Charles Is King

L'Ormarins Gr1 King's Plate (WFA)

After twenty years of sponsoring South Africa’s most prestigious weight-for-age mile, Gaynor Rupert and her Drakenstein team finally celebrated a victory in the King’s Plate at the 163rd renewal at Hollywoodbets Kenilworth on Saturday, courtesy of a 4yo who has been labelled ‘the future of Drakenstein’.

He sure is a King! Charles Dickens gives trainer Candice Bass-Robinson and jockey Aldo Domeyer their maiden success in the major (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The R2 million L’Ormarins Gr1 King’s Plate became the Charles Dickens show as the colt’s electrifying late burst from midfield made it three wins from four renewals for his champion sire Trippi, in the process giving trainer Candice Bass-Robinson and jockey Aldo Domeyer their maiden success in the major, after a desperately close defeat twelve months earlier.

Registering his third Gr1 success, and taking his earnings over the R5 million marker, the chestnut champion showed that his below-par effort in the WSB Green Point Stakes on 2 December over Saturday’s track and trip, was simply all wrong.

On Saturday, a more stripped and cucumber cool Charles Dickens (14-10) settled in the early running and with no excuses offered or asked, he streaked through and stamped his authority with frightening assertion to beat his recent conqueror See It Again (14-10) by 2,75 lengths in a time of 97,88 secs.

First Snaith runner home was the 50-1 Royal Aussie, who ran out of his skin to place third a further 1,25 lengths back.

Defending champion Al Muthana (40-1) was a head back in fourth.

While See It Again was made to look almost flat-footed in the final stages by Charles Dickens’ turn of foot, and couldn’t provide Piere Strydom with his seventh trophy in the magic mile, the WSB Cape Town Met favourite will be cherry ripe and all set for the 2000m test on 27 January.

When Drakenstein boss Gaynor Rupert accepted the beautiful silverware from Lord Robin Renwick she conceded that Saturday 6 January 2024 would go down as the most memorable raceday of her life.

The blue team earlier raced and bred the Cartier Gr1 Paddock Stakes winner Beach Bomb, and look set for another record season.

Charles Dickens – a winner of 10 races with 3 places from 13 starts (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Now a winner of 10 races with 3 places from 13 starts for stakes of R5 119 813, Charles Dickens is a Drakenstein home-bred son of past SA Champion sire Trippi (End Sweep) out of the five-times stakes winner Demanding Lady (Dynasty), who scored up to 2200m.

What a horse!

Enjoy the replay:


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