Trainer Geoff Woodruff’s disappointment at the brush off by the Vodacom Durban July panel of his smart Jet Master gelding Master Sabina was given plenty of momentum when Anton Marcus produced the 4yo with a telling late burst to secure victory in the R500 000 Gr3 tabGOLD 2200m at Greyville on Saturday.
Master Sabina could only crack the nod as third reserve runner for the big race but has admittedly been something of an in and out galloper at times.
He has turned the corner since gelding though and came out firing on all cylinders in front of the noisy July crowd.
He had run unplaced in his Cup Trial prep which had probably not boosted his shares with the July panel and that, coupled with his one run during his Cape campaign when 2 lengths behind One Cool Dude in the Gr2 Peninsula Handicap, had always given him the look of a marginal candidate.
He hit a career peak when looking a winner in the Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup before narrowly falling victim to his stablemate Yorker.
Anton Marcus grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck at the 300m on the 15 to 10 favourite after Piere Strydom had brought Gold Onyx with a good looking effort down the middle.
But despite the challenges, Marcus kept Master Sabina to his task and he went on to win by a half length in a time of 134,60 secs.
Glen Kotzen’s Alexander stormed through late to deny the evergreen Gold Onyx for second. Gold Onyx only tired late.
Kotzen also grabbed a promising fourth placed with his new charge Gone Baby Gone who transferred under new ownership from the Mike De Kock yard after being bought at the Michael Holmes Super Sale recently.
Alexander underlined his bright Gold Cup prospects and is a genuine story of courage after being sidelined for close on a year with a tendon injury.
Shogunnar disappointed by stopping late to run eleventh and 8,90 lengths back.
Watch the race here:
Master Sabina has won 6 of 16 starts with 4 places and R1 093 225 in stakes.
The winner was bred by his owner Michael De Broglio and is a son of champion Jet Master out of the five time winning Sportsworld mare, Sabina Park.
The latter also raced for De Broglio and had a major public following in her career, largely at the instigation of her passionate owner, who was very involved in the sport at that stage. Sabina Park won from 1200m to 2400m.