The Dog Has His Day

Slumdogmillionaire wins Horse Chestnut Stakes

Guts! Slumdogmillionaire(PiereStrydom) gets up on teh inside to beat Whiteline Fever

Guts! Slumdogmillionaire(PiereStrydom) gets up on the inside to beat Whiteline Fever

In a masterful display from the saddle, brilliant jockey Piere Strydom got Slumdogmillionaire to rally from what seemed a beaten position, to get up and win the R1 million Gr1 Horse Chestnut Stakes run over a mile at Turffontein on Saturday.

The son of deceased Mauritzfontein stallion Strike Smartly ran a cracker over a distance short of his best, and now looks well on track for a crack at the R2 million Gr1 President’s Champions Challenge on Champion’s Day 27 April. Strydom confirmed afterwards that it ‘was the plan’ that he would ride the smashing colt in that race.

Starting at a generous 28 to 10, Slumdogmillionaire  beat  Whiteline Fever by a head in a time of 99,06 secs after the Right Approach gelding  had hit the front cruising at the 400m marker.

Zambucca had made the pace for most of the race and given Strydom and Slumdogmillionaire a cosy lead.

Into the straight Slumdogmillionaire moved up in the centre, and always looked to be outpaced.

Whiteline Fever showed no signs of the second run after a rest symptoms, and ran a great race in defeat.

Mike De Kock’s November Handicap winner Mujaarib showed that his recent return to form was genuine, by charging through late for third, just ahead of Knock On Wood, who was not disgraced in fourth.

Zambucca, who had made much of the pace, took the brunt of Slumdogmillionaire’s late switch in the race, and finished a fair fifth.

While the race worked out generally well to form, the one disappointment was Geoff Woodruff’s formerly consistent Approachable, who ran stone last.

Winning jockey Piere Strydom said that Slumdogmillionaire was a ‘really game horse’, and that the others had quickened up better than he had.

“ This was a very good win for a horse that patently needs further and was drawn wide. I must concede that I was a little worried as was still three wide going through the 1400m.

Trainer Gavin Van Zyl was full of praise for his son Chesney, who manages his Gauteng satellite yard and had the colt in terrific trim and looking fit: “ I am so proud of Chesney. He has done a great job and said we wouldn’t get beaten here. I changed my mind about Slumdog’s programme after he managed to win the 1400m Conditions Plate three weeks ago with blinkers, and supplemented him here rather than go for the lesser Colorado King Stakes.”

In what must rank as one of the rides of the season, the top ex jockey labelled Strydom’s  ride ‘brilliant, a fantastically well judged display of  pace and tactically good and praiseworthy.’

Slumdogmillionaire was bred by Gavin Schafer and is by Strike Smartly out of the Australian bred Last Tycoon mare, Make A Million.

Costing R550 000 on the National Yearling Sale, Slumdogmilionaire took his earnings to R2 203 750 and has now won 5 races with 2 places from 9 starts.

And most exciting of all, this well  bred good looker is still a colt.


Horse Chestnut S. (SAf-G1) (3/30)

Turffontein, South Africa, March 30, R1 million, 1600m, turf, good,  1.39.06

SLUMDOGMILLIONAIRE (SAF), 60.0, b c 4, Strike Smartly (CAN) – Make A Million
(AUS) by Last Tycoon (USA) . Owner A Greyvenstein; breeder GW Schafer;
trainer G v Zyl; jockey P Strydom (R625.000)

Whiteline Fever (SAF), 60.0, b g 4, Right Approach (GB) – Hockey Corner
(SAF) by Sportsworld (USA)

Mujaarib (AUS), 60.0, br c 4, Nadeem (AUS) – Mihnah (IRE) by Lahib (USA)

Margins: nose, 1/2, 3/4

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