1-1: We Can’t Wait For The Rematch!

Betway Graham Beck Stakes thriller!

Two top-class 3yo’s provided the fireworks and entertainment at Turffontein on Saturday as Tony Peter’s Main Defender got the better of a ding dong duel with David Niewenhuizen’s Sandringham Summit to win the R400 000 Betway Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes.

An early season indicator of classic aspirations, the 1400m contest saw a dramatic battle of wits, tactics and ability, with match fitness and a kilo pull probably tilting the scales in favour of recent Betway Gr2 Joburg Spring Challenge winner Main Defender, who showed class and courage to come back from looking beaten late in the race.

Kabelo Matsunyane keeps Main Defender going down the outside to beat Calvin Habib and Sandringham Summit (Pic -JC Photos)

Billed as the sophomore showdown of the year, it always looked something of a two-horse race on paper, and the mutual respect was shown in the early stages, with Main Defender ridden quieter than usual and Sandringham Summit closer to the action than he’d probably choose to be.

After pacesetters Prince Of Kildare and Biofarmer had cried enough, Main Defender was given the office by Winning Form rider Kabelo Matsunyane as Calvin Habib was alert to the move and gave Sandringham Summit the shake up.

In a memorable battle over the final 250m, Main Defender, who had been backed to 9-10, dug deep to hold off the Niewenhuizen star by a head in a time of 84,56 secs.

Gimmeanotherchance (17-2) was over 3 lengths back in third.

The Main Defenders amongst the silverware and on top! (Pic – JC Photos)

A R140 000 buy from the 2022 BSA Cape Yearling Sale, the winner was bred by Jagessar Limited and is a son of Ridgemont’s Sandown Stud-based stallion Pathfork (Distorted Humor) out of the twice winning Judpot mare, Alessia.

Now a winner of stakes of R1 085 625, Main Defender has 5 victories with a place from his six starts. The only time he was beaten was in the Premiers Champion Stakes by Sandringham Summit.

Enjoy the replay:

So it’s one apiece!

Will they travel to Cape Town for the Hollywoodbets Cape Guineas in December? And what do the Cape trainers have to stop them?

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