Cape racing reaffirmed its newest and fastest rising star at Kenilworth on Sunday as the undefeated Rainbow Bridge produced an exercise gallop type stretch to win the R150 000 Cape Mile unextended, and make it five out of five.
The treble Gr3 winner was technically out at the handicap with Investec Cape Derby winner Eyes Wide Open and the stakes winner Fifty Cents, but his 104 rating looks like little more than an official number at this stage, shaded by the red tape of the restrictions on our handicappers.
Taking on ten opponents in the non black-type feature on a warm afternoon that saw him sweating badly, Bernard Fayd’herbe had Rainbow Bridge relaxed in midfield as the well-backed Silver Maple went hard out front in receipt of 9kgs.
The former Geoff Woodruff galloper went quickly under Lyle Hewitson and led The Slade, Fifty Cents and Copper Force into the 350m.
But in a matter of strides Rainbow Bridge lengthened and drew away from his field to win easily under the hands by 1,75 length in a time of 96,18 secs.
Silver Maple stayed on to bank second cheque, with the runner-up’s stablemate Platinum Prince finishing well for third.
The 2017 Gr2 Selangor Cup winner Rocket Countdown moved up but appeared in need of the run and flattened to run a 3,40 length fourth.
Derby winner Eyes Wide Open was beaten into fifth.
“I was going at my own pace – I just wanted him to drop the bit and enjoy it. And he did just that. He has a great turn of foot and is a very smart horse. This was a gallop – he is an athlete and loves to run,” said Bernard Fayd’herbe who was only a passenger for the mile.
Trainer Eric Sands confirmed that as Rainbow Bridge has settled down he is showing more ability. “He is phenomenal and we will now go to the Green Point, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and then the Sun Met on 26 January, “ he added.
A winner of 5 from 5 and stakes of R612 50, Rainbow Bridge, who races in the blue and yellow silks of the late Chris Gerber, was a R300 000 National Yearling Sale buy.
He was bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein and is a 4yo gelded son of Ideal World (Kingmambo) out of the versatile seven-time winner Halfway To Heaven (Jet Master), whose successes included the 2013 Gr3 Prix Du Cap.
Eric Sands trained the dam for Gavin Walker until she was sold to Mauritzfontein, in whose silks she raced for Mike de Kock until the end of her career.