Dream Day For Mike Bass

Greg Cheyne produces son of Rebel King in final strides for sensational win

Royal Dreamer

Royal Dreamer (Greg Cheyne) flies up on the outside to catch Sail For Gold (Grant Van Niekerk in blue), with Catkin (Brandon Morgenrood) staying on for fourth. Third placed Liquid Mercury is out of the frame. (Pic: Bay Media)

The in-form Mike Bass saddled the R250 000 Gr3 Winter Classic exacta at Kenilworth on Sunday as 2009 Equus Champion Sprinter Rebel King broke the ice siring his first stakes winner. His son Royal Dreamer won a thriller to beat his more fancied stablemate, Sail For Gold, who looked a winner close to home.

It was a happy return to form for the Bass yard, who do not have the strongest KZN Champions Season string this term.

But the home fires have been kept burning with some good winter form in the Cape, and they dominated a wintry meet at the Southern Suburbs venue,

The second leg of the Cape Winter Series lost some lustre with the departure to KZN of Winter Guineas winner, Act Of War, but a competitive field lined up – with Milnerton neighbours Mike Bass and Joey Ramsden sending out six of the nine runners.

And as it happened, the Guineas second and third placed finishers fought it out.

Night In Seattle was slow away as visiting SA champion jockey S’manga Khumalo took Parachute Man out to lead Seven Oceans and Liquid Mercury.

Royal Dreamer and stablemate No Resistance were relaxed in last, about fifteen lengths off the leader.

Parachute Man continued to gallop strongly and enjoyed a seven length lead into the home run as Sail For Gold chased with Liquid Mercury and Catkin commencing their challenges.

Greg Cheyne had switched Royal Dreamer out for a run from last at the 300m and with his mount hanging in on to Night In Seattle, Cheyne had to switch the whip to his left hand and commenced riding hard.

While Sail For Gold looked a winner, Cheyne almost casually straightened his mount and went for broke as the fast-finishing Royal Dreamer got up in the last stride to win by a short head in a time of 112,98 secs.

The runner-up Sail For Gold looks overdue for a third win, while Liquid Mercury – something of a grey galoot of a horse- appeared outpaced up the straight and was only getting serious in the last 50m. He could be a major threat in the Winter Derby.

Catkin stayed on into fourth after hesitating as Royal Dreamer loomed on his outside late in proceedings.

Greg Cheyne - cool and confident ride

Greg Cheyne – cool and confident ride

Assistant trainer Candice Robinson said that Royal Dreamer had plenty of ability and that jockey Greg Cheyne got on well with him.

“He can only improve further and while he has a bt of a weak back, he is doing well,” she said.

Jockey Greg Cheyne, who must take much of the credit for the win, said that he felt initially that the switch to the shorter run-in of the winter track could have been his mount’s undoing.

“He takes an incredible amount of time to get going – I warned him up before the race and he only gets going after 700m in the race itself. But he ran on nicely at the business end,” he said.

Part owner Marsh Shirtliff enjoyed a good day and was on course to lead the gelding in.

“I was glad that Darryl Hodgson’s horse went out to make the running. But I was cursing as Royal Dreamer appeared to be hanging in and bumping the horse next to him. But it was a lovely ride by Greg and a pleasing win in the end,” he said.

The Arc-en-Ciel bred Royal Dreamer is a son of Klawervlei stallion Rebel King, a champion sprinter, out of the Camden Park mare, Camden’s Jewel, who won once at 1400m.

Interestingly their son has no early toe at all!

He was purchased for R160 000 on the Cape Premier Yearling Sale Book 2.

Royal Dreamer boosted his stakes earnings to R257 500 with this third win and one place from 8 starts.


Gr3 Winter Classic  (SAf-Gr3)

Kenilworth, South Africa, May 31, R250k, 1800m, turf, soft, 1.52.98

1 – ROYAL DREAMER (SAF), 60.0, b g 3, Rebel King (SAF) – Camden’s Jewel (SAF) by Camden Park (USA). Owner Messrs S R Bass, M J Jooste, Bryn Ressell, N M Shirtliff & Mrs I Jooste; Breeder Arc-en-Ciel; trainer MW Bass; jockey G Cheyne
2 – Sail For Gold (SAF), 60.0, b g 3, Sail From Seattle (USA) – Cobra Gold  by Doowaley (IRE)
3 – Liquid Mercury (SAF), 60.0, gr g 3, Trippi (USA) – Skip Poker (USA) by Skip Away (ANY)
Margins: 0.10, 0.50, 0.50


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