Former SA champion jockey Gavin Lerena demonstrated his superb judgement when he played things to suit his mount and kept Kampala Campari going under a powerful balanced ride to win the R250 000 Gr3 Cup Trial at Greyville on Saturday.
A race that offers the winner a ‘preferred consideration’ ticket into the Vodacom Durban July and a guaranteed run in the Gr1 Champions Cup on Super Saturday, the Cup Trial hosted six July entrants – but the winner was not amongst the July sextet.
Lerena had Kampala Campari up front early and slowed things down ahead of Made To Conquer and his stablemate Run Red.
At the 1000m marker Warren Kennedy decided he was going nowhere fast on Eyes Wide Open off the dawdle and the top KZN-based jockey took the recent Gr2 WSB 1900 winner up around his field to take up the cudgel.
Into the home run the joint topweight Eyes Wide Open kept at his task gamely, but Lerena had kept something in reserve and in a drive to the wire Kampala Campari got the less popular verdict by a head in a time of 111,46 secs.
Another July candidate in Doublemint had every chance but was beaten 1,80 lengths into third, with his stablemate Made To Conquer beaten a quarter length back in fourth. Suitable July preps in anybody’s book.
Conversely, and while not beaten far, the likes of Roy Had Enough and Dark Moon Rising would have done their July hopes no favours.
A La Plaisance Stud home-bred, the Andre Nel trained Kampala Campari’s previous feature best was a runner-up berth to Doublemint in the 2019 Peninsula Handicap.
He is a son of Querari out of four-time Captain Al winner, Kwitzina.
A winner of 6 races with 6 places from 19 starts, Kampala Campari took his stakes earned to R670 525 for well-known owner Sabine Plattner.
Final July supplementary entries close on 18 June.
Gr3 Cup Trial (SAf-Gr3)
Greyville, South Africa, June 8, R250k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.51.46
1 – KAMPALA CAMPARI (SAF), 59.0, b g 5, Querari (GER) – Kwitizina (SAF) by Captain Al (SAF). Owner Mrs S Plattner; Breeder La Plaisance Stud; trainer A Nel; jockey G Lerena
2 – Eyes Wide Open (SAF), 60.0, b c 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Live Your Dreams (SAF) by Jallad (USA)
3 – Doublemint (SAF), 57.5, ch c 4, Twice Over (GB) – Nepeta (NZ) by Tale Of The Cat (USA)
Margins: 0.10, 1.80, 0.25