Shock, Horror – It’s De Kock!

Apprentice Callan Murray celebrates career peak win

They said she’d need further but class and conditioning counts and Mike de Kock’s promising Australian-bred Fursa ran away from her field to win the R400 000 Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery at a buzzing Champions Day at Turffontein on Saturday.

Callan Murray keeps his cool as Fursa finishes best of all (Pic - JC Photos)

Callan Murray keeps his cool as Fursa finishes best of all (Pic – JC Photos)

The disappointing effort by the hot-pot unbeaten 3-10 favourite Exquisite Touch, who could do no better than finish fourth, failed to dampen the enthusiasm of punters who seldom see a De Kock going runner going off at 14-1.

Apprentice Callan Murray, in one of the highlights of his short career to date, rode a well judged race and appeared to benefit from having little expectation and pressure around his neck – as he settled the smart daughter of Hard Spun just off them down the outside.

After an untidy start, Cyber Magic went very fast and had many off the bit at the 400m as the pressure began to tell.

With Exquisite Touch labouring under a drive by S’manga Khumalo, it was Fursa who came home full of running in front of the grandstand to hold off the favourite’s stablemate and recent debut winner, Myfunnyvalentine, to 1,20 lengths in a time of 67,83 secs.

Alec Laird’s Silvano filly Arissa flew up late to deny PA backers the consolation of Exquisite Touch running third.

Fursa has won twice from 5 starts with 2 places and took her stakes earnings to R348 000. She must have a bright future as her only win was at 1400m and her pedigree suggests she needs more ground to be at her best.

She is a daughter of 2007 Knetucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun, a son of Danzig. The winner is out of the twice winning Red Ransom mare, Red Princess who won up to 1700m.

She was signed for by Form Bloodstock on the 2015 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for A$48 000.


Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery  (SAf-Gr2)

Turffontein, South Africa, April 30, R400k, 1160m, turf, good, 1.07.83

1 – FURSA (AUS), 60.0, b f 2, Hard Spun (USA) – Red Princess (AUS) by Red Ransom (USA). Owner Al Adiyaat South Africa (Pty) Ltd; Breeder bred in Australia; trainer MF de Kock; jockey C Murray
2 – Myfunnyvalentine (SAF), 60.0, b f 2, Captain Al (SAF) – Give Me Five (SAF) by Goldkeeper (USA)
3 – Arissa (SAF), 60.0, b f 2, Silvano (GER) – Arabian Empress (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA)
Margins: 1.20, 1.80, 0.75


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