Trainer Vaughan Marshall struck an early blow for the Cape when Horse Chestnut’s talented son Chestnut’s Rocket ran out a convincing winner of the R200 000 Gr3 Byerley Turk at Scottsville on Saturday. The fancied local hope Diamond King ran a poor race over the 1400m and was outclassed by the progressive visitor.
Chestnut’s Rocket came into the KZN feature straight out of his Listed Ibhayi Stakes victory at Fairview last month when he recorded the distinction of becoming the first SA bred stakes winner for Horse Chestnut, a Triple Crown winner and champion racehorse of his time.
Starting favourite at 28 to 10 and bidding for a genuine hat trick, MJ Byleveld had him out front from the jump and he was never headed to win a courageous race by 1,25 lengths in a time of 83,88 secs from the well weighted and improved again, Copybook.
Dennis Drier’s Nineteen Fourteen stayed on for third ahead of Hunting Horn, who battled to find his stride and only got going very late.
Dean Kannemeyer’s Speed Rocket caught the eye, as he found his feet and ran on well for fifth under two lengths off the winner and ahead of the disappointing Diamond King.
Chestnut’s Rocket was bred by Arc En Ciel out of the four time winning Jet Master mare, Wish On The Wind.
He is a R130 000 National Yearling Sale graduate and took his earnings to R360 300.
He has now won 4 races with 5 places from 11 starts.
He looks a serious candidate for the KRA Guineas which is run next month over a mile at Greyville, a track and distance that he won over as a 2yo.
He has strengthened and improved a lot since last season and looks to be an exciting prospect.