Hollywoodbets-sponsored trainer Corne Spies enjoyed a double at Turffontein on Saturday, with his Potala Palace filly Singforafa aging him a few years when she looked beaten, but got the better of a thrilling duel with Paul Peter’s Che Bella to win the R150 000 Listed Bauhinia Handicap.
Such was the tight nature of the tussle between the top two, commentator Alistair Cohen put his proverbial on the line by calling a dead-heat. Apparently he had heard Singapore caller Luke Marlowe pull off the feat earlier in the week.
While it was close, Craig Zackey got the big cheque on the top-rated filly Singforafa (77-20), who shaded her year older opponent Che Bella (21-4) by a painful nose in a time of 57,12 secs.
Green Plains (11-2) was well beaten in third.
“I don’t know how Craig kept her going,” said Spies.
“Pity she hung in. It was a great run after a break and in the sticky going. I know owner Xander Spies will enjoy this!” said Zackey.
Bred by Mr NJ Swart, who leases her to Corne’s Grandson, the winner is a daughter of Ridgemont Highlands’ Singspiel stallion Potala Palace out of the three-time winning Whistling Wood mare, First Whistle.
A winner of the Gr3 Strelitzia Stakes as a 2yo, and once described by Zackey as one of the fastest fillies he has ridden, Singforafa took her win tally to 4 from 12 with 3 places and stakes of R462 125.