Mike de Kock didn’t secure a tenth Summer Cup victory at Turffontein on Saturday that many of us anticipated.
But that didn’t stop the multiple champion trainer from registering a nice double on the big day – headed by the impressive Nafaayes winning the R400 000 Gr2 Ipi Tombe Challenge with ease.
The race named in honour of the champion Ipi Tombe, who was guided to many of her biggest victories by De Kock, only attracted nine runners – but with Gr1 winner Redberry Lane heading the weights, the scene was set for a class contest.
But it turned into a one-horse show.
Always up near the lead, the Australian-bred Nafaayes, runner-up in the recent Gr3 Starling Stakes, turned on the jets at the 400m and making good use of her light weight, went on powerfully under Warren Kennedy to beat Al Danza by 2,80 lengths in a time of 97,41 secs.
Sylvan On Fire was a further 1,60 lengths back, with KZN Fillies Guineas winner Fiorella beaten over six lengths back in fourth.
Nafaayes won’t be travelling to the Cape for the Fillies Guineas but the Paddock Stakes remains an option. She is a light-framed athlete according to Mathew de Kock and needs more time.
A A$350,000 Inglis Easter purchase for Shadwell, Nafaayes was bred and consigned for sale by Kia Ora Stud and is the first winner for US Gr3 winner Decelerator (USA), a daughter of leading shuttle sire Dehere.
Decelerator has a two year-old filly by Snitzel and her current yearling is a colt by More Than Ready (USA) that will be offered by Kia Ora Stud at the Magic Millions as Lot 508.
Nafaayes, now a winner of 3 races with 2 places from 5 starts has earned R435 500 and is the 151st stakes-winner worldwide for Darley’s champion sire Exceed and Excel.
Exceed And Excel has now sired 151 individual Stakes winners with 75 of those coming at Group level. This season he has sired 11 Group winners including Heavy Metal, Folkswood, James Garfield, Hit The Bid and juvenile filly Queen Of Bermuda.
Gr2 Ipi Tombe Challenge (SAf-Gr2)
Turffontein, South Africa, December 1, R400k, 1600m, turf, good, 1.37.41
1 – NAFAAYES (AUS), 51.0, b f 3, Exceed And Excel (AUS) – Decelerator (USA) by Dehere (USA). Owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer MF de Kock; jockey W Kennedy
2 – Al Danza (SAF), 58.0, b m 5, Captain Al (SAF) – Jet Danza (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF)
3 – Sylvan On Fire (SAF), 58.0, ch m 5, Silvano (GER) – Jet Flyer (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF)
Margins: 2.80, 1.60, 1.80