Tony Ruffel Milestone For Rafeef

Corne Spies has another classic prospect on his hands

The Gr3 Tony Ruffel Stakes produced a humdinger of a finish at Turffontein on Saturday with the smashing William Robertson providing his breeders Ridgemont Highlands with a milestone first graded stakes winner for the champion farm’s exciting Redoute’s Choice stallion, Rafeef.

Vaal trainer Corne Spies is known as an astute judge of well-priced horses who can run, and he really and truly stretched the cheque book to buy William Robertson, a horse that spoke to him.

With the other two out of the pic, it’s deceptive as Ryan Munger and William Robertson rush to the line (Pic – JC Photos)

But the R500 000 outlay at the BSA National 2yo Sale is well in perspective now after the exciting galloper stamped himself as a top 3yo with a courageous effort to pip the Johan Janse van Vuuren pair of Outofthedarkness and Prince Of Fire.

It was a perfectly judged front-running ride by Ryan Munger on a horse that loves a fight.

“I must say I thought we were in serious trouble 200m out,” quipped Corne Spies afterwards.

Just when it looked like William Robertson would keep rolling after loping along out front with his ears pricked early on, the Janse van Vuuren pair came through powerfully.

It was a terrific second run after a rest by William Robertson (3-1) who got the verdict wide out by a nose in a time of 86,46 secs.

The lesser fancied of the Van Vuuren coupling, Outofthedarkness (7-1) secured second ahead of Prince Of Fire (3-1).

Jockey Ryan Munger labelled the winner  ‘tough and hard as nails’.

“I am over the moon – he is the type of horse that gives one goosebumps. Thanks to Mr Spies and the owners and the entire team,” said Munger.

The Ridgemont Highlands-bred William Robertson is out of the thrice winning Trippi mare, Massachusetts and cost R500 000 on the BSA National 2yo Sale.

A winner of 3 of his 7 starts with 4 places, he has earned R503 250.

The magnificent Rafeef

SA’s leading first season sire of 2020/21, Rafeef currently heads our Second Season Sire log.

The blue blooded champion, a full-brother to Equus Champion and Gr1 SA Nursery winner Mustaaqeem, is one of more than 170 stakes winners sired by multiple champion Australian sire Redoute’s Choice, and he is out of former South African Horse Of The Year National Colour.


1ST 2 WILLIAM ROBERTSON C Spies R Munger —– 33/10
2ND 6 OUTOFTHEDARKNESS J van Vuuren K de Melo 0,05 0,05 6/1
3RD 3 PRINCE OF FIRE J van Vuuren S Khumalo 0,15 0,20 9/4
4TH 4 SUPER EXCITED P F Matchett M Yeni 1,50 1,70 7/1
5TH 8 PERFECT WITNESS C Dawson W Kennedy 1,10 2,80 8/1
TIME OF RACE: 86.46 s
Tote Fav 3 PRINCE OF FIRE J van Vuuren S Khumalo 0,20 9/4

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