A sundrenched Kenilworth erupted in joyous celebration on Saturday afternoon as hometown hero Kommetdieding asserted his authority and superior ability to become the first horse in a decade to register the Durban July – Cape Town Met double.
The rags-to-riches story of the gallant son of Elusive Fort has been well documented in the mainstream media since the Klawervlei-bred star caught the public imagination with a devastating turn of foot to win Africa’s greatest race on the East Coast six months ago.
After a terrific second behind Jet Dark in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate three weeks, Kommetdieding turned on the charm in front of his adoring home crowd and an elated owner Ashwyn Reynolds and his family on Saturday, to give trainer Michelle Rix, who conditions in partnership with her Dad Harold Crawford, the honour of becoming the first lady trainer to win the historic Cape flagship – a race first run in 1861.
Allowed to stalk the pacesetters, Kommetdieding found himself in no man’s land at the 400m as the leaders fell away.
But after repelling a threatening late run wide out by the high-riding Grant van Niekerk on multiple Gr1 winner Linebacker, Kommetdieding was gathered under a superb display of cool cucumber big race riding by Gavin Lerena.
The 4yo colt knew only one way and that was home James as he accelerated -despite getting his tongue over the bit – to hold off the attentions of a late finishing Jet Dark (9-2) down the inside, to win by three quarters of a length in a time of 123,80 secs.
Linebacker (4-1) was not disgraced in defeat, staying on for third, a neck further back.
The 3yo Double Superlative (6-1) was beaten into fourth and 1,70 lengths off the winner.
An elated owner Ashwyn Reynolds, dressed for the theme, emotionally dedicated the victory to Morne Barnes and other late family members. And promised that ‘a regte Boesman fees’ would follow!
Trainer Michelle Rix said the winner wasn’t a horse, but a member of the family.
“But I don’t want to make an Oscar acceptance speech – thanks so much to Ashwyn!”
But the emotions aside, what a terrific story for racing and a horse that cost a mere R55 000 on the 2019 Klawervlei Farm Sale!
A son of Elusive Fort (Fort Wood) out of the three-time winning Captain Al mare Adorable, Kommetdieding registered his sixth victory (with 4 places) from his ten starts for stakes of R3 234 000.
Fairytales happen. What a day for Cape racing and, more importantly, for the ordinary man on the ground.
TRAINER JOCKEY DISTANCE BETTING
1 ST 5 KOMMETDIEDING H Crawford/M Rix G Lerena 18/10
2 ND 4 JET DARK SJ Snaith S Khumalo 0.75 0.75 9/2
3 RD 6 LINEBACKER VH Marshall G van Niekerk 0.20 0.95 4/1
4 TH 11 DOUBLE SUPERLATIVE SJ Snaith A Marcus 0.75 1.70 13/2
5 TH 1 DO IT AGAIN SJ Snaith B Fayd’Herbe 0.30 2.00 20/1
TIME OF RACE: 2 mins 03.80 sec
Tote Fav: 5 KOMMETDIEDING H Crawford/M Rix G Lerena __________ 18/10