (BRZ), 52.0, b f 4, Round Hill (BRZ) – Umakemebetter (BRZ) by Bright Again 3 -Princess Of Light (SAF), 55.5, b f 4, Var – Star Of Arcole (SAF) by Foveros (GB) Margins: 3¼, ½, nose Also ran: Silver Dice (SAF) 52.0, Ilsanpietro (BRZ) 62.0, A King Is Born (SAF) 53.5, Monseur Et Madame (SAF) 52.0, Magical (SAF) 54.0, Refined In Fire (SAF) 53.0, World Record (SAF) 52.0 . Gerald Rosenberg S. (SAf-G2) (4/28) Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R300.000, 2000m, turf, good, 2.05.60 (CR 2.00.13). 1- HAWKER HUNTER (SAF), 60.0, ch f 4, Jet Master (SAF) – Wisp Of Light (SAF) by Into The Sun. Owner & breeder M & L Christmas (SAF); trainer O A Ferraris; jockey R Fradd (R187.500) 2 -Berry Blaze (IRE), 59.5, b f 4, Danehill Dancer (IRE) – Strawberry Roan (IRE) by Sadler’s Wells 3 -Atlantic Oak (GB), 60.0, ch m 5, Singspiel (IRE) – Brackloon by WoodmanMargins: ½, 1¼. ½ Also ran: Checcetti (SAF) 60.0, Amanee (AUS) 56.5, Queen’s Bay (SAF) 60.0, Cherry On The Cake (SAF) 60.0, Las Ramblas (SAF) 60.0, Rapid Flow (SAF) 60.0