The tussle between Aldo Domeyer and Greg Cheyne for third place on the SA jockey log went to the wire in the R250 000 Gr3 Champagne Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday.
With a sought after position in the SA team for the PGI Challenge in Singapore on 25 September at stake, Domeyer and Cheyne have been at it hammer and tongs in the last week and just a nose separated them in the Kenilworth feature.
Riding last year’s Champagne Stakes winner Nordic Breeze, Cheyne looked to have made his move at the right time as he slipped through on the inside on the course-and-distance specialist at the 200m after the pacy Call To Account had shortened her stride in the final stages.
But Domeyer had other ideas and he produced the Elusive Fort filly Freedom Charter with a storming run down the outside.
In a drive to the wire, the 8-1 Freedom Charter scored her first stakes win and got the verdict over Nordic Breeze (9-1) by a head in a time of 74,13 secs.
The joint topweight Goodtime Gal ran a better race after a 22 week break and stayed on for third, 1,25 lengths back.
Candice Bass-Robinson saddled the Peter de Beyer-bred winner.
A R275 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate, she is a daughter of Elusive Fort (Fort Wood) out of the one-time winner Betty Burke (Captain Al), who raced in the breeder’s silks.
She has won 3 races with 5 places from 13 starts and stakes of R310 975.
With Domeyer riding today at Flamingo Park and Cheyne tomorrow at Fairview, the latter holds a one win edge. It could be interesting!
Gr3 Champagne Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Kenilworth, South Africa, July 28, R250k, 1200m, turf, soft, 1.14.13
1 – FREEDOM CHARTER (SAF), 58.5, ch f 3, Elusive Fort (SAF) – Betty Burke (SAF) by Captain Al (SAF). Owner Messrs M F Bass, P G de Beyer, B Lemos & Wehann Smith; Breeder PG de Beyer; trainer C Bass-Robinson; jockey A Domeyer
2 – Nordic Breeze (SAF), 60.0, b f 4, Windrush (USA) – Nordic Vine (SAF) by Northern Guest (USA)
3 – Goodtime Gal (SAF), 60.0, b m 5, Royal Air Force (SAF) – Tirza (SAF) by Silvano (GER)
Margins: 0.05, 1.25, 0.75