The Ideal World gelding Hermoso Mundo made things easy for the Equus Awards panel when he ticked the right box to be crowned SA Champion stayer with a courageous victory in the R1,25 million Gr3 Elan Gold Cup at Greyville on Sunday.
Mauritzfontein’s Kingmambo stallion Ideal World rounded off a great weekend on the longhaul front – after producing the winner of South Africa’s longest race, the PE Gold Cup, on Friday, he produced the top two home in Sunday’s 3200m marathon.
Hermoso Mundo capped his best season to make it an historic stayer’s ‘triple crown’ of the Gold Bowl, the Gold Vase and then rounding things off on Sunday by writing his name into the Gold Cup history books.
As is the norm in the 3200m race, the pace was muddling with the lead changing hands at various times during the race.
Krambambuli and Captain Splendid led past the post for the first time. Hermoso Mundo was relaxed in midfield where he relaxed for much of the race. Grant van Niekerk took the lead on Ideal World at the 800m and led the field for home.
Gavin Lerena made his move on the ever-present Zante at the 350m marker as Hermoso Mundo began unwinding down the middle outside. Zante looked a winner inside the 200m, but a determined Marwing gave Hermoso Mundo one or two reminders and staying on best, the 4yo gelding collared Zante to win by a neck in a time of 204,84 secs.
A gallant Zante maintained the good form of her recent Track & Ball Oaks win by grinding away to bank the R250 000 second cheque.
The winner’s stablemate Let It Rain was not disgraced a further two lengths back in third, with the filly Fortissima running on steadily for fourth.
Kinaan had every chance, but could do no better than fifth, with the rest strung out behind. There were a few excuses with some encountering traffic problems in the straight. The Adam Marcus-trained Royal Badge went wrong in running and was pulled out of the race at the 1000m marker.
Winning jockey Weichong Marwing, who after all his years in the saddle internationally showed remarkable elation at the Gr3 winning line with a salute, said that Hermoso Mundo had always had ability. “He came from Alec Laird in good condition . Well done to my brother and the owners. The pace was muddled – I kept my eye on Kinaan, who I thought was the one to beat. I was always happy where I was.”
The winning jockey’s brother Weiho, who maintained his hundred percent record with Hermoso Mundo, paid tribute to the winner’’s former conditioner, Alec Laird. “Thanks to the owners for the opportunity. He is an amazing horse – we haven’t got to the bottom of him yet. I must mention my mentor, Ormond Ferraris, too,” said Weiho.
The charismatic part-owner Sean Singleton said that it was the time all the owners had been on course for a win. And has become the norm, the famous Hermoso Mundo war-cry followed the interview!
A R200 000 Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale purchase, the winner was bred by Mauritzfontein from Ideal World (Kingmambo) out of the ten time winner Escoleta Fitz (Fitzcaraldo) – an Equus champion who hails from the famous ‘E’ family.
Hermoso Mundo went close to doubling his career earnings with this win to R1 586 700 and has now won 5 races with 9 places from 20 starts. He has the best part of his career ahead of him yet.
Gr3 eLAN Gold Cup (SAf-Gr3)
Greyville, South Africa, July 30, R1.25 million, 3200m, turf, good, 3.24.84
1 – HERMOSO MUNDO (SAF), 56.0, b g 4, Ideal World (USA) – Escoleta Fitz (ARG) by Fitzcarraldo (ANY). Owner Messrs N C Smith, G D Cahn, G Morris, Neil Patrick Smith, S Singleton & W Volschenk; Breeder Mauritzfontein Stud; trainer WH Marwing; jockey Wei Marwing
2 – Zante (SAF), 57.0, b m 5, Ideal World (USA) – Temperate Lady (SAF) by Western Winter (USA)
3 – Let It Rain (SAF), 54.5, b g 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Gardener’s Delight (USA) by Giant’s Causeway (USA)
Margins: 0.15, 2.25, 0.50