The Right Approach gelding Fantastic Mr Fox showed himself to be well above average when registering a gutsy win in the R135 000 Listed Secretariat Stakes run over 1400m at Turffontein on Saturday.
Paul Matchett’s charge had produced two solid post-maiden handicap efforts prior to Saturday’s outing, and he appears to be a fellow who will continue to improve.
The field of twelve 3yo’s proved a rather troublesome bunch to load and the Var gelding Peanuts was eventually withdrawn at the start.
Piere Strydom took Sean Tarry’s Serissa up to lead early from King’s Bridge and Istiqraar. The eventual winner Fantastic Mr Fox and the second-placed Cookie Monster were well back at this stage.
Serissa faded disappointingly early (he was to run a shocking 37 lengths tailed off last) as Muzi Yeni took Istiqraar to the head of affairs at the 400m marker, with Victory Call and Cookie Monster unleashing their challenges
In a driving finish Fantastic Mr Fox finished with a flourish and went on best to beat Cookie Monster by 0,35 lengths in a time of 85,35 secs.
It was a meritorious win from a wide draw and a confident and balanced ride from the underrated Fransie Herholdt.
The Gary Alexander-trained Waka Waka stayed on well for third, while Istiqraar was one -paced in fourth.
The favourite Virtuosity jumped from the best of the draw, but could only run fifth and 2,50 lengths behind after looming up dangerously.
Fantastic Mr Fox is now a winner of 2 of his 7 starts for 3 places and R172 925.
Owner Lawrence Pillay appears to have struck a bargain buy at R65 000 at the National Two Year Old Sale.
Fantastic Mr Fox was bred by Wilgerbosdrift and is by Right Approach out of the three-time winning Fort Wood mare, Fort Fox – who raced in the famous black silks and red cap and was trained in her early career by Joey Ramsden before moving to Yvette Bremner in the Eastern Cape.