Just a week after his stakes strike with a 1-2 in the Listed East Cape Nursery, Maine Chance stallion Vercingetorix produced his first graded winner in the shape of Dean Kannemeyer’s very smart African Warrior, who sustained an early forward effort to win the R200 000 Gr3 Godolphin Barb.
A first feature winner for the DK Racing Syndicate, African Warrior started a weak 3-1 favourite and was last of the field of seven as they spun for home. He ducked down the inside rail for his run and at the 200m nothing looked to be going better – until Master Of Illusion clicked what it was all about.
In a drive to the wire, the Kannemeyer galloper held on by a nose to beat Master Of Illusion in a time of 66,58 secs.
High Voltage was a half length away in third.
Jockey Keagan de Melo is riding with confidence, and admitted he may have had made his move a moment early.
In an interesting move, and something not seen by many observers previously, Katie’s Treasure went to post without a jockey and also loaded without a rider. She ran last.
African Warrior was bred by Boland Stud and was astutely picked up for R100 000 at the KZN Yearling Sale. He is out of the one-time winning Jet Master mare, Allez Afrique.
African Warrior has now won 2 of his 3 starts for 1 place and stakes of R201 125.
Dean Kannemeyer lauded the merits of Vercingetorix and would have been thrilled to have broken the SA Champions Season ice so early!
Gr3 Godolphin Barb Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Greyville, South Africa, May 3, R200k, 1100m, turf, good, 1.06.58
1 – AFRICAN WARRIOR (SAF), 60.0, b g 2, Vercingetorix (SAF) – Allez Afrique (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF). Owner D K Racing Syndicate (Nom: Mr D M Kannemeyer); Breeder Boland Stud; trainer D Kannemeyer; jockey K De Melo
2 – Master Of Illusion (SAF), 60.0, b g 2, Master Of My Fate (SAF) – Victorian Secret (SAF) by Captain Al (SAF)
3 – High Voltage (SAF), 58.0, b c 2, Querari (GER) – Heliane (SAF) by Captain Al (SAF)
Margins: 0.05, 0.50, 0.50