Paul Matchett and his loyal owners the Wentzels have enjoyed the season of a lifetime. And they joined the rarified ranks of Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara winners courtesy of Muzi Yeni and their Summerhill-bred superstar War Of Athena at Turffontein on Saturday.
A daughter of Dynasty stallion Act Of War, War Of Athena started at prohibitive odds and earned a R1 million bonus as she joined the hallowed honour roll of past SA Triple Tiara princesses Igugu (2011), Cherry On The Top (2013) and Summer Pudding (2020), when she overcame a solid pace set by the opposition camp and put the naysayers to bed with an impressive victory in the R375 000 Wilgerbosdrift Gr2 SA Oaks.
Enjoying a great day after he had steered Got The Greenlight to victory in the Gr1 HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes a half hour earlier, Muzi Yeni had War Of Athena confidently relaxed 20 lengths off the Paul Peter pair of Lotus and Sacred Lotus for much of the trip.
In the run for home, War Of Athena lengthened her stride and went past the opposition as if they were standing still.
With only Sparkling Water (12-1) throwing out any sort of challenge, Yeni was looking left and right, but there was no trouble in sight.
War Of Athena went on as the shortest price winner of the prestigious series to beat Sparkling Water by 2 lengths in a time of 156, 38 secs.
Third placed Netta (12-1) was seven lengths adrift in third.
A R30 000 buy from the 2019 Ready To Run Sale, War Of Athena has won 8 races (from 1200m to 2450m) with 5 places from 14 starts for stakes of R1 401 300.
Bred by Summerhill, she was a first Gr1 winner for her fast ascending Dynasty sire Act Of War when she won last time.
She is out of a Requiem / Coastal mare Qaphela, who has produced 4 other winners, and is a half-sister to two South African stakes winners – from the same family as Gold Cup winner Desert Links and French Oaks heroine Dunette.
War Of Athena’s former Zimbabwe owner Roy Wentzel and Dr Rose Waterman-Wentzel have indicated that they have received many ‘wild offers’ for their star.
But for R30 000, she is giving them the ride of a lifetime!