The Heart Of The Matter!

Fourie goes all the way for Kotzen

Trainer Glen Kotzen ended a succesful Cape Summer Season campaign on a high when the top-class Richard Fourie made all the running on the Elusive Fort filly Elusive Heart to win the R250 000 Listed Gr3 Prix Du Cap at Kenilworth on a bustling Cape Prawn Festival Raceday on Saturday.

Richard Fourie and Elusive Heart go all the way (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

The day proved once again that if it’s not the Sun Met or the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, one way to get feet through the racecourse turnstiles is to sell good food. While we had to listen to the usual marketing waffle – not a great dessert after superb seafood – about how RIAR is driving newcomes to the races, the real poser for the powers-that-be must be how to convert those prawners, who turned up for their annual seafood binge, to actually become punters. That’s another challenge entirely.

The 1400m fillies and mares weight-for-age plus penalties feature attracted a class field of ten and with this season’s 3yo crop showing themselves to be something special, it was hardly surprising to see the only three of that age group in the line-up dominate the finish.

While it was not apparently according to the tactical planning, Richard Fourie had Elusive Heart in front from the jump, ahead of Seattle Gold and stablemate Final Judgement.

Told you! Richard Fourie makes his point (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

As they spun for home, Fourie showed his impeccable judgement – with trainer Glen Kotzen cursing the speed at which he was doing things – as he stepped on the gas. With Elusive Heart never looking like getting beaten, she drew away to resist the late challenge of perennial Summer Season bridesmaid Rose In Bloom and the equally consistent big earner Miss Katalin.

The winner, easy to back at 6-1, charged home 2,50 lengths clear in a time of 86,36 secs.

The Gr1 placer Rose In Bloom ran on stoutly from some way off, with Ready To Run Stakes winner Miss Katalin never looking like getting past her a further quarter length back.

Glen Kotzen said afterwards that Elusive Heart may have found the 1600m of the Cape Guineas a trifle far . He said she had matured and would be perfectly suited to the short Greyville run-in during the KZN Champions Season.

Richard Fourie, who had given the connections plenty of confidence in the build-up, said that at one stage of the season he had felt that Elusive Heart would win the Guineas.

All smiles at the Prix Du Cap lead-in (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

Elusive Heart was registering a first stakes success and races in a  partnership of the winning jockey’s sponsors Chrigor Stud and Peter de Beyer, who were on hand to lead her in.

Bred by Narrow Creek Stud, Elusive Heart is by triple Gr1 winning Equus champion Elusive Fort (Fort Wood) out of the one-time winning Redeem My Heart (Indigo Magic).

Her win was a timeous filip for the Cape Yearling Sale, as she was a R100 000 buy from the 2016 renewal when it was held at Val De Vie.


Gr3 Prix Du Cap (SAf-Gr3)

Kenilworth, South Africa, February 24, R250k, 1400m, turf, good, 1.26.36

1 – ELUSIVE HEART (SAF), 55.5, b f 3, Elusive Fort (SAF) – Redeem My Heart (SAF) by Indigo Magic (GB). Owner Chrigor Stud (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Mrs S Hattingh) & Mr P G de Beyer; Breeder Narrow Creek Stud; trainer GS Kotzen; jockey R Fourie
2 – Rose In Bloom (SAF), 55.5, b f 3, Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) – Raise The Bar (SAF) by Goldkeeper (USA)
3 – Miss Katalin (SAF), 55.5, b f 3, Trippi (USA) – Little Miss Magic (SAF) by Jet Master (SAF)
Margins: 2.25, 0.30, 0.75

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