The drama of a rein dropped late in running failed to unhinge the SA Triple Tiara dream for the high-riding combination of Warren Kennedy and Paul Peter! And the Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein teams celebrated a dramatic first leg victory for the magnificent undefeated Silvano filly Summer Pudding at Turffontein on Wednesday evening.
Mike de Kock’s Galileo flyer Igugu was the first filly to win the Triple Tiara. That was in 2011 and Ormond Ferraris-trained Cherry On The Top emulated the feat in 2013.
It has not been won since and the dream is surely on now with Summer Pudding only likely to get better as the distances step up from Wednesday’s R500 000 Wilgerbosdrift Gr2 Gauteng Fillies Guineas.
Warren Kennedy had the 23-10 favourite Summer Pudding about five lengths off the gallop set by Querari Ferrari and Virtuosa, with Rio’s Winter in the mix.
In the run for home, Virtuosa loomed dangerously as Kennedy got to work on Summer Pudding, who was taking her time to find her stride.
Piere Strydom, who has walked the Triple Tiara road with plenty of emotion in the past, scented blood and Rio’s Winter (9-1) came forward looking a winner.
But Kennedy can do little wrong and he kept Summer Pudding focussed as the daughter of Silvano came right back to gain a neck verdict in a time of 99,39 secs.
Oratorio daughter Rio’s Winter ran the race of her life in second and managed to hold off an unlucky Victoria Paige (15-2), who jumped from the widest draw and had her path blocked late.
Running off a rest of 14 weeks, David Niewenhuizen’s Mill Queen just tired late but held on gallantly for fourth,
Warren Kennedy said that they slowed the pace and he had to get to work on his mount early on ‘when the others were still sitting’.
“Rio’s Winter passed me, but testimony to Summer Pudding’s class she came right back at them. She came through the mile test. It’s now at her mercy, I think!” added the red hot Kennedy.
Trainer Paul Peter inherited Summer Pudding from his mentor Ormond Ferraris.
“I have been driving him crazy. I was worried she was underdone. Mr Ferraris came to see her today and gave her the thumbs up. And to my ex-boss James Maree. Wonderful owners. My son Tony. I have so many people to thank,” he added emotionally.
Jessica Jell – who recently gave birth to a daughter – and her Mom Mary Slack, were on course.
The winner is by champion sire Silvano (Lomitas) out of seven-time winning stakes winner Cherry On The Cake(Strike Smartly) – the latter a half sister to SA Triple Tiara winner Cherry On The Top (Tiger Ridge). They were daughters of the top-class Carolina Cherry.
Summer Pudding has made it a perfect four from four and took her earnings to R520 375.
The Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara is the richest series of races for fillies in Africa.
The second leg is the R1-million Wilgerbosdrift Gr1 SA Fillies Classic to be run over 1800m on the Turffontein Standside on Saturday 7 March.
The third leg is the R750 000 Wilgerbosdrift Gr2 SA Oaks to be run over 2450m on the Turffontein Standside on Saturday 4 April.
A bonus of R1 million will be paid to the owners of the filly that wins all three legs of the Triple Tiara.