Drier’s Pearl Slams Slipper Field

First SA Gr1 winner for ill-fated Horse Chestnut

Chestnuts N Pearls wins Golden Slipper

Chestnuts N Pearls (Sean Cormack) gets the better of Almashooqa to win the Golden Slipper

The failure of the much vaunted Princess Royal to run to her best form opened the door for the Dennis Drier-trained Chestnuts N Pearls to register a first SA Gr1 win for her ill-fated sire, Horse Chestnut, in the R600 000 Golden Slipper at Greyville on Saturday.

Shrewd money during the week saw the Nutfield Stud-bred Chestnuts N Pearls shorten on the betting boards from 25-1 to 7-1 and the confidence was to prove spot on as she reversed the Allan Robertson Championship form with Princess Royal – who simply failed to go on with it after being given every chance by Greg Cheyne.

A big girl with plenty of substance, Chestnuts N Pearls was an impressive winner at Scottsville on debut, and had run some 6,25 lengths behind Princess Royal in the Gr1 Allan Robertson – but showed great maturity and promise at her first Greyville start, and over the extra 200m.

Sean Cormack

Sean Cormack – rode a good winner

Sean Veale had Toni Performs up front as she led Devon Air Stakes placer Lauderdale and La Strada, with Chestnuts N Pearls relaxed four lengths off them.

Into the home run, Greg Cheyne hooked the 15-10 Princess Royal out for a clear run on the outside as Chestnuts N Pearls went with her, and Frosted Honey and Almashooqa started their engines.

In a matter of strides, Sean Cormack had Chestnuts N Pearls in front and galloping strongly, as Almashooqa tried hard.

Backed from 25-1 to 7-1, Chestnuts N Pearls registered her first stakes win in assertive fashion, going away to win by 1,50 lengths in a time of 85,53 secs.

Almashooqa stayed on for second, while the poorly drawn Sapsan flew up late for third.

Chestnuts N Pearls was bred by Nutfield Stud and took her stakes earnings to R423 750, in her 2 wins from 3 starts.

She was bought by Mayesh Chetty for R260 000 on the 2014 Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale

She is a beautifully bred daughter of Horse Chestnut and is out of the one-time winning Elliodor mare, Pearl Hostess.

That makes her a half-sister to the talented stakes winner Golden Dawn and she hails from the great Party Time family, which produced last season’s Equus Champion Filly In The Fast Lane.

Horse Chestnut wins the 1998 Dingaans

Horse Chestnut wins the 1998 Dingaans

As a sire Horse Chestnut produced the Gr1 Garden City Breeders’ Cup Handicap winner Lucifer’s Stone in the USA.

Horse Chestnut, who died suddenly in February this year, is arguably the best racehorse to have run in South Africa in the past 40 years and South Africa’s first Triple Crown winner.

In a short, but glittering career, Horse Chestnut won nine of his ten career starts and earned $474,036.

His track achievements included Equus Horse of the Year in 1999 and Champion 3YO Colt. He won from 1000m in 57.3 sec on his debut to the 2450m of the Gr1 SA Derby  by 10 lengths. Horse Chestnut was the first three-year-old in 54 years to win the J&B Met.

In his only start on foreign soil he won the Gr3 Broward Handicap at Gulfstream Park by 5.5 lengths. His racing career was unfortunately curtailed due to injury and retired to Claiborne farm; he was subsequently bought by the Horse Chestnut Syndicate and brought back to South Africa in 2009 where he stood at Drakenstein till his passing this year.


Gr1 Golden Slipper  (SAf-Gr1)

Greyville, South Africa, July 4, R600k, 1400m, turf, good, 1.25.53

1 – CHESTNUTS N PEARLS (SAF), 60.0, b f 2, Horse Chestnut (SAF) – Pearl Hostess (SAF) by Elliodor (FR). Owner Vendel Civils (Pty) Ltd & Messrs M A Currie & Mayesh Chetty; Breeder Nutfield Stud; trainer DR Drier; jockey S Cormack
2 – Almashooqa (AUS), 60.0, b f 2, Bernardini (USA) – Joy Of Flight (AUS) by Flying Spur (AUS)
3 – Sapsan (SAF), 60.0, b f 2, Lateral (GB) – Shinkanzen (SAF) by Cordoba (USA)
Margins: 1.50, 0.50, 0.10

bsa graduate_web winner

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