Veteran trainer Harold Crawford and jockey Lucian Africa showed that, given the right horse, racing can be a great leveller on the right afternoon!
The pair teamed up with the best product of the limited sire Russian Sage to win the very last feature of the Cape Summer Of Champions at Kenilworth on Saturday.
The R150 000 Listed Jet Master Stakes was rescheduled from its regular Guineas Day slot and hosted a mixed bag of ten runners. If ever there was an opportunity for Crawford, who has been training horses for 43 years, but has a limited string at his disposal, to win a feature over the peak season, this was it.
Lucian Africa, with similarly limited quality opportunities, was riding only his second winner of the season. But he rode a race that Piere Strydom would have been proud of as he sat dead still and tracked the free-running Milton all the way round.
At the 250m it was do or die. But the handily weighted, and very consistent, Perovskia dug deep, to withstand a late challenge from the Gr3 winner Mambo Mime, who challenged strongly late.
There was just over a quarter length to spare at the line, but Africa made no mistakes as his mount clocked 98,27 secs for the mile.
The Gr1 winner Mac De Lago lost ground at the start, but came from the clouds to snare third, a further 1,25 lengths back.
For the trivia junkies, Perovskia beat Mambo Mime, who carries the rarely seen these days Fieldspring Racing silks of the winner’s sire – who was a top-class racehorse.
A 2015 BSA National 2yo Sale R70 000 graduate, Perovskia was bred by Gary Player Stud and is a son of Russian Sage (Jallad) out of the one-time winner What A Gal (Qui Danzig).
Raced by longstanding Cape owner Mike Mort, Perovskia has won 5 races with 4 from 12 starts for R375 650 in stakes.