It took reigning SA champion jockey Anthony Delpech all of 30 years to find his way to Durbanville Racecourse and the Seychelles-born rider made the trip worthwhile when he booted home a double – including a bright Cape Summer Season prospect.
Dean Kannemeyer’s smart Western Winter colt Last Winter put in the star performance at a sunny Durbanville on Wednesday as his regular pilot Delpech steered him to an emphatic victory to round off a personal double on the afternoon.
A 4yo son of deceased champion sire Western Winter, the Khaya Stables owned Last Winter was having his first run on ‘home’ ground after three victories in KZN. In typical Kannemeyer style, he is lightly raced and won his sole start as a 2yo on the Greyville polytrack way back in June 2016.
He was stepped up to a mile, winning both his outings at Scottsville as a 3yo.
On Wednesday Last Winter raced on a left-handed track for the first time but won the MR 98 Handicap easing up, with Anthony Delpech saying ‘he blew me away today’.
It is no secret that Delpech made the trip for the Last Winter engagement – and possibly for a peek at the much vaunted newly revamped Durbanville track.
“He is a really smart horse. He is a big horse. We are hoping for something big this season. And the track is beautiful,” added the top jockey.
Tellytrack interviewer and astute judge Stan Elley, added – ‘he is the best looking horse I have seen for some time’.
Kannemeyer added that the big question was – ‘where are we going to go next?’
“Let’s get over this win. When they are good enough they qualify themselves,” he said, congratulating his staunch patrons and Form Bloodstock’s Jehan Malherbe, who selected the R3,7 million Cape Premier Yearling Sale purchase.
Last Winter was bred by Peter de Beyer out of the Cape Fillies Guineas winner, Field Flower (Silvano).
When pressed on whether he would have stepped a good horse out at the country course in past years, Kannemeyer said: “I ran Eyeofthetiger here – and six months later he won the July. if Empress Club can run and win at Durbanville, so can I! Seriously though, the jockeys have told me that the track is running beautifully after the rains.”
Kannemeyer and Delpech were suuccesful earlier with Gadget Man (Silvano), who registered his second win in 13 starts in the MR 64 Handicap.
Riding with renewed enthusiasm and confidence, Grant van Niekerk was the most successful rider on the day with four good winners. Van Niekerk ironically rode three of his winners for his former boss Candice Bass-Robinson and the fourth for Glen Kotzen. Rustar Dhow was the Kotzen winner and the daughter of Sail From Seattle appears to relish the Durbanville track. She was registering her 3rd win from 16 starts and is starting to pay back part-owner Melanie Watson’s faith and belief in her.