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The Sands Of Time!

Slow time - but July prep mission accomplished

Eric Sands’ 2019 Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge ran the perfect prep for his assault on the Vodacom Durban July in just over three weeks time, when dictating matters and going from gun to tape to register his third Gr1 success in the R425 000 Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Sunday.

The big son of Ideal World had not seen race action since his narrow defeat by new Klawervlei sire One World in the Sun Met 21 weeks ago, and while he was workmanlike in a gallop at the track two weeks ago, his veteran trainer was suitably pleased by a smart win in testing circumstances on Sunday.

Warren Kennedy salutes as Rainbow Bridge stays on smoothly (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

With nobody keen to go and lead in the seven horse field, Winning Form’s SA log-leader Warren Kennedy showed the confidence and led all the way, with Vardy(5-2) producing a storming late run from some way back down the outside.

Just 0,90 lengths separated the top two with Rainbow Bridge (5-2) never really stretched.

While he turned the tables on his old adversary and defending champion Do It Again, who was 1,30 lengths back in third, Rainbow Bridge’s winning time of 98,38 secs paled against the Snaith runner’s 2019 victory time achieved in 96,39 secs on similarly good ground.

But for the Sands team, and the staunch Rattrays, who are waiting patiently for their first July trophy, it was mission accomplished.

Trainer Eric Sands, who celebrated his 64th birthday on Friday, sent his warmest congratulations to Mr and Mrs Rattray and breeders Mary Slack and her team.

He also thanked Peter Muscutt and Warren Kennedy for the work they had done at Summerveld with Rainbow Bridge in the Milnerton trainer’s absence during lockdown.

Jockey Warren Kennedy, who is finding his winning form again, said that while his mount didn’t quite settle, he enjoyed it in front and was only found wanting in the final 100m – not bad in the circumstances!

A R300 000 National Yearling Sale buy, Rainbow Bridge was bred by Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein and is a 5yo gelded son of Ideal World (Kingmambo).

The winner is out of the versatile seven-time winner Halfway To Heaven (Jet Master), whose successes included the 2013 Gr3 Prix Du Cap when trained by the same Eric Sands.

SA Champion Broodmare, Halfway To Heaven was set for an extraordinary weekend with her Silvano son Hawwaam winning the Gr1  Premier’s Champions Challenge at Turffontein on Saturday, and another of her progeny Golden Ducat (Philanthropist) running in the Gr1 Daily News 2000 later on Sunday.

Rainbow Bridge has never been out of the money – he has won 8 races with 8 places from 8 starts from 16 starts for stakes of R6 308 125.

Well done to Hollywoodbets for stepping in for their maiden Gr1 race sponsorship.

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6 comments on “The Sands Of Time!

  1. Dev Govender says:

    Probably my happiest moment of the season, seeing this wonderfully consistent horse pick up another Gr1 – and while it was a small field, it was one packed with class and showing why this race really does live up to its “Gold” tag year after year.

    As the risk of sounding naive, it bothers me somewhat that Rainbow Bridge does not seem to generate the same amount of hype and plaudits as his more vaunted half-brother Hawwaam. Don’t get me wrong – Hawwaam is a star performer in his own right and he was brilliant again at Turffontein yesterday. But the uncomfortable fact is that Rainbow Bridge (and One World) have beaten him twice at WFA, and that too in two of the most prestigious races in the country. Granted, Hawwaam wasn’t at his best in Cape Town, but where does one draw the line in finding excuses for a beaten horse and not giving credit to the horses who’ve actually beaten him head-to-head? (To stretch a point, one could argue that Do It Again was nowhere near his best in Cape Town and would have won both the Queens Plate and Met if he ran to his best form).

    Again, I’m not disputing the brilliance of Hawwaam – I’m just putting forward the argument that Rainbow Bridge, over the course of his career, has generally faced greater strength-in-depth (2 Mets, 2 Queens Plates, 2 Gold Challenges, a July and a Champions Cup) than his half-brother AND has beaten him twice.

    In the final analysis, I do believe that Hawwaam will stamp his authority in Australia and I agree with MdK’s assertion that he will win a Gr 1 there. But until then, there’s a case to be made that Rainbow Bridge is currently the more accomplished of the half-brothers, so maybe he deserves a bit more respect and recognition for his efforts.

  2. Tracy low says:

    Couldnt agree more with your comments Deev.. Reputation should be based on what you have done not what you are about to do. Top ride Warren Kennedy. Produce to the minute by a great team. How to keep a horse at the top on the boil for three years !! Class act.

  3. hilton witz says:

    i would like to know what happened to the long time sponsors of this race the rising sun who used to attract huge crowds to this event firstly at its rightful home clairwood and now at greyville…

  4. Anand Chetty says:

    Hilton, I’m surprised the Rising Sun didn’t pull out earlier. With so much of effort, the tiny field, in my opinion, is an insult to the sponsors.
    Apparently some connections don’t enter their July prospects for this race and the Daily News 2000 because of the risk of penalties.
    Which is why there should be NO penalties for any entrant in these two races, however these races could still be used to determine who gets into the final July field. No owner or trainer should complain, the playing fields are level for everybody.
    Rules, regulations, whatever need to adapt to changing times

  5. donald bradshaw says:

    The Rising Sun at Clairwood was a fantastic days entertainment and although they still sponsored the next few years at Greyville it was never the same so their mileage for sponsorship declined ?

    Couple this to the fact that ALL newspapers / magazines are under severe threat and many have already closed their doors due in part to the internet / smart phones one can be thankful that The Daily News and Mercury are still in the sport in K.Z.N. !

  6. Dev Govender says:

    While there are a number of valid questions/points raised above regarding the sponsorship, I wouldn’t consider the small fields to be an insult because the great thing about this race is that even when it’s a small field, it’s still got loads of quality. Even with only seven horses running, this year’s renewal was packed with class and had more strength-in-depth than the Champions Challenge on Saturday.

    Do It Again’s performance last year in a small field was breathtaking and a few years ago, when Variety Club won it at Clairwood, only five horses ran – but again, a quality field and it made for a fascinating spectacle.

    Along with the Queens Plate, I consider this race more of a championship test than the July, although obviously neither race can match the July for glamour and capturing the public imagination.

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