Kabelo’s Ride Of The Day!

TAB Gr1 SA Derby

Just a month after celebrating their maiden Grade 1 success together, trainer Robyn Klaasen and owner Stincky Pooe raised a toast to jockey Kabelo Matsunyane who produced the ride of his life to keep the favourite Purple Pitcher rolling down the long Turffontein straight to score a heart-stopping victory in the R1 250 000 TAB Gr1 SA Derby.

Kabelo Matsunyane produced the ride of his life to keep the favourite Purple Pitcher rolling down the long Turffontein straight (Pic – JC Photos)

Klaasen is only in her second full season for her own account, and has done a remarkable job with the R170 000 purchase, who has won two Gr1’s in his seven victories from his last eight starts, since shedding his maiden tag seven months ago.

“I always thought he’d stay, despite all the doubters,” said the happy trainer, who added that she’d never seen a bond between horse and jockey on the level of Purple Pitcher and Kabelo Matsunyane, before.

Matsunyane, who wasn’t scared to keep his mount within striking distance of the leader Mondial all the way around, added that he always felt that the further he goes, the better he would be.

“You can see the heart and courage. He loves a fight. I think after this performance, that 2200m is his best trip,” he added.

Smartly attired in a dashing red suit, owner Stincky Pooe was on course with a large entourage of family and friends.

“We have a champion. If there are still people who doubt that, then I don’t know,” he laughed, indicating that the Hollywoodbets Durban July was the goal for his talented colt.

In one of the most thrilling finishes to the classic in years, it came down to two sons of ill-fated stallion New Predator to slug it out.

The Purple Pitcher Team celebrate an outstanding victory! (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

At the line, the roar went up for Matsunyane who had kept Purple Pitcher (2-1) at it to beat a determined Richard Fourie on Pure Predator by a quarter length in a time of 160,38 secs.

The pacesetting Mondial (8-1) found a second wind under Muzi Yeni to rally right back and grab third a neck away.

The very best performed son of the little exposed New Predator (New Approach), the winner was bred by Bush Hill Stud and is out of the one-time winning Count Dubois mare, Heliantha.

A winner of 7 races, including two legs of the SA Triple Crown, and with 3 places from 12 starts, Purple Pitcher took his stakes earnings to R2 536 250.

He was purchased for R170 000 off the BSA National 2yo Sale last year.

What a dream horse to own!

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