Emperor Dons His New Clothes!

First stakes win for Dynasty gelding

The improving Dynasty gelding Our Emperor made full use of his handy galloping weight and a judicious ride by Greg Cheyne to land the spoils off a muddling pace in the R250 000 Gr3 Chairman’s Cup at Kenilworth on Saturday.

Greg Cheyne gets Our Emperor up on the line (Pic – Candiese Marnewick)

The small and rather shallow field bore testimony to the less than enthusiastic approach to the stamina game in our racing culture, but the 3200m race – a crowd pleaser as they pass the stands twice – produced a thrilling finish, nevertheless.

With Gauteng visitor Let It Rain dictating a stroll early in the race, Grant van Niekerk gradually edged closer on Master’s Eye, who was some 15 lengths off the leader as they went into the 24000m marker. Van Niekerk built his mount up gradually and launched his assault at the 800m around his field.

The move – while his only choice – probably cost him the race, though, as there was little in it at the end.

With Master’s Eye rallying strongly in the straight, Greg Cheyne produced Our Emperor at the 300m, switching the gelding to the outside of the Snaith runner.

Greg Cheyne – confident ride

The two went head and head to the wire – and were so close together, neither jockey dared pull a whip.

At the line, a confident Cheyne got Our Emperor’s nose down where it counted, to win rather cosily by a head in a time of 212,61 secs.

Captain Splendid stayed on without threatening in third a further 2,25 lengths back, with Let It Rain tiring to hang on to fourth.

The winner was bred by WIlgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein and is a son of Dynasty (Fort Wood) out of the four-time winner, Express Queen (Jet Master).

A R475 000 BSA Val De Vie Yearling Sale graduate, Our Emperor has won 4 races – this was his first stakes success – with 3 places from 10 starts and stakes of R387 325.

Our Emperor had things his own way here, but he looks to have plenty of scope to improve and the Brett Crawford runner could well be back for the 2800m Gr2 on Sun Met day.


Gr3 Chairman’s Cup (SAf-Gr3)

Kenilworth, South Africa, January 6, R250k, 3200m, turf, good, 3.32.61

1 – OUR EMPEROR (SAF), 52.0, b g 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Express Queen (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF). Owner Messrs D G Abery, G S Knowles, Bryn Ressell & N M Shirtliff; Breeder Wilgerbosdrift & Mauritzfontein; trainer BJ Crawford; jockey G Cheyne
2 – Master’s Eye (SAF), 56.0, b g 6, Jet Master (SAF) – Jettatura (SAF) by Al Mufti (USA)
3 – Captain Splendid (SAF), 57.0, b g 5, Captain Al (SAF) – Justthewayyouare (SAF) by Fort Wood (USA)
Margins: 0.10, 2.25, 0.50

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