Woodruff Jets Into Summer

Woodruff makes the R2 million Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup all his own with four of top five to finish

All Woodruff. Yorker stays on best under Anton Marcus to win the Summer Cup (JC Photos)

All Woodruff. Yorker stays on best under Anton Marcus to win the Summer Cup (JC Photos)

Trainer Geoff Woodruff produced the handsome Jet Master gelding Yorker in fine fettle on Saturday to win the 2013 R2 million Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup in a thriller from another son of Jet Master in his stablemate Master Sabina. In a memorable race, the rampant Woodruff also trained the third and fifth runners to finish.

The Woodruff yard have been in fine form in recent months, and Terrance Millard’s son in law would no doubt have been very content to have settled for a win in Gauteng’s major race. The fact that he trained the trifecta, as well as the fifth placed runner Killua Castle, would have been reason for plenty of champagne and celebrations.

Their summer plans also look to have just focussed Southwards and have brightened considerably with Yorker’s sights now set on a possible L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate and J&B Met raid.

With a quartet of top quality runners this year,  Woodruff must have been quietly confident with Master Sabina eventually jumping a lukewarm 5 to 1 favourite after his titanic effort when looking a winner and only going down narrowly in the Victory Moon Stakes.

Smanjemanje, nattily bedecked in his sponsor noseband, led Wagner, with the sisters Cherry On The Cake and Cherry On The Top all the way around and into the home run.

Yorker was relaxed with only four horses behind and about twelve lengths back early.

With Smanjemanje coming under pressure halfway down the straight and fading quickly, Master Sabina dashed out of the pack on the standside as Yorker built up gradually from midfield and beyond as he finished with a flourish down the rail

Yorker stayed on strongly under a determined Anton Marcus to hold a flying Master Sabina by 0,25 lengths in a time of 122,20 secs.

Sizzling Summer! Geoff Woodruff owned the Summer Cup

Sizzling Summer! Geoff Woodruff owned the Summer Cup

Tellina stayed on well under Glen Hatt after cutting a path on the outside and then drifting inwards, when he finished another 1,25 lengths behind in third, with Charity Mile winner Royal Zulu Warrior shading Killua Castle for fourth.

There were a few disappointingly flat efforts too.

The grey De Kock mare Ilha Bela’s move fizzled late and she ran eighth, beaten 6,05 lengths.

Piere Strydom gave Whiteline Fever every chance, moving forward menacingly at the 700m but he showed that the 2000m is possibly beyond his optimum trip and ran a disappointing tenth.

His stablemate Tiger’s Retreat did not confirm his exciting Victory Moon Stakes win, by failing to kick and he ran a dismal fifteenth.

Alec Laird’s well supported Royal Bencher ran second last and 22 lengths behind.

But it was Woodruff’s day and Yorker registered his fourth career win with 1 place from 9 runs and R1 393 675

Bought for R1,8 million on the Cape Premier Yearling Book 1 last year, the son of Jet Master was bred by Varsfontein’s Carl and Amanda De Vos, and is out of the four time winning Al Mufti mare Little Indian.

De Vos said after an earlier win that Yorker had always been a big fellow, and that he would just need time to grow into himself and mature. “This is a game of patience. Geoff knows exactly how to get them to win Gr1’s.”

Little Indian won from a mile to 1700m, and was trained by Geoff Woodruff for most of her career, before transferring to Harold Crawford in her later years.

Carl bought Little Indian from his farrier a few years ago. “It was quite fortuitous, but some of the best stories in racing usually are. My son was on an exchange programme in India at the time, and after Amanda heard that the dam was Little Indian, she said it was meant to be,” he said.

“We battled initially with her, but she has produced some lovely foals in the interim. Mike De Kock trained The Raj who was by Tiger Ridge and a very talented horse. I went back to the Storm Cat line with the colt by Black Minnaloushe that we are offering on the National Yearling Sale at the end of this month. He is just a magnificent specimen,” he said.

The De Vos’ often use cricket related names as the family is ‘cricket crazy’.

For the power partnership of Bernard Kantor, Jim Lewis and Ingrid and Markus Jooste, who race Yorker, some very exciting times lie ahead.

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