Something of a stakes bridesmaid as a 2yo, the beautifully bred Santa Clara has blossomed as a 3yo on the East Coast and she took a giant leap for SA Champions Season recognition when powering home to win the Gr2 KRA Fillies Guineas at Greyville on Friday evening.
Considered decent enough to take on the boys in the Cape Derby, Santa Clara looks to be maturing nicely at her temporary base at Summerveld.
Her big victory here came just weeks after her Umzimkhulu Stakes runner-up finish to Temple Grafin – on whom she firmly turned the tables here at level weights.
Running from an awkward draw, Santa Clara appeared quite green at her first start under the lights but relaxed maturely in the hands of Bernard Fayd’herbe as Gauteng challenger Running Brave set the fractions ahead of Silvano’s Pride and Celtic Sea.
Into the home run, Santa Clara catapulted through to take up the running and was never headed.
At the line, Santa Clara held a 2,75 length advantage over Cape Fillies Guineas star Front And Center who made up lengths from her dropped in position from her wide draw to run a great race in second.
The winner’s time was 97,05 secs.
Umzimkhulu Stakes winner Temple Grafin was well beaten in third, with Silvano’s Pride plodding on for fourth.
Bernard Fayd’herbe said the winner was a bit lost in running but quickened well and went through her opposition with courage.
A R1 million Cape Yearling Sale purchase, Maine Chance Farms bred Santa Clara who is by Duke Of Marmalade (Danehill) out of an unraced full-sister, Shina (Lomitas) to champion sire Silvano.
Santa Clara has won 3 races with 6 places from 11 starts for stakes of R646 250.
Candice Bass-Robinson trained the winner for the high-riding Drakenstein Stud.
Gr2 KRA Fillies Guineas (SAf-Gr2)
Greyville, South Africa, May 3, R500k, 1600m, turf, good, 1.37.05
1 – SANTA CLARA (SAF), 60.0, ch f 3, Duke Of Marmalade (IRE) – Shina (GER) by Lomitas (GB). Owner Drakenstein Stud (Nom: Mrs G A Rupert); Breeder Maine Chance; trainer C Bass-Robinson; jockey B Fayd’herbe
2 – Front And Centre (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Dynasty (SAF) – Alignment (IRE) by Alzao (USA)
3 – Temple Grafin (SAF), 60.0, ch f 3, Duke Of Marmalade (IRE) – Inner Temple (SAF) by Greys Inn (USA)
Margins: 2.75, 1.25, 1.25