The Geoff Woodruff yard had a welcome change of fortune when the Jet Master gelding Soul Master outclassed his opposition to win the R135 000 Listed Java Handicap run over 2450m at Turffontein on Tuesday evening. It was the easiest riding commission Piere Strydom will earn all season.
This was admittedly not the strongest field that will ever line up for a Listed event, but owner Michael De Broglio could only have been thrilled at the manner of his gelding’s easy win and the fact that he may yet now fulfil some of his early promise.
The race was not run at a strong clip, with Muzi Yeni hanging on for dear life as Spitfire Run led from Winning Leap until they were deep into the home straight. Strydom had Soul Master about midfield and he produced the 5yo at he 300m marker. It was no race thereafter.
He was geared right down to hold St John Gray’s Yer-Maan, who finished strongly without threatening to grab the R27 000 second cheque.
Soul Master, who started a rather lukewarm 5-1 favourite, won the Java easing up by two lengths in a time of 154,5 secs.
He held the fast-finishing Yer –Maan, without even racing a sweat and with the mare Salutation a further 3,50 lengths back in third. She pipped the improved Avenue Of Gold.
Soul Master was touted as a Durban July candidate at one stage and besides a nice third in the Lonsdale behind Blake, his recent KZN Champions Season campaign was a rather forgettable one. A former winner of the Listed Derby Trial, and Gr3 placed in the Caradoc Gold Cup, Soul Master is certainly versatile, having won from 1200m to 2600m.
The disappointments in this very open race would include the likes of S’I Vous Plait, who never showed and faded away to finish in ninth position, 18 lengths behind. He has won over further, so it cannot be argued that he didn’t stay.
The Right Approach gelding Dunraven added to the De Kock disappointments on the evening and finished in eighth and 11 lengths behind.
But the revitalised Soul Master looks like he has plenty of racing left in him.
The Aldora Stud-bred son of Jet Master out of the five-time winning Comic Blush mare Saintly Soul, was registering his sixth win from his 19 starts, for 4 places.
He took his stake earnings to R476 650.
He cost owner Michael De Broglio R275 000 at the National Yearling Sale and based on this performance , may yet be a factor in the feature season that lies ahead.