Yvette Bremner’s East Cape raider National Park humbled the local stars when he stormed clear for a scintillating win in the Pick 6 opener, the R250 000 Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.
The Dippin’Blu Stables team have travelled into the lion’s den in recent years. Remember Copper Parade. Remember Via Seattle.
On Saturday it was the smart Gimmethegreenlight gelding National Park, who travelled the long road North under the guidance of assistant Carl Hewitson, who put his ten opponents to bed in style.
It was only a matter of months ago that National Park hit the headlines when he was mysteriously omitted from the East Cape Champion 2yo colt/gelding nominee list. He was subsequently included and nobody ha sever said another word.
On Saturday he was led into the winner’s enclosure by part-owner Hedley McGrath’s good friend and well-known owner himself, Braam van Huyssteen.
“I don’t want to talk about that unpleasant incident. We are looking ahead now! I asked Braam to do the honours and lead our boy in. Him and I sat till late on Friday evening and I told him to have confidence. I am really pleased that it has all worked out well. It has been a sad week for racing with the loss of some good friends, so amid the celebrations it is also a time fro reflection,” added Hedley McGrath – who was probably also the only man on the planet to have bankered National Park in the Turffontein Pick 6.
Beautifully positioned in third from his nice draw behind Benji and Rule The Night, Ryan Munger pressed the launch button at the 400m marker, with the favourite Chimichuri Run looming dangerously down the middle.
But in a matter of strides National Park had taken command and he strode clear to beat Sean Tarry’s highly vaunted dual stakes winning galloper by a widening 5,80 lengths in a time of 82,59 secs – which could have been trimmed had Munger wanted to.
Stablemate to Chimichuri Run, In Cahoots picked up the pieces to run into third – all of 2,80 lengths further back with Alyaasaat never getting into the action and beaten close on 9 lengths into fourth.
The pacy Rule The Night faded badly.
A R240 000 National Yearling Sale purchase, the winner was bred by Knysna-based Rob Knuppe’s Missing U Syndicate, who also race the gelding in partnership with Bryn Ressell, who was in London for the rugby. Also involved are Cape St Francis resident Mark Wright and Hedley McGrath, who enjoyed a glass of ‘special’ red wine with his trainer at his Port Elizabeth home.
National Park is a son of Gimmethegreenlight (More Than Ready) out of six-time winner, Fancy Park (Camden Park).
National Park has won 4 races with 1 place from 8 starts for stakes of R334 775.
The winner also banked the R87 500 BSA Added Value Stakes Bonus.
Gr3 Graham Beck Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Turffontein, South Africa, November 3, R250k, 1400m, turf, good, 1.22.59
1 – NATIONAL PARK (SAF), 59.0, b g 3, Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Fancy Park (SAF) by Camden Park (USA). Owner Messrs Bryn Ressell, F H McGrath, M C Wright & Missing U Syndicate (Nom: Mr R C Knuppe); Breeder Missing U Syndicate; trainer Y Bremner; jockey R Munger
2 – Chimichuri Run (SAF), 60.0, ch c 3, Trippi (USA) – Spiced Gold (SAF) by Kahal (GB)
3 – In Cahoots (SAF), 57.0, b g 3, Visionaire (USA) – Deceptive Charm (IRE) by Kingmambo (USA)
Margins: 5.80, 2.80, 0.30