The smart Tiger Ridge mare Meryl benefitted from a terrific ride by the Winning Form-sponsored Charles Ndlovu to clinch the second stakes victory of her career in the shadow of the Fairview post on Friday.
A past winner of Listed Devon Air Stakes and Gr1 placed, Meryl overcame a wide draw and traffic problems to score a gutsy win at her second start in the Eastern Cape.
Her dashing 1100m prep earlier this month gave hint of her well-being, and Charles Ndlovu made no mistakes on the former Dean Kannemeyer-trained mare.
Settled in midfield after overcoming her awful draw, the Sporting Post top-rated Meryl (6-1) was climbing all over them at the 350m and despite a check and switch late in the contest, the chestnut found a surging finishing effort to catch the free-running Raven Girl in the final stride to win by a short head in a time of 122,58 secs.
Raven Girl looked a winner everywhere but the line and shouldn’t be long in winning again.
Studio Blues was a half length away in third, with Delia’s Delight completing the R9 385 quartet, with just over a length completing the quartet.
Bred by newly crowned SA Champion breeders Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein, Meryl is a daughter of Tiger Ridge (Storm Cat) out of the four-time winning Rose Lipped Maiden (Fort Wood).
Meryl was purchased for R450 000 on the National Yearling Sale and has won 4 races with 4 places from 14 starts for stakes of R435 600. Alan Greeff confirmed that she will stay in training for the season.
Charles Ndlovu, who doesn’t ride the stable elects every day, has made a famous start to the season – his six winners to date coming at a 23% win strike-rate. His place strike-rate is 26%.
Alan Greeff saddled a treble on the afternoon – the other two ridden by Teaque Gould and Greg Cheyne, respectively.