The Ashaawes filly Priceless Jewel picked the final cherry of the Cape Summer Of Champions Season at Kenilworth on Saturday when winning the R250 000 Two Oceans Racing Gr3 Prix Du Cap. She also provided her young trainer with a belated birthday gift and a first stakes winner.
Adam Marcus turned 25 on Thursday and Priceless Jewel’s victory was a momentous occasion in many respects for him. She was one of his original string of six horses when he went on his own and it was thus appropriate that the milestone was achieved by her.
Marcus had previously prepared the Australian bred Polished Steel to win the 2009 Gr3 Byerley Turk at Scottsville, but that was when he was still assistant to his father, Basil.
But Saturday was all about sailing his own ship, even though his Dad owns the filly in partnership with the Armitage family.
Saturday’s race worked out perfectly for Priceless Jewel. Normally a pacemaker, she was given a beautiful cover platform by the Mike Stewart trained Jean’s Pride, to launch her attack.
Jockey Grant Behr was on a mission and he took Jean’s Pride out at a helter skelter gallop to lead Diva’s Daughter and Priceless Jewel.
Into the home run Jean’s Pride was still six lengths ahead at the 400m marker as Anthony Delpech produced Priceless Jewel in the centre.
Maybe Yes and Jet Belle were also winding up at that stage, with Lanner Falcon and Sea Cat running on well.
Into the 200m Priceless Jewel had worn her opposition down with steady progress and she hit the front chased by Lanner Falcon and Maybe Yes.
Priceless Jewel went on smartly with her long stride and won by a length in a time of 87,30 secs.
It was a good performance from her 11 draw. She is certainly a versatile sort who has won from 1200m to a mile and been stakes placed right up to 2400m.
The 3yo Trippi filly Lanner Falcon was not disgraced in second, while Maybe Yes hesitated late and may have been sent a bit early.
The very game Gold Academy filled fourth spot 2,45 lengths back, while the talented Var filly Sea Cat again ran on well for fifth position.
Sea Cat has hovered on the outer reaches of feature race money all season and looks far better than a two time winner at this stage. Perhaps her connections should go back to the baby steps of graduation company and let her win her races and build her confidence properly all over again.
The favourite Jet Belle ran sixth and did not go on with her effort. She is out of a Gold Cup winner and her better options may lie around 2000m in the forthcoming Champions Season.
Priceless Jewel has won 6 races with 5 places from 15 starts for stakes of R547 050. She elevated herself into the bold black type rankings with this victory after her third in the Gr1 Majorca Stakes.
The winner was bred by Geoff Armitage and is by the newsmaking Kingmambo stallion Ashaawes, who stands at Sandown Stud .
Ashaawes has 4 yearlings on next months’ CTS March Sale and a further 4 on the National Yearling Sale.
Priceless Jewel is out of the Kahir Almaydan mare So Royal, who won seven races from a mile to 1800m.
On the day of fun and frivolity, the Prawn Festival and Lektron looked to have attracted more sizeable crowds than other sponsored meetings in recent months! Well done to Keith Steinberg for giving the ordinary man a chance.
Steinberg was rewarded in fairytale fashion when his Windrush mare Azaniah stormed home in the last race for Shane Humby.
Christopher Puller rode her and he was the most successful jockey on the day with a hat trick of winners.
Trainer Dean Kannemeyer also saddled three winners.
So the sun has set on the 2013/14 Summer Of Champions Season and we now turn our attention to Gauteng and the KZN Champions Season in the months ahead.
Excerpt from Stipe’s Report
a) Jockey B Fayd’herbe (JET BELLE) reported that this filly did not stride out freely in running. The Veterinary Surgeon was requested to examine the filly on her return to the parade ring and submit a report.
b) The saddle on DIVA’S DAUGHTER (K Neisius) slipped back slightly in running, which placed Jockey Neisius at a disadvantage.
c) SEA CAT (R Khathi) was carried outwards on two occasions at the 300m, and again at the 150m by LANNER FALCON (G van Niekerk), which shifted outwards. Jockey G van Niekerk (LANNER FALCON) appeared before the Board regarding these incidents and was advised to exercise more care in future.