While things didn’t go the way of Highveld-based champion Mrs Geriatrix, Glen Kotzen and the Arundel family find themselves with a serious WSB Cape Fillies Guineas candidate after Lancaster Bomber’s daughter Rascova handed out a galloping lesson to her rivals in the R400 000 Gr2 Western Cape Fillies Championship at Hollywoodbets Durbanville on Saturday.
Sandy and Eugene Arundel are relative new arrivals in the owner ranks, but have enjoyed some serious success.
And they now have their maiden Gr1 winner on the radar after Rascova – coincidentally their first ever listed winner – also gave them their first Gr2 strike, courtesy of a superbly judged front-running ride by Craig Zackey.
Saturday 11 November 2023 will go down as a memorable one for the Arundels, who were celebrating their Grandson Ethan’s fifth birthday, and the 2023 Listed Summer Juvenile Stakes victress Rascova put the cherry on the cake as she came of age as a serious classic prospect.
Showing her characteristic lightning gate speed, Rascova, like the favourite having her first start at the country course, was out fast from her 9 slot and Zackey shrewdly dictated the pace thereafter, with the unbeaten 14-10 shot Mrs Geriatrix finding things tough from her 5 gate.
Richard Fourie tried as he could to slot Mrs Geriatrix in, but was given no quarter, and eventually found himself in the wilderness on the outside. Nothing went her way!
All the while, Rascova, who was running fresh after a 14 week break, was relaxed out front and she never looked like being caught as she upped the fractions into the straight to score a 3,50 length win in a time of 84,40 secs.
Double Grand Slam (28-10) had no say with the winner, but looks likely to be better over a mile and ran on encouragingly for second ahead of the winner’s game stablemate Royals (33-1) in third.
Gqeberha raider Luna Halo (16-1) was not disgraced in fourth, with Mrs Geriatrix 1,50 lengths behind her, after failing to accelerate in the straight after a luckless and horrific first half.
Rascova has been a flagbearer for the sorely missed Drakenstein sire, Lancaster Bomber. She was her sire’s first winner, his first black type winner when she won the Listed City Of Cape Town Summer Juvenile Stakes Christophe Soumillon on Met day, and now becomes the son of War Front’s first Gr2 winner!
A R260 000 Cape Yearling Sale graduate, the Cheveley Stud-bred Rascova is out of the five-time winning Western Winter mare, Netsuke.
Now a winner of 3 races with 2 places from 8 starts, Rascova took her stakes earnings to R785 938.
Trainer Glen Kotzen gave the credit for Rascova settling to Chad Little, who rides her in work every day.
After Princess Calla’s solid effort in defeat on her season debut earlier in the card, Mrs Geriatrix’ effort will probably be debated by pundits for some weeks.
Enjoy the replay:
We did try to make contact with trainer Sean Tarry for a comment, but he was expecting her to come on with the outing under the belt.
Jockey Richard Fourie paid a sporting compliment to the winner and said that Mrs Geriatrix will be a better proposition at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth.
Another runner to disappoint was the exciting Winter Cloud, who was trying a trip for the first time. She ran 13,60 lengths downfield on what was a very quiet day for the Bass-Robinson stable.
Justin Snaith and Glen Kotzen enjoyed a double on the day.
The Pick 6 pool produced a part carryover of R1 020 676 – 45. Let’s hope we get to see some of that injected when we return to Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on 26 November!
It was a tough day and luck is always probably going to be play more of a factor at the country course. But let’s take nothing away from the winners.