Hollywoodbets Gold Challenge Is SA’s Top Gr1

Rated with Cox Plate on IFHA pattern race ranking

A premier SA Champions Season weight-for-age mile, the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge has been ranked South Africa’s leading Gr1 contest and alongside Australia’s richest weight-for-age contest, the prestigious W.S. Cox Plate, on the latest International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) pattern race ratings.

The Cox Plate is run at Moonee Valley over 2040m in late October, while the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge is traditionally run in early June at Hollywoodbets Greyville, often as a strategic Durban July stepping stone.

Warren Kennedy salutes as Rainbow Bridge claims the 2020 Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge (Pic – Gold Circle)

While the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge and the Cox Plate were ranked jointly at 35 on the list, the top ranked event was the Gr1 Juddmonte International Stakes, which is the final middle-distance QIPCO British Champions Series race before the QIPCO Champion Stakes provides the glittering climax on QIPCO British Champions Day.

And what a history the Juddmonte boasts! The inaugural running in 1972 was won by the American-bred Roberto, a Derby winner who became the first – and last – horse to beat Brigadier Gerard.

Sea The Stars won it in 2009 – the same year he won an incredible six Gr1 races within six months, including the 2000 Guineas, Investec Derby and Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.

Frankel captured the race in 2012 as he recorded his 13th success from as many starts with a seven-length demolition of his rivals. Derby winner Australia, won it two years later, while Roaring Lion scored in 2018 en route to being named Cartier Horse of the Year.

Charlie Appleby’s Ghaiyyath, pictured above, extended his Gr1 winning streak when claiming the Juddmonte in 2020.

The Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge is thus in illustrious company and has proven a supreme test of speed, resillience and pure racing class.

The prestigious mile contest boasts an honour roll littered with star performers, champions and Vodacom Durban July winners, including 2008 dead-heaters Dancer’s Daughter and Pocket Power, Big City Life, exciting new generation sire Legislate, and the aptly named dual July champion, Do It Again.

Interestingly, the magnificent grey Dancer’s Daughter represented the best of the fairer sex alongside Equus Champion Older Filly/Mare Dancewiththedevil, who lowered the colours of the best males when winning the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge in 2011.

Watch the replay of the 2020 Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge

The 2020 renewal of the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge was won by 2019 Sun Met winner Rainbow Bridge, and his highly anticipated meeting with Do It Again in this Saturday’s Gr1 Cape Town Met at Kenilworth makes for a fascinating clash of Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge alumni.

Beyond Justin Snaith’s Do It Again, other SA Horses Of The Year to have established their credentials in the Hollywoodbets Gr1 Gold Challenge arena include the Joey Ramsden pair of the high-class Winter Solstice and his international Gr1 winning miler stablemate, Variety Club.

Other great South African races to feature further down on the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) pattern race ratings list include the Gr1 Cape Town Met and the L’Ormarins Gr1 Queen’s Plate, won earlier this month by the exciting 3yo, Jet Dark.

Click here to see the full listing

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