Candice Bass-Robinson broke the Snaith stranglehold on the R150 000 Listed Woolavington Handicap when she saddled the first three home in the 2400m feature at a sundrenched Kenilworth on Sunday.
Young apprentice Sandile Mbhele crowned a personal double on the afternoon after upsetting Pick 6 punters earlier with the Alado filly Grandiflora, and he rode a determined race to get the well-bred Fort Wood gelding Benjan home for the 6yo’s first stakes score.
With the most fancied of the Bass-Robinson trio, the Australian-bred Ballad Of The Sea, setting the fractions ahead of Sister Soozie and Rock My Soul, Mbhele rode a patient race as he stalked the leaders in fourth position about three lengths off the action for much of the journey.
He set sail for home at the 300m and it was left to his long-suffering bridesmaid stablemate Ollivander – also in the Marsh Shirtliff silks – to come out of the pack to do the chasing.
But under a vigorous ride Benjan stayed on best of all to beat Ollivander by 2,50 lengths in a time of 148,65 secs with the more fancied Ballad Of The Sea fading into third after making most of the running
A R420 000 2014 Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale graduate, Benjan gave Mauritzfontein a feature double on the day after Rainbow Bridge’s eyecatching success in the Cape Mile earlier.
Benjan is by Fort Wood (Sadler’s Wells) out of the UK-bred Machiavellian mare, Awaited – an unraced half sister to the well-performed Esmaltina, from the famous ‘E family’.
He has won 4 races with 12 places from 29 starts and stakes of R403 300.