The De Kock machine swung into top gear at Clairwood on Sunday when the Australian-bred Tajmeel made short work of her rivals to win the R200 000 Gr2 Betting World Oaks run over 2400m in silks that are instantly recognisable on racetracks all over the world.
The famous blue and white silks of multiple international champion owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum have won major races in corners of the globe and this was a pleasing return to form for a filly who looks to have smart ability. Tajmeel started her career in storming fashion winning two of her first three outings, but she lost the plot after running unplaced in the KZN Fillies Guineas at the beginning of May.
Her subsequent unplaced run when 2,35 lengths behind Feel My Love in the East Coast Handicap a month ago was also neither here nor there, but she showed an appreciation for the increased test of stamina on Sunday when running on stoutly at the business end. Despite winning those two mile races early on, she may well have found her niche as a stayer.
Anthony Delpech always had Tajmeel in touch as the proven long-distance runner Avenue Of Gold lead for most of the journey from Pentari, Razzle Dazzle Rose, Hijacked and Beloved Betty coasting along five lengths behind. Europe To Africa was next best while Misty Morn was always towards the rear.
The order remained much the same as they turned for home with Avenue Of Gold coming under pressure as Tajmeel found her stride and grabbed a few lengths.
Felix Coetzee was hard at work on Beloved Betty who looked to be in with a chance midway down the straight. But at the 200m mark Tajmeel had things sewn up and it was left to the luckless Beloved Betty to grab second cheque. Greg Ennion’s improved Rock Of Gibraltar filly Europe To Africa ran on strongly for third and 3,75 lengths off the winner. The rest of the field was well detached with Pintari running stone last and 25 lengths behind.
Tajmeel won by an effortless 2,25 lengths in a time of 154,62 secs. This was 1,92 secs faster than the boys’ equivalent.
Australian bred by Shadwell Farm , she is by Redoute’s Choice stallion Nadeem who produces milers, some of whom stay. Her dam Asaleeb won up to 2400m in the UK.
Tajmeel has won 3 of her 6 starts for 1 place and total earnings of R204 800. She didn’t beat much here, but the manner of her win and her improvement suggests she is a filly with plenty of scope and we could hear a lot more from her as she goes into her four year old career.
Betting World Natal Oaks (SAf-G2) (6/24)
Clairwood, South Africa, June 24, R200.000, 2400m, turf, good, 154.62 (CR ).
TAJMEEL (AUS), 58.0, b f 3, Nadeem (AUS) – Asaleeb (GB) by Alhaarth (IRE).
Owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rasheed al Maktoum; breeder Shadwell Stud Australia
(AUS); trainer MF de Kock; jockey A Delpech (R125.000)
Beloved Betty (SAF), 58.0, b f 3, Spectrum (IRE) – Arch Mistress by Arch
Europe To Africa (AUS), 58.0, ch f 3, Rock of Gibraltar (IRE) – Golden
Bridge (NZ) by Gold Brose (AUS)
Margins: 2¼, 1½, 3¼
Final Score (SAF) 58.0, Avenue Of Gold (SAF) 58.0, Hijacked (SAF) 58.0,
Misty Morn (SAF) 58.0, Razzle Dazzle Rose (SAF) 58.0, Pintari (AUS) 58.0