A sensational victory in Saturday’s R1 million Gr1 Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic by unbeaten 2020 SA Triple Tiara princess-in-waiting Summer Pudding lifted the spirits of South African horseracing at Turffontein on Classic Day as the daughter of Silvano set up a lifechanger at the same venue on 4 April, and give her trainer Paul Peter a long overdue first Gr1 success.
The former paint retailer turned top racehorse trainer saddled his first winner at Hollywoodbets Greyville in July 2010 and almost a decade on, he needs to keep pinching himself as he finds himself associating with great horses and the big guns of the game, as he stands on the brink of racing history.
There are so many great angles on the equine and human participants in a fairytale that looks all set for a glorious conclusion in the first week of April.
And it all hinges around an impeccably-related Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein-bred 3yo called Summer Pudding, who has won the first two legs of the SA Triple Tiara in a fashion that has branded her ‘the peoples’ horse’ in double quick time.
On Saturday, going the 1800m for the first time and competing in her maiden Gr1, she pulled herself to the front at the 400m marker. It looked like she hit the front too early and the challengers were still there, but Summer Pudding (13-10) carried too many guns and she powered clear to hold Marygold (11-1) to win by a length in a time of 111,38 secs.
Pacesetter Magic School (28-1) stayed on well for third a further length back.
Gauteng Guineas runner-up Rio’s Winter made an early move but faded out to hold on to fourth and 4,50 lengths off the winner.
Winning Form-sponsored Warren Kennedy, who spent the week in bed with a bout of flu, continued his dream season.
“She ran up to them with a double handful. She couldn’t wait to go. It’s going to be very difficult to beat her in the final leg, “ he said, as he thanked the owners and the Peter team.
Wilgerbosdrift’s Mary Slack was on course to lead the star in,
“Summer Pudding is from one of the best families. She looks so much like Cherry On The Top. Well done to the Paul Peter team and Warren Kennedy. And I’m so thrilled a Flower Alley ran second,” she added.
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 now won five from five and took her earnings to R1 120 375.
The final leg of the Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara 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. But that hardly matters.
Who is going to stop this express train?
Gr1 SA Fillies Classic (SAf-Gr1)
Turffontein, South Africa, March 7, R1 million, 1800m, turf, good, 1.51.38
1 – SUMMER PUDDING (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Silvano (GER) – Cherry On The Cake (SAF) by Strike Smartly (CAN). Owner Mauritzfontein (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mrs J B Jell); Breeder Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein; trainer PA Peter; jockey W Kennedy
2 – Marygold (SAF), 60.0, b f 3, Flower Alley (USA) – Glenrossal (SAF) by Anytime (IRE)
3 – Magic School (SAF), 60.0, ch f 3, Philanthropist (USA) – Magic Approach (SAF) by Right Approach (GB)
Margins: 1.00, 1.00, 2.50