Trainer Dean Kannemeyer placed one hand on the Ladbrokes Gold Cup trophy when he produced the top-class stayer Blake to win an exciting R200 000 Gr3 Lonsdale Stirrup Cup run over 2400m at Greyville. The victory was the first leg of a brilliant Group race double on the afternoon for our versatile and great value stallion, Dynasty.
Dynasty’s other winning son on the afternoon, Jackson, may have cost a cool million rands at sale, but Kannemeyer’s nuggety and very polished stayer has now shown a gross profit of close on R700 000 on his well-bought R130 000 price tag, and he looks highly unlikely to stop here.
Some owners just have the midas touch and few folk will turn down the opportunity of involving Mr Lucky Owner himself, Raymond Deacon, in a share of anything with four legs. Deacon owns the five year old gelding, who runs in Robert Kay’s pink and black silks, in partnership with Milnerton-based Irene Rudden and Derek Brugman. The gang of four will no doubt be booking their Super Saturday lunch tables well in advance.
South Africa’s premier staying race, the Gr1 Ladbrokes Gold Cup to be run over 3200m at Greyville on Super Saturday at the end of July, now looks tailormade for Blake.
The gelding has continuously shown himself capable of holding his own at Group level in these longhaul events and cleaned up all before him in the Western Cape before arriving in KZN. Kannemeyer wisely opted to give Champions Season a miss last year, and the old classically proven recipe of patience, patience and more patience, is paying dividends right now.
Dean Kannemeyer last trained a Gold Cup winner twelve years ago when, in his first year of training without Dad Peter, he sent out Gary Player’s four year old daughter of Stage Colony Colonial Girl under Glen Hatt to beat Fairfields Fancy.
Saturday’s race produced a grandstand finish with a stampede in the final 200m that had half the field in with a chance. Veteran jockey Karl Neisius produced Blake from well back to scythe through and hold off the late challenge of yet another Dynasty in the four year old Sage Throne and the always prominent, Soul Master. Blake won by 0,25 lengths in a time of 146,73secs. He started at a generous 9-2.
Predestination had led the field for much of the trip with Aslan and Soul Master in close attendance, and while the front two fell away early in the home run, Geoff Woodruff’s Soul Master stayed on doggedly – giving the impression that he is a more likely Gold Cup horse than a serious Vodacom Durban July contender.
The De Kock runners enjoyed mixed fortunes. Captain’s Wild was backed from 8-1 to 9-2 but had little kick late on and finished a close up 0,40 length fourth. Ilsanpietro had every chance but could only finish a not distant ninth.
The 2011 Gold Vase winner Grey Cossack showed pace but fell right away to trail in last and run another diabolical race. Herman Brown and Frank Robinson have a mountain to climb with this fellow who appears to have lost all of his interest in racing.
Blake on the other hand is in his prime. On his short-term programme, Kannemeyer was keeping his cards close to his chest. He suggested that Blake may go straight into the Ladbroke’s Gold Cup from here, although he conceded that the Gold Vase remained an option. He did add that two marathons in the relatively short space of time was probably not ideal.
Blake was a R130 000 National Yearling Sale buy and has been a terrifically consistent earner. He has won 9 races and been placed 12 times from 26 starts for gross career earnings of R816 821.
Bred by Pee Bee Stud, Blake is by Dynasty out of the four-time winning New Zealand-bred Nassipour mare Watercolours, who won from 1600m to 2000m in Australia. She is a half-sister to the brilliant Plattner Racing mare, Laisserfaire.
Lonsdale Stirrup Cup (SAf-G3) (6/2)
Greyville, South Africa, June 2, R200.000, 2400m, turf, good, 2.26.73 (CR
BLAKE (SAF), 55.0, b g 5, Dynasty (SAF) – Watercolours (NZ) by Nassipour.
Owner D L Brugman, R W Deacon, R Kay & I M Rudden; breeder Pee Bee Stud
(SAF); trainer D Kannemeyer; jockey K Neisius (R125.000)
Sage Throne (SAF), 57.0, b g 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Sage Blue (SAF) by Badger
Soul Master (SAF), 54.5, b g 4, Jet Master (SAF) – Saintly Soul (SAF) by
Margins: nk, sh hd, nose
Also ran: Captain’s Wild (SAF) 55.5, Caymen Island (SAF) 54.5, Aslan (SAF)
55.5, Thanks John (SAF) 53.0, Storm Sagaz (ARG) 52.0, Ilsanpietro (BRZ)
60.0, Predestination (AUS) 52.5, Jeppe’s Reef (SAF) 52.0, Dolomite (SAF)
52.0, Grey Cossack (SAF) 52.0