Trainer Kum Naidoo signalled his serious Emerald Cup aspirations at the Vaal this afternoon when the Kahal gelding Storm Surf made short work of the opposition in the topliner, an MR 103 Handicap, to register a hat trick of course and distance wins.
The 1450m event was run over the same distance as Africa’s richest sand race in two months from now and the 5yo gelding has absolutely impeccable sand form.
The surface and distance specialist has now run six times on the sand, for four wins, all of which were over the Emerald trip.
He was ridden for the first time this afternoon by the red hot S’manga Khumalo, who can do little wrong at the moment.
Mike Azzie’s Eugenes predictably made the pace and was still going comfortably at the 300m marker as Khumalo got to work on Storm Surf.
In a matter of strides Storm Surf glided past and increased his advantage all the way to the line to win by 1,75 lengths in a time of 89,20 secs.
Eugenes hung on for second, while Right Beauty came again after looking dead and buried at the 400m marker, to hold third.
The KZN Sale graduate cost just R40 000 and took his earnings with this victory to R334 000. A healthy return indeed!
He has now won six races with 1 place from 15 starts.
He was bred by Avalon Stud and is by Kahal out of the Raise A Man mare, Raise A Storm.
The R600 000 Gr2 Emerald Cup 1450m will be run on 28 September.
The big Vereeniging day includes social activities and is a well patronised institution these days.
Other features on the afternoon include the R150 000 Emerald Fillies Handicap (Listed) 1450m, the R150 000 Hampton Handicap (Listed) run over 1000m, the R150 000 Banyana Handicap (Listed) run over 1000m, the R125 000 Vaal River Handicap run over 1800m, the R125 000 Sophomore 1000 run over 1000m and the R125 000 Sophomore Fillies 1000 over 1000m.