Barend Boots ‘Em

Ruffian Stakes run of favourites ends

A dismal run by the previously unbeaten odds-on favourite Kissable was overshadowed by owner-breeder Gerald Kalil’s superfast King Of Kings filly Daring Diva, who maintained her own impeccable record with a storming win in the R150 000 Listed Ruffian Stakes at Turffontein on Saturday.

Andrew Fortune is sitting dead still on the flying Daring Diva (Pic: JC Photos)

Kissable went off a prohibitive 3-10 with her close on 14 lengths aggregate winning margin at her first two starts boosting her credentials. But the Paul Matchett trained filly was the first to go at the 400m as she fell away to run stone last of the eight runners.

In so doing, she ended the five year winning run of favourites in this event. It was announced later that she had been found not striding out up front.

Andrew Fortune – another feature winner

Andrew Fortune, fresh off his Fairview hat-trick of 24 hours earlier, rode Daring Diva for Barend Botes. The veteran tracked the favourite a length back and pressed the launch button when he saw the white flag going up.

In a matter of two strides, Daring Diva was in front and she went on too powerfully for the late finishing Outlander, who was beaten 2,75 lengths in a time of 57,61 secs.

La Bella Mia was well beaten into third, with debutante Kenna finishing a 5,15 length fourth.

Bred and owned by Gerald Kalil, Daring Diva is from the last crop of English 2000 Guineas winner King Of Kings out of the five time winning The Sheik mare, Delightfull Diva – who Mr Kalil raced in partnership in the Botes stable.

The KZN-based King of Kings, a son of Sadler’s Wells, gave Aidan O’Brien his first English classic winner.

King of Kings was represented by more than 20 stakes winners during a stud career that saw him stand in Australia, North America, and Switzerland, before ending up in South Africa.

He died at stud from heart failure in 2015.

Daring Diva has won three from three (all with Andrew Fortune up) for stakes of R215 625.

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