Diamonds Are Forever

Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery

Bright prospect: King's Temptress rocks the world under Fanie Chambers to win the Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery

One could hear the proverbial pin drop at Turffontein, and we imagine in most tote outlets around the country, as Kimberley trainer Corrie Lensley produced one of the biggest feature race upsets in recent memory to win the prestigious Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery run over 1160m. For the statistics boffins, the win was made even more unlikely by the fact that the Waterford Stud-bred King’s Temptress’ trainer Corrie Lensley has only ever trained one juvenile winner in his career.

This was shades of the 2002 November Handicap at Newmarket Racecourse. Many punters will recall that Saturday afternoon when a young apprentice Kevin Derere rode his first Gr1 winner on a 100-1 outsider called Grand Format for trainer Spike Lerena. The six year old gelding stayed on to beat the 18-10 favourite Eventuail. Both horses were owned by the late legend of owners, Laurie Jaffee.

On Saturday punters and the experts never saw this one coming and the money came for the unbeaten daughter of Trippi, Franny who campaigns in the famous yellow and black Oppenheimer silks.Gavin Van Zyl’s beautiful Highlands Stud-bred started a hot order at 9-20. Hardly surprisingly, as Franny came into this race unbeaten in her two easy feature race starts.

But after jumping slightly slowly, Franny had a mountain to scale and ran on gamely, albeit rather tamely, for a three length third behind King’s Temptress and the promising Genuine Leather. Fanie Chambers rode an obviously stress-free race to settle the first timer, and he bounced her clear down the outside to win like a filly who had done it all before. King’s Temptress won by an emphatic  two lengths in a time of 68,44 secs. She was very Impressive indeed!

The Mike De Kock-trained Encosta De Lago filly Umneeyatee was another disappointment  after winning on debut by 8,75 lengths and she finished in sixth position and nine lengths off the winner.

The post-mortems and inevitable excuses should not be allowed to detract from a breathtaking debut effort by a visitor from a centre that is, with all due respect, a backwater of South African horseracing and from a yard that has no big guns on board.

The Franny family recovered some of their dented pride when a few minutes later at Kenilworth, the well backed two year old debutante Solid Sister could do no better than third and was beaten by two three year olds. At this time of the year that is hardly a surprise. The winner of that race, Grand National, is a three part sister to the dam of Franny and is owned by her breeder.

King’s Temptress  was bred by Waterford Stud and is by the Sadler’s Wells stallion King Of Kings who stood his first season in South Africa in 2006. The astute would have noted that he was champion sire of two year olds in New Zealand in 2003.  She is out of the unraced  Model Man mare Model Mam’selle –  a half-sister to the well performed Arcsa Champion Three Year Old Colt of 1993, Golden Taipan.

In a tragic twist of timing for her breeders Ben and Richard Sahd of Waterford Stud, King’s Temptress’ half-brother by Casey Tibbs was knocked down for R60 000 just twenty-four hours earlier at the National Yearling Sale. That’s the way it goes in racing. Bidders may have to go a little higher for the family in the future.

Time will tell how good King’s Mistress really is and whether she will be making appearances down at Flamingo Park. At this stage she looks the bargain of the century as a R70 000 National Sale graduate.

SA Fillies Nursery (SAf-G2) (4/28)
Turffontein, South Africa, April 28, R400.000, 1160m, turf, good, 1.08.44 (CR 1.05.12).
1 -KING’S TEMPTRESS (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, King Of Kings (IRE) – Model Mam’selle (SAF) by Model Man (SAF). Owner M B Govender; breeder Waterford Stud (SAF); trainer C Lensley; jockey F Chambers (R250.000)
2 -Genuine Leather (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Kabool (GB) – Rocky Rituals (SAF) by Rocky Marriage
3 -Franny (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Trippi – Scented Samantha (SAF) by National Assembly (CAN)
Margins: 2, 1, nose
Also ran: Ilha Da Rock (AUS) 58.0, Kleintjie (SAF) 58.0, Umneeyatee (AUS) 58.0, Sea Shadow (SAF) 58.0, Sweet Destiny (SAF) 58.0, Size Does Count (SAF) 58.0, Cotillion (SAF) 58.0


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