It has been a long time between drinks for Glen Kotzen’s smart filly Temple Grafin. But Duke Of Marmalade’s first SA-bred stakes winner bounced back to winning ways in no uncertain terms with a promising victory in the R250 000 Gr3 Umzimkhulu Stakes at Greyville on Sunday.
A traditional starting point for the SA Champions Season classic road that begins at the same track on 3 May, the Paarl-based Kotzen team and their staunch owners Chrigor Stud would have been smiling after a relatively quiet period recently.
Reportedly showing some good work at home the previous week, Temple Grafin was remarkably easy to back on her return to the track following an unplaced run behind Cirillo in the CTS 1200 on Sun Met day ten weeks ago.
Anton Marcus, who had run two seconds aboard the chestnut flyer during the Cape Summer, did duty on Sunday and finally got lucky.
He had Temple Grafin relaxed a few lengths off the gallop set by Silvano’s Pride, Runaway Girl and Santa Clara.
Into the final 300m Temple Grafin was switched out for a run as Santa Clara made her move to take over the lead from the enthusiastic Silvano’s Pride.
In a three-cornered drive to the wire Marcus got Temple Grafin to produce a sustained finish from her unfavourable draw and she beat Santa Clara by 0,40 lengths in a time of 84,87 secs.
Snaith’s Silvano’s Pride became tight between the top two late and had to be marginally taken back by Richard Fourie as she finished a further 0,75 lengths adrift.
All the top trio last ran on Met day, so the form could see reversals in the months ahead.
Kotzen assistant John Bucker saddled the winner – his first feature success for them.
A R300 000 Cape Premier Yearling Sale graduate, Temple Grafin was bred by Fran Cowe and is a daughter of Drakenstein stallion Duke Of Marmalade (Danehill) out of the one-time winner Inner Temple (Greys Inn).
She has won 3 races with 2 places from 8 starts for stakes of R508 375 – and she really enjoys Greyville.
Gr3 Umzimkhulu Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Greyville, South Africa, April 7, R250k, 1400m, turf, soft, 1.24.87
1 – TEMPLE GRAFIN (SAF), 60.0, ch f 3, Duke Of Marmalade (IRE) – Inner Temple (SAF) by Greys Inn (USA). Owner Chrigor Stud (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mrs S Hattingh); Breeder MF Cowe; trainer GS Kotzen; jockey A Marcus
2 – Santa Clara (SAF), 58.5, ch f 3, Duke Of Marmalade (IRE) – Shina (GER) by Lomitas (GB)
3 – Silvano’s Pride (SAF), 58.5, ch f 3, Silvano (GER) – Mary’s Pride (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF)
Margins: 0.40, 0.75, 1.00