The Judpot filly Juxtapose’s dramatic last gasp victory in the R1 million Wilgerbosdrift Gr1 SA Fillies Classic had her breeder, Varsfontein’s Carl de Vos, fondly remembering a cold, dark winter’s evening at Durbanville a few years ago.
Jockey Chase Maujean rode a determined finish to notch his career first Gr1 winner as he drove the gutsy Stan Ferreira trained filly up in the last stride to catch and beat the fancied Negroamaro, in the second leg of the Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara on Saturday.
It was a finish that had her veteran breeder Carl de Vos on the edge of his couch on the beautiful farm that has produced so many Gr1 winners over the years – and the seasoned horseman was happy to reminisce about Varsfontein stallion Judpot’s third Gr1 winner after Along Came Polly and Forest Indigo – and a stallion cv that includes a host of other Gr1 performers.
But back to that auction.
It was held after the midweek races at the Cape’s country course and, unsurprisingly, there was hardly anybody present in the dimly lit parade ring.
“There were two Windrush fillies on the sale and myself and Frikkie jumped in our truck and drove the half hour trip through to the racecourse. We were confident of getting both of them and when I saw the scant attendance, I knew we were in luck,“ he recalled.
Carl’s preoccupation with Windrush fillies and Varsfontein”s good sire Judpot hinges on the internationally proven winning cross of AP Indy with Mr Prospector.
The former Mike Bass-trained Gr3 Prix Du Cap winner Sunsational, and a good looker called Elysian Gem, were the two Windrushers loaded on to the Varsfontein float.
Sunsational, a versatile stakes winner of five races from 1000m to 2000m, was to go on and produce a nuggety first foal called Juxtapose, which was purchased by Roland Bouwer for R130 000 on the 2015 National Yearling Sale.
On Saturday, she won the Gr1 SA Fillies Classic by a head in a time of 110,03 secs to score her third win with three places from seven starts – and in the process took her stakes earnings to R804 125.
In a lovely twist, the race sponsor Mary Slack owns Sunsational’s second foal and Juxtapose’s half-sister by Captain Al, while the Varsfontein team is upbeat about the third – a half brother to the winner by Var.
His name is Valbonne and this fellow comes up as lot 365 on the Bloodstock SA National Yearling Sale later this month.
How’s that for timing?
Carl De Vos said that he was pleased for the Bouwers, who were so overcome by emotion in the post-race high that they were unable to enjoy the usual Gr1 winning owner’s ‘moment in the sun’.
“They have purchased a farm next door Varsfontein and will be breeding horses. They have appointed Lindi Garlicki as manager. I am thrilled for this Gr1 success for them as they have been staunch supporters of ours,” said Carl.
As for the SA Classic, the connections of Negroamaro must be wondering what they have to do to get the daughter of Fort Wood’s head in front when it counts.
She ran her third feature runner-up berth in succession on Saturday and Anton Marcus moved her up in what looked like a winning execution down the outside at the 300m. She just didn’t have that killer kick when challenged by Juxtapose.
But three cheers to Chase Maujean, who rode as if his life depended on it. He will be celebrating a great week of winners and his maiden Gr1 success for some time.
Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara first leg winner Heaps Of Fun finished well downfield.
A thriller of a race all round!
Gr1 SA Fillies Classic (SAf-Gr1)
Turffontein, South Africa, April 2, R1 million, 1800m, turf, good, 1.50.03
1 – JUXTAPOSE (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Judpot (USA) – Sunsational (SAF) by Windrush (USA). Owner Mrs L C A Bouwer; Breeder Varsfontein Stud; trainer S Ferreira; jockey C Maujean
2 – Negroamaro (SAF), 60.0, gr f 3, Fort Wood (USA) – Touch Of Tuscan (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA)
3 – She’s A Dragon (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Jay Peg (SAF) – Cherry Flower (SAF) by Goldkeeper (USA)
Margins: 0.40, 0.40, 1.25