A Right Royal Rampage

Louis The King takes next step to Triple Crown history

Robbie Fradd has Louis The King in full flight to beat Mister Cricket (JC Photos)

Robbie Fradd has Louis The King in full flight to beat Mister Cricket (JC Photos)

Trainer Geoff Woodruff and jockey Robbie Fradd turned the 2014 SASCOC Triple Crown into a marketing man’s dream courtesy of a brilliant son of the rather underrated Maine Chance Farms stallion Black Minnaloushe. Louis The King proved that Meydan may be magic, but that Turffontein is tops, when he had us all on the edge of our seats with a terrific last gasp win in the R2 million Gr1 SA Classic.

There was plenty to like about the manner of Louis The King’s runaway Guineas win at the beginning of March in rather dicey underfoot conditions.

He stepped up the extra 200m on Saturday and proved that he has all the characteristics required of a top class racehorse when he dug deep to assert himself on the much quicker ground.

geoff-woodruff1

Geoff Woodruff was panicking

And it was not an easy afternoon to hog the limelight. After all, we had the Variety Club and Vercingetorix show in Dubai and there were generally some great performances all round.

Take Kevin Shea’s ride to get Athina home an hour earlier in the Jacaranda. And what of Majmu’s clinical destruction of the Pretty Polly field? Then Yorker and Capetown Noir’s ding dong battle was nailbiting too.

But Louis The King was the man of the moment.

Midfield for much of the race he took what felt like an eternity to find his best stride as Mister Cricket showed his appreciation of the better going and kicked again at the 300m marker.

Starting an odds on favourite, Louis The King got up to beat Mister Cricket by a decisive half length in a time of 110,68 secs.

Trainer Alec Laird produced a noteworthy feat by saddling the second through to fifth runners home. Louis The King has proven Laird’s nemesis in what started out as a promising season.

Robbie Fradd will soon be our man Down Under

Robbie Fradd will soon be our man Down Under

Robbie Fradd, who leaves for Australia on Monday, said jokingly that he would ‘swim over’ for the ride in the third leg of the Triple Crown.

“He won this going away at the line and we felt that the extra trip would be beneficial. We were cut off after 20m but I knew he had plenty of toe and character, so I wasn’t too worried. The track was also running much quicker today so they kept rolling longer and that is why he had to fight more than he did in the Guineas,” said Fradd.

An overwhelmed trainer Geoff Woodruff, who also won the Horse Chestnut Stakes for a Gr1 double on the day, said it was a team effort.

“I am just the manager of this operation. I must thank the whole team. Louis The King showed a lot of courage today and I was very worried with the change in ground. But he proved himself versatile. I was panicking at the 200m as they weren’t stopping around him. It was a most workmanlike win,’  he added

Owner Louis van der Vyver paid tribute to Fradd and Woodruff.

“We are  eighty percent of the way there. We will definitely get Robbie  back for the third leg,” he said confidently.

Louis The King has now won 5 of 6 starts , with a second placing at the remaining outing.

He has earned R2 092 500. That is a fantastic return on his purchase price!

Louis The King was bred by The Alchemy and is by Black Minnaloushe out of the Rich Man’s Gold mare, Pamushana.

His dam was bought by The Alchemy at the 2010 Vintage mare sale for R20 000 in foal to Black Minnaloushe.

The Alchemy sold that foal (Louis The King)  for R55 000 at the KZN yearling sale to Limestone Thoroughbreds.

Louis The King is the only foal of the mare registered so far.

Louis The King now marches on to the R2 million Gr1 SA Derby to be run over 2450m on Saturday 26 April 2014.

A bonus of R2 million will be paid if he grabs the rather elusive but prized title.

*

Gr1 SA Classic  (SAf-Gr1)
Turffontein, South Africa, March 29, R2 million, 1800m, turf, good, 1.50.68
 1–LOUIS THE KING (SAF), 58.0, b c 3, Black Minnaloushe (USA) – Pamushana (SAF) by Rich Man’s Gold (USA). Owner Mr L J van der Vyver; breeder The Alchemy; trainer GV Woodruff; jockey R Fradd
2–Mister Cricket (SAF), 58.0, b c 3, Judpot (USA) – Follow On (SAF) by Caesour (USA)
3–As You Like (SAF), 58.0, b c 3, Tiger Ridge (USA) – Always Forever (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA)
Margins: ½, nose, 1
 

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