An inspired and keenly judged front-running ride by JP van der Merwe got the Royal Air Force filly Cloud Atlas home to win the R75 000 Guineas Plate at Fairview on Friday.
With no stakes feature carded, the 3yo fillies 1400m contest headed the nine-race Fairview Friday turf programme and it was left to the powerful new age firm of Gavin Smith and JP van der Merwe to take the honours with a fine double on the afternoon.
With last season’s champion East Cape 2yo filly Queen Forever possibly coming out a touch ring rusty after a break of 22 weeks, van der Merwe rode a well judged race on a fit filly in receipt of 2kgs.
Cloud Atlas, who had run a cracker in the BSA August Million at Scottsville in August, is a robust powerful galloper in the mould of her sire and she always had her eleven opponents chasing.
With Greg Cheyne delivering a challenge on Queen Forever at the 300m, JP van der Merwe cut them some slack before giving his mount the go ahead at the 200m.
Cloud Atlas kicked again and drew off to beat Queen Forever by 2 lengths in a time of 83,09 secs.
The winner’s stablemate Precious Pansy came out of the pack to run third a further 1,50 lengths in arrears.
Debut winner Jungle Fairy was always near the back of the field and failed to improve.
Cloud Atlas was bred by Dr Ian Heyns and is a daughter of Royal Air Force (Jet Master) out of Festive Fantasy (Special Preview). She is thus a half-sister to the consistent Story Of My Life (Soar With Eagles), who just failed to register his fourth win two races earlier.
A R60 000 National 2yo Sale buy, Cloud Atlas has won 2 races with 3 places from 8 starts for stakes of R210 050.
Teague Gould rode a nice double on the day to share the honours with JP.