Gr1 Milestone Magic Moments

Gareth van Zyl, Vercingetorix and happy owners!

Winning Form-sponsored jockey Warren Kennedy has earned the reputation as a Gr1 icebreaker.

Earlier this year he rode Paul Peter’s first. And on Saturday at Hollywoodbets Scottsville, he rode Gareth van Zyl’s maiden Gr1 when the undefeated Vernichey won a hard fought victory in the R325 000 Allan Robertson Championship.

It was a momentous race – Vernichey’s win also being a first Gr1 not only for her young conditioner, but also for her Gr1 winning sire Vercingetorix (Silvano) – and her thrilled owners.

Warren Kennedy gets Vernichey home in a tight scrap (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The national championship log-leader, jockey Kennedy doubled his personal Gr1 tally to four last Sunday at Hollywoodbets Greyville when winning the Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge and the Woolavington 2000, and on Saturday made it 5 big ones at the same time riding his 200th winner of a dream season.

But all the credit belonged to Vercingetorix’ smart daughter Vernichey (33-10), who made it three straight wins down the Hollywoodbets Scottsville speed strip when she fought on courageously to thwart a powerful challenge by Sean Tarry raider Ecstatic Green (15-2) by a head in a time of 68,98 secs.

Paul Matchett’s visitor War Of Athena (50-1), a smart looking daughter of Act Of War, stayed on well for third another 0,70 lengths back.

The much hyped favourite Winter Smoke (2-1) was there for a long way, but had nothing to offer late in the race and ran a 2,55 length fourth, shading Kenilworth Fillies Nursery winner Delta Queen into fifth.

Vernichey was bred in a partnership between John Koster and the Birch family of Vogel Vlei Stud.

Colin Birch told the Sporting Post last month that Gareth van Zyl liked her in the inspection phase but she went through the KZN Yearling Sale ring unsold.

“Gareth came to us and managed to put a partnership together to purchase her for R125 000. She was a lovely filly and she has clearly furnished beautifully. We are thrilled,” said the veteran Dordrecht breeder previously.

.Vercingetorix stands at Maine Chance

Vernichey is a second crop daughter of Silvano son Vercingetorix – an Equus Champion and Gr1 Jebel Hatta winner. She is out of Captain Al’s three-time winning daughter, Pirate Queen – so hails from the Burst family.

Unbeaten in three starts, Vernichey took her stakes earnings to R328 125

Vercingetorix, whose first crop has thus far yielded 11 black type horses, including graded stakes winners African Warrior and Ikigai, has 18 lots on offer at the upcoming Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale.

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