Hot As Hades!

A cinch for Mr Finch as back-seat driver JR celebrates another star prospect

Cool running! Bernard Fayd'herbe pilots Cold As Ice to a super win (Bay Media)

Cool running! Bernard Fayd’herbe pilots Cold As Ice to a super win (Bay Media)

The spellbinding Gr1 Avontuur Fillies Guineas script had another thrilling chapter written into it at Kenilworth on Saturday when the leading wine and horse farm’s beautiful Western Winter filly Cold As Ice coasted to victory in the R400 000 Gr2 Choice Carriers Championship.

The premier fillies classic on 6 December is taking serious shape!

The Australian-bred Redoute’s Choice filly Majmu’s scintillating win in the Gr3 Starling Stakes at Turffontein last Saturday had trainer Mike De Kock throwing down the gauntlet – if she gets a reasonable draw, SA’s champion 2yo filly of last season will take her place.

And after Cold As Ice’s facile victory on Saturday, there will be plenty of needle with the prospects of a hometown victory a tangible dream – despite her stamina doubts.

Joey Ramsden

Joey Ramsden – finds the champions

The scratchings of PE based Dancing Natasha and Snaith’s Princess Chloe saw nine fillies jump in the Choice Carriers showpiece in a race that has been won by some of our best female racers over the years.

Cold As Ice landed running but Greg Cheyne took Double Whammy around her from the widest draw to lead into the bend, with Harvard Crimson, Jet Set Go and Inara further back.

Cheyne slowed things down beautifully to suit his mount and the Judpot filly relaxed in front and the race developed Into a sprint into the home run as the top two drew off.

But inside the final 250m it was clear that Cold As Ice was going the better and try as she might, Double Whammy had no answer to Joey Ramsden’s  flyer who strode off to win as she liked.

Clocking 88,20 secs for the 1400m trip, Cold As Ice was geared down to an official 1,25 length winning margin at the line.

The winner started at evens and the 5 to 1 Double Whammy delivered the tote place dividend of the decade at R2!

The previously unbeaten Jet Set Go (also an Avontuur product) stayed on a further 1,25 lengths back in third.

Part owner Brian Finch - has found himself a good one

Part owner Brian Finch – has found himself a good one

Winning rider Bernard Fayd’herbe gave credit to his adversary, Greg Cheyne.

“Greg rode a clever race and slowed it down. I wasn’t worried though as in the back of my mind I knew I could outsprint them.What a lovely filly she is  – riding her is like sitting in a Porche – I was very confident.”

On her prospects in the Guineas, Fayd’herbe sounded a word of caution.

“The mile is going to be a touch far but she is a very classy sort. It is a privilege to ride for owners like these. And Joey (Ramsden) just has a knack of finding two or three champions every year!” he said.

Trainer Joey Ramsden said that Cold As Ice had grown into the specimen her owners had always hoped she would.

“They didn’t go quick and  I would have preferred Bernie in front. But I don’t want to be a back -seat driver, but it was great to see her run on from behind and quicken,” he said.

The charismatic Brian Finch was the happiest owner in the country and said that it had always been the plan to find good horses – “And I think we have found one,” he said.

Cold As Ice was registering her third win (a first stakes success) with one place from four starts for stakes of R346 125.

She was purchased on the Cape Premier Yearling Sale Book 1 for R875 000 and races ina  partnership of Brian and Kathy Finch and Wayne and Belinda Kieswetter.

Cold As Ice was bred by Avontuur Farm and is by Western Winter out of the lightning fast seven time winning National Assembly mare, Viva.

iInterestingly, Glen Kotzen, who trained the gallant runner-up Double Whammy, also trained the winner’s dam, Viva.

In a further happy twist. Avontuur’s Lindy White won the R10 000 Choice Carriers travel voucher offered by the sponsors.

On a day dominated by favourites, visiting KZN trainer Dennis Drier made a winning start to his Summer Of Champions campaign when the promising Var colt Generalissimo went all the way with the aid of the tailwind to register his third win from four starts in the second race, a Graduation Plate over 1200m.

Another impressive hat-trick winner was Justin Snaith’s Thomas Crown gelding Charles Lytton, who mirrored Generalissimo’s formline, when winning the fifth, an MR 68 Handicap.

The fairytale of the rags-to-riches tale of the son of a Wilgerbosdrift teaser looks set to continue.

And heavyweight (an understatement!) jockey Andrew Fortune maintained his excellent strike rate when steering Miss Saigon to a narrow end-to-end win in the eight for Ramsden.

What a judge of pace!


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