SA national log-leading jockey Warren Kennedy and trainer Paul Peter retained their top-class strike-rate and again came out tops in a tight finish.
This time it was the Pathfork mare Jet Start who broke the heart of Alec Laird’s Green Haze in a desperately tight finish to the R200 000 Gr3 London News Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.
When things are going well, little goes against the grain and when Jet Start looked to have plenty to do at the 300m with ground to make up on the leader Chijmes, the London News Stakes outcome was balanced on a knife-edge.
But the KZN-based Warren Kennedy pulled the confidence badge as he drove the Pathfork mare hard with S’manga Khumalo looking to be the joker in the pack on the strong-finishing Green Haze.
With Chijmes just running out of juice in the final 50m, Kennedy hit the line and saluted as Jet Start (10-1) pipped Green Haze (9-2) by a nose in a time of 112,21 secs.
Chijmes (7-2) ran his heart out as usual to stay on for third, a half length back.
The favourite Al Mutawakel (12-10) showed little interest early and put in his best late in the race – eventually running fourth and a length off the winner.
Bred by the Dimakogiannis partnership, in whose renowned royal blue and white that she races, the winner – the only member of the fairer sex in the small field – is by form Ridgemont Highlands Irish Champion Pathfork (Distorted Humor) out of the unraced Jet Master mare, Jet Mark.
This was a deserved first stakes success for Jet Start who took her earnings to R588 925 for her sixth win with 8 places from her 22 starts.
Pathfork has just one lot on the Cape Premier Yearling Sale on 16 January.
Gr3 London News Stakes (SAf-Gr3)
Turffontein, South Africa, January 4, R200k, 1800m, turf, good, 1.52.21
1 – JET START (SAF), 55.5, b m 5, Pathfork (USA) – Jet Mark (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF). Owner Messrs P T & P Dimakogiannis; Breeder PT & P Dimakogiannis; trainer PA Peter; jockey W Kennedy
2 – Green Haze (SAF), 57.5, b g 4, Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Mizzen Mist (SAF) by Western Winter (USA)
3 – Chijmes (SAF), 57.5, ch g 4, Ato (SAF) – Sophie’s Choice (SAF) by Russian Revival (USA)
Margins: 0.10, 0.50, 0.40