Gr2 Dingaans: The Apache for Mogok

The Apache wins Gr2 Dingaans (JC Photo)


The big priced winners just kept on coming in the big Turffontein races on Saturday and the Investec Dingaans proved to be no exception when 40/1 outsider The Apache produced a storming late run to land the spoils in this relatively early test of three-year-old talent.

Kavanagh had won his seasonal debut in the Gr 3 Graham Beck Stakes three weeks earlier despite a very wide draw and being badly cut into during the running, and went off as the 18/10 Dingaans favourite ahead of Graham Beck runner-up Galileo’s Destiny, who was the 28/10 second choice in a field of 14.  Gold Onyx found plenty of late support to start as the 4/1 third favourite.

The pace was respectable from the start as Western Front (a stable companion to Galileo’s Destiny) showed the way at a decent gallop from Snowdon and Fidelis, with Captain’s Key next in line.  The market principals were all ridden with patience in the group, with The Apache also well off the pace.  Western Front began to weaken soon after turning for home, where Kavanagh looked to be travelling very nicely and starting to creep closer to the action.  The favourite looked the likely winner as he led into the last 200m, with Galileo’s Destiny running on steadily wider out, but a mile has appeared to just catch Kavanagh out before now and it evidently did so again in the Dingaans.  Mike de Kock’s colt was running out of gas 100m from home and had no answer whatsoever to The Apache, who burst onto the scene late and stretched away to win by 1.25 lengths from Galileo’s Destiny, who collared Kavanagh right on the line to snatch second place.

Kavanagh may just be one of those unfortunate horses who is at his very best around 1400m, a distance which hardly offers a wealth of rich opportunities in South Africa, although he may yet get 1600m on an easier course than the Turffontein standside track later at three.  It would be interesting to see what would happen if he is returned to sprinting, though, for he did after all win the Gr 2 Nursery over 1160m on his debut last season.

Approachable stayed on steadily to finish fourth, beaten two lengths by the winner, and may prove even more effective over longer distances than this later in the season.  He couldn’t produce the same sort of acceleration as The Apache, but Approachable was making quite steady headway and hinted at the possibility of some better things to come in 2011.  Hitherto unbeaten Snowdon appeared to have every chance before finishing 4.5 lengths behind the winner in fifth, but last season’s Gr 1 winning juvenile Gold Onyx again showed consistency to not be one of his most obvious characteristics and finished 22 lengths behind the winner, with only a tailed-off and thoroughly pooped Western Front behind him.

The Apache was ridden by Raymond Danielson, who confessed afterwards to having given the colt a poor ride when he finished five lengths behind Kavanagh in the Graham Beck, noting that he’s used up the colt’s turn of foot much too soon.  This was echoed by trainer Gavin van Zyl, who remarked that The Apache had gone from virtually last to hitting the front in the space of about 150m in the Graham Beck, before running out of gas.  There were no similar errors of judgement from Danielson in the Dingaans, where he rode The Apache for the second time in a race and where he put the lessons learned the first time to good use.

The Apache came here rated five pounds below Galileo’s Destiny and fully twelve pounds below Kavanagh.  He is clearly improving (even if Kavanagh ran below his best), and his ability to switch off in a race and then quicken in this sort of fashion will always stand him in good stead.   He probably will stay a bit further than a mile, and we are likely to see more of The Apache in some of the big three-year-old races of the Turffontein autumn season.    However, he could be slated for a fairly departure from these shores, as he races in the ownership of Hong Kong resident Winston Chow.

A son of Mogok, (whose top class daughter Gypsy’s Warning won the Gr 1 Matriarch Stakes in California on the same day as the Dingaans), The Apache is the fourth foal and third winner produced from Dolpour mare Apache Rose, who won four races (all over 1600m) and who in turn is a daughter of the top class sprinting mare Bold West.  Bred by the Scott Bros and bought for R80 000 at the 2009 National Two Year Old Sale, The Apache has won three of his six starts and earned R403 750.

Dingaans (SAf-G2) (11/27)

Turffontein, South Africa, November 27, R500.000, 1600m, turf, good, 1.36.13 (CR 1.35.44).

THE APACHE (SAF), 58.0, b c 3, Mogok – Apache Rose (SAF) by Dolpour (IRE). Owner W Chow; breeder Scott Bros (Saf); trainer G v Zyl; jockey R Danielson (312.500)

Galileo’s Destiny (NZ), 58.0, b c 3, Galileo (IRE) – Destined (GB) by Danehill

Kavanagh (SAF), 58.0, b c 3, Tiger Ridge – Quaestio by Seeking The Gold

Margins: 1¼, nose, ¾

Also ran: Approachable (SAF) 58.0, Snowdon (SAF) 58.0, Captain’s Key (SAF) 58.0, Legal Maxim (SAF) 58.0, Fidelis (SAF) 58.0, Royal Charger (SAF) 58., Bold Al (SAF) 58., Selborne Supremacy (SAF) 58.0, Land Baron (SAF) 58.0, Gold Onyx (NZ) 58.0, Western Front (SAF) 58.0

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