Mighty Hot Pathfork!

Gr1 filly grabs Senor Santa honours

The R350 000 Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes produced the thriller as anticipated at Turffontein on Saturday with the flying Pathfork filly Mighty High rallying powerfully under a determined Chase Maujean to beat the favourite – another Pathfork – Mr Flood, who was bidding for his sixth win on the trot.

Easy to back at 15-1, Mighty High produced a rare Senor Santa Stakes victory for the fairer sex in a race of dizzy highs and a tragic low – the outstanding 3yo Basadi Faith breaking down in running, to mar what was a classic sprint duel.

Chase Maujean drives Mighty High to win as Muzi Yeni slogs away on third-placed Rebel’s Champ (Pic -JC Photos)

It was a forgettable race for the defending champion Mardi Gras, who was always under a push of a ride and clearly wasn’t himself, finishing some 8,75 lengths off – and the Stipes report should tell us more.

But the race belonged to Ridgemont Highlands’ Sandown-based Irish Champion Pathfork, who sired the exacta and again underscored his great value – he stood for R10 000 last season.

Coming down the outside from just two lengths off the gallop, Mighty High (15-1), having her third run after a rest, ran on doggedly to resist the persistent and pace-charged Mr Flood (47-20) by a half length in 67,94 secs.

Recently returned to action, Muzi Yeni rode for his life in a bid cause the shock on the gallant Rebel’s Champ (16-1) who was a head away in third.

Winning rider Chase Maujean said five minutes after the race that he was ‘still shocked’.

“When I looked at our opposition, I thought this was going to be a mountain to climb. This was a gutsy win. A great team effort. Thanks to the owners for the opportunity,” he said.

Trainer Johan Janse van Vuuren, who saddled last year’s winner Mardi Gras, said that the winner chipped a fetlock in KZN last season.

“I am glad the owners persisted with her. She always had a sneak at the weights. I’m really thrilled as we have a nice record in this race,” he added.

After showing plenty of toe, Warrior’s Rest (16-1) was further 1,25 lengths back in fourth.

Pathfork (Distorted Humor – Visions of Clarity)

While her injury has curtailed her career to some degree, Mighty High was Pathfork’s first ever Gr1 winner when she captured the 2018 Allan Robertson Championship and she continues to be great value for her R120 000 National Yearling Sale price tag!

Bred by Maine Chance, Mighty High is out of the Shamardal mare, Bold Nimph.

She has won 5 races with 4 places from 13 starts for stakes of R1 037 949.

An  Irish Champion Two-Year-Old, Pathfork  brings the best of American pedigrees, strengthened through Sadler’s Wells’ influence in Europe, and is one of the best sire producing lines available, to mares in South Africa.

Pathfork was the highest rated 2yo in Ireland in 2010 and one of the top 5 in the world. He was undefeated in 3 races as a juvenile with an official Timeform Rating of 120.

His dam is a 3-part sister to Spinning World (TFR 130 – sire of Gr1’s in UK & Australasia) and Sagara (TFR 124).

This is the sire producing female line of Redoute’s Choice, El Gran Senor, Northern Guest, etc.

Pathfork has produced 17 black type horses and we have already heard whispers about his quintet on the National Yearling Sale next month.

Lucky owner, and an astute breeder, Geoff van Lear says none are smarter than #142 – named Shikoku, she’s a Pathfork half to his multiple Graded Stakes winning flyer, Schippers (Var).

Click here to see the catalogue


Gr2 Senor Santa Stakes (SAf-Gr2)

Turffontein, South Africa, March 14, R350k, 1160m, turf, good, 1.07.94

1 – MIGHTY HIGH (SAF), 53.5, b f 4, Pathfork (USA) – Bold Nimph (AUS) by Shamardal (USA). Owner Messrs A J van Huyssteen & J F & L M F Wernars; Breeder Maine Chance; trainer JAJ v Vuuren; jockey C Maujean
2 – Mr Flood (SAF), 60.0, b g 4, Pathfork (USA) – Last Word Pam (SAF) by Jallad (USA)
3 – Rebel’s Champ (SAF), 60.0, ch g 5, Rebel King (SAF) – Anne Bonny (SAF) by Captain Al (SAF)
Margins: 0.50, 0.05, 0.70

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